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What To Do in Las Vegas | EXHIBITORLIVE 2015

February 5th, 2015 2 COMMENTS
Lesson #715 – Your Best Teacher is Your Last Mistake.

Lesson #715 – Your Best Teacher is Your Last Mistake.

Tips from a Townie

It turns out that there are good things and not so good things to do in Las Vegas. I’ve done a few that should be kept on the down-low, like New Year’s Eve on the Strip or walking from the Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay (Trust me, get a cab!). With these follies in mind, I’ll share some “Things to Do” recommendations while at EXHIBITORLIVE.

The High Roller baby! It isn’t your average Ferris wheel. In fact, some Las Vegans get downright testy when you call it that. The High Roller is an observation wheel — the biggest in the world as a matter of fact. It stands at a whopping 550-feet-tall. That’s nine feet taller than the Singapore Flyer (who knew) and 107 feet taller than the London Eye (Take that you Lymies!). The High Roller is located in the heart of the Strip and is the focal point of the LINQ promenade. Once aboard the 40-passenger pod you will have 30 minutes to enjoy a cocktail and the view. Whether you choose to ride day or night, you will have spectacular views of the Strip, the valley and the mountains (see if you can spy some Red Rock’s to the west).

Groupon and Living Social run High Roller specials so make sure you check both sites before buying your tickets.

High RollerSome of you EXHIBITOR dinosaurs will remember the Imperial Palace. And you may even be wondering, “What the heck did they do with all of those sweet @$$ cars?” Well wonder no more!

The Auto Collection is still there at the LINQ with over 350 classic cars that span more than a century. It’s an auto enthusiast’s dream! And if you’ve never been or maybe it’s been awhile (15 years is really more than awhile. But who’s counting right?), it’s certainly worth a gander. And did you know that every single car is available for purchase? Even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spare, you can stand by these beauties and snap as many pictures as you want, for FREE!

Speaking of FREE… Here are some great attractions that are just that… FREE!


1. The Aquarium at the Silverton – Located at the Silverton Hotel, South of Mandalay Bay on Blue Diamond Road and I-15, is an 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium complete with Mermaids. While you’re there, take a stroll through Bass Pro Shop to round out the aquatic-themed adventure!

2. P3 Studio at The Cosmopolitan  – I LOVE The Cosmopolitan! And located on the third floor of The Cosmopolitan is a glass-walled artist studio featuring contemporary artists from around the world who create interactive artwork as part of a residency program. You can watch the artists from outside the studio or go inside, interact with the artist… maybe even help create a masterpiece. You can see P3 Studio’s artist-in-residence in action Wednesdays through Sundays, 6 p.m.-11 p.m.

3. The ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ Sign – After hanging with mermaids and artists, you must stop at this 50-year-old iconic sign for a memorable photo op. I’m not going to lie, I was very relieved when they actually made a parking area for tourists to park and snap their pictures. Sure beats the heck out playing Frogger with the tourists trying to cross the boulevard. Stop, snap some selfies, and if a ‘GOOD’ Elvis is there, tip him $5 bucks to take your pic with him.

Roadrunner4. Ethel M Chocolate Factory & Botanical Cactus Garden – Last but certainly not least is this sweet factory located about a 15-minute drive east on Tropicana from the Strip. Forrest Mars Sr. (of M&Ms fame) opened this factory in 1981 and named it after his mother Ethel. There is a short tour that lets you see chocolate in the making through the factory’s windows. The factory store at the end allows you to sample and purchase these sweet confections. While you may think you can skip the Botanical Cactus Garden… DON’T! Featuring more than 300 types of cactus it also has a soft spot for me in that the first roadrunner I ever saw in the desert was in that cactus garden. Keep you’re eyes peeled! Wile E. Coyote must not be too far behind right?

