Casinos set to ring (ka-ching!) in 2005

Dec 28, 2004 6:43 AM


Las Vegas hotels are expecting overflow crowds this New Year’s weekend, with guest rooms generating about 25-30 percent more revenue than hotel rooms last year.

Some of the New Year’s Eve prices include $699 a night at Bellagio, $650 at the Four Seasons, $649 at The Venetian and $509 at the Hard Rock.

Even though the room rates are higher than last year, fewer hotels are reporting early sell-outs. However, most general mangers aren’t worried about filling their rooms.

"We’ll sell out — we always do," said the front desk manager at an off-Strip hotel. "There’s always a rush of customers who drive in from California looking for rooms."

The Rio announced earlier this month that it had sold out all of its suites at an average rate of $380.

With 130,000 hotel rooms in the city, you’d think it would be possible to find a place to sleep.

"That may or may not be the case," said a tour desk clerk at a tourist center across the street from the Luxor. "You’re taking a chance if you don’t have a reservation."

Nonetheless, casino operators are expecting a huge New Year’s holiday, since it falls on a three-"Gaming revenue could be severely influenced by the timing of the holiday weekend," said Marc Falcone, an analyst with Deutsche Bank.

Regardless of where you sleep — if you sleep — there’s plenty to do on New Year’s Eve. Many casinos have VIP parties for their best customers and these, of course, are by invitation only.

Nevertheless you can revel with the hoi polloi in grand fashion all over town.

The Fremont Street Experience has a New Year’s Eve party with BTO for only $35. If you don’t want to brave the weather, The Orleans has a party with Al Jarreau and Sheila E. with tickets ranging from $49 to $195.

At the Aladdin, Paris Hilton will christen her new nightclub, and Green Valley Ranch hosts an Ultra Lounge party with DJ 5 and JC2K Dance Squad.

Keep in mind that many production shows either shut down or stage early shows on New Year’s Eve. Check ahead with the box office.

The brightest star on the Strip will be the midnight fireworks display that will link several major resorts. The $500,000 pyrotechnics display is so sophisticated, some venues have stopped having fireworks displays on New Year’s.

Regardless of where or how you party, remember to keep safe.