Just wrapped up a booth at Accessories The Show in Vegas at the Venetian. We enjoyed a good show for Singelringen but word in the booths was that none of the concurrent shows were as busy as usual. A long series of trade shows for retailers beginning in January in NYC possibly led to overload. With an economic downturn, if retailers are going to save somewhere, it is going to be travel.
Camaraderie and information exchange among booth tenants was one of the benefits of participation. After many years abroad, I continue to be impressed at how generous Americans are with tips, information and advice.
If you are doing Pool, Project, Accessories the Show, Moda or Market, they are at the Venetian so it seems obvious to stay there. At the same time in Vegas is Magic, the grand daddy of apparel shows at the Hilton and WWIN (Women’s Wear in Nevada) at the Rio. We met a group that stayed at Treasure Island, across the street from the Venetian and they were very pleased with their decision. The room price is $100 less than the Venetian and the only disadvantage appeared to be that their pool is closed in the winter. Venetian’s pool is open but only till 5PM so once the show starts you can never use it. I was grateful for the pool the one day I used it. It is gigantic. The room at the Venetian was nice, service gracious and I loved the multiple head shower but maneuvering between towers to reach key destinations around the hotel definitely brought into question their ability to space plan.
We arrived on the 11th so we had 4 nights of dinners on the Strip. Our meals were biz dev related meetings so we wanted to get them right. We had driven in from Los Angeles and would probably have benefited from hitting some of the interesting sounding places listed in Zagat.com that were at some distance but there is definitely a tendency to settle in and stick to places within walking distance.
We ended up at Studio House at Treasure Island, Bellagio’s Buffet, Venetian’s Bouchon and Tao. Studio House had a nice terrace and the Japanese food was pretty good but over-priced and service was not that great. As buffets go, Bellagio’s was excellent (as promised in Zagat) with great variety of cuisines for a good price (just under $30 with tax). Venetian’s Bouchon’s cheapest entrees were $28 and you still needed to order an appetizer or side but the food was good and it was blessedly NOT on the “canals.” Nice, quiet atmosphere for group conversation. Try and get a table on their terrace. Unfortunately it was very windy the night I was there and there was a sand storm so I was happy to stay inside. Eating at Tao is an event. Cool atmosphere, people watching and good enough Asian food. Miso sea bass and the seafood hot pot are my recommendations. Not cheap but considering the experience, it feels worth it. Volume is high so the person you sit next to becomes very important. When you eat there, they give you a VIP pass to their nightclub. If you are just stopping in for a drink (good glass wine list) the complementary wasabi dried peas served with your drink are totally addictive. If you haven’t already discovered it, miso anything fish is almost always a great dish. The most traditional is miso black cod. The Japanese name for the preparation is “saikyo.”
Speaking of peas, I went hunting for Accessory Pea products for my TwitterBud Susan Reynolds. Came up with some definite possibilities.
Final tips: always bring very comfortable shoes because you will definitely be walking even if it is only inside your hotel and something warm for the dramatic change in temperature with desert night.
Please share your Las Vegas tips.