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Internet Story: 28 November 1999
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Coolest sight at Comdex/Fall 99 - a stretched Hummer!

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Comdex/Fall '99 Page #1

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So what was HOT at Comdex this year...

I've been attending Comdex/Fall in Las Vegas since 1987, with only one absence in 1998.  There have been some amazing changes at Las Vegas in the last 12 years.  I've seen the conference grow from being something spread out across many venues and almost impossible to get around to being consolidated into just two locations, the LVCC and the SECC - (I count the Las Vegas Hilton as part of the LVCC).

Picture of Stratosphere tower, Las Vegas

Las Vegas is still like a building site after all these years.  There must have been at least 10 new hotels opened in the two years I've been away!  Places like the Paris Las Vegas (complete with Eiffel Tower), Mandalay Bay, Venetian, and Bellagios were not there two years ago and there's a new road system (thankfully!) off the I15 through town.  I still think one of the most awesome sites I saw go up over about 4 years was Stratosphere.  At 1,149 feet tall it's the tallest observation deck in the USA, and it has a roller-coaster and Big Shot ride on top of that!  The latest construction project is some 4 tower resort across from the Hilton (and behind the Riviera) - it's name eludes me.

Jean-Pierre Pirot of Jewlery & Minerals of Las Vegas
Jean Pierre Pirot
(Photo from Las Vegas Review Journal

Best shop in Las Vegas?  Go along and be gob-smacked at the collection of jewelry, minerals and fossils at "Jewelry & Minerals of Las Vegas", 420 E Sahara Ave (just North of the Hilton, near the Sahara Hotel).  Great shop run by the highly entertaining if slightly eccentric Belgian, Jean Pierre Pirot, who will recount tales of past expeditions and his "love" of the French ;-).

The whole of Las Vegas changes when it comes to Comdex week - their biggest show of the year.  With a sudden influx of over 200,000 people you can imagine the chaos that can arise if things are not planned well.  Apart from the occasional overcrowding and reduced service levels the whole thing functions quite well.  There are some not-so-subtle difference between Comdex week and normal weeks.  First, taxi fares can be almost double unless you can persuade the cab driver that you're not really part of this huge circus and are here to gamble.  You'll also notice that the room rates are astronomical compared with the rest of the year - this is to offset the reduced revenue because Comdex attendees don't gamble much, according to the hotels.  One of the more unpleasant sights seen during this week is the sudden growth of small bands of (mainly Mexican) people thrusting soft-core porn material into your face on every street corner - all adverts trying to entice the lonely/adventurous/sad (delete as appropriate) off for "escort services" or even across the county line for legal prostitution (illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located).

Want some good food in Vegas?  Well I have four recommendations.  Try one of the 5 Outback Steakhouses (we ate in the one on Flamingo) located in Las Vegas.  Great food and plenty of it - try the "Bloomin' Onion" if you want something really different!  For a slightly more refined, but still inexpensive, dining experience try "Sam's American" in Bellagio.  If money's no barrier then try Le Cirque at Bellagio, or Benihana Japanese Village at the Las Vegas Hilton.

And the coolest sight this year?  No, not the girls standing outside the Riviera... a stretched Hummer (see picture at top of page)!  You can rent them by the hour in LA!

Well enough of the scenery.  Off to page #2 for the goodies from the show!

...go to page #2...


Andrew Stringer, Pendle.Net Ltd, 1999

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