In past years during EXHIBITOR you may have been in Vegas on Valentine’s Day and St. Patty’s Day. This year the first day of EXHIBITORLIVE will fall on March 2 – ‘Old Stuff Day.’ This is not a day to do the “same old” stuff however. This is for doing just the opposite. These suggestions may require a rental car, but I promise they will not leave you thinking you just did the “same old” stuff in Vegas.

NOT the Same Old Stuff in Las Vegas

1. Springs Preserve – This 180-acre cultural and historic attraction sits on the site of former natural springs that contributed to “Las Vegas” – the meadows in Spanish. It features many exhibits, a Botanical Gardens, trails and The Springs Café.

2. National Atomic Testing Museum – It captures all of the history, propaganda, and controversy of the nuclear tests that once took place only an hour away from Las Vegas. See 10,000 sq. feet of interactive displays, short films, timelines and much more. You can even test your own radioactivity!

Pinball23. Pinball Hall of Fame – Featuring a total of 141 pinball machines from the 1950s through the 1990s, including retro arcade games like Super Mario Brothers. The best thing of all? You can play every single one of them. Just remember to bring a pocketful of quarters.

I’m sure there are things that I’ve missed or left off on purpose because you guys will be asking me these questions again in November 2015 for EDPA Access. Please don’t be shy, share your ideas or favorites for either list!

I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at this year’s show. Remember: registration for ExhibitorLIVE is now OPEN! Click here to access registration and receive an Exhibits Only pass courtesy of Classic Exhibits.

And in case you missed it, here’s my Where to Eat in Las Vegas during EXHIBITOR blog post.

Jen LaBruzza
Western Regional Manager (and Vegas Local)
jen@classicexhibits.com

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.


 

10 Totally Free Things to Do at EXHIBITOR2013

February 26th, 2013 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Distributors:  You didn’t stay in business this long by lighting cigars with $100 bills. Heck no! You want a deal.

EXHIBITOR2013 is just around the corner. And, if you’re like me, you’re wondering, “What can I do at the show that won’t cost me any money.” Kevin will tell you that’s how I think 365 days of the year. Not true. Sometimes I wonder how I can pay even less, thereby making a little money. 😉

Click to download the PDF 10 Totally Free Things to Do at EXHIBITOR2013.” Print it my friend. This is information you’ll want at your fingertips while you’re in Sin City. Don’t forget to take the complimentary shampoo and conditioner home with you. If you hide them in your suitcase each day, you’ll collect enough to save you at least 50 cents. It all adds up. It all adds up.

–Mel White
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@classicexhibits.com

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


 

EXHIBITOR2013 — Show Me the Best Shows, Baby! (from a Las Vegas local)

February 18th, 2013 7 COMMENTS

Lesson #143:  Show Me the Best Shows, Baby

The countdown to EXHIBITOR2013 is on — T-minus 26 days and counting. That means you have less than a month to get tickets to see your favorite shows and/or performers in Las Vegas. As a Las Vegas local, I want to share with you some of my favorites on and off the Strip.

  1. EXHIBITOR2013 — Other Places to Eat (from a Las Vegas local)
  2. EXHIBITOR2013 — What Else to Do in Vegas (from a Las Vegas local)

Absinthe (http://www.absinthevegas.com)

Absinthe appears twice nightly, Wednesday – Sunday in the Roman Plaza at Caesars Palace. It is an acro-variety show that is performed in the round. It has received great local and national acclaim. The show includes familiar ingredients for Las Vegas – raunch comedy, circus acrobatics, and a sprinkle of burlesque –- all uniquely combined into something new and beyond the usual. The New York Times sums up the entire ‘Absinthe’ experience as, “Imagine Cirque du Soleil as channeled through ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.” My advice — you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I want to see this with _____________. Well, do ya, punk?”

LOVE (http://mirage.com/entertainment/love.aspx).

