Heading to Las Vegas for Autodesk University? Here is what you should know.

Heading to Las Vegas for Autodesk University next week? Here are our tips and tricks for making the most of the week!

Mike's tips on traveling to Las Vegas

Starting today, over 10,000 AEC professionals will zip their bags shut and head to an airport. All of us have the same destination in mind: learning new things at Autodesk University in Las Vegas. For many, this is just another day in the life on the road. However, the vast majority of attendees are not road warriors.

In this travel workflow guide, we'll share our best travel practices for your trip to Las Vegas if you've never visited or do not travel frequently. You'll also find suggestions for AU sessions that the team at Layer is looking forward to and our top money-saving tips for surviving the Strip.

I've never set foot in Vegas before, what should I expect?

There is a big difference between "The Strip" and the rest of Las Vegas. It's a very similar paradigm to most resort towns such as Cancun Punta Cana where one part of town is significantly more expensive, but also is where the action is happening.

Las Vegas Strip - Autodesk University Header Image

Tip #1 If you need to make a run for supplies, take an Uber off The Strip

Prices for food, drinks, and sundries are typically 2-5x higher on the strip. Even prices at national chains such as Walgreens and CVS are lower away from the Strip. If you're purchasing a large amount of goods, it makes financial sense to take a rideshare a few miles away. You'll find a less hectic shopping experience and also save some money.

Tip #2 Taxis at the airport are flat rate

Rideshares from the airport are no cheaper than a taxi. They are also prone to surge pricing which means that the taxi may still be cheaper. Fares for taxis from the airport are capped and based on the zone your hotel is located in. The Strip is located in Zones 1-3 which means that you will pay between $19 & $27, plus card processing fees and tip. Bringing $30 in cash each way will save you processing fees and get you into your hotel room quicker.

Tip #3 Take the Monorail between Casinos!

The Las Vegas Monorail offers public connectivity between the largest hotels on the east side of the strip. It runs North - South between the MGM Grand on the south end to The Sahara on the North end. From the Venetian, you can enter the Monorail at the Harrah's Stop.

Photo Credit: User Priwo, Wikipedia

One way tickets cost $6 and can be purchased in vending machines or ticketing offices outside of the stations. If you will use the train more than once, it may make sense to purchase a day pass for $15, or up to the $62 one week pass if you are staying for the F1 race.

Pro-Tip: Save 10% by purchasing monorail tickets in advance. Simply use the QR code on your phone to scan into the platform.

Tip #4 Rent a car for anything away from the casinos

If you plan a day trip to hike Red Rocks or see the Hoover Dam, then rent a car. Pay close attention to what your hotel charges for parking. Large hotels typically charge about $40/ per day for parking. It may make the most sense to take a taxi to your hotel, then rent a car only on the day(s) you will need it.

Here are some of our recs for the best day trips outside of Las Vegas!

  1. Visit Red Rocks for a low difficulty, but absolutely stunning hike!

Tip #5 Add your loyalty program to your reservation, and dig out those club passes!

Check-in lines at Vegas hotels can be very very long, and waiting in the airport is not fun. Many US credit cards are affiliated with hotel or airline points programs. Even if you don't travel alot, it's a good idea to parse through your wallet and do a quick Google search to see if there are any benefits you can leverage. Here are some common ones:

  1. Marriott & United have a reciprocal status agreement if you have Gold with either plan. (The Cosmopolitan is Marriott affiliated)
  2. United 1K members are eligible for Avis President's Club status
  3. Hyatt and AA are partners, but do not have reciprocal status.
  4. United, AMEX, and Chase Sapphire have their own lounges in the airport
  5. IHG and Delta are affiliated, but have no reciprocal status agreement.

Tip #6 Look at the AU schedule today!

Autodesk University will have over 10k attendees from all different disciplines converging for 1 reason: to share, learn, and network. Popular sessions may have limited numbers of seats, so it's best to register ahead of time. It will take you over an hour to review the full schedule. Why not crack it open right now?

Sessions we're planning to attend

(Learn to) Play Pickleball (Every Day, 6:30-8:30)

It's a good idea to get a workout in while you are on the road for work. Why not mix up your typical gym routine and network while you're at it? You can play pickle ball with other AEC professionals every morning in Hall G on Level 1. Let us know that you'll be playing and what time, we'll see you there!

-> Schedule Game

Attend the BIM Manager's Meetup (Monday, 8:30-9:30

AU Meetups are casual networking opportunities designed to help you find like-minded people and make meaningful connections. Meet your peers to talk about common ideas and challenges facing BIM Managers today.

-> Learn More

Catch Ryan Reynolds at the General Session (Day 02)

Autodesk’s COO, Steve Blum, will share inspiring stories of customer change and impact, and host a conversation with Ryan Reynolds, the actor, producer, and businessman who has become a force of change in an ever-changing world.

-> Learn More

Tip #7 & Conclusion: Work your network today!  

Hit your network this morning. Not all events are on the official Autodesk Calendar. Many vendors will host dinners, mixers, and other events. Talk with your colleagues to see if any of your network is hosting an outside event. Ask customer success reps from any platforms you use if they will be attending!

Here is what we have planned!

  1. Monday 7:00 - 10:00PM - BIM, Buildings, & Beers
  2. All Week - Layer App Users can grab one of our latest SWAG shirts. If you're not a Layer user, simply attend a demo to get yours!

Click the button below to get looped into Layer's Autodesk University events!

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