I had the good fortune to make a recent business trip to Las Vegas. It hasn’t been unseasonably cold in DC, but it is winter and I welcomed the warm sunshine of the Nevada desert. I was attending an IBM conference and it was held at the swanky Cosmopolitan Hotel. This is one of the newest hotels in Las Vegas and is a Marriott property (important if you collect Marriott points!). The hotel is as luxurious as anything I have ever stayed in, yet the IBM conference provided a daily rate that was lower than what I pay in the Phoenix Courtyard!
On the flight out, I had a real treat that only those in window seats on the right-hand side of the plane got, a view of the Grand Canyon. I have never visited the Grand Canyon and I was snapping pictures like a total tourist!
The descent into Las Vegas took us over Lake Mead, home of the Hoover Dam. Then, after hundreds of miles of barren desert wilderness, the sprawling metropolis of Las Vegas hove into view.
The weather was gorgeous, mid-70’s and so sunny you couldn’t go out without sunglasses! I got to my room and was blown away by the size and posh decor! I had a living room with sectional couch, cool books all around, and the size of the room was that of a one-bedroom apartment.
Then I walked out onto my balcony and saw, from the 33rd floor, the most magnificent view of the Las Vegas Strip! There was Paris, the Venetian, Bally’s, the Flamingo, the Mirage, and right next door, the Bellagio complete with a luxury suite seat for the famous fountain!
The conference was great but like most of them, kept us in windowless meeting rooms all day long. No problem, that is, after all, why I was there. I have a great job with many fantastic benefits and the main reason I was here was to learn about IBM’s new channel organization and 2015 go-to-market strategy. That said, I did manage to sneak away long enough to win $100 at the Roulette table! It’s good to be me!
The first night we ate at a favorite restaurant of mine that happens to be right in the Cosmopolitan. China Poblano was the subject of a previous blog post, and remains a superb atmosphere with original fantastic food.
The next night we ate at another Vegas favorite of mine, Sushi Samba. It is a cuisine born of a Japanese population in Brazil and has elements of both–sushi, ceviche, kobe beef, churrasco. We went omakase style, which means we put ourselves in the capable hands of our server (whose name happened to be Alice). We gave her a price range and things we liked and she took it from there, bringing out surprise after surprise.
On our walk back to the hotel we saw the fire show at the Mirage, and arrived at the Bellagio just in time for the fountain show which at this hour featured none other than Frank Sinatra. Here is a video, enjoy!