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New Year’s in VegasNovember 6, 2009 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
Take a world-class destination, mix it with A-list celebrities, add superb dining, endless entertainment, scores of clubs and then throw in free fireworks and the best casinos on Earth—and you have Las Vegas, the perfect destination to ring in the New Year.
This year Las Vegas just might exceed expectations with a glittering array of events that have enormous appeal to the legendary high rollers, luxury lovers and budget-conscious travelers. Included is the opening of the spectacular new CityCenter resort complex.
Most important, agent-friendly Las Vegas wants your business. Not only to offset a decline in leisure and business travel due to the recession, but also to sustain the city’s reputation as a premier world-class destination. Last year, Vegas had between 280,000 and 300,000 New Year’s visitors.
What’s ahead? The powerhouse Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) says it’s too early to name the celebrity performers or events, but it expects the weeks ahead to see announcements of top talents who will be on tap for New Year’s.
What you can count on is that Las Vegas will once again host “America’s Party,” the name of its official New Year’s mega celebration. The event includes a midnight fireworks show set off from seven rooftop locations: MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Aria, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian and Stratosphere. The fireworks will be coordinated with a musical soundtrack and will last about eight to 10 minutes when the clock strikes 12.
Also, Las Vegas Boulevard (center of the Strip) will be closed to vehicular traffic on New Year’s Eve from dusk until about 3 a.m. as the parties from the casinos spill out into the streets. Simultaneously, downtown, the Fremont Street Experience will host its party along its covered pedestrian mall with live-band musical performances and Viva Vision light and sound shows on the canopy above.
One noteworthy attraction is the opening of the Aria Resort & Casino, in the heart of new multibillion dollar CityCenter. Aria will have 4,004 guest rooms, including 568 suites inside some
striking architecture. The five-star Aria is expected to attract luxury travelers and be a major draw in a city filled with the spectacular.
No less appealing are CityCenter’s new Vdara Hotel, Mandarin Oriental and Crystals retail and entertainment center.
For partygoers looking for a celebrity scene, Las Vegas nightclubs have a lot to offer. Resident shows and headliners will also get in the spirit with special New Year’s Eve packages—priority seating, accommodations, tasting menus and VIP entrance to clubs and lounges. Last year, Caesars Palace hosted a “Divine New Year’s Eve” with Bette Midler, while the six resident shows from Cirque du Soleil offered packages to meet a variety of price points.
If your VIP clients want to avoid crowds, check out Vegas Passport’s concierge service for a New Year’s without hassles and deals on party packages.
Last but not least, the LVCVA offers indispensable online resources on its website, which lists commissions paid by property, events, services, spas, dining, tours and resorts—valid for New Year’s—and year round.