We'll be going for our first time ever. Staying at PH Towers
Westgate, yes the one that was listed as most expensive right here on VC... Doh! What time does the Strip get closed? Where do the road closures start and end? How about Harmon going into PH? We're doing the cheap route and staying near PH so that we can get in to use the restroom and reload on drinks.
Are room keys enough or do they use wristbands or some other method to control admission to the casinos and hotel? I ask because we have local friends planning to join us that we can get keys for but won't be on the hotel registry. What time do they start blocking non-hotel guests?
Any other tips for us?
Ok, so basically everything about everything regarding NYE in Vegas? Done! Let's start with a few basics that weren't inquired about first.
It's going to be cold.
Sure, that will be relative, but when packing, keep in mind that the forecast for the night of the 31st is predicting a low right around 41 degrees. On the bright side, that's 10 degrees warmer than last year! If you're expecting to party under the neon at all, dress in layers (gals, bring a big purse that you can stuff as you shed and shove a pair of fold-up flats in there, too!) or plan on slamming hot toddies to ward off the chill.
To see fireworks, get high... or low. Or, in between.
You'll find two schools of thought here. We've seen Vegas fireworks both ways and both have their pluses. Buy into parties at Mandalay Bay's Foundation Room or miX restaurant, head to VooDoo Lounge at Rio, Top of the World at Strat or ghostbar at Palms to get the best views from above.
If you want an authentic Vegas NYE experience, though, plan to be down on The Strip, being jostling by 300,000 other lovers of Vegas. Send up a woot and hear it echo down the street. We've even seen successful waves start. Of course, we've seen some pretty brutal fights, too, so have fun but take care. And, know where to stand to see the fireworks the best. Also, don't do this, either.
Also, something else to consider -- heading to the parking garage. The Hard Rock's HRH Tower garage has some pretty expansive views of The Strip. So, the top floor of the Mirage garage will also get you a pretty good view, too, if only of TI's display. Same for heading to the top floor of Bellagio's parking garage for views of the display atop of Planet Hollywood. Just don't yell for everyone to follow you as you don't want to be kicked out by resort security just as the big show gets underway. And, don't head to just any parking garage, either.
You can wait until the last minute, but it'll cost you.
There are so many choices for New Year's Eve in Vegas, it's understandable that you may not be able to decide just what to do until the day of. Just know that if you wait, you'll likely pay $10-$30 more to get in the door than the person who did it a day or two in advance. And that's, like, two more drinks that you could have enjoyed, right?
The Strip will be jam-packed. With cars and, later, with people.
This is not the night to decide to have a rental car in Vegas. It will drive you to drink and while your end goal may be the same, it won't be worth the aggravation. Trust us. Instead, cab it. Or, monorail it (but, that won't help much if your destination is some of The Strip's most popular resorts). Or, just walk. The people-watching alone will be worth it.
The Strip is usually closed on NYE from Sahara to Russell or, in easier terms, from the Sahara to the Mandalay Bay. That means you won't be able to get off at a lot of freeway exits between the two resorts, either. Shutdowns usually start around 6 p.m., but can happen sooner -- or later -- depending on how crazy things get.
NYE craziness will also dictate how easy or hard it will be to get into certain resorts, especially the closer you get to midnight. Some resorts may start to limit who gains entry (yes, room keys will be sufficient and, yes, if you can, grab some for your friends), but really we've never encountered this, personally. You can always try the desperate to use the restroom route, though, and promise to leave right after... then just never go back outside. We've seen it work before.
If ever you were going to go big in Vegas, this is it.
Cheesy Vegas souvenir drinks. Big. Oversized. Gaudy. Perfect for New Year's Eve. Not only will they keep you out of drink lines longer, refills come at a discount.
Or just plan to get wristed.
Don't want to lug around a ginormous drink? Several Vegas resorts are selling wristbands that will let you drink all you want, all night long, for one kinda low price.
Lastly, when walking on The Strip, keep it simple to avoid the five-oh.
If you want to be a magnet for Vegas PD, carry around a large backpack, openly drink from cans or glass bottles while on The Strip, or climb light poles or traffic signals. If you don't, don't.
Do you have more tips to add? Dish 'em below!
Have a question of your own to ask about Las Vegas? Send it to us and, if we deem it clean enough, we'll post it here on VegasChatter!