Cruzin with Geoff and Susan


September 11, 2014

In Vegas for the SSA conference at Caesars Palace.  It is the casino right next door to where I am staying at the Bellagio however it takes 20 mins to walk from my room to the conference centre.  These hotels/casinos are so big.  3000 guest rooms in multiple  high rise buildings, with their own shopping malls, a couple of dozen restaurants, many bars, their swimming pool complexes the size of a football field all centered around The Casino. The casinos have thousands of poker machines, poker and blackjack tables, roulette wheels and many other ways to help the punters lose their money.

Anyway back to the conference and I would have to say that just after our own SSAA conference on the Gold Coast last month which was the biggest and best we have ever had, this conference doesn’t really stack up.  They start really early, finish really late and only have limited sessions during the day.  The trade show is massive and on the first day was afforded 3 hours over the lunch period and 2.5 hours on Day 2.  Anyway I did get to navigate my way through the trade show and introduce myself.  The products are the same as we have in Australia, but just a whole lot more vendors (service members) offering them.  I did see a couple of new things though.  For instance curtain insulators for roller doors, Charity Storage (a business that accepts abandoned goods and donations of unwanted goods and then they are auctioned off with proceeds going to the charity of choice of the storage facility), Registered E-mail (a service that is flourishing now that in some states the laws have changed and storage facilities are allowed to use email as the only form of notification for all correspondence to storers, however they have to use a Registered E-mail company to send the emails!!).  The Americans can make money out of anything. I caught up with all of the other Australians in attendance – Sam Kennard and 2 of his staff, John Perrins and Dallas Dogger.  The keynote address today was by Major Anthony Bourke ex US Navy and an F16 fighter pilot.  He told us a bit about his involvement with the 9/11 tragedy.

We explored some of the strip and went into the MGM Grand and New York New York.  They are a bit tired and old fashioned compared to the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.  We dined in at Circo.  It is Italian – WOW. Beautiful pasta and a great bottle of Italian red from Tuscany.  At $70 is was a very inexpensive bottle of wine.  We were not tempted by the $61,000 bottle of wine – it was a Pinot Noir and therefore not one of my favourite grape varieties!

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