As my final wrap up of the 2013 IHRSA Convention, I wanted to share some of the great photos from the trade show, plus a few random stories from my visit to Las Vegas.
I don’t think that I mentioned that I drove alone, because my husband couldn’t make it and my coworker was driving up the day before. It’s a long drive, over four hours, and I chose to take what we call the long way, as opposed to the back way, which cuts through the desert, but is a lot more isolated. It takes about a half hour longer, but since it is up Interstate 15 it is a lot safer for a solo driver. Not to mention the Starbucks in Barstow and the rest stop about an hour outside of Vegas.
After checking in to my hotel, I needed to get to the Mandalay Bay before 6:00, because that is when registration would close for the day. Since I planned on attending the opening reception at 7:00, I needed to have my pass first. I took the time to unpack, then left about 5:15 to drive the two and a half miles. I actually used my GPS, even though I knew where I was going, and it insisted that I take Las Vegas Blvd., the Strip. My instinct was to avoid it, but I soon found that all roads were packed with bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, and the Strip was as good as any.
It took me a half hour to navigate that short distance. Once there, parking was easy, though it was a long walk from the parking garage to the convention center (I estimated about a half mile, based on it taking me about 10 minutes, walking briskly).
Fast forward to Wednesday evening. I had invitations to two dinners. As I wrote in a previous post, my company, WTS International, was hosting a dinner at the Yard House, which is about a mile south of the Mandalay Bay. At the same time, FitFluential, for which I am an Ambassador, was hosting a dinner at the Mandalay Bay. I felt obligated for the company dinner, but I really, really wanted to meet some of my fellow Ambassadors. I had what I thought was a great idea.
I would leave my hotel early enough (the last session was finished by 3:00, so I had time to go back and change), drive to the Mandalay Bay, pop up and meet some FitFluential peeps, then dash off and drive the one mile or so to my company dinner. Great plan. But you know what they say about best laid plans.
My plan started to go awry as soon as I started my drive from my hotel. I planned to take a half hour, as it had the night before. I planned to take the Strip, since that was the best choice from the day before. So much for plans. After driving for 20 minutes, I found myself less than a mile from my hotel. I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I could finally see ahead of me that all the southbound lanes of Las Vegas Blvd. (my side) were closed. It looked like there was some kind of protest in progress (I found out later it was the culinary workers on strike). They were making all the southbound traffic U-turn and head back the way we came. So, after 35 minutes on the road I was right back at my hotel. Not good.
By the time I maneuvered through some side streets and made it to the Mandalay Bay, it was already 6:00, so I decided I had to skip my FitFluential meet-up. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with co-workers, but I was disappointed that I missed out meeting some bloggers that I admire.
Enough talking about Las Vegas traffic. Let’s get to the fun. The trade show started on Wednesday. As I’ve written before, it is always an amazing experience. Just imaging this huge room, filled with every kind of fitness toy that you can imagine (and some you’d never imagine). All the big equipment manufacturers, the supply companies, anything you could possibly need to manage a health club or fitness center. Treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, weights, functional exercise equipment, software, locker room supplies, saunas and steam rooms, Zumba, Les Mills, Anti-Gravity Yoga, Spinning, Kettlebells, TRX, and much, much more. It’s like a toy store for fitness people. Plus the place is crowded with people, music playing, classes going on all around. Here are some pictures so you can imagine you’re there.
Altogether a pretty amazing experience. I can’t wait until next year. IHRSA 2014 in San Diego!
I hope you enjoyed my recap. If you missed any of the previous IHRSA posts, here they are:
Now that you’ve read all that, wouldn’t you like to come visit me next year and attend IHRSA 2014? Hope to see you there!