Friday, 12 March 2010

Some Notes for Those on their Way to MIX10

Irascian at Mix, 12th March 2010

It's around 8am local time here in Las Vegas, and I'm about to head off for a day's shopping/being a tourist. But with so many folks about to head out to MIX10 from the UK thought I'd post a few quick points in answers to various tweets I've received.

The weather in Vegas at the moment is clear blue skies and sunny, but quite cool in the evenings. It's definitely long sleeve shirt, pullover or jacket weather in the evenings, and when I arrived at the airport last night around 5pm a lot of the arrivals in t-shirts were complaining at how cold it was (:-O) Apparently the last week has been untypical weather (I'm told it rained on Wednesday) with grey cloudy skies all week. Not so today with a warm sun and clear blue skies. The forecast throughout MIX is good. I'm probably going to venture out today in shorts and sandals :-)

The Mandalay Hotel (at least on arrival last night) has a very different vibe from The Venetian, home of previous MIX conferences. The hotel looks the same internally (except that scantily clad go-go dancers near the poker tables, presumably to distract those playing, now seem de rigeur in the gambling halls) but the Mandalay seems to attract a much younger crowd (I'm told the pool area aka "the meat market" is the main reason!) If my arrival last night was typical, expect to bump into a lot of loud, drunken (but happy!) youths in late teens/early twenties throughout the hotel which is something I never experienced at The Venetian. Some of the elevators even seemed to be hosting their own frat-house style parties! Try and wangle yourself an invite if you can ;-). The rooms themselves are big, clean and modern by UK standards, but definitely nowhere near the 'over the top' luxury status of The Venetian (at least if my experience is typical).

The wireless internet in the hotel is USD15 for 24 hours, but is excellent - the best I've ever experienced and I'm in a room at one extreme end of the hotel (as far away as possible from the noise and the elevators).

If you're flying Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick beware the £30 'more leg room' offer you may be given at Baggage Check-in. These seats are around rows 49 to 51 (9 each side) which unfortunately is next to the dispensing area for the 'free booze' dished out during the flight until it runs out (which thankfully it finally did around 5 hours into the flight). If my trip yesterday is typical you'll have a bunch of stag party crowds on board who treat this area much like the kitchen area at a very busy, rowdy, drunken party. Great if you're getting drunk and want to freeload, a nightmare if you want to arrive sober, snooze or try and get work done! Personally I don't understand why Virgin Atlantic encourage the sort of behavior that means they inevitably create a problem for themselves (well, duh! Drunken passengers assaulting female cabin crew - who saw that coming?!). If the airline charged for the booze it would make the flights much cheaper for the rest of us, and avoid the nightmare of their staff having to deal with drunken passengers.

Anyway, to everyone on their way out here: Have a great flight, a great MIX and hope to meet you in person (DM me on Twitter id @irascian if you need my room contact number or US mobile phone number).

View from my hotel room, taken at 7am, Friday 12th March 2010
View from my hotel room at 7am this morning

Updated to add link to my Flickr Stream of Photo's from the Hotel Pool area

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