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Hold ’em! Roll dice! Hit me! Place it! Las Vegas isn’t Southern California, but it might as well be. Walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip you’ll see more California license plates than Nevada plates. During the last weekend of March there was another amazing visual on the long stretch of hotels… How about a sea of MINIs? Sin City MINI Club played host again for the 5th annual AMVIV and it was a blast! MINIs from as far away as New Jersey and people from as far away as Australia… After two years of attending, these are common things to me when I step out of my car and onto the Palace Station parking garage. The top 3 floors are reserved for event attendees making it a definite sight to see from the adjacent hotel tower. With numerous scenic drives and activities planned for MINI owners, you’re guaranteed a good time whether you drive out or stick around all weekend.

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Wandering around a parking garage may not seem like much fun but considering everything I was doing I had a great time. I hung out with my car club, Motoring Underground, for most of the weekend along with my brother and co-worker Ranier. Due to my work with M7 Tuning, I ran over to the cars on display to explain some of the new products to people. I met a lot of new people (both young and young at heart) and a lot of people I’ve known for a while online. It was great to put faces to names and have real-life LOLs. Eventually the boys and I had to make a couple breaks from the event to have some fun on the Strip. We walked through some of the hotels and shopping centers just to get a good feel for all the different things that Vegas had to offer. Some stand outs for me were definitely the Venetian’s interior and looking down on the Strip from the top of the Stratosphere tower (Despite my mild fear of heights).

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Saturday brought about the event’s culmination with the AMVIV banquet at the Palace Station convention room. While not everyone registered for the event attended the banquet, the room was still packed with people lining up for the buffet or waiting for the raffle of vendor-donated goods. To kill some time and add some typical Vegas entertainment, an Elvis impersonator (who was hanging out at the event since day 1) took the floor to sing and woo the crowd. After the banquet, many people took off to head home while others stayed for their last night in town. For me and some friends from the car club, it was the last chance to find the OJ Simpson room that made the news last year. After some verification, room 1204 was the new picture spot!

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By the end of the weekend, everyone was exhausted but happy. For many people I talked to, this was their first AMVIV and they were excited to keep coming back. Being around all of the MINIs and hearing me talk about my job’s products even swayed my brother to start looking at getting a new MINI after he graduates from Long Beach. Needless to say, I’ll be back next year and probably beyond that.

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For more pictures from this event, visit the MINI collection on my Flickr!