Beyonce, Red Hot Chili Peppers among NYE lineup in Vegas
By Hannah Dreier, APLAS VEGAS--Sin City has another New Year's Eve planned with celebrity-studded bashes, exclusive concerts and a rooftop fireworks display billed as the nation's largest.
December 30, 2012, 12:11 am TWN
Big-name celebrity acts including The Black Keys, The Killers and Pitbull will help hundreds of thousands of partiers ring in the new year Monday under the watchful eyes of a legion of law enforcement officers concerned with keeping the celebration peaceful and eager casino bosses concerned with ending 2012 with a profitable bang.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are performing a sold-out show at the Cosmopolitan's Chelsea Ballroom that will be broadcast live on the casino's 65-foot (19-meter) marquee to partiers on the Strip below. Beyonce will give an invitation-only performance in the Wynn's 1,500-seat-amphitheater.
Other casino are touting pricey nightclub bashes with US$3,000 bottle service and open bars, hosted by reality TV and music celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Brandy.
Revelers can also party celebrity-free on the Brooklyn Bridge at the New York-New York Hotel, where tickets start at US$170, or inside the replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, where couples packages start at US$300.
Las Vegas' New Year's eve festivities, dubbed “America's Party,” have doubled in size since 1990. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority expects 332,000 visitors Monday, equal to the record-breaking number that flocked to last year's celebration.
That number has hoteliers happy, but does not rival other New Year's Eve celebrations. The ball drop at New York City's Times Square draws more than 1 million spectators, and some 2 million people flock to the shores of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for music and fireworks.
Still, Las Vegas is dealing a full house this weekend, with hotel occupancy approaching 100 percent, according to Dawn Christensen of the visitor's authority, and rooms going for several times the normal price.
The city room suite at the Cosmopolitan can be had for US$210 on Tuesday, but costs US$650 Monday. The deluxe king room at Caesars Palace is going for US$519 on Monday, compared with US$139 Tuesday.
With gambling revenue still down 20 percent in the Las Vegas area and visitor levels only recently returning to pre-recession levels this year, New Year's Eve is a crucial night for the casino industry. It's the biggest money-maker of the year, projected to bring in US$210 million on Monday alone, not counting gambling revenue.
Spectators will be treated to more than eight minutes of coordinated pyrotechnics costing US$500,000. The fireworks will be shot from the rooftops of seven hotel-casinos, from the MGM Grand toward the south end of the Strip to the Stratosphere in the north.