by Sarah J.F. Braley | January 11, 2018
More than an inch of rain fell in Las Vegas on Tuesday - the wettest January day on record, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal - curtailing outdoor exhibits and events on the first day of CES 2018 and causing a transformer to blow at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the second day, Wednesday, cutting power for about two hours to the facility's central hall, which houses the huge technology show's main exhibitors. Power went out on the south hall's connector bridge and its meeting rooms, as well, but came back on there within a few minutes.
 
Emergency plans in place for the show, which extends through Friday, were enacted quickly as attendees and exhibitors were asked to leave and all entry was stopped into the very dark central hall, which had no backup lighting, according to a spokesperson for the Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the show. She pointed out that while the affected hall is the main exhibition area, CES takes over much of the convention space in the city, leaving plenty of places for attendees to continue enjoying the electronics spectacular while the lights were out in one section of the convention center.
 
"It was never a real emergency situation. Luckily it was a bright sunshiney day and we have a lot of exhibits outside, so people had plenty to see," said the spokesperson. "I was shocked at how calm and happy people were."
 
On Twitter, the hashtag #CESBlackout brought out the comedians and more. Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) tweeted a black picture followed up by a photo of an empty milk glass and cookie crumbs with the caption, "Lights on? No problem. #CESblackout"
 
As one of the city's top convention clients, CTA has long supported a plan to expand and upgrade the Las Vegas Convention Center, approval for which was won last summer. Noting that there was some leakage during the rain on Tuesday, the spokesperson said the CTA is thrilled that funding was secured, so the facility can get some much-needed attention.
 
CES 2018 expects to welcome more than 170,000 attendees who will be ogling the lastest gadgets and more from 3,900-plus exhibitors.