Well….It’s finally here! Solar Power International opens its doors to the show floor today at 10:00 am, and the fifteen THOUSAND expected attendees filtering in will begin taking in all that the show has to offer. Master speakers, educational and training sessions, the annual SPI Tweetup hosted by Solar Fred, and over 700 exhibitors including manufacturers, installers, developers, financing companies and many more.
The annual SPI Block Party is tonight from 7:00 – 10:00 at the Paris Pool Deck and Chateau Nightclub, and the EcoFasten Solar® crew will be there! If you won’t be at the party, or even if you will be, I thought it would be fun to take off my Marketing hat for a bit, and give you a list of things to do while you’re in Sin City that won’t break the bank (or will at least allow you to save money for other worthwhile investment opportunities….like playing the slots). There are so many things to do, some free, some at the polar opposite end of the “free” spectrum – either way, make the most of the time you’re here and take advantage of some (or all) of these FREE to $20 adventures and attractions.
1) Get your picture taken in front of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign (it’s free!)
You just gotta – it’s the most famous souvenir of all, and it’s just south of Mandalay Bay. Twelve parking spots are easy to access, and short of a line waiting for the photo op, this will be a quick, super memorable thing to do while you’re in Vegas.
2) Check out Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage ($19.95).
And at night, you can watch the volcano eruption completely free every half hour from 8:00pm until midnight (except for 8:30pm for some unknown reason).
3) Take a gondola ride at The Venetian ($18.95)
Indoor rides are always available, and if the weather’s fine, you can take an outdoor ride with your personal gondolier as you relax and absorb the romantic vibes of Venice. You really can’t complain about this forecast!
4) Death defying rooftop rides at the Stratosphere (ride tickets $15 / tower tickets $20)
Thrill-seekers, this one’s for you!
Located almost a thousand feet above the strip, the Stratosphere offers 3 rides for $15 each, all of which are, in my acrophobic opinion, incredibly scary: Big Shot, X-Scream and Insanity. If you’re (a lot) more daring, and willing to shell out (a lot) more bills, give SkyJump a try (a “controlled decelerator descent” – basically a controlled free fall, sort of like bungee jumping, but less whip-lash-y, starting at $119.99).
5) You can’t go to Vegas and not see the fountains at the Bellagio (yes, it’s free!)
The fountains tallest spurt shoots up more than 460’ in the air. With 1,200 nozzles, the fountains are a popular sight due in large part to being featured in many movies. Take your camera when you go – the fountains are illuminated at night, and make for an awesome photo!
6) Circus acts at Circus Circus (another free one!)
Known as the world’s largest permanent circus, Circus Circus features a live show every 30 minutes (that’s the free part), as well as many other adventure themed activities throughout the hotel (some under $20, many over $20), even an indoor carnival midway. You can’t miss the Circus Circus property – it’s the one with the huge neon clown.
7) The Big Apple Coaster at New York New York ($14.00)
The coaster goes right through the hotel, and the coaster trains are designed like NYC taxi cabs. Its surroundings include a replica of NY Harbor and a 150 ft. Statue of Liberty, which you will see as you whiz by at 67 miles per hour. More than a million visitors a year ride the Big Apple….will you be one of them? The ride lasts about 3 minutes, so at just over $4.60 per minute, it’s a pretty good deal.
8) Expand your International travel to the Eiffel Tower at The Paris Las Vegas ($11.50 before 7:15pm / $16.50 after 7:30pm)
Take the adrenaline-charged glass elevator to 50 stories above the street and glimpse incredible 360° views of the city below. While the Vegas Eiffel Tower is about half the size of the real tower in France, they share many similarities, from an enclosed observation deck and the glass elevator, to the awe-inspiring views, especially after the sun goes down.
9) The Quad, for car lovers ($11.95)
If you love cars, you’ll be happy you took the time to go to The Quad Resort & Casino, an auto museum with a collection of over 300 cars. Called “history on wheels” by some, The Quad has muscle cars, antique cars, famous cars, and cars with historical significance.
10) Pay a visit to the Pawn Stars (free, unless of course you buy something)
Rick, Corey, Richard, and Chumlee at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop are open for business. If you want to avoid a crowd, the best time to go is between 9am-10am or after 4pm. Filming for the show takes place at the store between 6am and 5pm Monday-Friday, so you never know, you just might end up on camera (especially if you’re bringing something to pawn). The guys also sometimes stop to meet guests or sign autographs, but it’s completely the luck of the draw.
11) Have a drink at Mix Lounge on top of the Mandalay Bay ($7 and up)
Another great photo op awaits. When I was in Vegas in February, I enjoyed a drink (well, OK, maybe two) at the Mix, my jaw dropping as I entered. The panoramic views of the city below from every seat in the house, and most amazing from the outdoor balcony, are out of this world. Beers start at just $7 and food starts at $8, so you can enjoy a drink and a bite to eat for just $15. Or order a cocktail, starting at $14.
And don’t forget: SPI is providing special promotions available just for attending the show – check out the deals which include reduced prices for Broadway shows and retail discounts (like 20% off the shops at #9, The Quad)
I hope everyone who reads this takes the time to do at least one of these fun, inexpensive activities that are pretty much only found in Vegas.
I’ll let you go enjoy the show now.
We’ll see you there!
Industry leader EcoFasten Solar designs, engineers, and manufactures patented, watertight solar roof mounts. The company provides mounting solutions that are easy to install, cost-effective, rugged in fabrication, and unsurpassed in quality. Comprised of a seasoned and growing team of professionals with talent, ability, and drive, all EcoFasten Solar products are precision-designed with the installer in mind.