Rollercon Essentials Rollercon 2012

Published on July 23rd, 2012 | by Hurt Reynolds

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Rollercon 2012

4 Tips For Doing RollerCon On The Cheap

If you frequent this website, it’s pretty likely that you’re a) obsessed with roller derby to the point of devoting all free resources to it, and therefore b) constantly looking for ways to economize in other areas so you can spend even more money on derby. DerbyLife is here to help.

RollerCon represents an incomparable opportunity to develop derby chops, particularly for rookie skaters and newer leagues. At the same time, traveling for the better part of a week cuts a pretty big swath in an annual travel budget, both through travel and accommodation expenses and (for many derbs) lost work hours.

Here are four quick tips to help you rock RollerCon without breaking the bank:

1) Buy groceries.

While you’ll find a pretty wide variety of inexpensive, reasonably good restaurant food within the Riviera and throughout Las Vegas, you’ll want to think twice if you’re trying to economize. Dining out is one expense that can add up really quickly, especially once the “RollerCon Blur” sets in a couple days into the week.

You can significantly decrease your food costs by staying away from restaurants for even one meal per day. My recommendation: Breakfast! Don’t skip it… but that’s a whole other article. Even if you have to factor in the cost of a cab ride to and from the grocery store, some thoughtful shopping can keep your per-meal cost well below what you’d pay at the Riviera food court.

Before you shop, check your room to see if it has a refrigerator. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to grab a cooler while you’re shopping. Even if you’re not buying food that needs refrigeration, you want to be prepared to accept offerings of leftovers that you’re not actually ready to eat immediately. Don’t buy ice, you can get that for free at the hotel. A big styrofoam cooler will set you back maybe five bucks; those pangs of regret you feel for your part in destroying the planet will fade when you board your return flight, and remember how long ago that ship sailed.

If you want to take this to the extreme, you definitely need to read Chef Morticia’s Super Rad Hotel Room Rollercon Cooking Challenge, wherein Morticia employs an electric kettle, a rice cooker, and even a clothes iron to cook a remarkably wide variety of delicious food right in her own hotel room!

2) Make your own drinks.

A corollary to point 1. If you like to drink, you’re sure to love Las Vegas, where alcoholic beverages are tolerated nearly everywhere and available around the clock. You can get pretty good drink specials everywhere (because they’re trying to loosen you up so that you’ll lose all your money gambling; see point 4), but none compare to the value proposition of an $8.99 fifth of store-brand bourbon and two-liter bottles of Coke at two for $3.00.

Key features of an optimal container:

  • Large, so you aren’t running back to your room for frequent refills.
  • A large mouth, so you can put ice cubes in it (mandatory in Las Vegas in July).
  • Sealable, because spilling a large drink is just shameful.

DerbyLife recommends the Contigo Madison water bottle, available in 24 ounce and 32 ounce capacities in a variety of colors. Doubles as a great water bottle for roller derby!

3) Get the club card.

Every hotel/casino has a rewards program of some sort. Sure, you’ll get some junk mail, but you’ll also get some discounts and freebees, like a free run through the buffet (which, if you do it right, will feed you for a whole day).

4) Don’t gamble.

Seriously. You are not going to win a new car. You are not going to win tomorrow’s food money. You are not even gonna get enough comped drinks to make up for what the Cold Hard Science of Statistics will most assuredly take right out of your pocket.

Need more convincing? Look at this:

I mean seriously. Look at it. They built this ridiculous city, with these completely ridiculous lights, in the middle of seriously goddam nowhere, on the strength of nothing more than the absolute certainty that you, as a human being, are simply terrible at understanding probability-based risk versus reward calculations. Don’t gamble.

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