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Interbike preview: Organizers work out kinks in shift to new venue

Published September 16, 2013
Mandalay Bay

LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN) — On Wednesday when exhibitors and retailers arrive at Interbike’s new home, Mandalay Bay, most will pause—struck by the sheer size of the hotel, its convention center, casino, pool, aquarium, restaurants and shopping mall. 

It’s all under one roof—a stand-alone facility built at the southern tip of the Las Vegas Strip—a 44-story hotel  soaring skyward with 3,309 rooms accessed by 24 elevators. The casino floor covers 135,000 square feet, and then there’s The Beach—2,700 tons of sand and a 1.6 million-gallon wave pool shimmering in the Las Vegas heat. 

The convention center, home to the three-day expo, will house more than 800 companies representing some 1,200 brands filling 320,000 square feet of space. Health & Fitness Business, downstairs in the South Seas Ballroom, has been spread over an additional 24,000 square feet. 

The show also spills outside into a parking lot dubbed “The Paddock.” Here some 60-plus companies can take advantage of a quarter-mile test track, a plus for upwards of 15 e-bike brands eager to electrify dealers with new technology.

Pat Hus, vice president of the cycling and fitness group, said the move from the Sands Convention Center coupled with an array of new events has made this the most complex show ever put together by the San Juan Capistrano, California-based staff.

“This couldn’t have happened without the team we have in place. It’s been a collective effort and the operations crew has been terrific, particularly with all the new things we’re doing,” Hus said.

Nonetheless, Hus expects some confusion among attendees despite signage, maps and locator apps available for smartphones. 

For example, retailers will see fewer stand-alone island booths because of the many columns bisecting the convention floor. On the other hand, exhibitors will be housed on one floor instead of two as they had been at the Sands, he said.

Another issue has been Mandalay Bay’s ongoing remodel of its food court. That area is walled off while under construction, Hus said. 

BRAIN's guide to What You Need to Know in Las Vegas (pdf)

Instead, Mandalay Bay will erect two pavilion-style tents near The Paddock—one for ordering and food preparation; the other for seating with dozens of misters helping keep diners cool. Thirsty for beer? The Sierra Nevada Outdoor Oasis is nearby.

Show-goers will also find snack bars inside the convention center and a host of restaurants at the hotel as well as  lining the walkway between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor. 

Interbike has also set up what it calls the Neighborhood to make it easier for retailers to visit specific categories and organizations. Look for the Triathlon Pavilion, BMX Zone, LEVA’s electric bike lounge, Chrome’s Urban Yard, Pinkbike’s Mountain Bike Lounge and the OIWC Women’s Lounge.

As for registration, two key entryways funnel retailers to escalators that will take them downstairs to register, not far from the Health & Fitness Expo. 

Retailers walking from the Luxor and Excalibur will pass through Mandalay’s casino area, past the 12,000-seat Events Center, to the stairs and escalators. And attendees who arrive by car can easily find their way to registration. 

Outdoor Demo—again located at Bootleg Canyon, about 45 minutes by car southeast of Las Vegas—will feature more exhibitors, more food options and more security. Other key events include: 

  • Tuesday, the second day of OutDoor Demo, retailers can join America’s wounded veterans in a Ride2Recovery. The 25-mile ride to Bootleg Canyon leaves from Mandalay Bay. 
  • Tuesday night’s Industry Party presents George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the House of Blues located in the hotel. The party begins at 8 p.m., with ticket prices set at $30 each.
  • Thursday, Sept. 18, attend the USA Crit finals on a three-quarter-mile track looping around The Paddock. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. 
  • Friday, Sept. 19, Interbike opens its doors to a select group of consumers—a first-time effort at letting the industry’s best customers see what’s in store for 2014.
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Topics associated with this article: Interbike

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