Posted by: wingstravel | October 11, 2013

Vegas Baby! Part 1

by Ryan Christoff, Travel Consultant


So I was very fortunate to take a little jaunt to Sin City last month for the 4th Annual Young Leaders Conference and the Luxury Travel Exchange.  What an experience!  Here’s my tale.


Sunday, September 8- Part 1

My day starts off early..up and at ‘em at 4:30am!  I breeze on down to good ole PHL and zip through security.  I checked into my flight the day before online, which I highly suggest everyone does for domestic flights!  I was somehow able to only get away with a carry on bag, which never happens (notorious over packer).  I have a little over an hour to kill before my 7:55am flight, so I head to Chickie’s and Pete’s in the aiport.  No, I did not get a drink there, which is another first, ha!  Instead I went for a nice cup of coffee and a ham, egg and cheese sandwich.  Thought I was getting a morning breakfast sandwich thing, but turns out they sell it in a huge roll and the cheese was very runny.  Bleh!  I get down about half of it, refill my coffee, and off I go!

I choose the aisle seat…my new preference for sure.  I learned from my 12 hour flight experience to New Zealand a couple years ago…I feel cramped and have to jump over everyone to get to the restroom.  So aisle seats from now on!  The flight is fairly smooth and takes about 5 hours.  Best news is, we get into Vegas a half hour early!  Score!

vegas sign

So I arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada!  The airport is cool, with the Vegas sign welcoming you above the escalators.  Arriving on US Airways, I had to take the tram to the main terminal.  Upon exiting the tram, a slight walk to the exit I go, where snake line dividers guide you to the taxis.  Fortunately there was hardly any line, so I waited about a minute.  I get my taxi, and off to my first stop…Treasure Island!  The ride takes me up I-15 where I get a good view of the hotels and the surrounding area.  The ride lasts about 10-15 minutes, and the fare was about $25 plus tip.  My cabbie lets me know about where to find the best stuff..certain shows, good nightlife spots, and of course the jiggly room places, haha.  Being that it’s Vegas, I think it’s madatory for them to release this information.

TI frontTI 2

I get to TI, but unfortunately I can’t check into the hotel..I have to wait a couple hours.  But wait, what time is it back on the east coast???  It’s 1pm (10am local), and it’s football time!!  Opening weekend to boot!  So I search around Treasure Island and find a sports book area, but not that appealing.  So I venture next door to The Mirage, and bingo!  Huge bar area with several big screen tv’s, and humongous plastic cups for my favorite beverage…and nice cold brewski!  Goose Island IPA to be exact.  So I get my beverage, find my place to stand, and take it all in!  Of course, I couldn’t be in Vegas and not place a bet…so I lay a 3 team parlay down.  I lost, but my luck would change later!

The Mirage

Check in time comes around and I get to my room.  A nice layout with a king bed and double vanity sick in the bathroom.  the view wasn’t the best…facing the large mall across the street.  But the mountains in the background were nice to see.  The room was a typical room, but adequate for what I needed. 

I get ready for my next adventure…walking down the strip to meet up with my roomie from the New Zealand fam, Ryan Mielke, at a sports bar called Blondie’s at Planet Hollywood to watch the Packers/Niners game.  The walk wasn’t too bad..about a mile total, but took about 20 minutes.  The weather was pleasant and not the overbearing heat I thought I was in for.  It actually had rained a bit earlier, but now the sun was shining for my walk!  I make it to PH, and like all hotels in Vegas, have to wonder aimlessly for a few minutes, before I finally reach my destination..Blondies.  

Blondies Blondies 2

Blondies was a typical sports bar, with lots of tv’s, waitresses dressed as cheerleaders, lots of beer choices and good bar food.  I walk around a bit trying to find a seat and have no luck.  Furthermore…Ryan had come in the day before and had been out till the wee hours of the morning.  So needless to say, he couldn’t make it.  Anyways….I find a spot at the corner of one of the bars and stand there like a goof.  I order a Dogfish Head 60 Minute, an order of wings and a water (pronounced wooder).  The bartender doesn’t notice my Eagles jersey I have on, but notices my Philly accent, and proceeds to tell me she’s from south Jersey and is an Eagles fan as well.  Instant friend!  I take a look around the bar, and I notice lots of sports memorbilila hanging up.  One of the bars had an Eagles, Flyers and Phillies sign all hanging in the same area!  I love this place! 

So I stay till the end of the game, and start my walk back to TI.  During my walk, I get a text from Nicole from, our vacation consortia.  Kate Murphy, president of Wings Travel, had told her to call me up to meet up with me during the conference.  So I quick get dressed back at the hotel, and we decide to meet up for a drink at the Venetian before we meet up with the rest of the Young Leader’s. 

YLC main

After our drink, we met up with Ryan (yay, he’s alive!), and a few others and we cab it down to the Cosmopoliatn, right across the street from where I just was.  This was the Kick Off party for the Young Leader’s Conference.  We had an open bar from 7-9, in the Chandalier Bar, which was awesome!  3 story bar all encased in hanging crystals.  Very cool concept.  The bar had Lagunita’s Maximus, which is a great DIPA.  Snacks were plentiful and very good too.  I was able to meet up with lots of new people, and some people I had already known, like Lucas from G Adventures.  G Adventures is an awesome company btw specializing in adventure tours!  (like my plug there?)  The event was a good way to break the ice and mingle with everyone. 

By the time 10:30 came around, I was spent!  So I walked, for the third time that day, back to the hotel.  People were gathering to see the fountains at the Bellagio, but I was exhausted and just kept walking.  I get back to the hotel, unwind and decide to call it a night.  Time for some rest for the all day conference tomorrow morning!  Day 1…success.

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