CES Rookie

I've been to Las Vegas four times for various reasons (hockey tournaments, golf vacations, stag) Although I've been interested in high quality audio systems for 25 years, believe it or not I've never attended a CES. This will be my first and I'm sure looking forward to it but could use some advice. I registered, that much is done. I tentatively booked flights to arrive in Las Vegas on Wednesday the 8th of January and fly out on the Saturday morning. Is two days enough time to soak up the two-channel goodies? I'm thinking I may be in overload after two days but I may be wrong. I'm thinking of booking the Best Western Hotel @ $75/night, is this a bad choice? Is it fair to say there are good deals to be had, buying up demo units etc. at the show? Finally, are any of you planning on getting together while at CES? Thanks, Jeff

I have lived in Vegas for 11 years. You can do the convention floor in a day(rushed) The individual sound rooms in a small hotel can take days(you will never tire of this) There also is another registration(separate)....ADULT....that is worth it for the 25 years of stories you will have!!!
Travelaxe.com for rooms(las vegas search engine)
Jeff, I have gone to CES almost every year for the last 20 years. I go for 4 days and usually upon returning home, am told I missed something important.

If you are primarily interested in two channel, I would limit my visit exclusively to "THE SHOW" and the CES high end exhibits.

The Convention center is a dizzying array of everything from cell phones and watches to car audio. There is HDTV and DSS systems and home automation. It is all very interesting, but if you loose track of time it will not be possible to see all there is in high end.

As for hotels, there are several ways to think about this. If you stay in a CES hotel or within walking distance of a CES hotel, you can take the CES bus to any exhibit they sponsor.

If you are too far to walk the distance, you must grab a cab to the first exhibit and afterward catch CES busses to other locations. Another cab is often required to get back to the hotel at days end. This can cost more than a rent car, especially if you cab it to dinner.

Another way is to get a hotel you like, rent a car and drive to the first place you want to see each morning. From there either take the CES bus or rent car to the next favorite spot.

The car can be a life saver after 6:00 PM. Should the weather turn rainy, windy and cold, cabs are immediately overloaded and restaurants within walking distance of the exhibits are overloaded with reservations until 9:30 or 10:00 PM.

After doing the show every possible way, I have decided to stay downtown away from the "strip" and the traffic. I rent a car and drive in each morning where I want to begin. After the show the car is usually taken up with fellow CES friends and exhibitor, driving a few miles away from the crowds to a great restaurant where we don't have to wait all night to eat.

If I go this year (still trying to see about money), you are welcome to meet up with me and whoever I am running with that day.
(1) don't expect any "deals" unless you're "connected" and willing to stay 'til the exhibits are getting ready to be shipped back to whence they came; (2) you can do the audio highend in 2 days, but you won't see/hear everything you'll later read about in the audio rags; (3) pay cheap, get cheap; i prefer the hardrock hotel/casino, just across the street from alexis park; (4) you can spot me, cuz' i'll have "cornfedboy" on my badge.

I purchased a set of speakers from Triad Design at the CES in the late eighties which I still own and love. The price, a show special was a good deal and I never would have found these speakers otherwise.
Jeff, previous posters are right--tough to do all the high end audio stuff in two days, but you will have fun trying! There are two "outboard" high end venues, and I recommend you visit both to see all the goodies.

As for accomodations, casinos can be pricey but there's no substitue for being on the strip in the middle of the action. I prefer the Mirage or Venetian, but there are lots of good ones. Call the casino directly and ask if they have a "casino rate", this is something reserved for players. If you game, there are many special deals, but the "casino rate" is most commonly available to new players. If you don't game, try asking for a "show rate". The $75/night figure may be hard to touch on the strip with a good hotel/casino without these discounts.

Cornfedboy, have you tried Nobu?
If you are not a gambler and the high priced room of the strip are not your cup of tea. Try the suburb Casino Hotels. Some are within minutes of the all the convention sites. The price of a room offsets the cost of renting a car. The rooms are just as nice as the strip but there are fewer crowds to deal with. If you do plan to gamble the suburb casinos pay better!

Try a visit to “vegasvalley.com” the locals search page.