1- Rio has room sales all the time. Don’t get screwed by last-minute rate hikes. We grabbed a Masquerade suite at 50% off, and got an extra room at $35 a night. I think we only reserved 3-4 months in advance. These rooms are not refundable, but you can easily add a friend to your room via phone if you don’t think you’ll use it.
2- Room service is actually reasonable, and Pizza Hut is part of the menu. Instead of standing in an unreasonably long line for Burger King, sit in your air conditioned room, watch a talk, and wait 45 minutes for your pizza with some friends over like you would at home.
3- Make friends with a Nevada resident or acquire a Nevada ID. This year, Rio was doing major discounts for anyone who lived in their state at all their bars. I don’t know if this will be in effect at DefCon 20, but it was convenient 🙂
4- While expensive, Gaylord Indian Food is actually pretty good and a nice break from the casino environment. Order the mango lassi! It comes in a spittoon.
5- Contests are a great way to make new friends and stay entertained. There seems to now be a contest for every possible skillset. Go play!
6- The pinball museum is still one of my favorite Las Vegas attractions. This year, it seemed like they added a lot of vintage arcade machines. The gumball machine section has little tiny ninjas. The Tron pinball machine is new and fun; the oldschool arcade version is super hard.
7- Drink water! There are chilled water coolers all over DefCon. I should have been doing this all week.
8- Los Tacos is delicious and worth a drive off-strip and better than most tacos in Los Angeles.
9- Atomic Energy Museum is worth checking out. They have really interesting displays and lots of cool relics of the era.
10- Apparently if you keep buying drinks, you can work from your laptop at the bar over the video poker if you need to.