Just down the road a piece (sorry the Westerner in me is coming out) is LOVE at the Mirage. It’s the must see Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. You can’t help but feel good after spending 1½ hours in the company of the Beatles music. Last September, they celebrated their 3,000 show and you’d never know it!  The show is performed in the round, so no two performances are alike. Even if you’ve already seen this SPECTACULAR, see it AGAIN! LOVE also appears twice nightly on Thursday-Monday. And just because I think you’re GROOVY, I searched and found this special link (http://cirk.me/UOguGP) so you could go and get tickets at a special price too!

Jersey Boys (http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/vegas/show.html)

Not only has Las Vegas been home to the best Cirque du Soleil shows, it has also become a home away from home for many Broadway musicals. One such show is Jersey Boys. Jersey Boys is a musical biography of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Of course, the link to Las Vegas and the mob cannot be overlooked. Jersey Boys began its run in Las Vegas in 2008 and has been going strong ever since.  Jersey Boys plays at the Paris and is dark is Monday with two shows performed on Saturday and Tuesday.

Terry Fator (http://goo.gl/aFw7i)

Join Terry Fator and the rest of the Fator gang for an evening of world class entertainment. With his unique combination of celebrity impressions and ventriloquism, the show is just plain fun. Terry has been in the Best of Las Vegas consistently since his arrival in 2007. TripAdvisor ranks him #11 of 478. If a good laugh is what you need, then Terry Fator has the remedy. Shows are nightly Monday – Friday. By visiting the link above you can check for seats that are 25% off in addition to 15% off dinner/show packages.

Discount Tickets

If you’re willing to take a gamble (when in Rome) or can be a little flexible, there are many discount ticket companies for Las Vegas shows. I’ve either had personal experience or friends that have recommended these discounters. For discounts on most Las Vegas show tickets, checkout the following sights:

It never hurts to check out Groupon.com for Las Vegas deals. If you already use it online or if you have the App for your smartphone, it’s as easy as changing your location.

 Near and Dear

Not That David Copperfield. The Other One.

Lastly, we can’t forget the shows that are close to Luxor, Tropicana, and MGM Grand:

If none of the above acts meet your fancy, you can always stop by the Classic Exhibits booth (#1637). We’ll have appearances by our own Tony Bennett, JLa, and the crowd favorite, MELVIS!!!

Please share your favorites, along with your super secret way of getting the best seats in the house.

If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for, a personal invitation? Well luckily we’ve got one for you. Click HERE for FREE Access to the show hall courtesy of Classic Exhibits. Enter Promo Code 4044 for the FREE Pass (waiving the credit card fee).

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL
jen@classicexhibits.com

*********************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


 

EXHIBITOR 2013 — What Else to Do in Vegas (from a Las Vegas local)

December 18th, 2012 2 COMMENTS

Lesson #126:  – Attractions Smactions

You Dirty Rat!

Do you recall when you couldn’t visit Rome, Paris, New York, New Orleans, Venice, and Medieval England all in one day? If so, then you’ve attended EXHIBITOR for more years than you probably want to admit. EXHIBITOR is celebrating its 25th year.

While there aren’t many certainties in life, one thing is certain. Vegas reinvents itself more often than Madonna.

  1. EXHIBITOR 2013 — Other Places to Eat (from a Las Vegas local)
  2. EXHIBITOR2013 — Show Me the Best Shows, Baby (from a Las Vegas local)

As a Vegas local, I’m constantly asked about what to do here, so here’s the inside scoop of what’s new!

What to Do

2012 marked a return to Vegas’ roots with the opening of some exciting new venues. If you’re staying at Mandalay Bay or the Luxor, grab a cab or limo to share and head Downtown (yes, DT).

The Mob Museum (http://themobmuseum.org) is housed in the historic former federal building in Downtown Las Vegas. The Museum features some of the most iconic artifacts in mob history including the wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago. And to ‘cap off’ the night, the Mob Bar (http://mobbarlv.com) is located a short walk away. With a 1920’s speakeasy feel and classic cocktails, it’s “an offer you can’t refuse.”

