Viva Las Outlets: How Vegas Charged Up for CES

Considering the scale of the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas has its work cut out for it each year. But at least Sin City's major airport is up to the task, thanks (in part) to a ton of new outlets.

As any traveler will tell you, a constant challenge in airports is finding an outlet to charge up your devices while you’re waiting for your flight.

Often it means sitting on the floor, away from your gate, noshing on whatever food is closest to that outlet, trying to get some work done. If it sounds stressful, that’s because it is.

Now imagine how crazy that must be if you’re heading to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, an event where everyone is guaranteed to have a device or six. It’s a big challenge, but the staff at Vegas’ McCarran International Airport have put big bucks into making things less painful for those traveling to the city for the event, taking place today through January 9. The airport added 500 separate charging stations under seats throughout Terminal 1. Those stations have two outlets each, along with two USB ports. More power upgrades are coming, too, according to the Associated Press—at a cost of $400,000.

And rather than getting stuck charging up in a spot they’d never sit otherwise, travelers will be able to find places to plug in at restaurants, in bars—you know, places where folks like to spend their wait time.

The outlet installation is among a variety of improvements the city is making for attendees to its largest annual tradeshow—one that gets more power- and bandwidth-hungry every year. McCarran came early to the free WiFi game a decade ago, and since then, city officials have been adding regular upgrades. Vegas turned on free wireless access in downtown areas in 2013, for example, and the Las Vegas Convention Center has recently upgraded its internet service.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on the show every year, is noticing—and appreciating—the improvements. They show that Vegas is keeping up with the pace of technology.

“We tend to push the limits of everything,” CEA Senior Vice President Karen Chupka noted.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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