Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ups and Downs of the Las Vegas Monorail - my favorite way to get to the convention

The Vegas Monorail has to be my favorite way to travel to and from the convention. I know that it's a little pricey, but to me it's worth it.
NAB organizers do have free transportation for convention goers with the bus system that will take you too and from your hotel. I must admit, I'm not a fan. Not for any problems in the execution of pickup or delivery, but for personal reasons. I don't do well on buses, and we'll leave it at that.

In the past I have attempted the whole drive your own vehicle to the Convention Center, find parking, pay for parking, pull hair out sequence. Yeah it works, if your willing to show up at the convention center at 7am. ~not worth it to stand around for 2hrs~
And since a cab to and from sounds like and exciting thrill ride, (too many cabbie short cuts for me) the monorail offers a speedy and efficient mode of transport.  I encourage as many as I can to take advantage of it. As with any solution, there are a couple of down sides I'll discuss.

But first the ups.

~ Speedy – Even with the stops at different stations, on a rough day the monorail is roughly 20 minutes from the MGM to the convention center

~ Air Conditioned – I know this is a given in vegas, but if you've never been on a over crowded bus with a struggling air conditioner........ I hope you never experience it.

~ Traffic Free – Anyone who has tried to get through the strip via roadway during the rush hours of 3p-midnight remembers the deja vu feeling of watching the same pedestrians passing your vehicle over and over again.

~Day Pass – Don't waste your cash on a single trip pass, get the day pass, then after the convention you can buzz up and down the strip if you don't want to walk.

~Green – I'm not going to go in a green tangent, but it's good for the environment.

Now the downers

~ The Expense – Lets be honest, 40$ - 60$ over the course of the convention (depending on number days purchased, and kind of tickets) is kinda up there for a ride back and forth from the convention.

~ Casino's Hide the Terminal – Ok maybe hide is a little extreme. They do post signs, and they will kindly point you in the correct direction. But casinos are designed to hide exits and lure patrons to stay on the casino floor. (Fun game – walk into the strip entrance of the MGM or any casino and find the monorail unassisted. ~good times~ something to do on Sunday before.)

~Rush Hour – Don't be fooled the Monorail can and will become very crowded during peak entrance and exodus hours of the convention. Sheer knowledge of the event can save you, but there are tricks to getting not only a seat, but a good one. – those tricks later.

Getting too and from the convention center during NAB can be maddening, for me anything I can do to prevent any more hustle and jostle than necessary is something I'm gonna do. Besides what's more fun than a quick tour of the backside of a couple of casinos, then an elevated view of a plush green golf course. Defiantly not the same view from the road.

How to get a great seat leaving the convention center.” (Those that use this trick already might get upset)
When leaving the convention center don't use the convention center terminal, use the Hilton terminal next door. It's not that far to walk because the convention center and Hilton are connected. If you play your cards right you will catch an incoming train close to empty of passengers, find a seat, pull out your camera and snap a pic of the mad rush to grab a seat at the convention center terminal. It sounds dastardly but I've seen it and done it before. Only problem is that every year more and more people are doing it. So as a solution to figuring it out, I'll let the secret out now. Have Fun, See you at the convention.   

1 comment:

FTAListCom said...

I completely agree about the monorail, but it's also nice to have the convention buses as a backup for the 1/100 chance that the monorail will be out of order when you want to ride.

One more, similar tip: Use your daypass to go north from the Convention Center, then get off at the Hilton station and catch the near-empty southbound car as described in the blog post. (This is a much shorter walk if you're starting from the South Hall.) Or bypass all those southbound problems by staying at the Sahara.