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  • Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

    Last year was our first year at the Rio. We had a thread "Defcon 19: [So tell me about the Rio] (recon and intel)" which included images, comments information and discussions about the new location. If I copied that thread forward, someone would reply to a post from over a year ago, and this could be problematic.

    This is a new thread for discussion about the Rio Hotel and Casino. Is there new Intel? Has anything noteworthy changed? Improvements? Are there any new or old techniques to be applied to save money on your hotel rooms? Are there things you plan to do differently now that you know something after having stayed at the Rio?

    Here is a new thread for discussion of the Rio Hotel: the good, the bad, the useful. (Refer to the thread from last year for older information.)

  • #2
    Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

    Something I noticed recently -- the "week" rate is significantly lower than the con rate last year, and the weekend rate is only marginally higher. If you're sure you're going, now is the time to book.
    I check my sanity with a wristwatch. What do you check yours with, a dipstick?

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    • #3
      Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

      I'm going to be at the Rio early next month and will provide any new info that I gain.
      perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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      • #4
        Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

        Originally posted by bluknight View Post
        Something I noticed recently -- the "week" rate is significantly lower than the con rate last year, and the weekend rate is only marginally higher. If you're sure you're going, now is the time to book.
        Be careful with this, too.

        Last year, the con rate included 2 people while the "normal" rio rate was for just one person. Adding a second person to the Rio rate increased the rate by $20 to $30 per night.

        Even with this, the "normal" rate could be reduced with deals from the Rio like 50% off rates when you stay 4 or more nights, or 20% off if you stay 2 or more nights. One difference from last year, is the period for when these deals are available THIS year is until February, while LAST year, it was possible to get deals like those up through Defcon.

        At a minimum, getting reservations for Friday and Saturday at the Defcon rate *early* will likely save you money over waiting.


        Originally posted by Chris View Post
        I'm going to be at the Rio early next month and will provide any new info that I gain.
        Cool, man. :-)

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        • #5
          Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

          One thing i had herd from some of the people i talked to that stayed at the rio not in the room rate wern't able to get the neat roomkeys, while some were. I guess it really depended on who you got at the front desk. Kinda similar to the fact they preach you can only have 2 defcon keys but depending on who you got would let you. For new people coming if you want to do your own coffee they have the K cup machines in the room. Bring your own K cup however because i think they were asking like 8$ for 4 cups or something along those lines. And from one of the people i stay with i learned you can use it to just dispense hot water for many applications. The pool area if you go into during the day they seem to get really stiff on checking your bag for outside drinks near the end of the week, so camelbaks are your friend and secret pouches as they really only checked the center.

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          • #6
            Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

            Originally posted by ButterSnatcher View Post
            For new people coming if you want to do your own coffee they have the K cup machines in the room. Bring your own K cup however because i think they were asking like 8$ for 4 cups or something along those lines. And from one of the people i stay with i learned you can use it to just dispense hot water for many applications.
            FYI, not all rooms had the K cup machines (like mine). If you are planning on it, ask when you register.
            Aut disce aut discede

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            • #7
              Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

              Last year I booked in February, outside of DefCon, and the rate was easily triple what i paid by July. I did not get a DC room key, but the clerk did ask if I was there for it (I said no due to a bizarre and entirely unsuccessful upgrade scheme).

              So I just called the Rio moments ago, and for check-in Wednesday (July 25th) afternoon & check-out Monday morning, they wanted $560 including taxes & fees for the cheapie room, which is a damned decent room (outside of the baffling perv window in the shower), and $711 for the Strip view room (both single person). I genuinely liked the rooms at the Rio, and even loved my 'mountain view.' There were some things that were less appealing, but IMHO the Rio deserves every micron of their 3 & 1/2 stars, and maybe more.

              You might need to sign up for the total rewards thing to get these rates, which I did but never even got my card, since who has time to gamble in Vegas? Or at least at DefCon. I asked for: 1. weekly rates, which they claimed do not exist; and 2. a comp room, for which apparently I would need to gamble on my rewards card to be eligible. I imagine more savvy social engineers could wrangle a better rate. Anyway, I wanted to post these rates now as a sort of benchmark.

              One last note: their reservation cancellation policy is very liberal: as long as you notify them at least three days in advance of your stay, you receive 100% of your deposit back, so there is no reason not to reserve now; worst case scenario, a bunch of rooms suddenly become available for desperate DC attendees at the last moment.
              The f*ck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon? - chs

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              • #8
                Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                Originally posted by snideology View Post
                I did not get a DC room key, but the clerk did ask if I was there for it (I said no due to a bizarre and entirely unsuccessful upgrade scheme).
                I'm fairly newer to this what exactly is this upgrade scheme they were trying to pull.

                And one other thing i wanted to add is that they are fairly flexable with the checkout times atleast they were for me as i had a late night flight out and they said as long as i left before the cleaning lady got to the room i didnt get charged for late checkout.

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                • #9
                  Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                  Originally posted by ButterSnatcher View Post
                  I'm fairly newer to this what exactly is this upgrade scheme they were trying to pull.
                  My apologies: I can easily see now that my first paragraph of that post eludes clarity. The wording was an attempt to add a small amount of levity and/or drama to the post, which I attempt frequently; and which – when I fail – occasionally turns a post into an awkward (and at times embarrassing) mess.

