Published Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 | 7:30 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 | 9:03 a.m.
The booking desk at the Stratosphere stayed busy this week with people seeking last-minute places to crash on New Year's Eve.
"Phones are ringing and the website is buzzing," said Paul Hobson, the Stratosphere's general manager. As hotels across Las Vegas began to fill up, the Stratosphere still had rooms left late this week.
Procrastinators could still find rooms at premium prices, most well above the average daily room rate of $108 for the rest of the year.
Rooms at the Stratosphere, for example, were going for $269 on New Year's Eve. They were to drop to $39 on Jan. 1.
"New Year's is the getaway day, so we'll return to a more normal pricing pattern," Hobson said. "This is the most important weekend of the year, not only in quantity but in quality, because we get visitors who are interested in spending money at parties, at restaurants and at the casinos."
New Year's Eve, after all, is the biggest single day of the year in this city. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority expects 332,000 people to ring in 2013, all looking for a place to stay among more than 150,146 rooms in 296 hotels. They will spend about $210 million in nongambling revenue.
They will all be looking for a place to stay, and they should be able to find one.
"We're looking at an occupancy rate in the high 90s, but there will be rooms," said Dawn Christensen, LVCVA director of communications. "One of the great things about Las Vegas is you always can find rooms."
Excalibur was among the Strip hotels sold out this week. Off the Strip, the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino had no rooms remaining, according to its website. Terrible's Hotel & Casino, which offered deals of $35 a night on Christmas Day, was sold out for New Year's earlier this month. So are Santa Fe Station in northern Las Vegas and the Eastside Cannery on the Boulder Strip.
On VEGAS.com, a sister company to the Sun, rooms at the Gold Spike downtown were going $329 on New Year's Eve — with 50 percent off the regular price. Those staying at the same hotel before Friday could get a room for $42.50.
One of the lowest rates: The Lucky Club in North Las Vegas had New Year's Eve rooms available for $100 on its website.
A sample of some of the New Year's Eve rates remaining on Thursday:
• Luxor: rooms available starting at $285.
• Signature at MGM Grand: Nongaming facility near the Strip with rates starting at $370.
• Travelodge: the Strip at Harmon, $205.
• Orleans: west of the Strip rooms starting at $195.
• The Palms: west of the Strip, starting at $299.
• Gold Coast: west of the Strip with rooms starting at $199.
• Days Inn at the Wild Wild West: west of the Strip, with rooms starting at $134 a night.
• Tuscany: east of the Strip with rates averaging $118 through New Year's.
• Golden Nugget: downtown on Fremont Street, starting at $199.
• Golden Gate: downtown on Fremont Street, starting at $150.
• Four Queens: downtown on Fremont Street, starting at $153.
• Super 8: downtown between 4th and Charleston, starting at $152.
• South Point: south of the Strip starting at $201.
• M Resort: Henderson, starting at $285.
• Boulder Station: Boulder Strip, starting at $179.99.
• Sam's Town: Boulder Strip, starting at $129.
• Texas Station: North Las Vegas casino and resort with limited availability for deluxe rooms starting at $259.99.
• Cannery: North Las Vegas casino and resort starting at $199.95.
• Best Western Plus: North Las Vegas motel starting at $121.49 with a AAA discount.
• Silverton Casino Lodge: south Las Vegas, average nightly rates $229.
CORRECTION: The story has been updated to change the number of hotel rooms. | (January 2, 2013)