CES provides an electricity to Vegas this week

Jan 5, 2016 3:02 AM

CES is in town this week, Wednesday through Saturday. It used to be called the Consumer Electronics Show, but is now officially known only as CES and is referred to as a “global technology event” in press releases.

But no matter what you call it, the annual convention is a force in Las Vegas. The town will be packed. Last year there were over 170,000 attendees checking out the two million-plus square feet of exhibit space and early reports say this year will be even bigger.

And it is not just for geeks and techies. There will be federal, state and local government officials in attendance, delivering remarks or speaking on panels. They include Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta, every member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee, Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, Emmanuel Macron. In total, more than 160 top policymakers, regulators and staff are expected to attend.

The exhibitors (over 3,600) represent a wide variety of companies from Fortune 100 to top retailers to startups, and offer the latest and greatest in everything to do with technology, from 3D printing to audio to automotive electronics, electronic gaming, fitness and sports, health and biotech, robotics, video, wearables and more.

Some of the world’s favorite products were first introduced at CES over the years. It is where attendees got their first look at a VCR (1970), laserdisc player (1974), camcorder (1981), CD player (1981), interactive CD (1991), digital satellite system (1994), DVD (1996), HDTV (1998), Microsoft Xbox (2001), 3D HDTV (2009), smart appliances (2011), and driverless car technology (2013).

We can’t wait to see what exciting new technology CES 2016 has to offer.

KUDOS to Bill McBeath, top gun at Cosmopolitan, for proving this Strip 5-year-old property between Bellagio and CityCenter has potential. McBeath, a veteran gaming exec, took over the reins in December 2014, and with a steady, determined hand gave the failing operation its first-ever profitable quarter ($15.3 million for the quarter ending June 30), then followed that with a second profitable quarter ($4.7 million for the quarter ending September 30). He also recently settled an ongoing contract dispute with the Culinary Union, signing a four-year agreement. It looks like he is on a roll.

GET WELL WISHES go out to GamingToday columnist Monti Rock III who is undergoing surgery Friday for a broken shoulder. Although many may assume this is a consequence of an entertainer’s wild life style, don’t jump to conclusions as that is not the case. MR3 was simply accompanying his favorite vehicle to the shop for some electrical work when he slipped and fell while getting out of the tow truck. Everyone at GT wishes him a speedy recovery.

See you around town.

Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected].