There’s no question Las Vegas is a party town. So what better place to ring in 2011 than in America’s Sin City?
The big event for New Year’s Eve in Vegas is the midnight fireworks display on The Strip. The Strip, for those who haven’t visited Vegas, is the segment of S. Las Vegas Blvd. anchored by the Stratosphere to the north and Mandalay Bay to the south.
What makes the sky display so awesome is that the fireworks are not shot from the ground, but from the rooftops of seven casinos along The Strip. As a result, the whole sky comes alive in bursts of color that can be seen for miles.
The seven resorts that will serve as launch points from north to south are the Stratosphere, The Venetian, Treasure Island (TI), Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria, and MGM Grand.
This amazing fireworks display is free – just show up and stake a claim on a viewing spot anywhere along The Strip.
My tip: Grab a spot next to the newly opened Cosmopolitan resort. Not only will you get great views of the majority of the fireworks, but the resort will reportedly be broadcasting portions of their invite-only Jay-Z and Coldplay concert on the outside marquee screen.
The bad news is this is one of the most heavily attended New Year’s Eve events in the country. As a result, many of the roads into and around The Strip area usually start getting shut down by the city around 5pm. Many casinos post guards at the door and will only let you in if you have a room or a ticket to one of their club events. There are never enough port-a-potties and you really need to plan out any physical move from the spot you picked due to the mass of people.
That said, it’s one event, like Times Square at New Year’s Eve, that you should experience at least once.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller in scale, try the “New Year’s 2011 Tribute Palooza Weekend” downtown at the Fremont Street Experience (FSE).
The attraction blocks off a section just for those who have tickets ($20 per person), and offers up live entertainment from a variety of tribute bands. The FSE will run the normal films on the Viva Vision Screen above Fremont Street, but at midnight, will play a special virtual fireworks show. Those in attendance can go into the downtown casinos, too.
There are also a few nightclubs with outdoor terraces or balconies where one can watch the city fireworks, but these will cost you $75 on up for tickets, since they provide their own New Year’s Eve entertainment inside the club.
Among the best outdoor club views are at Pure at Caesars Palace (featuring host Rihanna; $200), Voodoo Lounge at The Rio (hosted by WWE Diva Tiffany; $75), and Ghostbar at The Palms (feat. DJ Mark Stylz; $164).
Are you planning on being in Vegas to ring in 2011? If so, are you going to be one of the thousands checking out the fireworks?
[Top photo courtesy LVCVB; Bottom photo courtesy Fremont Street Experience]