CES 2012 is the world’s top technology conference, and it brings over 100,000 industry insiders and about 2500 technology exhibitors from all over the world to a city that is already one of the world’s top tourism destinations, Las Vegas. The CES conference is usually the biggest of the year in Las Vegas, and it tends to fill all of the strip hotels. However, if you need a nice room at the last minute OR you are traveling on your own dime, OR you want to do your company a favor and stay inexpensively, consider the many excellent downtown hotels in the area known as “Fremont Street”. Ironically, the look and feel of Freemont Street is a lot more like the Las Vegas many know from movies, even recent ones. Unlike the strip where the hotels – several of the world’s largest – have thousands of rooms in sprawling resorts that can be as long as a city block, in downtown Las Vegas you’ll find much smaller venues. Recent renovations of several of the properties in the Fremont Street Area as well as the addition years ago of a massive overhead canopy with a spectacular hourly light show have made the downtown area a lot more appealing. On top of that, the wildly successful Zappos shoe empire will soon move its offices to this area in the hopes of helping to rennovate and stabilize the economy of downtown Las Vegas.
Here are some nice travel tips from the CES Official Website, CESweb.org : CES Travel Tips
Although CES conference buses do NOT serve the downtown hotels (at least I’ve never seen that in my several years at the conference), you can catch “the deuce” bus pretty much any time which will take you down the strip to the Venetian where CES has a very regular shuttle back and forth to the Convention Center. Taxis are more expensive but also a quick way to get to the Convention Center. I’d recommend you avoid trying to take the city bus from downtown to the Convention Center or to the Monorail station at the Sahara because the transfers can be tricky and they don’t run nearly as often as “the deuce”.
The Deuce costs $3 per ride (a bit ironic, since I believe the name originally referred to the $2 fare), or you can purchase a daily pass for $7 or a 3 day for $15. There’s also an express strip bus that runs a similar route to the deuce. Information about that is here and you should print out this route map to orient yourself between the strip and downtown, a distance of a few miles: http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/route/stripdowntown/stripdowntown(09-18-11).pdf