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Las Vegas pulls out the stops for New Year's Eve revelers

30 December 2013

By Laura Carroll

LAS VEGAS -- Dust off those glitter pants and top hats, it’s almost New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.

With a collection of super­star performers and out-of-this-world dining menus, the city’s tourism industry is pulling out all the stops to make celebrating 2014 a stellar event.

About 335,000 visitors are expected to come to Las Vegas on Tuesday, bringing an estimated nongaming economic impact of $213 million, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Both figures are on par with last year’s numbers.

“We expect the same this year,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Although New Year’s Eve visitation is flat compared to 2012, the last day of the year still is attracting more people than in 2011 when 314,000 visitors came to celebrate in Las Vegas. That year brought in a $192.6 million nongaming economic impact.

Citywide occupancy on the last night of 2013 is expected to be at 98 percent, also the same as last year. And yes, guests are paying a premium.

A deluxe king room at Mandalay Bay on Tuesday, for example, is priced at $526.50. Over at Planet Hollywood Resort, a Strip-view room is costing $409, and a Strip-view king room at Treasure Island costs $386 on the big night. When booking your New Year’s Eve lodging for this or any year, keep in mind that Tull said prime locations go first.

The privately owned Trump International, which features a rooftop pool deck with prime fireworks viewing, has rooms for $334 per night. Guests there can attend a free fete in the DJT Lounge, or indulge in the prix fixe menu at DJT Restaurant.

“That’s been very popular,” said marketing manager Jason Demuth. “Our emphasis is service, so we don’t charge for music or entertainment on our property. And we have a complimentary champagne toast. I think that’s kind of unique.”

The hotel’s elevated pool deck, too, will be outfitted with heaters so guests can stay warm while they sip drinks and listen to live entertainment.

“New Year’s Eve is definitely one of the biggest nights of the year for the town,” Demuth said.

Off-Strip properties, such as Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resort, also do well on New Year’s Eve, Tull said.

The Station Casinos-owned hotels are offering New Year’s Eve rooms for $300 and $480, respectively.

Downtown, rooms at the Golden Nugget are priced at $329 while the Golden Gate has rooms for $200.

In the motel sector, the Super 8 at 1213 Las Vegas Blvd. South is charging about $322 for a two-night stay tonight and Tuesday.

A two-night stay on the same dates at the Best Western at 4970 Paradise Road will cost you about $387.

In mid-December, a few of the motels, including the Motel 6 at 195 E. Tropicana Ave. and the Travel­odge at 3735 Las Vegas Blvd. South, already were sold out.

“(Visitors) are looking for some of every­thing. The great thing about Vegas is we have a little bit of everything,” Tull said.

From the annual fireworks fiesta to concerts and nightclubs, partygoers will have plenty to keep them occupied on the last day of the year.

The Smith Center, for example, is offering a New Year’s Eve performance by Kristin Chenoweth, and the LVH and local radio station KOAS-FM, 105.7 are hosting their fourth annual New Year’s Eve party starting at 9 p.m., with tickets costing about $60.

The Fremont Street Experience is hosting the Downtown Countdown, featuring headliners Papa Roach, Blues Traveler, Loverboy, Vince Neil and Adelitas. Cost is $40 and tickets can be purchased online at www.vegasexperience.com/newyearseve.

Maroon 5 is performing tonight and Tuesday at Mandalay Bay, Bruno Mars will be at The Cosmopolitan Tuesday and Britney Spears’ new resident show, “Piece of Me,” began Friday at Planet Hollywood.

“A lot of folks will come to see those entertainers,” Tull said.

This year Fireworks by Grucci will be setting off fireworks for more than eight minutes from seven resort rooftops: the Stratosphere, MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island and The Venetian.

Because New Year’s Eve falls on a Tuesday this year, many properties began their holiday food and entertainment offerings over the weekend.

“They all try to gear to something you can’t get somewhere else. Each of the properties is trying to cater activities for their guests that will keep them on property,” Tull said.

Champagne generally is the drink of choice on New Year’s Eve, and as luck (or good planning) would have it, a new champagne bar recently opened in the city. Caesars Palace’s Fizz Las Vegas opened Nov. 15 with just enough time to work out all the kinks before New Year’s.

The new venue is hosting a Roaring ’20s-themed, black-tie optional soiree, costing $300 per person for an all-you-can-drink premium bar that includes Dom Perignon and hors d’oeuvres.

Fizz co-owner Steven Kennedy said pre-sales are looking good. A week before New Year’s Eve 80 percent of the VIP tables were sold and half of the 150 tickets were sold, mostly to locals.

“I think it’s going to be a great gathering,” Kennedy said.

If you’re looking for a sit-down New Year’s Eve experience, most Las Vegas restaurants are offering a little something special.

At the Stratosphere’s Top of the World restaurant, guests who want to get up close and personal with the fireworks are paying $299 per person to eat a five-course meal 800 feet above ground. With a restaurant capacity of 600, the average drink check on New Year’s Eve is $25.

Further south on Las Vegas Boulevard, Le Cirque at the Bellagio is offering a New Year’s Eve Gala menu for $495 per person.

The extravagant feast includes lobster salad with a truffle vinaigrette, wild Atlantic turbot, Kobe beef oxtail timbale and a fantasy dessert. Wine pairings cost $150 extra.

While the night can be all about indulgence and revelry, remember the rules:

Lest you think you can bring your favorite flask when you head to the Strip, metal and glass will be banned from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. Plastic will be allowed.

Plan on leaving your satchel or backpack at home on the big night, and if you’re under 18 stay at home or hang with your parents.

Also, don’t engage in celebratory gunfire when the clock strikes midnight.

If you’re interested in updates on street closures, fireworks locations or traffic, text the word “info” to 702-800-6776. From about 4 p.m. Tuesday subscribers will receive updated information about the New Year’s Eve festivities.

“We’re looking forward to a good, safe New Year’s,” Tull said.


Copyright GamingWire. All rights reserved.

 
Laura Carroll
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