The IWCE/Las Vegas experience
LAS VEGAS-The first time I attended IWCE three years ago was also the first time I had ever been here. I had never really considered visiting here as a tourist because I don’t really gamble. So, like many of you, my job brought me to this city in the middle of the desert. The first thing I saw from the plane was the Luxor hotel, which looked like it came straight from Egypt (or another planet). And then, of course, my first cab ride in Vegas was interesting, with the driver taking us on a scenic route. (Everyone else beat us to the Mirage by half an hour). Now I look forward to visiting the city each year. Spring wouldn’t seem the same without it.
Whether you are attending IWCE for the first or the 24th time, you are finding yourself in a surreal world, full of gobs of people, lights and quarters. You may have forgotten the people back home, but don’t forget to visit the booths and attend some sessions between trips to the slot machines and the blackjack tables.
At the end of the day, however, do check out some of the sights and sounds of Vegas. If you don’t want to gamble, you can watch other people lose their money, do some rides or see a show.
For the mobile radio daredevils in the crowd, the Big Shot ride on top of the Stratosphere and the New York, New York roller coaster provide some thrills. Try taking a portable radio to the top of the Stratosphere and describing the experience to your acrophobic co-workers. I recommend both rides, but not after a buffet dinner at the Rio.
For sci-fi fans, the Las Vegas Hilton, adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center, features “Star Trek: The Experience.” It includes a History of the Future museum, Voyage Through Space and Quark’s Bar & Restaurant. Our magazine staff includes a few Trekkers who recommend the experience.
Shopping is always an option, too, especially at the Forum shops at Caesar’s Palace. And there’s always the $100-per-ticket shows. (I hear that Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere is the one to see.)
This year, IWCE attendees will have two new hotels to explore: the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino and Paris Las Vegas. The Venetian provides gondola rides and Madame Tussaud’s Celebrity Encounter, a museum with 100 wax figures. The Paris Las Vegas features the “Eiffel Tower Experience” with an elevator ride to the top of the tower, which has an observation deck.
So after a full day on your feet at IWCE, spend the night on your feet in Vegas. Las Vegas is “Disney World” for adults, so take the opportunity to step out of the real world for awhile.
-Nikki Chandler [email protected]