HOT TIPS FOR NEW YEAR’S WEEKEND
Attracted by two epic block parties, a panorama of fireworks and five-star entertainment, another New Year’s weekend crowd of 330,000 is anticipated in Las Vegas. The Strip will be closed off for New Year’s Eve on Saturday for the massive influx of revelers. Thousands more will party under the light show canopy called the Fremont Street Experience.
I’m always asked for the best views for the Strip fireworks show. It will be No. 20 for me, going back to the Fremont Street days.
If you want panoramic, it’s the Palms with its observatory deck at ghostbar and its sister club Moon.
In the same breathtaking category is the VooDoo Lounge at the Rio.
The Stratosphere offers several electrifying down-the-Strip options, including the Top of the World restaurant and Level 107 Sky Lounge.
At the other end of the Strip is the heavenly view from The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay. The view from Alain Ducasse’s 64th floor Rivea restaurant in the Delano at Mandalay Bay might be the most expensive one. The east private dining room for 30 guests is going for $30,000.
The Sky Fall Lounge in the Delano, adjacent to Rivea, is another prime viewing spot.
The lobby at Mandarin Oriental and Mandarin Bar offer an incredible view for the lucky handful that camp out there.
Two new strong options: For those who prefer ABEDM (anything but EDM) there’s the Beer Park, a 10,000-square foot space on the second level of Paris Las Vegas. A beer lover’s paradise, the Budweiser-backed venue has 100 beers with a 36 on tap. Carts of slow-cooked, smoked and grilled meats roll by the communal tables. This newcomer starts at $125.
The parking garage at just-opened Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, 300 W. Sahara Ave. figures to be jammed with revelers taking advantage of one of the best deals on Las Vegas Boulevard (see Best Bargains below).
Party under the stars: Street parties on the famed Strip and Fremont Street have become the main magnets for New Year’s celebrations. Some believe it all got started with fireworks over the Plaza Hotel in the mid-1980s. Remember those days? Fremont Street was THE place to be. I flew in from Denver two years in a row, convinced I’d never see such a spectacle again in my favorite city. So naive.
Best bargains: The Downtown Grand is offering a $35 all-you can-drink special starting noon Dec. 29 until noon Jan. 2.
At the Lucky Dragon, you can feast on all the dim sum, noodles and desserts you want for $25 and wash it down with all the Tsing Tao beer for another $5. Uber and Lyft should do banner business at these improbable hotspots.
One of the best off-Strip party sites will be The Hard Rock Hotel’s $175 bash, which includes a great view of the fireworks, champagne toasts at midnight, premium open bar, heavy appetizers and live music by Groove Martini.
TOP NEW YEAR’S EVE HEADLINERS:
Lady Gaga performs at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Theater. Tickets ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 in front of a black-tie crowd.
Elton John and his “Million Dollar Piano” show is at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Bruno Mars will be the first New Year’s Eve headliner at Park Theater, the 4,000-seat venue at the Monte Carlo Hotel. Bruno Mars rings in the New Year’s at The Bank Night (Bellagio), $95. Doors open at 9 p.m.
DJ Steve Aoki is at Jewell, which replaced Haze in early 2016 at Aria. Pre-sale for females, $100; $200 for males.
Drake performs at Hakkasan, the mammoth club inside the MGM Grand, with tickets ranging from $250 (female pre-sale) to $350 (male pre-sale). The VIP bar card package goes for $425 for males pre-sale and $325 for female pre-sale. Guests are encouraged to dress in their favorite sequin-dripping ensemble. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Calvin Harris takes over Omnia at Caesars Palace. Female pre-sale general admission, $200; male pre-sale general admission, $250. VIP female bar card package with $100 bar card, $275; VIP male bar card package with $100 bar card, $325. VIP male bar card package with $200 bar card, $400. Opens at 8 p.m.
Lil Jon headlines at 1 OAK (The Mirage). Tickets start at $75.
At Wynn Las Vegas: Major Lazer, XS, male GA all-access, $236.09 female GA all-access, $126; male GA under the stars, $76.53; female GA, $51.73. DJ Snake, Surrender, sold out except for gentlemen GA, $95.13. DJ Chuckie, Intrigue, male GA, $64.13; female GA, $39.33.
Ludacris illuminates Light nightclub at Mandalay Bay. Tickets start at $43.60.
Chateau nightclub and rooftop at Paris Las Vegas. Tickets start at $125.
Rain and Moon nightclubs at the Palms, $30. The Palms’ All-Access package to 3-4 clubs starts at $233.
THE SCENE AND HEARD:
Billionaire resort developer Steve Wynn continues to have the Midas touch. The yacht he purchased for many millions and upgraded for many more millions is now reportedly one of the hottest floating properties on the French Riviera and other exotic ports. We hear it would fetch more than $100 million…
So hard to believe a decade has passed since the R & B icon Ruth Brown died. Watching her perform “If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Sit on It” at the Bootlegger Bistro was pure joy…
“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston will be on the red carpet Jan. 6 for Canon USA’s annual event to support the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The gala is being held in the Bellagio’s Tower Ballroom. Cranston stars in the new movie “Why Him?”…
The Las Vegas husband and wife culinary team of Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla spent part of their Christmas holiday in Bora Bora, where there were sightings of Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello of “Magic Mike” fame.
KING ERRISSON’S NEW BOOK:
Longtime Las Vegas resident King Errisson, who is nearing his 40th year of playing with the Neil Diamond band, has a new book out.
Titled “My Life, My Loves,” it takes music lovers on Errisson’s journey from his modest beginnings in the Bahamas, where he got his big break at age 23 when a friend got him a role in James Bond’s “Thunderball.”
Energized by his new celebrity, he headed back to Los Angeles as a session musician, working with the biggest names in music. He joined Diamond’s 1977 tour and has been with him ever since. Diamond’s 50th-year anniversary tour launches in Fresno in April with 39 concerts in North American arenas.
Diamond regularly ended his tours in Las Vegas but not this time around.
I met King in May 2015 at the Hollywood Bowl where the famed percussionist was playing with Diamond...
To contact him: www.kingerrisson.com
UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton will be in Nashville Friday with family for the Music City Bowl between Nebraska (9-2) and Tennessee (8-4).
Cotton, who was associate head coach of the Huskers from 2008 to 2014, played for Tom Osborne in the 1970’s.
His son Ben, who played for the Huskers in 2012, joined his father at UNLV as a graduate assistant coach. Another son, Jake, played for Nebraska until 2014. Sam Cotton is a senior and a tight end with the bowl-bound Huskers.
Small World Department: Barney was a tight end — third round pick -- with the Cincinnati Bengals in 1975 when I was covering them for Associated Press.
“Beverly Hills 90210” heartthrob Luke Perry, taking in Blue Man Group on Monday at the Luxor.
Pro golfer Michelle Wie, playing at Topgolf (MGM Grand) on Friday. She was the youngest LPGA player to make the cut when she played in the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championship at age 13.
THE PUNCH LINE
“That awkward moment when you realize that Dontari Poe has more passing TDs than Tony Romo this season.” – From the Fake Sports Center Twitter
(Thanks to the Las Vegas News Bureau for the 2015 New Year's Eve fireworks photo).