Annually for the past 17 years, self-storage owners, managers, developers and investors have descended upon the city of Las Vegas to learn about the industry, meet and greet others, and indulge in a little food and fun. During Jan. 26-29, the Inside Self-Storage World Expo returns to Sin City, this year to the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and Sands Expo & Convention Center. If you join us, you'll not only get the resources your business needs to survive and thrive in 2009, you'll get to check out new Vegas attractions, including an ice bar, some hot lava and, of course, several delectable menus.
If you’re looking to stay close to home, the elegant Venetian has plenty to offer.
B&B Ristorante, co-owned by Food Network guru Mario Batali, opened two years ago. The restaurant features Malto Mario staples—fresh pasta, seafood and spicy calamari. A list of more than 1,000 wines, nearly all from Italy, and Italian desserts cannoli and gelato round out the scrumptious menu.
For more casual dining, try Enoteca San Marco, another Batali restaurant. Ideally located on Venetian’s Piazza San Marco, the eatery has an extensive wine list and Italian favorites such as pizza and linguine.
AquaKnox, which opened in 2007, blends bold international flavors with fresh ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes like pan-seared filet mignon, stone crab claws and grilled lobster. The seafood is flown in daily from around the world. A broad wine list adds to the appeal.
For some off-the-cuff entertainment, try the hotel’s new interactive show, The Real Deal. Hosted by comedian Paul Rodriquez, the 90-minute, live-action stage extravaganza gives audience members a chance to play against the world’s best professional poker players including Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Gavin Smith, Jennifer Harman and Todd Brunson. Participating audience members can win cash and prizes. [Info: www.thevenetian.com]
Located within walking distance of all the ISS Expo action, the colossal hotel and casino opened a year ago. As with any Vegas behemoth, The Palazzo has an abundant array of food and fun, including a large casino floor and a diverse selection of restaurants and nightclubs.
The top show is Jersey Boys, a throwback to the musical days of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The show follows the story of four blue-collared kids who left behind the streets of Newark for a chance at fame. Golden oldies include “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “My Eyes Adored You” and more.
Food lovers should stop into Wolfgang Puck’s ode to all things beefy, Cut. The 160-seat restaurant has an ample bar and lounge featuring leather-topped tables and maritime paintings. Order up appetizers like mini Kobe sliders and tuna tartare sandwiches, or feast on steaks dry-aged for 35 days or 100 percent Wagyu beef from Japan. The wine list contains more than 500 selections from all over the world.
Another Palazzo pick is Sushisamba, a unique blend of Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese influences. The open atrium and 16-foot ceilings are the perfect backdrop for the decadent menu of grilled eats from the robata grill like filet mignon, salmon or shrimp, and the elaborate sushi bar. The fruit cocktails are patron faves, and there’s also an extensive line of sake.
For a late-night nibble or nightcap, visit sister hot spot, Sugarcane through a tunnel-like corridor. Brazilian beats and guest DJs keep things popping for the people on the dance floor, which is decked out in bamboo, exotic wenge wood and smoky frosted acrylic. Don’t miss the sugarcane-like ceiling. [Info: www.palazzolasvegas.com]
The Mirage Volcano
The lava-spewing attraction underwent a $25 million facelift. The updated volcano includes 120 new fireball-throwing devices choreographed to erupt in sync with a drum score co-composed by legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. The renovation was part of The Mirage’s $110 million overhaul for room upgrades and the addition of a nightclub and restaurants.
The new Mirage volcano, slated to be photo-ready this month, will erupt every hour with a 4 1/2 minute show. Water shoots 120 feet above the volcano and flows through the crevices cutting into the sides of the mountain. [Info: www.mirage.com]
Minus 5, Mandalay Bay
The temperature inside Minus 5 is -5 degrees below Celsius or 23 degrees Fahrenheit—no kidding. It’s the first “ice” bar in the United States, courtesy of some guys from New Zealand. The bar, chairs and cocktail glasses are all carved from frozen blocks of ice. There’s an admission fee, but you get a rented parka and gloves to keep you toasty, plus a coupon for a free vodka cocktail. [Info: www.minus5experience.com]
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Another Vegas staple that has undergone extensive renovations—to the tune of $800 million. Hard Rock’s Wasted Space—co-owned by motocross superstar Carey Hart, baseball player Jason Giambi and rockers Benji and Joel Madden—is the “anti-club” on the Strip. Underground acts and well-known rockers jam for lucky patrons. Original artwork decorates the walls, and a 30-foot mural sporting vintage band posters and fliers hangs over the bar.
Or stop into Ago, owned by Los Angeles restaurateur Agostino Sciandri and Hollywood icon Robert De Niro. Sip martinis at the bar or dine on Italian classics like wild mushroom risotto and a Mediterranean sea bass filet, grilled in aromatic bread crumbs with vegetables. [Info: www.hardrockhotel.com]
For more show info, visit www.insideselfstorageworldexpo.com.