Next up is the Neon Museum (http://www.neonmuseum.org), also located in downtown. The Neon Boneyard is home to over 150 donated and rescued signs from the 1930’s to present day. The unrestored collection represents signs from business, motels, and iconic casino resorts located originally throughout the Las Vegas Valley. How many of these memorable signs will you recall?

Whenever I’m driving home past the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, it never ceases to amaze me how long the line is to get into that place! And with the popularity of Pawn Stars growing, the line will continue to be a constant fixture. But leave it to someone in Vegas to work a deal with a pawnshop. The Pawn Stars Insider Tour offers you VIP access to the Pawn Stars universe (http://www.alllasvegastours.com/body.asp?tour=5293PAWN&page=TourDetails). Not only do you get to ‘skip’ the line, but the experience also includes other shops from the hit show:  The Toy Shack, Rick’s Restorations (Home of American Restorations), and ATM – the aquarium store from TV’s “Tanked.” The tour picks up and drops off from Bally’s daily, except Sunday. After a 4-hour tour your thirst may be overwhelming! You will want to head across the street to The Cosmopolitan.

The Cosmopolitan is probably my favorite newer resort on the Strip. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, there are floor to ceiling windows that allow sunlight (yes, you read correctly) onto the casino floor. You are actually able to tell the difference between day and night! The second reason I love the ‘Cosmo’ is the Chandelier bar (http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/experience/lounges-and-bars/chandelier.aspx). This multi-story bar is surrounded by luminous beaded curtains of light, which give you the feeling that you are sitting in the middle of a chandelier. As exhibit producers, I challenge you not to try to figure out how they do it or how they clean it. Just enjoy the magic!

Back in the good old days, EXHIBITOR was held around Valentine’s Day. Which might have been just a little problematic to be away from your spouse or significant other on one of Hallmark’s most important holidays. Now, there’s a good chance that EXHIBITOR will fall on or near St. Patty’s Day. A wise move as it is a holiday that can definitely be enjoyed in Vegas sans spouse. This year, St. Patty’s Day is the day before EXHIBITOR 2013 opens. So for those who may be in town, I included some great Irish places to pay homage to the “Mother Country.”

McMullan’s Irish Pub (http://www.mcmullansirishpub.com) is just off the strip, but well worth the cab ride. This is where lively locals go to kick back some pints, while enjoying great local Irish bands and food. Inspired by a group of nine famous men who fought for Irish independence in 1848, Nine Fine Irishman at the New York, New York (http://www.ninefineirishmen.com) gives a the Vegas strip version of the Irish pub. The Victorian-style bar, along with delicious Irish food, combines to create an authentic Irish atmosphere. Ri Ra (http://www.rira.com/las-vegas/) is located in Mandalay Place but has to be included! Ri Ra, consistently voted one of the top three Irish bars in Vegas, caters to both the locals and visitors with their Guinness Shop.

If you’ve attended EXHIBITOR for a few years, it’s easy to forget about the attractions close by — but you shouldn’t. Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Tropicana have some great attractions. I know you’re there for work, but all work and no play makes . . . . Well I think you get the picture by now.

Feel free to add your ideas or favorites to either list! And if you’re thinking that I’ve intentionally left out Vegas shows, think again! Part 3 will include some of my Vegas show recommendations and ways to get tickets without breaking the bank. And no, it doesn’t involve a meeting with the Mafia Don.

Feel free to add your ideas or favorites to either list!

In the meantime, registration for EXHIBITOR 2013 is now OPEN! Click HERE for FREE Access to the show hall courtesy of Classic Exhibits. Enter Promo Code 4044 for the FREE Pass (waiving the credit card fee).

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL
jen@classicexhibits.com

*********************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.


 

EXHIBITOR 2013 — Other Places to Eat (from a Las Vegas local)

December 12th, 2012 1 COMMENT

Lesson #125:  Other Places to Eat

You Only Live Once. Live It Up!

