December 30, 2005
Revelers pour into Las Vegas to toast New Year
By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY
LAS VEGAS (AP) - And you thought your relatives were a handful.
City officials, boosters and residents are braced to entertain 300,000 out-of-town guests for a New Year's blowout - an annual experiment in champagne and crowd control.
On the agenda this year is a scheme to break the Guinness world record for the largest simultaneous toast, a smattering of promised celebrity sightings and velvet-rope parties, and a pyrotechnic show with a $500,000 price tag.
"We do everything to excess in Las Vegas," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Friday.
Last year's party brought 293,000 people and event planners are expecting more Saturday. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that 98 percent of the area's hotel rooms are booked. The bureau says the one-night party should generate $187 million - not counting gambling.
Celebrations will range from high brow to accessible.
Wynn Las Vegas, the Strip's newest luxury hotel, will celebrate the opening of Tryst, a nightclub with its own 90-foot waterfall and secluded lagoon. For $2,000, clubgoers get a VIP table for up to 10 people and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne.