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Recommended travel options from the McCarren airport to the Paris hotel

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  • Recommended travel options from the McCarren airport to the Paris hotel

    Ok, so this is me 'peeking outside of my box'. I'm a bit of an introvert and tend to lurk in the corners rather than jump into the frey most of the time, which is something that I'm *really* trying not to do at my first Defcon. Recon thus far confirms that TheCotMan seems to be the knower of many things about Defcon and noted in a previous post that a good next step (beyond lurking around) would be to post something that may be of use to others in the community and to get involved. So, here goes somethin' :).

    In addition to being my first trip to Defcon this will be my first trip to Vegas. I've got *most* of my bases covered and am currently working to address the 'last mile' issues like the best way to get from the airport to the Paris hotel. I'll be traveling with a +1 (my wife, I require adult supervision and she graciously volunteered :)) and arriving sometime between 7:00pm and 8:00pm local time. Basic recon thus far has confirmed that there are 3 generally accepted ways to travel, shuttle, taxi and limo. I believe I've narrowed it down to either a shuttle or a taxi (a limo seems like it would take a larger than necessary share of beer money). Pros and cons of the remaining two options [shuttle | taxi] seems to be:

    Shuttle - Pro - $6 / $7 per person, definitely the cheapest. Con - waits until the shuttle is full to leave (not sure what this will mean with Defcon in town, seems like a lot of folks will be going to that general area so this may not really be an issue) and multiple stops between the airport and the hotel (free guided tour, perhaps a pro?).

    Taxi - Pro - straight shot from the airport to the hotel. Con - possibly long line (that reportedly 'moves pretty quick') and higher cost ($15 - $20, plus optional tip).

    Any feedback from Defcon veterans or Las Vegas veterans in general would be much appreciated. Hoping there's someone in a similar boat that may get some value out of this. Looking forward to Defcon and especially looking forward to not being the only 'weird techie / computer guy' in the room.

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  • #2
    Rental Car: This is an option if you plan to attend some off-site venues:
    * (Unofficial) Toxic BBQ
    * (Unofficial) DEF CON Shoot
    * Parties
    * Grocery stores
    * Desert fun (ATV, Parachute, Heavy Machinery, museums like, "The Atomic Testing Museum," or Pinball Hall of Fame, etc.)

    Rental cars are outrageously expensive, even if they grant you freedom to leave the hotel to try other food or see other sights.

    Some of the above are possible if you can hitch a ride with other people, but this is a problem if you don't know other people. :-/ Taxi can also work with the above, but the greater the distance, the higher the cost. (I'm not even going to guess how much a taxi would charge to take you to the shoot, and if any taxi would return to pick you up.)

    Many of these pre-con events happen before con, on Wednesday or Thursday.

    Some people like to sample some of the oddities in Las Vegas, so they extend their stay by arriving earlier or staying later. Check for shows or other entertainment ahead of time. Free shuttles between *some* casinos can help you here if the shows are at a casino where shuttle service is free.

    Yes, shuttle bus from airport to hotel can save money and they allow for luggage, but do not rely on free shuttle bus service between *hotels* if you plan on bringing luggage or even a backpack between hotels. Some drivers will deny you use of the free shuttles if you have bags of any type. With 2 people, the cost of 2 people on a shuttle may save you ~50% the cost of the same 2 people to the hotel.

    Taxi: if I were planning to stay only in the hotel, and taxi would be cheaper for my use than a rental car, that is what I would choose. Time is money, and I'd rather have some alone time with the people I travel instead of sharing a shuttle. Taxi service also offers you dedicated access to the driver. Ask them questions about Las Vegas. What to do? Shows? What to avoid? Advice for first time travellers to Las Vegas Let the taxi driver know your primary desire is speed so they avoid "The Strip" and take one of the roads that runs parallel to it to get to the hotel. If you want a drive along the strip, a much cheaper route than spending time in stand-still traffic at night on The Strip n a taxi, consider the public bus "The Deuce" which is flat fee for all-day use (or per hop-on) and you are not charged for waiting in traffic. Many people walk the strip, but remember to bring water.

    There has always been a long line of taxis ready to serve people when I visit LAS, so little waiting for taxi.

