Gayot named in Las Vegas the No. 1 New Year's Eve destination in the world. (Bangkok, Los Angeles, Paris, Sydney and Chicago rounded out the top five.) The editors are right. I've been there and it gets wild!
Because this year New Year's Eve is a three-day week-end, the city is expecting 330,000 visitors, up 30,000 from last year.
Here are the five things you need to know if you are going to party on the Las Vegas Strip tomorrow night:
1. Street closings. Las Vegas Boulevard becomes a pedestrian zone from the Mandalay Bay to the SLS. The police close the Boulevard between 5 and 6 pm. That means if you are driving to the Strip, better park that car before 6 pm. And plan on having breakfast after the midnight fireworks, because you won't be able to get out of the parking garage until 3:30 am when the streets around the Strip reopen.
2. The escalators and elevators on the pedestrian bridges across the Strip close at 6:30 and reopen at 12:15. Find a better place to watch the fireworks.
3. Wear warm, comfortable walking shoes because the only way you are going to get there is on foot. Women: sorry, this is not the night for stilettos.
4. Take the bus! Most locals don't even know there are buses in Las Vegas. But there are! The Regional Transportation Commission is offering FREE bus rides on all fixed routes from 6 pm Thursday to 9 am Friday...except for the buses that cruise down the Strip, of course.
5. Be on your best behavior. Metro will have 1,000 uniformed police officers on the Strip right there with you. But I bet you didn't know the National Guard conducts drills in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve. Really! This year 168 troops are participating in the training. And all of those folks have guns.
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