LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — What if you threw a party and 300,000 people came? You might give Las Vegas a call to see what they do just about every New Year’s Eve.
The party every year brings city-sized crowds to the Strip every year — literally. If all the tourists stayed home for a year, Las Vegas could invite the entire population of it’s tourism pal Orlando to come over. It’s pretty much the same size as the New Year’s crowd with a population of 309,154. And it just might be more fun than standing in line at Disney World.
If Orlando’s busy, there’s room for Pittsburgh. Or St. Louis. Or Cincinnati.
But maybe it would be more fun to have a few friends over instead of just one. Las Vegas could extend invitations to its California buddies Daly City, San Mateo and Chico. Now that would be a party — basically, the same size.
Get the point? It’s a big party.
A crowd of 300,000 eats a lot of food and drinks a lot of … well, it’s New Year’s Eve, so everything. We used evite.com to estimate how much alcohol we might need. For a three-hour party (with our crowd split equally among light, average and heavy drinkers), we’ll be ready with 400,000 cans of beer (or about three large tanker trucks), 80,000 bottles of wine and 20,000 bottles of liquor.
So there might be a mess, too.
Instead of paper towels on the counter, Las Vegas uses more than 20 street sweepers to pick up 10 to 12 tons of trash. After all, if you party in the street, it doesn’t stain.
Truckloads of port-a-potties might not send the welcome-to-my-humble-home vibe you get at some parties, but it’s a little more practical.
When it comes right down to it, Las Vegas is a lot like mullet on Dec. 31: business in the front, party in the back.
If you want to be in the front, it’s all business. Parties will charge hundreds to tourists and locals who insist on spending the money. Here’s one: general admission at New York-New York for a standing room only event from 9 p.m.-midnight that includes DJs, dancers and more live entertainment, food offerings from local food trucks and open bars, photo opportunities and party favors. Price: $263.94. It’s $150 to go to the top of the STRAT.
If you’re OK with the party in the back, it’s going to be a helluva night. Cheap, unbridled and gloriously unglamorous. You’ll be under the watchful eyes of about 1,200 police officers (200 if you stay downtown) and there’s probably no cell service to speak of. Still, you can turn in a tight circle while you’re surrounded by a couple hundred thousand people on the world famous Las Vegas Strip. The party’s pretty much over when the fireworks stop.
Oh, and here’s a reminder that it’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public. You never smell it on a normal day, so don’t expect people to break the rules on New Year’s Eve.