Whenever I bring up “Las Vegas” to anyone, there is an almost immediate reaction. Often, it seems to be kind of a “love-hate” relationship where the person, whether they have visited Las Vegas or not, declare either their “love” or “hate” for the town long dubbed as “Sin City.”
In my case, I have a nearly 30-year relationship with Las Vegas. Like any friendship or relationship, it’s had its ups and downs, but has somehow endured over the years. Early in my relationship with Las Vegas, it would not be unusual to have 3-4 visits in a calendar year. More recently, Las Vegas and I have become more like a good friend from high school that you may keep in touch with, don’t see in person as often, but when you do it’s familiar, comfortable, and you just pick up where you left off.
I can understand how Las Vegas can bring up strong feelings from individuals. There is certainly nothing subtle about the city that provides you with neon overload, an erupting volcano, a musical fountain show, a life-size pyramid, and even a scaled down Eiffel Tower. All a person has to do is walk up the Las Vegas Strip at night or venture into a crowded, noisy, smoke-filled casino and they will often immediately develop an opinion, either good or bad, about Las Vegas.
When I learned that the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition was being held in Las Vegas, I was completely thrilled. The conference itself provides kind of a “Disneyland meets Las Vegas” for human resources professionals, so why not host it in a destination with so much to offer as Las Vegas? (As a bonus, my wife is meeting me to see Lionel Richie and then we’ll unwind from the conference and spend a few days to be tourists.)
I’m sure that many attendees will be coming in just for the conference and related activities before heading straight back to McCarran International Airport for their flight home, but I hope that visitors can take some of their free time to enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer. While I am by no means an expert on Las Vegas attractions, I have made a few visits as I highlighted in my previous post “#SHRM19…A Case of Déjà vu All Over Again?”. With that, here is my “Viva Las Vegas Top 25 List” that just touches on a few of the many ways you can experience Las Vegas whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran. I have experienced many of these activities with some still on my checklist, so hopefully you will find something to make your visit to Las Vegas special.
My Viva Las Vegas Top 25 List
Newbie Must Dos:
- Watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage
- Enjoy a musical fountain show at Bellagio
- Have your picture taken at the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign
- Go on a “dam good tour” at Hoover Dam
- Watch the statues come to life at the Forum Shops at Caesars
- Pick up some unique kitsch at the Bonanza Gift Shop
Off the Beaten Path:
- Take a scenic drive or hike at Red Rock Canyon
- Visit Rick, Corey and Chumlee at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop
- See vintage Las Vegas signs at The Neon Museum
- Operate heavy machinery at Dig This Las Vegas
- Bring your quarters to the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum
- Eat, drink and shop at the Downtown Container Park
- Dine at a Sidewalk Café at the base of the Eiffel Tower
- Belly up to a Las Vegas buffet
- Dine at a “Celebrity Chef” Restaurant
- Pick up some great BBQ at Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke
- Enjoy chocolate and cacti at Ethel M
Vegas Fun and Thrills:
- Check out a “Cirque” show
- See Las Vegas from the air on the Linq “High Roller”
- Take a deep dive at the Shark Reef Aquarium
- Enjoy a leisurely gondola ride at the Venetian
- Visit Fremont Street… ride Slotzilla, if you dare!
- Take a picture with a celebrity at Madame Tussaud’s
- Have a blast at the National Atomic Testing Museum
- Ride to the top of the Stratosphere…and jump?
Those that have followed me, will quickly notice that a list of 25 fits perfectly on a bingo card. If you want to create your own, personalized card to use during your visit, you can create your card at: MyFreeBingoCards.com.
Whatever you decide to do at #SHRM19, make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable time in Las Vegas. Not everything you “do in Vegas has to stay in Vegas” so I can’t think of nothing better to take back home than great memories of a great conference!