You gotta eat. You can eat cheap, which your stomach will regret later, or you can eat expensive, which your wallet will regret for weeks. It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, why not truly dine, i.e.  To eat a good dinner in good company and eat it slow

You may not be thinking about EXHIBITOR 2013 yet, but I am. I live in Las Vegas. Soon I’ll be getting questions from Classic Exhibits Distributors about Las Vegas, such as places to go, shows to see, where to stay, etc. I was a travel agent in a former life so I welcome these questions.

But the one question I wish more folks would ask is, “I don’t want to eat at Mandalay Bay or Luxor AGAIN. Where should I go with customers that is close, memorable, and won’t break the bank (once you add in the price of a taxi)?” Glad you asked.

  1. EXHIBITOR 2013 — What Else to Do in Vegas (from a Las Vegas local)
  2. EXHIBITOR2013 — Show Me the Best Shows, Baby (from a Las Vegas local)

Today, we’ll review places to eat outside of the Hacienda Triangle (Mandalay Bay, THEhotel, and Luxor).

Panevino

By day, it’s a gourmet deli, but after dark, this unique off the Strip spot offers a breathtaking, unobstructed, panoramic view of the Strip. Panevino (www.panevinolasvegas.com) is a short taxi ride from Mandalay Bay on East Sunset Road, across from McCarran Airport. Don’t let that fool you though. The “runway activity” won’t even register once you experience the view. Get reservations and kindly insist on a table next to the window. The excellent Italian food (they serve some mean steaks and chops too) is enhanced by the wonderful service and the view (Did I mention the ‘View’?) And if you’re a martini lover, make sure you imbibe one made with their hand-stuffed, bleu cheese olives.

Bacio

Another Italian restaurant sure to please is Bacio at the Tropicana Hotel (www.troplv.com/dining/bacio). Former Rao’s chef (New York & Caesars Palace) and Top Chef Carla Pellegrino lends her heart, soul, and expertise to this authentic Italian menu. A more casual atmosphere that is sure to please. To heck with the taxi, you could even walk to this one. But use the crosswalks!

Marrakech

If you are in the mood for dinner and a show, and don’t mind a little hip sway with your couscous, Marrakech is for you. Marrakech (www.marrakechvegas.com) is located just off the Strip, on Paradise Road and East Flamingo, which means a short taxi ride. You’ll be invited into a traditional Moroccan tent setting with teak inlaid tables, encircled by low couches. Go prepared to eat with your fingers! And no this isn’t like ‘Tournament of Kings.” The six course Moroccan feast is prix fixe with vegetarian substitutions available. The belly dancers create a lively atmosphere whether you choose to participate or just sit back and enjoy the show. You will want to make sure you get a reservation.

The Wicked Spoon

Finally, what would any trip to Vegas be without a visit to a buffet? The buffet has been a Vegas institution since the 40’s. The Wicked Spoon (www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/wicked-spoon.aspx ) at The Cosmopolitan is not just any buffet (really). For a mere $37 per person you are encouraged to try, try, try. Calling to mind the classic line from ‘A Christmas Story’, “Show us how the piggy eats Randy!” This “food hall” prides itself on serving innovative dishes along a row of 6+ stations, presented in unique and eye-catching ways. The seemingly endless list of dishes boggles the mind. There’s hardly a food trend that’s not covered here.

I’ve got a few more suggestions up my sleeve.  Depending on your culinary mood, you might want to give these a try:

I’m sure that you’ve noticed my affinity for Italian places in Vegas. And no, it’s not just because my last name is LaBruzza. Think about how Vegas got started . . . (Hint: The Mob), and you’ll know that you can’t run away from that kind of influence!

In Part 2 we’ll pick up this theme as old and new Vegas collide.

In the meantime, registration for EXHIBITOR 2013 is now OPEN! Click HERE for FREE Access to the show hall courtesy of Classic Exhibits. Enter Promo Code 4044 for the FREE Pass (waiving the credit card fee).

Feel free to let me know what you think of my suggestions. I have a reputation to uphold. Right now I’m 8 for 8.

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager
jen@classicexhibits.com

*********************************

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.