If you have the cash, by all means, roll up to Bellagio in a stretch Limo from the airport, check into a fountain facing suite and spend the New Year on top of the Cromwell at Drai’s ultra-lounge.
For the rest of us, here are some tips for experiencing the thrill of Las Vegas during New Years without breaking your bank.
The main decision to make for your hotel room is do you want to be on the strip or slightly off the strip.
If you are on the strip, you will have little to worry about concerning the logistics of transferring to and from your room and in fact might make the trip far more enjoyable. Look for the cheapest available room from a travel site out of one of these which will keep you right in the action: Harrahs, LINQ, Casino Royale.
If you do not wish to spend the money for a strip hotel, then an off strip hotel might suit you. Something to keep in mind about transferring to the strip for the party is that taxis are extremely hard to get during the 1-2 hours after midnight. Partly due to the demand and partly due to the road closures, you may be better off walking it. Some cheaper hotels close to the strip in walking distance are: Gold Coast, Super 8 at Ellis Island.
Don’t expect to sit down and have a nice meal or even enjoy a Las Vegas Buffet without opening your piggy bank on New Years. Fortunately, there are plenty of food courts in most strip hotels that will be far more affordable. Look for some a little ways back from the strip for smaller crowds such as at the Monte Carlo, Venetian Canal Shoppes, or Fashion Show Mall.
Fortunately the best part in Las Vegas for New Years is absolutely free: Head out to the Strip and find a good spot about 30 minutes before midnight. Mingle with the other revelers and enjoy a spectacular firework display! A recommended spot is on the bend of the strip in front of the Mirage.
Alternatively, you can look for a parking garage for a more advantageous view of the fireworks. This would take some early scouting if you are not staying at the resort. The Rio would be the top choice for the view.
After the fireworks, make your way back to your hotel or if you are not staying on the strip, just pick a resort. If you can not find a hotel to let you in, you may have to part with some cash at this point. $10 to a security guard is usually plenty to get your group inside.
At this point, with a little scouting, some good drink deals can be found. Look for the less posh hotels such as Harrah’s and Casino Royale as well as the multitude of small street vendors. Or find a slot machine, put in $20, play a hand, and sit around waiting for freebies! Tip well and get faster service! (Nothing is ever actually free)
The Las Vegas police force is one of the best equipped in the country at handling large crowds. So have fun and stay well-mannered!