In the summer of 2003, Dominic Tuso and Andrew Ross started talking about organizing a group drive for about 10 to 20 of the Arizona MINI Owners to visit Las Vegas for a weekend of fun and relaxation. By the time the drive happened in February of 2004, it had snowballed to a national event with MINIs and Minis coming from all over the US, as well as attention from other countries, and somewhere over 200 cars attending (we never did get an accurate count).
That was A MINI Vacation In Vegas. The original. It was such a success and so much fun, that there was an immediate call to start planning a sequel event. After some intense volunteering, it was decided that the Sin City MINI Club would coordinate the 2005 event, A MINI Vacation In Vegas II (aka AMVIV2). AMVIV2 happened in early March of 2005 and was bigger and better than the original, so we started planning AMVIV3 a couple of months after it ended.
To try to get some better weather and to ensure that a track day could occur, AMVIV3 moved to the end of March, 2006. The end result was over 300 cars and a fantastic event that was a huge hit in the MINI community.
AMVIV4 was March 22 – 25th, 2007 and built on the previous success. The final count was just under 500 MINIs and Minis, and the event has become known as one of the biggest and funnest MINI events in the world.
In 2008, AMVIV5 ran from March 27 – 30th (the weekend of the last Sunday in March, as usual) and attracted 572 MINIs and Minis.
March 26 – 29th, 2009 was AMVIV6. Due to the mess going on in the economy, attendance was down a little from 2008, but pretty close to the turnout for 2008 at 478 MINIs and Minis with 230 on the Strip Cruise.
AMVIV Lucky Number 7 ran from March 25th to 28th, 2010 and moved to the beautiful Aliante Station Hotel and Casino. Attendance slipped a little bit more this year, but attendees were treated to amazing service at a beautiful location and were entertained by a new offering – White Roof Radio – Live Under the White Roof.
AMVIV returned to Palace Station for ‘The Ocho’ and brought with it a return to all things Vegas. We had lots of great vendors, and they hosted a Vendor Mixer on Friday night after the Strip Cruise that was quite memorable – especially for Larry (from the SCMC), he propsed to Dee (from the DMC): down on one knee and everything. Quite a night! The Poker and Slots Tournamenets were a big hit! We had a scheduled group run each day, and we prepared five different self-guided poker runs which allowed folks to explore different neighborhoods in Sin City at their leisure. The big Saturday main event was The Party at The Palace and was fun time for all. The hours flew by so fast, there’s just never enough time to do all the things you’d like. Judging by the grins and all the happy comments – I’d say we can chalk AMVIV8 – The Ocho as one for the record books.
AMVIV9 ‘The Nawghty One” was off the hook! Back at Palace Station, June 14-17, 2012, with plenty of the familiar and lots of new twists to keep everyone entertained. The pièce de résistance was the Pool Party Saturday night. If you missed it, well… shame on you. It was a whole lot of fun!
AMVIV X, the tenth anniversary is looking to be a celebration like no other. Planning is underway, a new venue has been chosen (Red Rock Casino Resort Spa) and the crew is working hard to get ready for the big event -May 15-19, 2013.
Event Coordinator write-ups from each of the previous events
2012 – By Julie Preneta |2011 – By Julie Preneta |2008 – By Andrew Ross AKA Agro | 2007 – By Andrew Ross AKA Agro | 2006 – By Andrew Ross AKA Agro | 2005 – By Andrew Ross AKA Agro | 2004 – By Dominic Tuso
Magazine articles about AMVIV
2007 – MotorTrend.com – by Melissa Spiering
2006 – MotorTrend.com – by Melissa Spiering
Online only media coverage of AMVIV
2008 video from AMVIV 5 – by Ladd Pagan
2007 and earlier video for promoting AMVIV 5 – by Ladd Pagan
2007 “AMVIV4 Video Diary” – by Califzeph