The only time I had been to Las Vegas was in August of 2002 when my husband (and Team Member) Jimmy Herter and I got married. It was a whirlwind trip and we had 41 guests that traveled to Vegas to attend our wedding in the Viva Las Vegas Chapel. It was fun but a busy time and although we visited a few other hotels/casinos, we were pretty much stuck on the strip.
So when we heard that Realtor.com was having a conference in Las Vegas, we decided to attend, especially since my grade school friend and REALTOR®, Karen Kostoff, lives nearby in Henderson and was also going to attend. I wasn't expecting to have as much fun as we did.
Our Room at The Cosmopolitan
View from the balcony of our room on the 29th floor of The Cosmopolitan Hotel
We got great prices on the rooms that were blocked from Realtor.com. I decided to upgrade to a suite with a balcony, especially since our 15th wedding anniversary was a month ago. When we arrived at the hotel, we were asked if we wanted another upgrade to make sure we faced the Bellagio water fountain. With the R.com discount we went for it.
Our room was great and spacious and we really took advantage of the balcony. I even took a nap out there between meetings on the 2nd day of the summit. I don't know how many times I saw the fountain show - it never got old. We saw it from our balcony and twice on the ground.
The Realtor.com Results Summit
We were introduced to the Summit through our membership through a program for agents called The Paperless Agent. They provide training and marketing ideas for today's agent and I really wanted to meet the 2 guys that hold the training webinars. That's really the reason I signed up for the seminar. Karen isn't a member so she couldn't attend Sunday's half-day seminar.
Unfortunately, one of the trainers wasn't feeling well and you could tell. I felt sorry for him but it was nice seeing them both in person.
Interview on The Paperless Agent
They brought a bar in after the seminar and we had a drink and left to find a restaurant. We ended up eating in The Henry restaurant in the hotel (Cosmopolitan). It was great, one of the best gluten free Bolognese dishes I've ever had.
Day one of the actual summit was on Monday and it was nice being able to attend the meetings that we wanted to. Lunch was excellent and there was a cocktail party after. We had a drink and left. That night we had dinner at the buffet at the Paris hotel, which is where we ate one night 15 years prior when we got married. It brought back memories and I still love this buffet. After dinner we saw Love at The Mirage. It was fantastic!
Day two of the summit offered more "meetings" and introduced a new beta testing of a program for agents to utilize in their everyday business. I can't wait to try it out. There was supposed to be a boxed lunch but there were no boxes. There was a selection of sandwiches and more. We finally signed up for a program for agents called BombBomb and I have to learn how to use it.
They threw a private party at the Marquee Nightclub in The Cosmopolitan. You went through a line and had to get into an elevator to get to the club. I guess I'm getting old as I wasn't that impressed with the nightclub. We had a nice, comfortable couch-type seat and the DJ played some good songs (and people started dancing right away), but I just felt it was a dark place and couldn't wait to leave.
Judy Orr and Karen Kostoff posing with the fake Elizabeth Banks on our way to the Marquee Nighclub
Our Stay in Henderson
Our friend Karen Kostoff's brother has a specious 2nd home in Henderson so when she has company in they usually stay there. The day after the summit we moved to this Henderson house and stayed until the end of our visit. We relaxed the first day and Jimmy went swimming in the pool - I thought it was too cold. Karen took us to a wonderful restaurant, Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que and we met one of Jimmy's friends there that also lives in the area. This was yet another great restaurant that I'll remember and will go back next time we visit.
Valley of Fire
We own a 2nd home, a townhouse, in Arizona and have visited Sedona many times. Jimmy's friend told us we should visit the Valley of Fire, about an hour from my friend's place in Henderson. Karen got some further information from a local friend and took us there via the scenic route, and I'm so glad for that. It was amazing scenery.
But I wasn't expecting the red rocks, sand and mountains of the Valley of Fire. I'm not sure which I like better, Sedona or this. You have to see both, but there are differences. One of the things I love about Sedona is the little main drag in the town with shopping (very touristy) and restaurants. Some people hate that aspect of Sedona; they feel it has become too commercialized. I discovered the Church in the Rock (Chapel of the Holy Cross) a few years back and we go there every visit to Sedona.
Valley of Fire doesn't have a shopping area or any churches. There was a little building that was like a small museum with exhibits and history. Although we hadn't planned on hiking we stopped at Mouse's Tank because it had Petroglyphs. Below is a picture of Jimmy standing under one of them, and although we didn't do the entire hike we could see a large rock in the distance with a bunch of artwork.
Jimmy Herter under a petroglyph at Mouse's Tank in the Valley of Fire
As we're walking on the softest, finest, reddest sand I've ever seen, Karen yells out "Look, Rams!" To our right were 6 Longhorn Sheep. I've never seen animals this close in the wild. I could have stayed all afternoon watching them. Below is a very short video as I didn't know if the video was working.
Longhorn Sheep at The Valley of Fire State Park on Mouse's Tank trail
We were told to "walk the bridge" at Hoover Dam. Got there pretty quickly from Henderson and parked. There was a shop and a restaurant and some other things but otherwise we just took some shots of the dam. It was interesting that there are a couple clocks on towers that show Nevada time and Arizona time since the land is located in both states.
When we stepped out of the parking area we saw this high bridge that Karen said was actually a highway. I said thank goodness as I wouldn't have gone up that high to "walk the bridge". I think Karen found out later that was the bridge we were supposed to walk on and look down at the damn - no thanks!
We were supposed to walk that bridge on the top - no way!
View of the wall of the dam
I'm not sure which day it was but I think it was our Hoover Dam day that we ate at a cute restaurant that had the best roast beef sandwich I've ever had. It is called the Southwest Diner and if you're in the area you should stop by.
During our sightseeing trips with Karen we saw Lake Mead in several different spots. I've never seen such a blue/turquoise lake and I didn't realize how big it was. It is the largest reservoir in the United States in terms of water capacity. We didn't get any good pictures from afar in Karen's car.
Lake Mead by Hoover Dam
I'll be Coming Back to Las Vegas
And I won't wait another 15 years. I'm not a gambler so although I find the strip and the hotels and the bright lights interesting, all of the restaurants were great and I'd like to see more shows. I didn't even mention our trip to Fremont Street here - it was fun but an entirely different experience.
I just never realized that Nevada had all of those mountains and Karen has been trying to get us to move to Henderson instead of Scottsdale, AZ. I'm was really considering it after being there but it seems like you get more for your money in Arizona, even in high priced Scottsdale, then in Henderson or surrounding towns. I don't think I'd want to live in Las Vegas itself. So I'm going to just keep it on my "nice place to visit" list and get there more often. My girlfriends are already talking about a Girl's Weekend Away there next year. It will be fun!
If you're thinking of moving to Las Vegas please contact me at 708-536-8200 or use the Contact Form and I'll put you in touch with Karen.