Many years ago--forgot how many, exactly--we attended the first year of Las Vegas' New Year's Eve "America's Party", the one when they first closed the Strip off to vehicular traffic. We attended a few more after that but haven't for awhile.
A vast sea of drunken humanity offers many reasons not to return to the Strip for the event but, besides all the crowd-related reasons, one of the main causes of our missing on out on all that potential fun was because of the lack of being able to easily get a damn drink.
The resorts lining Las Vegas Boulevard were initially set up as individual fortresses, complete with actual moats, in some cases, designed to grab a potential gambler and not let him leave. Caesars used to have those long, one-way escalators that drew people into the belly of the beast but made it much more difficult to exit. Most other hotels had walls and railings or other barriers abutting the street. That was fine for the old way of thinking about one's casino customers but it didn't really mesh with the concept of a huge street party like the New Year's celebration was meant to be. I mean, if it was difficult to get a drink on New Year's and one wasn't supposed to bring their own (although most did), how much fun could ya have?
The old Barbary Coast was relatively easy to get in and out of so their bars were always packed on NYE and there was always a run on to-go cups. The best place to go was good ol' O'Shays. It had the best access and didn't look at the invasion of partiers as an affront like other hotels seemed to do.
But now, finally, there's a whole new openness on the Las Vegas Strip and we're going to bet that it will take American's Party to the next level. The past several years has seen a shift in attitude by the resorts that line our main boulevard. Roadside cafes and bars have opened up so that one doesn't even have to go inside the main building to have some fun. Casinos have figured out that many people who come to Sin City don't gamble as much as they used to so they had better figure out a way to make something off those wandering the Strip.
Now it's on to the next level. Caesars decided to go all in with The Linq and MGM has countered with the building of the area around the proposed arena between the Monte Carlo and New York New York. There will be so many convenient--and outside--venues to check out one doesn't even have to go inside the main casino...unless something quite enticing beckons.
We're thinking this could be just the ticket for an awesome New Year's Eve party so may have to revisit the celebration in the near future. We're also thinking that this could make for a tipping point for local powers-that-be to consider the oft shelved idea of closing off the Strip to vehicles on a permanent basis. Wanna bet were are on that path? Give it another few years, we'll see.
In the meantime, we are excited about the "openness" trend the casinos are showing these days. Anything that makes for a better party--that's all LowLifes like us care about!