Ramble On

Monday, September 23, 2013

Road Trips - Las Vegas (2013 edition)

On the strip in Las Vegas.
We're just back from a great trip that combined business with leisure.  It started out in Las Vegas, where I gave my talk:  "The Facilities Master Plan:  Building a Better Business Case."  This part of the trip was sponsored by the company I work for - I've given this presentation a couple of times in Vegas and Baltimore for the group that puts these shows on (www.nfmt.com) - and there were about 100 folks at the talk.

Afterwards, Mary and I visited the exhibition hall, where I visited a couple of companies I was interested in talking with.  There are a couple that I think could be good partners for my company, Markon, Inc.

Title slide to my presentation.

Everybody knows this place - New York, New York casino.
It was already a hot morning in Las Vegas when we walked down to Mandalay Bay from the Tropicana where we were staying.  Still, I managed to get a couple of "iconic" shots on the way - one of New York, New York and one of the Sphinx at Luxor.  It was Mary's first time at Las Vegas, and I was hoping she was absorbing all of this while we walked as well.

Luxor during our walk to the trade show.
I gave my talk and went to a couple of the other presentations on the first morning of our trip - they were quite illuminating and at least one of them was designed to take us out of our comfort zones in the facilities business.  Meanwhile, Mary took a walk along the connecting shopping mall to Luxor and Excalibur, both landmarks on my first trip to Vegas in 1996, when I was driving cross country to Las Angeles for B-School.

After the business part of the trip was over, we grabbed a snack (and Mary grabbed a fru-fru-fru drink back at the Tropicana).  We made plans for the balance of the day and night in Las Vegas and then began to put some framework around our plan for the next couple of days - a road trip to the Grand Canyon.

We spent the evening walking up the Strip - we checked in at a half dozen or so of the well known casinos.  I thought I might play some blackjack or craps, but never made the time for it this trip - maybe next time.  Besides Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, and the Tropicana, we ended up walking through New York, New York, Bellagio, Caesar's, Planet Hollywood, and a couple of others.  Dinner was at Caesar's - Central - and while it didn't quite live up to the buzz, dinner there was part of a great memory for us.

A side note about our stay at the Tropicana.  We arrived very late from the airport, and the room we checked into didn't meet the description on the website.  Since it was so late, we decided to take the room and follow-up with the front desk in the morning.

We talked to a supervisor, who asked which room we were in.  She said that our clerk should have known that those rooms can be a problem - and started rectifying the situation for us.  To our surprise, our first two nights at the hotel were comped.

Mary and her fru-fru-fru drink at the Trop.
When she found out we were staying at an airport hotel for our last night in Las Vegas, she asked if we might come back to the Tropicana so they could make it right.  Then she offered a tower suite, with a Strip view - and comped that as well.  For the record, we were won over by the hotel before this, since the Trop has gone through a renovation that makes it a pretty sophisticated place, with shades of South Beach...but this little extra bit of courtesy and professionalism did the trick for us.

I heartily recommend the place for anybody planning a trip - unless you need to stay further up the Strip in the middle of everything - the Tropicana is a nice Hotel Casino that I'm pretty sure we'll come back to!

So I've got a few more posts coming on the trip - we had a nice short getaway with plenty of sightseeing, all of which will follow later in the week!

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