Las Vegas is a great place to have a trade show. There are lots of things to do there besides gaming, and the weather is usually good. In the past IAAPA held a show there, but then zeroed in on Orlando, which is a popular location.
The World Waterpark Association, however, holds their trade show in Las Vegas every four years, and it is always well attended. Last year I attended and arrived early to sample some of the city’s other attractions. To be sure, there are several waterparks, an indoor amusement park at Circus Circus, amusements atop the Stratosphere Tower, a large roller coaster at New York New York, three zip lines, and the world’s largest wheel, the High Roller, on the Las Vegas Strip.
But I was fascinated by the city’s collection of quirky museums, and wanted to visit some of them. My first stop was at the Cannabition Cannabis Museum in downtown Las Vegas. It represents the city’s first immersive cannabis museum and the world’s only cannabis-themed attraction of its kind. Its exhibits comprise elaborate, cannabis-inspired installations. Visitors interact with unique, larger-than-life art pieces, including enormous seven-foot buds. Each of Cannabition’s 10 entertaining, educational and photogenic exhibits offer unprecedented opportunities to explore the historic, botanical, and lifestyle aspects of cannabis.
Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum has collected, preserved, and exhibits iconic Las Vegas signs for historic and cultural enrichment. In a two-acre outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard guests may view the collection. Each sign in the Neon Museum’s collection offers a unique story about the personalities who created it, what inspired it, where and when it was made, and the role it played in Las Vegas’ distinctive history. In the evening, the Neon Museum offers Brilliant!, a stunning show that explores the history of Las Vegas through its signage, using sight and sound.
The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to the story of organized crime and law enforcement. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on America and the world. Located in the Museum’s basement is The Underground, a Prohibition-era exhibition themed as a speakeasy where guests can enjoy Roaring ’20s cocktails. It is filled with artifacts and stories from the era of rum running and bootlegging.
If you love the smell of napalm in the morning, you’ll enjoy Battlefield Las Vegas, where America’s gun culture is celebrated. This five-acre military-style complex and shooting range is located just one block from the ‘Vegas Strip. They have a fleet of over 25 military vehicles including tanks, shown here, and aircraft. Want to shoot a machine gun or blast away with a sawed-off shotgun? No problem. Visitors are able to get hands-on with 100s of pieces of authentic military hardware. I didn’t shoot. I only fire pistols filled with water. Usually while on a twin-track racing roller coaster, and only at friends. Or now former friends.