Happy New Year, Las Vegas! Most of the Las Vegas Strip casino parties are pretty pricey. For example, the Vista Lounge at Caesars is offering bottle service for four for $923 and that’s before taxes and fees. Or you can see Usher up-close-and-person for $1,031. The cheapest seats in the nosebleed section are still $189.
Fear not, loyal readers. I have found some FREE things for you to do on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, in case you didn’t know, is a major party destination for New Year’s Eve revelers. Typically 330,000 gather on the Las Vegas Strip to usher (no put intended) in the new year. Because of omicron, only 300,00 are expected to show up. Oh well.
Stroll the Las Vegas Strip (Strip)
Spending New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip is like going to Mardi Gras: you have to do it once.
Here’s what it’s like.
The city closes Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay to the Sahara from 5 pm December 31 until 2 am January 1. The street becomes one big street party.
If you are staying in a hotel, the street closures are no big deal. If you live here, you have to get into the casino parking garages by 5 pm and plan on staying until 2 am. Typically we have breakfast after the fireworks to kill time until the streets reopen.
Of course then there is a major traffic jam which takes another hour.
Most people go out to eat before midnight. But I always try to go to a concert. The show is typically over by 11:30. Then you join 329,999 other people to greet 2022.
All the casino marquees count down the new year from 10. At the stroke of midnight, the Grucci fireworks show commences.
This show is always something to see. Sixty pyrotechnicians will set off 80,000 fireworks for an eight-minute show. That’s about 150 fireworks per second. My tax dollars are footing the $500,000+ cost.
This year’s show is called “Deuces Wild.” We love clever!
The last time I was on the Strip for New Year’s Eve, I parked at Paris Las Vegas. A hotel worker handed out hot coffee to us locals as we entered the parking lot to drive home. One of the things I love about Las Vegas! People taking care of people.
Things changed after the October 1 shootings in 2017. This year our Governor commissioned 200 National Guard troops to help the 1,700 Metro policemen assigned to keep the peace. Look up and you can see the sharp shooters stationed on the rooftops and hotel balconies. Really.
It’s typically cold but really fun. Be sure to wear comfy shoes because you will do a lot of walking.
P.S. The people watching is, well, indescribable.
If you want to watch the fireworks from off the Vegas Strip, two of my favorite spots are the Main US Post Office parking lot on Sunset. It’s at the end of Harry Reid International Airport‘s farthest out runway, so you get a gorgeous, unobstructed view. Or park along Decatur for another grand vista.
You can sit in your car with the heater on!
Rock Out to Zowie Bowie at the Las Vegas Hilton (Off the Strip)
Let’s hear it for the Westgate Las Vegas. Zowie Bowie plays the International Theater from 11 to 12:30 am. The show is FREE. It’s first come, first serve seating.
Then the band will headline an open party at the much smaller Westgate Cabaret from 12:45 to 2:30 am. This fun is also FREE.
The show is part of CBS’s “Countdown to New Year’s Eve 2022.” The program is featuring live performances from around the country. So you can watch it on TV if you don’t want to venture out.
Cast members from Absinthe, Ka and Blue Man Group plus magician Xavier Mortimer join Zowie Bowie as the Las Vegas contingent. But Zowie Bowie is the only live performance that’s FREE.
Ride the Bus FREE Tonight
The RTC buses are running on the Sunday schedule from 6 pm Friday until 9 am Saturday.
The FREE rides are throughout the valley on all 39 routes. The free rides include express services between park-and-ride facilities (Centennial Hills and Westcliff) and downtown Las Vegas. The buses will depart from these two spots every 20 minutes from 6 pm to 4 am.
You can plan your trip with the rideRTC mobile app: https://www.rtcsnv.com/ways-to-travel/how-to-ride/ridertc-app/ .
Masks are required on all buses.
P.S. Who has been on an RTC bus in Las Vegas?
Happy New Year, Las Vegas!
((hugs)) BETH Ellyn
YOUR Las Vegas Real Estate Concierge
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