Mobile App Uber

Uber competes with Lyft and Las Vegas taxis to win over CES 2016 delegates


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

January 6, 2016 | 4 min read

Uber's late entry into Nevada near the close of 2015 primed the company for its first test, a make-or-break attempt at lessening the transportation chaos invoked in Las Vegas each year from 6-9 January by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

With shy of 200,000 people set to descend on the city for CES, effective transport links will be a must to avoid gridlock of the Strip and the surrounding areas between the Convention Centre and McCarran Airport.

With Las Vegas marking one of the final US cities for ride hailing apps to topple after an injunction was issued against the company’s operation in Nevada in 2014 only to be lifted by regulators over a year later in September 2015, CES proves to be the company's first major challenge in the region.

Competition is intense in the region following the legalisation of ride-hailing apps with the old-guard taxi and limo services going up against Uber and its rival Lyft.

Both ride-hailing apps are offering discounts in a bid to dethrone traditional cab services. However, due to high demand Uber’s prices have surged, an opportunity, according to one tweeter for Lyft to gain custom – if it plays its cards right.

Others are praising Uber as a more expedient alternative to standing in taxi queues.

On the discounts front, both ride-hailing apps are cutting prices: Uber has offered a $15 discount off new rider’s journeys and is dangling free Wi-Fi - via Vinli 0 to attract CES-goers. Lyft on the other hand is offering a $50 kick-back to first time riders, making it an appealing alternative to Uber.

On top of its partnership with the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Uber is offering an alternative way to travel to and from the exhibition in its partnership with Maverick Helicopters, offering night tours of the Strip for $99 per person.

Lyft has undercut this service somewhat with a cheaper helicopter tour.

Time will tell whether the Uber's contribution to its debut CES is a sleek affair - but with it valued over $40bn its fair to assume it will have a second kick of the ball in 2017.

Elsewhere on the tech front, messaging app Snapchat looked to dominate the Vegas skyline by literally plastered its branding on the Pyramid at the Luxor Hotel on the Strip.

Are you at CES? How are you getting around? Let us know in the comments below.

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