                  To clarify:
                  1. I booked my room at the Rio in February of 2011 for DC19, and by July, the listed rate online was three times the rate I had locked in in February (based on my admittedly poor memory);
                  2. when I was checking in to the Rio at the front desk, I attempted to obtain a free or reduced price room upgrade; more precisely, I attempted to set up the scheme then, and tried the squeeze in a followup visit. My attempted upgrade scheme was unsuccessful, and the execution of it was less than professional, but the underlying concept may have had merit, and I hold hope for the future.
                  The f*ck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon? - chs

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                  • #10
                    Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                    So a followup to what I previously posted:
                    1. Just a reminder to everyone that the Rio requires a deposit, which for cash was $200 last year (credit cards were based on nights stayed; it's kinda weird). So be ready to hand more cash or plastic over;
                    2. You can likely get a much cheaper rate by calling vs online; my savings was 27%;
                    3. You likely can blow away my rates by working some military magic. If you are in the military or have a military id (they apparently do ask), make good use of it. I tried this route myself, but apparently being a frequent shopper at the Salvation Army does not qualify as military service. Hopefully, Congress will finally address this tragic iniquity soon. The military id could also conceivably come in handy if you return to the Rio well armed from the DefCon Shoot, since it might lower their freakout level (and yeah, they freaked pretty hard last year, pretty hard).
                    The f*ck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon? - chs

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                    • #11
                      Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                      Didn't stay at the Rio last year- was the "event rate" decent, or would it be better to just book this early?
                      |

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                      • #12
                        Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                        Originally posted by wrøng! View Post
                        Didn't stay at the Rio last year- was the "event rate" decent, or would it be better to just book this early?
                        Last year, the Defcon rate (when there were still rooms in the Defcon Block) was cheaper than the better/sales rates for Friday and Saturday.
                        A non-defcon rate made it possible to find cheaper rooms at the Rio for days OTHER than Friday and Saturday when compared to the Defcon rate for the same days, day for day.

                        This year is an unknown, but using the past to try to predict the future, EARLY reservations for Friday and Saturday (at a minimum) would be a good idea. Then you can choose to gamble and wait to see if a better, non-Defcon deal is available for the other dates, or not. (Also, Friday and Saturday are the first days for rooms to get totally sold out, while Thursday and Sunday as late additions to an existing reservation that include Friday/Saturday would likely be possible with rooms being available.)

                        Also, using last year as a way to predict this year, once the block of rooms at the Defcon Rate are sold, rates go higher for Defcon Rate and non-Defcon Rate rooms. Early registration with sale prices has provided more opportunities for cheaper prices than later reservations.

                        One item to note: as of "now" the Defcon rate has not been published online for DC20, and there is no link for Defcon-rate and web reservations.
                        It is possible that if you call and ask for a Defcon rate for the dates of Defcon they may be able to tell you what that rate is. If you do this, ask for a comparison of their Defcon rates to non-Defcon rates over the same time, and please report back here for others to know. (If they are the same, then it is likely that there really is no Defcon rate officially available yet. Also, reservation desks will often just quote a "normal" rate when people ask for some kind of rate that they do not know about, and not even tell you they are using a normal rate because they could not find the rate you requested.)

                        Thanks!
                        Last edited by TheCotMan; January 27, 2012, 13:08.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                          A little info on the Rio.
                          First, like I mentioned on twitter yesterday, they have instituted a new ordering process for getting drinks in the gaming areas. Each section has a person walking around with an iPad taking orders and then they are sent (wifi) to the back and a server brings the drink out. It's VERY fast compared to the old way.

                          On a weird note. McFaddens hasn't been open since I got here (just yesterday). Not sure what the deal is with that. It doesn't look like it's permanently closed (still has a stocked bar, seats inside, windows aren't blacked, etc). I'm hoping it will be open at some point this weekend.

                          A lot of the Rio staff seems to be under the impression that we (DEFCON) took their network down last year ("You guys showed up and our computers all stopped working). I let them know that we rarely do that :)

                          The staff still seems to actually be looking forward to us coming back and aside from them thinking we took their network down, everything they have said to me about DC has been very positive.

                          As far as the important shit goes. Drinks are still way too expensive both at their ABC store or whatever the fuck it's called and at the bars. The TVs in the rooms (Ipanema tower...I move to Masquerade tomorrow so I'll update) still haven't been updated to flat screens. I'd like to see that fixed.

                          Food choices haven't changed since last year. For BH folks, Caesar's put in a new bar at the front. Didn't try it out...they gouge the fuck out of you on drink prices at Caesar's anyway.

                          Now to hit up the locals and get my drink on....later.
                          perl -e 'print pack(c5, (41*2), sqrt(7056), (unpack(c,H)-2), oct(115), 10)'

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                          • #14
                            Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                            Oh damn I misunderstood your tweet. I thought the app was for patrons to order their own drinks
                            |

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                            • #15
                              Re: Defcon 20: Recon and Intel: Rio Hotel and Casino

                              Now there is an idea...
                              Originally posted by Ellen
                              Do I wish we could all be like hexjunkie? Heck yes I do. :) That would rock.

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