This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to join a large group of my fellow bloggers from BoardingArea and Prior2Boarding in Las Vegas for a conference called BAcon (yes I know, not very kosher). It was great to rub shoulders with some of the bloggers that I’ve been reading and following for years and putting a face to each and every blog. The conference started on Friday, but I came Thursday evening to catch the Beatles Love show, which was fantastic, and wanted to enjoy some of the Vegas sights before the large crowds filed in for the weekend (and for the IHeartRadio Music Festival).

Beatles Love at The Mirage

Beatles Love at The Mirage

After the show, we caught a pretty cool water/fire show that runs every hour in front of the Mirage. If it wasn’t already hot enough in Vegas, this definitely turned up the heat a bit!


Cool water/fire show at the Mirage

I then used my free Category 1-4 Hyatt annual anniversary night at the Monte Carlo hotel. The hotel was decent, but it wasn’t one of the nicer MLife hotels, such as: Aria, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Vdara, MGM, Mirage…you get the idea. Anyway, we arrived at the hotel around 11:30 PM and the line to check in was absurdly long. Even though I’m an MLife Gold, I didn’t see a VIP line so I decided to hit up the blackjack tables for a half an hour before returning. When I get back, there was no one left in line, Thank G-d because I was exhausted. I wasn’t interested in trying the “$20 trick” and was hoping for some sort of upgrade thanks to my Hyatt Platinum or MLife Gold Status. The receptionist “upgraded” me to a suite which wasn’t so sweet (pictured below). But a free night is a free night I guess…except in Vegas where every hotel charges a bogus nightly fee of around $25 for WiFi and whatever else they claim.

Our "Suite" at the Monte Carlo

Our “Suite” at the Monte Carlo

The next day we checked into the Mandalay Bay where the BAcon conference was being held. The hotel was much nicer than the Monte Carlo and they recently changed the name of their partner hotel from THEhotel to Delano.

The standard Mandalay Bay rooms are decent

The standard Mandalay Bay rooms are decent

Mandalay Bay has an awesome beach/pool area with a wave pool that can be a lot of fun for families with kids (not that I condone bringing your kids to Vegas ;-).


The Mandalay Bay beach

I checked into my room, dropped off my bags and run to the first session of speakers for Friday’s schedule. There were a great mix of speakers throughout the conference discussing topics like coming up with great content for readers, legal issues that may arise for bloggers, as well as representatives from companies such as Delta Airlines, American Express, Barclaycard, GoGo Inflight WiFi, LoungeBuddy, and more! The bloggers surprised Randy Peterson for his birthday with a cake and some gifts and the conference was under way (pictured below).


BAcon 2014 Conference

BAcon 2014 Conference

On Saturday night, we had a social hour at The Mix Lounge on the 64th floor on Saturday night with a beautiful view of the strip. The Delano is a beautiful hotel and I recommend those that are thinking of staying at the Mandalay Bay, to check out the Delano first as the prices are pretty similar. If you’re a Michael Jackson fan, you can catch the Michael Jackson One Cirque du Soleil show at Mandalay Bay.

The view from the Mix Lounge was breathtaking

The view from the Mix Lounge was breathtaking

The Delano's exquisite lobby

The Delano’s exquisite lobby

Saturday night we did some exploring on the strip and I really enjoyed the Bellagio’s festive Fall season decorations.

Some cool Halloween decorations

Some cool Halloween decorations at the Bellagio

And of course, the famous Chihuly blown glass inside the Bellagio’s lobby.

Chihuly glass

Bellagio’s lobby

Finally, on Sunday after getting killed at the blackjack tables the night before, it was time to hit the sports book and make some money back betting football. And what a glorious day of watching football and betting it was! Made all my money back and more!

The sports book at Mandalay Bay

The sports book at Mandalay Bay

All in all, it was a fantastic trip and a great conference that left me energized and ready to blog some more about how to travel free and earn some valuable reward points for that next free trip. If you’re not planning a trip with points or at a discount, then you should start reading up some of the great bloggers on BoardingArea and Prior2Boarding and please continue to follow me for great deals and great tips on travel hacking!