Category Archives: Travel

South By Southwest (SXSW) – Part 2

Before we headed to SXSW, we started out Sunday by heading to South Austin to do a little shopping in the antique shops and grab a bite to eat.  The concierge at our hotel suggested we spend a little time there.  He was right.  There are a lot of small, boutique stores and restaurants there.  We were able to find a parking spot on the street and walked down the block.  The weather was awesome and the shops were fun.  We wanted to get a little fun in before the show.

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South By Southwest (SXSW) – Part 1

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, South By Southwest (SXSW) is an annual Film, Music, and Interactive festival that’s held in Austin, TX.  I’ve heard so much about this festival lately that I had to experience it for myself.  I decided I would make it a work vacation.  Milena wanted to come along, so I bought two passes to the Interactive festival and attempted to get a room at the Hilton across the street from the Austin Convention Center.  To my chagrin they would not offer me an employee rate.  As a matter of fact, I couldn’t secure an employee rate from any of the Hilton properties in downtown Austin.  Luckily, I have a couple of classmates from UNLV that live in Austin and work at a Marriott.  I contacted one of them through Facebook and explained my predicament.  He was able to immediately secure a Friends & Family rate through Marriott at the Renaissance Hotel.  It’s kind of funny & sad that I had to go outside the brand I work for to get a discounted room rate.
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Why do you come to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas has been hit hard during the economic downturn.  Working in the industry (currently @ the Las Vegas Hilton), I’ve noticed a dramatic change in customer behavior.  People are still visiting Las Vegas, but they are spending less while they are here.

Before the recession hit, the restaurants and lounges were bursting at the seams during the weekend.  You had to wait in lines to get in to restaurants, lounges, and night clubs.  Now, you can easily get in to any of these places…..of course, except the night clubs, where you have to always wait in line.   The tables and slot machines were packed with customers and table minimums were higher.  I understand that people’s disposable income has been hit hard by the economy, so they are not spending as much as they did in the past.  However, the odd thing is that I see a lot of people here in the city during the weekend.  That means their spending money to fly/drive here, rent a room, and play for a few days.  Weekend occupancy levels are too bad in town.

If they aren’t eating, drinking, or gambling…..what are they doing?  Staying in their room, watching TV?  I doubt it.

So, I would love to hear from you, the Las Vegas visitor……why do you come to Las Vegas?  Have you been here in the past 12 months?  If so, what did you do?  How did you spend your money?  Business or Pleasure?  Do you plan to return soon?  What can we (Las Vegas) do better as a vacation destination?

Please join the conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hawaii Bound

I will be in Hawaii on a business trip in a couple of weeks.  Very excited to be going back to the Islands. Continue reading