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Caesar's Palace vs another hotel

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  • Caesar's Palace vs another hotel

    Hey everyone, first time coming to defcon. My question is will there be considerable difference in the [post-talks and nightlife] experience (either positive or negative) from choosing to stay at the hotel of the venue, as apposed to staying at another hotel? Strange question but I imagine Caeser's will be a lot more social+turnt during the night, but that also means it could be harder to get to sleep for someone who wants to get some decent sleep (who wants that?)

  • #2
    With modern DEF CON (since moving away from the AP) the chances of being next to a room party have been pretty low. It seems the cheapest and most expensive rooms have the highest risk for this, but the mid-cost rooms, not so much. Many people that do not want any risk of being near Con people have been known to get a hotel room far from the con.

    The concept of hotel room parties like at the AP and earlier is pretty rare; people do not want to lose their hotel room, so look to host parties elsewhere.

    Choosing to stay at the hotel of the venue for the con is mostly for a few things:
    * Commute to go from convention space to your room is shorter
    * You can stay in an air-conditioned space in going tom convention to room
    * The hotel containing the venue for con is the MOST likely to get videos of talks piped through in-room channels, and peer hotels are second most likely.

    For example if you buy a bunch of swag in the vendor area, are you going to stuff it in your backpack and carry it around con? If you decide to hit up the vendor are just before you head back to your hotel room off-site, the vendors may run out of the items you want.

    Are you going to get drunk at con? If so, getting back to your room in the same hotel will be easier, and covered by hotel/casino cameras the entire trip, not so when leaving the casino.

    Do you plan to drive from your off-site hotel to con? Are you going to drunk booze? Please do not drive drunk.

    Do you seek to save money by buying food, drinks, water, etc at a grocery store, so you can eat all of your meals on-the-go instead of paying $20 for a hotel shot of booze? What will you do, pack all your meals into a backpack and lug it around con? If your room is nearby, you can limit what you carry, or just go back to your room to eat when it is close by. When it is far, will you take a taxi, or if you rented a car, pay again when you leave and return to the parking garage?

    Staying at the hotel with the venue increases your chances of encountering DEF CON people, and if you do not know any and want to know more, then being at the hotel of venue makes sense.

    Advantages to going off-site:
    * Possible to save a LOT of money and get more in a room while paying less
    * Far away from many con parties, if that is what you want
    * Can choose a place closer to other Kas Vegas attractions you plan to visit

    One year, when we were at the AP, I got a room at what i think was Amerisuites about 1 block away from con and I hated it so much. For me, the savings in cash and free breakfasts were not worth missing out on being surrounded with DEF CON 24 hours a day for the duration of the event. It was especially important at the AP to be near it, as much of the socializing took place near the 3 pools.

    Before the AP, some people would put signs on their hotel room doors inviting hackers to come visit, but I have not seen that after we left the AP -- much of that has moved to private parties, which are invite only, or a few people that knew each other before attending con.

    If you have never been to DEF CON, I suggest trying to stay at the hotel of venue, even if you have to share a room with 7 other people to save money -- being close to all the fun is a huge advantage when you are new to DEF CON. Many encounters are matters of chance, and if you are not near the events that are happening, then your chances for such events are significantly reduced. If you are at the con in your hotel room and see a notice in social media of something at con, you are more likely to attend if you only have to walk there quickly, vs take a cab or uber or lyft or rental cal from another hotel, and drive, pay for parking at Caesar's Palace parking and maybe be too late to see the fun.

    If night-life at DEF CON 25 is like it has been at Paris/Bally's and before that, the Rio, and before that, The Riv, then there *should* be social spaces for parties open to all DEF CON attendees , with DJ and music. Even if you know nobody, these public, open parties are chances to socially mix with others that are in a similar circumstance. For an increased chance in meeting someone that knows something, try socializing in the village which cover topics you enjoy.

    Avoid wasting your time trying to meet noteworthy people surrounded by well-wishers, friends, and those trying to ride their coattails. Instead, try to meet brilliant people that are not so well known, but are trying to do amazing things. Then, when they become legends, you will have known them, and have a better chance at future gatherings with them, and they will have a better chance spending time with you when you become a legend. Spending time with brilliant people that have yet to make a name means you can share much more time with them with less competition from other people for their attention, and they gain the same with you, learning more, faster, than a tiny jiffy of time with a "rockstar" and not enough time to have a meaningful conversation.

    Everyone is different. I hope I have provided you with enough information above to give you some advantages and disadvantages to choices on where you stay during DEF CON.

    Disclaimer: I do not work for the hotel that contains DEF CON and I gain no compensation from the hotel by suggesting people stay there.



    • #3
      Hey TheCotMan thanks for the detailed reply! I appreciate it. I think it would be in my best interest to stay at Caeser's, as I am looking forward to meeting people and hanging out+drinking after the talks, plus it will be awesome to be in the con environment 24/7. Also the convenience of preparing food at the hotel+carrying around items would be best if you were at the location of the event. I think sharing a room with others at Caeser's is a great idea, as rooms are like ~$400 a night now.


      • #4
        Something to consider: DEF CON at Paris/Bally's there was enforcement of no (outside) food or drink in the con areas, forcing attendees to buy from the hotel. That may also be the case at Caesar's Palace. If it is the case, don't give the hotel any hints you are carrying food or drink from outside of the casino into the convention space. They will be even more attentive on the *sharing* of alcohol from outside the hotel, so be really careful with sharing any booze, especially if the recipient might be a minor or under legal drinking age.

        IIRC, bags were not searched. There was a DEF CON where bags were searched when at the Rio, but only for the Penn & Teller Theater, and I *think* that was stopped after it was brought to the attention of goons in charge and Jeff and a conversation with the hotel.

        Prepping and eating food in your room is a common thing; I do not think I know of anyone that got in trouble for doing that, except maybe that one Scavenger Hunt team that allegedly used their room "iron" (for ironing clothing) to cook a few pounds of bacon. If you damage the hotel or its property with your prep, that could cause you problems, but other than that, I've not heard of any room-related food prep complaints.

        In the past, there have been water dispensers throughout con. If you want water, consider bringing a re-usable plastic bottle and refill it at these water stations. No guarantee they will be there this year, but it is probable that they will be present.
        Last edited by TheCotMan; July 16, 2017, 21:27.


        • #5
          A few things:

          It's just across the street.
          Pedestrian traffic is very tightly controlled and kept away from autos where ever possible. This means there are many places where you can't cross the street. You have to walk to the corner and use the cement over the street pedo crossing. So a five minute walk across the street, turns into a 15 minute walk.

          It's just a block away.
          The blocks at Vegas are LARGE. So that walk may be longer than you think it is.

          I'm staying Caesar's so I won't have to walk far.
          The casinos are HUGE. It doesn't matter where you're staying, you're going to do a LOT of walking.

          It's HOT at Vegas.
          No, it's REALLY HOT at Vegas. Bring lots of water and keep drinking to keep hydrated. Be very careful unless you're from somewhere where you've dealt with 110F often.
          • Carry lots of water and drink it
          • Wear very comfortable shoes
          • Expect to do a LOT of walking
          • It's farther away then you think it is.
          P.S. one possible advantage to staying at Caesar's, if they get it working, you'll be able to watch the DC (not villages) talks from your room on the TV.
          Last edited by qumqats; July 16, 2017, 19:57. Reason: add tv ps