Five Reasons I Freakin’ Hate Las Vegas

We are approaching the start of a very busy autumn tradeshow season with VMworld just around the corner, Aug. 29 to Sept. 1. This “conveniently” hits during my kids’ first week back at school. Again. Thanks, VMware.

And just my luck, VMworld is in Vegas this year! I don’t think I am alone out there in my utter hatred for Las Vegas. I went to my first tradeshow there when I was 25 and had a blast. Then I returned for my bachelor party with several friends, and it was great. Over the past dozen years, I have been in Vegas at least three-dozen times. Over the years, the enjoyment factor eroded to the point of being nonexistent.

Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely excited to be at VMworld with Kaminario. This will be a great opportunity to tell the Kaminario story at the biggest data center-focused show in the world. But even as I write this on my flight back from the Flash Memory Summit in San Francisco, I would prefer going back there. I hate being a downer, but I am not looking forward to another tradeshow in Las Vegas. Here’s why:

1. Bling-Bling-Ding-Aling-Bing-a-Flipping-Ding! If I have forgotten any of my antipathy for Vegas during the JetBlue flight from Boston, I am instantly reminded as I walk off the plane and catch a glimpse of the blinking slot machines. I have no problem with gambling or slot machines, but do they really need to be everywhere? I get the casino business wants to remove all barriers to spending money, but really? Do they really have to be in the airport??

2. Hangover + Tradeshow = Hell. There is something about Vegas that encourages everyone to push the envelope on how much alcohol you can manage on a school night. Further, the combination of a Hall crawl + cocktail party + customer dinner + drinks + blackjack session + more drinks will result in many attendees managing days of press interviews, customer conversations and competitor messaging analysis while feeling a bit rough around the edges. The only solution – other than abstinence, of course — is Red Bull, Advil and sheer grit.

3. The desert is just lovely in August (not!). The extended forecast for Las Vegas shows daily highs ranging between 100 and 106 degrees.

4. Waiting in taxi lines. I hate waiting in just about any line. I particularly hate waiting in Vegas taxi lines. With temperatures in the triple digits, walking anywhere in my tradeshow-appropriate garb is a non-starter. So, like everyone else, I will end up waiting forever to catch a taxi. Awesome. I am hoping Uber works better in Vegas than it did last time.

5. It just feels… well… kind of dirty. No matter how straight-laced I play it, being immersed in a metropolis of sin for multiple days wears on me. If I make it up early for a morning run, I will invariably witness something terrible on the strip at 6:00 AM, such as someone still drunk and doing something stupid. I will definitely see more people smoking than I have since college. I will see someone staying at the tables long after losing too much money. I will see someone opting for a midnight all-you-can-eat buffet rather than going to bed. It just makes me sad. And no matter how straight-laced my intentions, I’ll need to stay on guard to avoid becoming one of those spectacles.

Are you a fellow Vegas-hater? Or do you side with my colleague? Stop by Kaminario’s booth 1765 or the Mandalay Bay blackjack tables to tell me what you think. You can win some great prizes during the show by just sending a tweet. Enter now at


Photo: Courtesy The Orleans


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