    Monorail: yes, there is a monorail in Las Vegas, and yes, it has a stop near Bally's / Paris, but it does not connect to the airport. Taxi drivers are worried they will lose business if connected to airport, and politics has slowed that planned connection. Monorail is limited to just hotels on the east-side of the strip. ("The Strip" is the name for "Las Vegas Blvd" which is the worst road to drive in Las Vegas.)

    If/when the monorail opens from the airport, and we are still at a hotel with monorail service, that is what I would take -- even with stops at other hotels, it will be faster than stop lights and surface traffic in cars or buses.

    From your proposed items, taxi is what I would choose.

    Other people may have other ideas, and I encourage more people to provide their own ideas.

    Being new, I encourage you to attend the Thursday "DC101" talk that primary covers an Intro to DEF CON. If has historically provided a lot of advice for first-time attendees. If you attend and they ask for a volunteer, volunteer! Get involved. Looking at the schedule, there are a bunch of Thursday "101" talks. Check them out, too.

    People new to DEF CON:
    * DC101
    * If someone asks for a volunteer from the audience, volunteerL even if they are foolish or make fun of you or others, it will be exciting, and a memory you can look back at and smile.
    * sample a little bit of everything: villages, contests (spectator or participant), talks, parties, socialize: walk up to stranges having a conversation and listen to their topic and if you like it, talk about the topic.
    * Don't worry about looking foolish or not knowing everything; it is better to not pretend you know something and learn than to pretend you know something you don't and be considered a pretender/poser.



    • #3
      When I leave the hotel for a run to buy beer, ammo, be a tourists, etc, I'll give a shout out to see if anyone wants to go. "I'M GOING TO SUBWAY FOR LUNCH AND HAVE 3 EMPTY SEATS!" Need I say that I usually get happy people tagging along? Great way to make new friends too.


      • #4
        TheCotMan and astcell , once again, thank you for the excellent responses. It definitely looks like a taxi is going to be my best bet (was kindof leaning that way anyway). I've generally tried to catch anything that I could catch from previous cons in whatever format I could (random Google, Youtube, etc.) but, as I'm planning my first trip out, I'm realizing a lot of little things (like the best way to get from point a to point b) that I had completely overlooked. Thanks again for all of the info!
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        • #5

          Bring half the stuff you think you need and twice the cash.


          • #6
            Sainate, I have been to Vegas before, and I used the shuttle. It does not usually take that long to fill up. (I am sort of a cheapskate anyway) Looking forward to Defcon, and I hope to see you there.


            • #7
              Shiesty , thanks for the info! I've gotten suggestions both ways so I think that we've decided to live dangerously and just play it by ear. I have a tendency to [over] plan everything and am *really* trying to get out of my box and enjoy Defcon (rather than being 'that guy' that has big plans to do cool things while he's there but ends up just sits in the corner tinkering with whatever widget I have found to play with and then looking up and wondering WTF happened). That said, definitely hope to see you there. I'll be the one drinking a beer :)
              .: This post contains 100% recycled electrons :.


              • #8
                In planning for DEF CON, a most effective plan is this:
                * Look through all of the things you might want to do as "must do" and "want to do"
                * Start on the path to doing those things
                * If something better comes up, allow yourself to take the tangent

                This helps avoid the problem you describe and allows for being spontaneous. For many people that attend DEF CON, their happiest memories were doing things they did not plan at all, but instead "just happened."


                • #9
                  Vegas needs fucking Uber. i want to punch ever corrupt politician in the face who keeps blocking it.
                  "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                  - Trent Reznor


                  • #10
                    I also overplan everything in order not to miss anything. I like when my trip is perfect.
                    I do not like Uber that much, I used it only once.When I was in LA and needed a taxi I used It is rather cheap and fast.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Anna Davis View Post
                      I also overplan everything in order not to miss anything. I like when my trip is perfect.
                      I do not like Uber that much, I used it only once.When I was in LA and needed a taxi I used It is rather cheap and fast.
                      How is this not spam? In checking the website you link to, I see no service in Las Vegas Nevada, mostly service in European airports?

                      An AI-difficult problem: Demonstrate relevance to DEF CON and Las Vegas or this will be treated as spam, and I'll assume you are a spam-bot.