Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 | 9:41 a.m.
It’s going to be a bonanza New Year’s Eve weekend for Las Vegas, and not only because of the incredible superstar parties and the monstrous fireworks that will explode over the Strip and downtown. It’s in the stunning numbers, too. As many as 320,00 visitors filling nearly every hotel and motel room on and off the Strip are expected, and that translates into a whopping $200 million in nongaming purchases.
The superstar parties are larger than ever, with three nightclubs opening NYE: Fergie at 1 OAK in the Mirage; Mary J. Blige singing at RPM in the Tropicana; and “Modern Family’s” Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara cutting the red ribbon at Hyde in the Bellagio.
Additionally, it will be a battle of the blondes and brunettes as Pamela Anderson hosts the final NYE celebration of Studio 54 at MGM Grand before its February closing; Kim Kardashian hosts at Tao in the Venetian; sister Kourtney Kardashian and her baby daddy Scott Disick party at Chateau Nightclub & Gardens in the Paris; Holly Madison will be at Gallery Nightclub in her Planet Hollywood home base; her reality TV co-star Laura Croft will be at Crazy Horse III; and 2011 Miss Nevada USA Sarah Chapman rings in the New Year with other pageant princesses and a plethora of Playboy Playmates at GhostBar and the Playboy Club in the Palms.
Pre-midnight concerts rock with Good Charlotte at Chateau; Guns ’n’ Roses at the Hard Rock Hotel; John Legend and Boogie Knights, separately, at the Palms; Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band at Mandalay Bay; Commodores at Eastside Cannery; and Tony Orlando at South Point. Superstar Stevie Wonder plans to keep crowds on the Strip entertained from the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool right after the fireworks and may play until 2 a.m., so bundle up!
The lineup of star DJs and celebrity hosts is mindboggling and includes Paul Oakenfold at Rain in the Palms and then Hyde; Kid Capri, T-Pain and Tinie Tempah; Chris Brown at Pure in Caesars Palace; twin brothers Benji and Joel Madden at Chateau; B.o.B. at LAX in the Luxor; and Will.I.Am and Rob Kardashian at Steve Wynn’s casino nightclubs.
Naturally, it’s the Grucci Fireworks “America’s Party” extravaganza that will have the Strip crowds craning skyward as 56,400 pyrotechnic effects light up the sky for 8 minutes and 36 seconds from the Tropicana, MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian and Stratosphere rooftops. The fireworks, a year in the making, will be one of the largest and longest in the world.
“America’s Party” is themed as “Dance Las Vegas” with the music of Lady Gaga, Pitbull with Ne-Yo, Jennifer Lopez, Salsoul Orchestra, LMFAO, Adele and the “Viva Las Vegas” finale from ZZ Top. “America’s Party” also includes the Fourth Annual Tribute Palooza with two featured groups, Steel Panther and Rock Sugar, plus 10 tribute bands on Fremont Street Experience.
If you are staying home to watch NYE celebrations on television, check out the Las Vegas scene thanks to our favorite “Pawn Stars” Rick Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, who are hosting Fox’s “American Country New Year’s Eve” with Rodney Carrington live from Mandalay Bay for the East Coast, thus obviously tape delayed here, with entertainment from Toby Keith, the Eli Young Band, Lauren Alaina and Joe Nichols. Howie Mandel will make an appearance to share his New Year’s resolutions and present an advance look at his upcoming specials “Mobbed” that start next Wednesday.
As if all that’s not enough, UFC 141 pits the two heaviest heavyweights in the land weighing in at a combined 500 pounds: It’s Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem in the Octagon at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Plus, our “Jersey Shore” pals DJ Pauly D, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro are back in town.
Without further delay, before they all get ready to rumble, let’s body check it all in a mega-sized Royal Robin Rundown as we cross over from the soon-to-be-history 2011 into what we all hope will be a fantastic 2012. Happy New Year, everybody!
FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2011
Arianny Celeste, Rok Vegas, New York-New York; ATB, Marquee, Cosmopolitan; Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Mandalay Bay; Boogie Nights, Lounge, Palms; Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Body English, Hard Rock Hotel; Dirty South, Tao; DJ Dan, Christopher Lawrence, Donald Glaude, RPM; Good Charlotte, Chateau; Guns ’n’ Roses, Joint, Hard Rock Hotel; Kid Capri, Crown Theater & Nightclub, Rio; Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Sugar Factory and Chateau; DJ Pauly D, Vanity, Hard Rock Hotel; Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Gallery; Ryan Whyte Maloney Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ and Beer (through Saturday), Excalibur; Sebastian Ingrosso, XS, Encore; Sin City Sinners, Lounge, Hard Rock Hotel (through Sunday); Tinie Tempah, Bank, Bellagio; and T-Pain, Rick Ross, Tyga, the Thomas & Mack Center.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
UFC 141, Brock Lesnar v. Alistair Overeem, MGM Grand Garden Arena, and Nate Diaz’s UFC 141 after-party at Gallery.
Dov Davidoff, Lounge, Palms (through Sunday); John Joseph and Johnny B., Improv, Harrah’s; and Rita Rudner, Venetian.
SATURDAY, DEC. 31, 2011
“America’s Party” fireworks light up the Strip from eight casino hotel rooftops.
Benji and Joel Madden, Chateau; B.o.B, LAX; Boogie Nights, Lounge, Palms; Bruno Mars, Bank; Bon Jovi’s Viva Vision Show, Cosmic Concert, Fremont Street Experience; Bucky Covington, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Harrah’s; Chris Brown, Pure; Cirque du Soleil cast members, Gold Lounge, Aria; Club Curry: Party with a Purpose, Body English; Commodores, Eastside Cannery; Fergie, 1 OAK; Frankie Moreno, Stratosphere; Guns ’n’ Roses, the Joint; Holly Madison, Gallery; Iyaz, Beatles Revolution Lounge, Mirage; John Legend, Pearl at the Palms and Moon; DJ Kaskade, Marquee; Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, Chateau; Las Vegas Tenors, Grand Ballroom, South Point; Laura Cavendar, Playboy Mansion DJ, Deuce Lounge, Aria; Laura Croft, Crazy Horse III; Little Anthony and the Imperials, Cannery; LMFAO, Haze, Aria; Mary J. Blige, RPM; M!ke Attack and Stellar, Artisan; NOFX, Lagwagon and Old Man Markley, House of Blues, Mandalay Bay; and Pamela Anderson, Studio 54.
Plus, Paul Oakenfold, Rain; Playmates Heather Smith, Tiffany Toth, Qiana Chase, more, Playboy Club; Rob Kardashian, Tryst; Ricco Diamante, Las Vegas Hilton, Robbie Rivera, Vanity; Ronnie Rose, Rock’n Motown Dance Party, Showroom, South Point; Sarah Chapman, GhostBar; Spazmatics, Sonoma Room, South Point; Steve Angello, XS; Stevie Wonder, Chelsea, Cosmopolitan; Taryn Manning, Tabu Ultra Lounge, MGM Grand; Tony Orlando, Grand Ballroom, South Point; Tribute Palooza with Steel Panther and Rock Sugar, FSE; Tyga and Bobby V, Crown; Vanessa Williams, Riviera; Voices 3 and Vegas Superband, Suncoast; Will.I.Am, Surrender, Encore; and Yellow Brick Road, Boulder Station.
Eddie Griffin at Crown.
SUNDAY, JAN. 1, 2012
Afrojack, XS; Drake, Joint and Vanity; Eric Cubeechee, Gallery; Kreayshawn, Lavo, Palazzo; Lauren Luxx, Bond, Cosmopolitan; Mayer Hawthorne and the County, Book and Stage, Cosmopolitan; Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe, Chandelier, Cosmopolitan; and Paul Oakenfold, Hyde.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
Congratulations to the landmark Eldorado Casino in downtown Henderson, opened in 1962 by Sam and Bill Boyd, as it begins celebrating its 50th anniversary with yearlong festivities and promotions.
Also, be sure to check out Las Vegas Sun colleague Allison Duck’s comprehensive NYE Guide that includes dining and bar offerings.
I’ll be on Twitter @robin_leach reporting from the new Octavius Tower that’s opening at Caesars Palace and then from Celine Dion’s New Year’s Eve show, Bradley Ogden’s restaurant and high atop the Strip for the fireworks. We’ll also check out Michel Richard’s Central restaurant there for our Jan. 1 “Hangover”-themed brunch with ever-flowing champagne and a bevy of beauties.
Once again, Happy New Year greetings to everybody! Party responsibly, stay safe and be sure to check back to Vegas DeLuxe during and after the holiday weekend for all the photos and reports of the starry events that comprise our busiest weekend of the year.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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