New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout Las Vegas
hat to do on New Year’s Eve? Stay at home and watch the celebrations in various cities on the television? Sure, it’s safe, and you avoid the antics of what many have come to call amateur night (fighting, puking and drunken belligerence), but it’s not a whole lot of fun. Fortunately, in the entertainment capital of the world, there are a whole host of things to do from partying with celebrities to bumping shoulders with tourists on the Strip. There are also parties along Fremont Street, and, of course, at your neighborhood bar. For those fortunate enough to have the night off—and better still the following day, too— there are no shortage of things to do to celebrate the New Year. We’ve put together a number of suggestions below to help you out if you’re finding it difficult to plan your celebration.
the party outside The street scene in Las Vegas is a big draw on New Year’s Eve, whether it’s standing shoulder-
by to-shoulder on the Strip or on Fremont Street. Both streets are giant block parties attracting thousands of people looking for a good time. In Downtown Las Vegas, America’s Party, billed as the largest private New Year’s Eve party in Las Vegas, gets things started at 6 p.m., when the first of an extended number of cover bands takes the stage. Bands being covered include David Bowie, Kiss, the Eagles, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, U2, Queen and the Rolling Stones. The party runs all night and peaks with fireworks at midnight. Tickets are $20, but Nevada residents with a valid ID can pick tickets up for free starting at 10 a.m. on December 31. The Fremont Street Experience will have a booth set up next to the Walgreen’s to give out tickets. You might also be able to charm some from your very favorite Downtown casino host. There will be fireworks on the Strip, too, but being in the center of the action isn’t really the best vantage point. Instead,
the party on the Strip is pure alcohol-induced revelry. There is no admission fee, per se, but you won’t be stopping by for a little bit. Parking can be tricky, and there is no easy way out. If you’re doing the Strip think, you’re in it for the long haul. Every club on the Strip is having some sort of party (detailed below), so this shouldn’t be too big of a problem. One thing to look for on the Strip is at Paris Las Vegas. Daredevil Rhys Millen will try to do a back flip of an off-road truck and Robbie Maddison will try to jump a bike to the top of the Arc de Triomphe replica, and then jump down. The event will be broadcast live on ESPN, but if you’re on the Strip anyway, it might be worth checking out.
the inside track If standing around outside on what can sometimes be a chilly and windy night doesn’t appeal to you, name a club and they’ll probably have something special going on. It might be a celebrity host, it might be an open bar or
it might be something as simple as a champagne toast at midnight. If you know what you want, you’ll be able to find it. The club scene gets crazy on normal party nights like Thursday, Friday and Saturday; New Year’s Eve goes a step further. It even surpasses Halloween in terms of crowd sizes and excitement. Basically, this means you better plan ahead. Your club connections might work, but don’t count on anything. Unless you have a great inside guy, you are going to be better off buying your tickets like everyone else. Otherwise, you’ll ring in the New Year standing behind a velvet rope waiting to get in, and that probably won’t happen until at least 2 a.m. Of course, you aren’t limited to clubs. Many casinos will be hosting a number of different parties throughout the property. For the most part, we found plans are still being finalized. But if you have a favorite place, it couldn’t hurt to call and ask. If you don’t know what is happening, the list on the next page should help. 19 |DECEMBER 2008
LAS VEGAS CLUBS
It should go without saying (but there is always someone who forgets) that proper club attire will be required to get in to these parties, regardless of how much you pay for a ticket. If you are in doubt about what you can wear (some places allow tennis shoes, some don’t, for example) please call first.
PRIVE VEGAS TICKETS:
at Planet Hollywood
It’s more than a New Year’s party, it is also a one-year anniversary celebration. While the $200 ticket price may seem cheap, it includes a champagne toast, party favors and best of all, an open bar.
10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.
LAX NIGHTCLUB at Luxor TICKETS:
GHOSTBAR at the Palms
LAX has quickly become one of the hottest nightclubs, in part because of Pure Management Group’s willingness to bring in celebrities to party with the regular folks. The New Year’s Eve celebration is no different, with Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian coming to the party.
DESCRIPTION: Right there with Moon and Playboy Club in terms of the view, if not better, Ghost Bar is a strong draw on New Year’s Eve. Party on the 55th floor of the Palms, enjoy the fireworks as well as the open bar, champagne toast and appetizers. HOURS: INFO:
10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
HAWAIIAN TROPIC ZONE at Planet Hollywood
8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
RAIN at the Palms TICKETS: $150;
Legendary club DJ Paul Oakenfold spins in the New Year at Rain, and you have two price points to get into the party. Tickets at $150, but the $300 VIP tickets bring access to a VIP room and a hosted bar featuring Ketel One vodka and Perrier Jouet champagne. DESCRIPTION:
10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
PLAYBOY CLUB at the Palms TICKETS:
Party with Kid Rock, enjoy one of the best vantage points for watching the fireworks and celebrate the New Year with a bevy of beautiful Playboy bunnies. Your $200 not only gets you in, but it also gets you access to the open bar. (FYI: You won’t be able to go up to Moon until 1 a.m. or later, because there is also a $175 ticket party there). DESCRIPTION:
10 p.m. and beyond
20 | DECEMBER 2008
$50 admission; $125 open bar
DESCRIPTION: The Hawaiian Tropic Zone party with Jeremy Cornwell and DJ Fuzz Bubble is one of the cheapest tickets in town, but there is a catch: the $125 open bar only runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Regardless, it should be a pretty good place to watch the fireworks. HOURS: INFO:
8 p.m. and beyond
PURE at Caesars Palace TICKETS:
This party is so hot that there isn’t even information available on what is going on. That shouldn’t matter, because you should already know what Pure is.
9 p.m. and beyond
V BAR at the Venetian TICKETS:
The best value in New Year’s Eve options at only $50. No open bar, but rather than try to pass off a cheap paper hat, noise maker and glass of champagne as having a $200 value, they set a more appropriate price.
9 p.m. and beyond
TAO at the Venetian TICKETS:
Starting at $210
Not a lot of information at this point, but you get VIP entry, access to two hours worth of open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails. A celebrity guest might also be there, but no one has been named yet.