- Arkansas voter ID law struck down by state judge
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
- Bad omen? Italian man crushed to death by John Paul II crucifix
- Company stopped from accepting abortion waste
- Girl surprises Michelle Obama with unemployed dad’s resume
- ‘Harry Potter’ religion class seeks to enlighten students on ‘God, sin, and theodicy’
- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
Beyonce, Chili Peppers, among NYE lineup in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) - 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.
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 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 $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 $170, or inside the replica Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas, where couples packages start at $300.
Those unimpressed with the ersatz offerings on the Strip can head 15 minutes south to a Great Gatsby soirée set inside a private airplane hangar. Organizers say the aviation-themed bash will recall a time “when the parties were bigger, the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper.”
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 $210 on Tuesday, but costs $650 Monday. The deluxe king room at Caesars Palace is going for $519 on Monday, compared with $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 $210 million on Monday alone, not counting gambling revenue.
Spectators will be treated to more than eight minutes of coordinated pyrotechnics costing $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.
The show will feature a medley of bubblegum pop, including The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” and Pink’s “Raise Your Glass.”
Grucci, the so-called “first family of fireworks,” is bringing some extra flash to the city of lights for the eighth year in a row. CFO Felix Grucci said he chooses the score first and then establishes his choreography, as a nightclub or Broadway musical director might.
“It’s a combination of science and art; mainly art,” he said.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Only IRS employees could expect rewards for failing to pay their taxes
- Holder cancels appearance in OKC amid angry protests
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Gun control supporters send message to NRA
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Nevada rancher's racial remarks cost him range of support
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014