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By Rob Sexton, NAGA Executive Director

The old saying goes, “When in Rome …,” which generally means that people should follow the behavior and habits of the people in the area they are visiting. Hopefully this meant that you visited one of the live blues joints in Memphis if you were with us for the NAGA Convention earlier this year. Or that you visited the home of Elvis, as many of us did while in the Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll.

With NAGA returning to Las Vegas on February 1-3, 2021, there are many customs and activities we could “When in Rome…” with, but not all of those are likely family-friendly, and not everyone enjoys pumping their change into a slot machine. With all of the challenges facing the hospitality industry this year, including Vegas, our hosts are working hard to make our visit truly special.

There is one option that includes all of the glitz Vegas is known for and is still guaranteed to be a lot of fun for people of all ages. And it is located right in our host hotel, the Rio All Suites Hotel. The Rio is home to “WOW – the Vegas Spectacular”.

“Prepare to be transported into a world of water, wonder and fantasy. Experience the internationally acclaimed production, seen by more than 2.5 million people, that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. More than 30 artists fly, flip, fold, dance and defy the imagination in a 180-degree theatrical setting that engages the audience from beginning to end with 3D multi-media projections, water walls, and holograms. Add breathtaking acrobatics, dazzling choreography, thrilling theatrical lighting, magnificent music and even you are sure to be wowed!”

Although that description comes straight from the show itself, I have to confess, it is not overly hyped. The show is definitely fantastic in a Cirque du Soleil style. It’s thrilling and also funny. For this year’s convention, NAGA is packaging tickets for WOW with dinner at Rio’s All-American Bar and Grille. Convention attendees who buy the dinner and show package through NAGA will be able to choose from a selection of entrees from the restaurant and will have reserved seating at WOW. Tickets for Dinner and a Show are $110 per person and can be purchased with your convention registration.

In addition, Caesar’s Entertainment will be providing discounts for another fun option. The 550-foot-tall High Roller is the second largest observation wheel in the world, providing an unparalleled view of the Las Vegas Strip. The slow-moving Ferris wheel takes 30-minutes to complete the circuit. The High Roller has 28 climate-controlled cabins, and each one can accommodate groups of a dozen people comfortably. Although the Roller operates both day and night, many prefer to ride it at night for its vantage point of the Las Vegas Strip lit up against the nighttime sky. The ride is a just a short Uber or Lyft ride away from the Rio. NAGA attendees will be able to get discounted tickets while at the convention.

Both of these possibilities offer one additional perk. They are perfect opportunity to spend time with your fellow NAGA members. We will be seated together for the Dinner and a Show night, and entire groups of NAGA members can ride the High Roller together. I hope you all will take advantage of some of the fun that will be interspersed with the business of the convention and the informative sessions during the day.

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