I spent three days this week in Las Vegas at a side conference associated with the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show. Fortunately for my wallet, meetings and dinners kept me very busy, such that I left Vegas fairly unscathed--my only loss was $40 gobbled up by an uncooperative Lucky Larry Lobster slot machine.
Rooms are hard to come by during CES, so I stayed at the aging Flamingo hotel for the first time. The helpful woman at the front desk took great pride in giving me an upgraded room on the 'executive floor', since 'more and more of the other rooms are just shabby'. So, it was with great excitement that I inserted my room key--several times before the lock disengaged--and entered my palace.
Even after housekeeping responded to my dismayed call to clean out the last guest's toothbrush, rumpled bed linens, and used water glasses, the room still looked much like a brown-hued Motel 6 room...for $450 my first night. (And wait till you see the flashing neon sign hanging directly outside my 27th floor window.)
Nevertheless, I compensated for a disappointing room with a few truly spectacular meals. Tuesday night, my coworkers and I ate at the amazing Mesa Grill in Caesar's Palace. I had the most fantastic ribeye steak that I have ever tasted.
Wednesday evening, we returned to Caesar's Palace for drinks at the Seahorse Lounge and dinner at the Vegas outlet of Spago. My truffle-encrusted salmon was delicious...even if it couldn't top the previous night's steak.
Thursday night, it was down to just my dear friend Ellis and me for dinner, so we wandered a bit further down the Strip to the classic Mirage--which is still popular and glamorous after all the years. We ate a rich meal at Stack--one of their steakhouses. My steak was very nice, and was accompanied by the indulgently named Adult Tater Tots (potatoes with bacon and brie).
We finished off the evening at the new Revolution lounge--themed after the Beatles and created by Cirque du Soleil to accompany the new Beatles/Cirque show 'Love'. Revolution was a feast of psychedelic color, retro styles, modern decor, and of course amazing music. One drink turned into a few--assisted by inviting bean bag seats. (Note to Kim, Cheryl, and Kellie: it is your duty as card-carrying Beatles fans to come see this extravaganza!)
As I packed up and left this morning, I noted just how quickly CES wound down from the barely-controlled chaos when I arrived. Technology and gadgets were seamlessly being replaced by leather and lace as the Adult Entertainment Awards and Expo rolled into town. In Vegas they never miss a beat.