Vegas Survival Guide

surviving vegas at NADA

Don’t Go Into NADA Show Blind

Held in Las Vegas from March 22-25, you’re facing a city that has particular challenges that include transportation, a heavy amount of walking, and plenty of temptation.

In this light, we have put together a few seemingly simple, yet important, keys to surviving the conference without being logistically challenged and run ragged.

If you can follow some of these steps, you’ll have a better chance of more easily navigating the NADA show. Not only will you survive, but the chances are better that you’ll return home having experienced a more successful convention.

Don’t Rent a Car, and Try to Avoid Taxis

Unless you plan on being a designated driver for other attendees, which sounds like a time-consuming nightmare, don’t bother renting a car during the NADA Show. Besides the likelihood that you’ll be enjoying beverages at happy hours and post-show receptions, it’s just not worth it. Traffic in Las Vegas is notoriously busy on weekends, and casino parking garages are monoliths of confusion.

Don’t take taxis, either. Cab lines at McCarren International Airport are consistently extremely long, as they also are at the resorts. Plus, though Vegas taxi drivers are among the most entertaining in the country, their fees are high, and if you rely on them as your go-to mode of transportation, you’ll practically end up spending what you would on a new set of tires during your trip.

Uber might not be the best friend of dealerships, but it is your friend when getting from the airport to your hotel. Look at this guide to see how easy and inexpensive this is.

Not into Uber? There are several shared and inexpensive shuttles that offer quick rides from the airport to the major resorts/hotels. After all, the airport is only minutes away from The Strip.

If you’re staying on The Strip, at least at resorts between Harrah’s and MGM Grand, one of the least expensive and most convenient ways to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center is the Las Vegas Monorail, for which an unlimited three-day pass only costs $28. A one-way taxi ride to the convention center will likely cost more than half of that! That means you could spend six times as much as a three-day pass just getting back and forth from the show, and rates could even be higher, given possible weekend traffic jams.

At the Same Time, Save Your Feet

This might sound like a bit of a contradiction, given that transportation alternatives to taxis are going to require more walking, but whenever possible, take a seat.

The Las Vegas Convention Center is 3.2 million square feet (Click here for Modern Dealership’s NADA Show map), and you’re going to be walking all over the facility. A lot. If you’re one who is concerned about achieving a daily 10,000-step routine, you’ll be more than covered at the NADA Show.

And keep in mind, just leaving your hotel room can be a journey in itself. You might have to walk down a long corridor to get to the elevator and getting through the casino lobby is like walking through a space the size of a Walmart.

You’ll likely want to look your best at the convention, but try to do so wearing shoes that are as comfortable as they are fashionable. Running shoes would be ideal if your dealership’s dress code is more on the casual side.

Make sure you grab a chair at the educational sessions, and take some time to sit at a table at nighttime events you’ll be attending. You don’t want to spend the end of the convention limping around, barely able to manage getting to your destinations. Basically, any chance you can get, sit down. Also take advantage of the several relaxation stations on the show floor, some with massage chairs.

Stay Hydrated and Try to Eat Healthy and SLEEP

As with taking breaks from walking, there are some other things you can do so that your body doesn’t start rebelling.

Drink lots of water. Las Vegas at the end of March shouldn’t be as scorching as it can get in the following months, but their air is dry, you’ll be walking a lot, and if you drink alcohol, chances are there will be plenty of free drinks at events you will attend, which adds to dehydration. In addition to that, there are several hydrating drinks with vitamins and electrolytes that will fortify your system. Drink them.

Eating healthy is what you’re usually not supposed to do in Las Vegas, it being a capital of culinary decadence. Plus, the food at most of the evening events you’re going to attend won’t be healthy. Who wants to go to a reception with health food anyway? That being said, if given the chance, try to grab a salad on the go instead of a burger, and have some fresh fruit on hand for snacks. It might not counteract all of the yummy mini crab cakes and shrimp wrapped in bacon, but you’ll feel better if you’re eating healthy part of the time. And if you’re drinking a lot of alcohol, just make sure you eat. Anything.

Sleep will be the toughest commodity to come by at the NADA Show. You’re going to have full days and events at night. Know when to cut it off in the evenings and get some rest. With all of the temptations of gambling, bars and nightclubs – not to mention pressure by others to “keep going” because they want someone to party with – this can be tough. The best thing to do is pick a cutoff time for the evening, midnight for example, stick firm to it, and make sure you head back to the hotel. Self-control in the Sin City can be tough, but you’ll thank yourself later.

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