Monday, January 13, 2014

Matthew's Otakon Vegas 2014 Report: Part 4 - Day Three

I'll be very honest here for a second: I really didn't do much on Sunday in terms of the convention. I did attend the tail-end of Closing Ceremonies and got my feedback in the Feedback Panel, but there was nothing that could pull me and Nate away from the Sports Book.

Sunday was Part 2 of Wild Card weekend in the NFL which had Chargers/Bengals in the early slot and 49ers/Packers for the late game. At some point as were sitting down watching the game with fellow fans, I realized that we are not just fans of anime, manga, video games, and Japanese media, but fans of gambling, drinking, and watching sports. And being in Las Vegas makes all these come together in a little package that's not too overwhelming on all sides. It feels more natural watching these games here rather than at a small bar or hotel TV at conventions like ALA or SacAnime.

I still had some business to take care of though. The Feedback Panel was going to be crucial to the growth of Otakon Vegas, and as a member of the press I had to get my feedback on cosplay out there. Here are some of the notes that I compiled which also include my feedback:
  • Experimentation of signage
  • First year conventions yields unpredictable results for cosplay gatherings and Masquerade
  • They will open up sections on and their own forums for cosplay gatherings and events
  • Eventual hall cosplay contest and support staff ala Fanime or AX as the convention grows
  • IT issues stalled at-convention registration
  • Snowstorm delayed a ton of their materials
  • Parking at the Miracle Mile = long walk
  • Having AA outside allowed non-badged people to buy

I would of stuck around, but my roommates wanted to get dine over at Gordon Ramsay BurGR, a place that I've wanted to eat at since I arrived in Las Vegas and saw the place in action on the most recent season of MasterChef.

I tried out the Farm Burger along with their Truffle Parmesan Fries and Shake #4. Outside of Dad's Kitchen back in Sacramento, this was one of the best burgers I've ever had.

The Farm Burger, which consisted of duck breast bacon, English sharp cheddar, and a fried egg. Not pictured: the Truffle Parmesan Fries and the Shake #4, which consisted of crème brûlée pudding and an oreo shake with a oreo cookie on top.
After resting up back in the hotel room, we headed out on the Strip towards Fremont Street, also known as Old-School or Classic Las Vegas, the era before the mega-resorts and casinos. I thought that all of us had to take the bus since my car couldn't fit all six of us, but earlier during the convention I found out that Craig had a flight back in the evening and took off during our visit to BurGR so I had enough room to fit all five of us.

I had to stop at  Binion's, also know as "the place that made poker famous." I was able to see the poker table that was signed after the 2004 World Series of Poker, the last time Binion's hosted the event (the event moved to the Rio, across the freeway from Caesar's Place).

Poker legend Doyle Brunson's autograph on the table.
We were able to see Vegas as it should of been. There was also hourly shows on the overhead screen which was touted to be the largest TV screen in the entire world. Ryan wanted to see The Who performance but got bummed out by the ok visuals from the previous two performances.

We also made stops over at the Heart Attack Grill and the Toy Shack, home of the "Toy Expert" that shows up on Pawn Stars.

Just looking at that photo made my heart hurt.

Back in the hotel room, it was one more time in the jacuzzi and playing Charades on my iPhone until nearly four in the morning. And we had a eight-hour drive back.

Cheese-kun, Kon, Plue, Bebe, and Teddie all in the jacuzzi for one last time.
-Day Three End-

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