David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
NOT Traveling Blog, 4th Week Of March 2021
David Danto’s ongoing list of disjointed and occasionally random observations and thoughts as we wait-out the pandemic – mostly NOT traveling like we used to.
This past week I had an interesting conversation with some industry associates on Twitter:
That’s right, my friend Doug (who covers the aerospace sector amongst other things) had only received his first shot of a two dose COVID19 vaccine and he was already thinking about traveling to CES 2022 in January. Let’s unpack that.
As I’ve discussed before, the COVID vaccines are acting like some sort of travel aphrodisiac. As soon as we get them in our arms, we think we’re invincible and want to begin escaping from our quarantine-life and traveling again. I personally think that it is still unwise, but I’m in the minority (and I have to admit I’ve been sort of thinking about taking some trips as well.)
As for CES 2022 – there is the possibility that it will be the first, large, international conference to be held after the pandemic. CES 2021 was an all-virtual event, and depending upon who you speak with, it was either “just OK” or “not worth the effort.” As I wrote last week, we’re sick of even the best virtual events at this point, so I’m not sure we can be upset with any organization who did the best they could. (If you’re interested in the news from this past January’s virtual CES 2021 you can watch or listen to my special AVNationTV 90 minute webcast here. A baker’s dozen analysts and consultants share their impressions.)
As much as I thought the idea of making January 2022 reservations now…in March 2021…before we know the pandemic endgame…was silly, I had to admit it wasn’t the worst idea in the world. Rates in Las Vegas are near record lows, and they’re offering no-penalty cancellations.
If you look at the Caesars rate chart I publicized for CES 2017 (in my blog criticizing the price gouging back then) you can see the typical rates for this conference that attracts nearly 200K visitors to Las Vegas:
If you compare that to today’s rates for January 2022 you can see a marked difference:
Yes – prices are still raised for CES days, but not as much as in the past, and there are loads of promos available. Also, I need to point out that these are their standard rates. If you have a Caesars Rewards account or any other discount code to use, the prices come down dramatically. This trend holds true for the MGM chain of resorts in Las Vegas as well. By all means shop-around for deals because there are many of them around. Las Vegas resorts have struggled during the pandemic, are just now starting to open up a bit wider, and at this point have not excluded any of currently scheduled big conferences (NAB, NFR, CES, etc.) from those promos.
That’s also generally good advice for everyone considering travel anywhere right now. Take advantage of the deals that are out there until they disappear. Book as far into the future as you need to in order to feel safe. With most airlines and properties offering no fee cancellations and great rates it’s a win-win situation. Get yours before they realize people are buying again and the good deals dry-up.
And – of course – do come back to this March 2021 blog when the airlines who all boasted that they’ve “permanently eliminated change fees” reinstate them. This way I’ll get credit for the first “I told you so” on these serial liars.
As always, please feel free to write to me with comments or items I should add to a future Not Traveling blog (or if you just need someone to write to.) Stay safe, be well, hug those you’re sheltering with (but no one else) and do your best to stay positive. We’re going to be in this for a while longer.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.
The Explanation for my Not Traveling blogs: In 2014 I was voted by USA Today readers as one of the top ten business travel bloggers in the USA. Now mind you, I turned out to be number ten on the list of ten, but I did make it on (with my thanks to all those who voted.) Now that we’re all stuck at home and not traveling, I had to think about what to do with my blogs. I could stop writing them entirely – waiting till we all get through the current COVID19 pandemic / crisis. I could wax nostalgic and/or complain about past trips. Or, I could focus all of my efforts on my day job – growing the use of collaboration technologies – especially in light of how many people are now forced to use those tools for the first time. In reflecting upon those choices, what I decided to do is compile an ongoing list of observations during the crisis. Some of these may amuse, some may inform, some may sadden and others may help. My goal will be for you to have seen something in a different light than you did before you stopped to read the blog. I was going to apologize for how disjointed these thoughts may seem when put together, but then it dawned on me that feeling disjointed is our new normal – at least for a little while.