- The benefits of doing the Strip for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas are it’s cheap, you can bring your own alcohol, and the great view of the fireworks.
- The cons are it is super crowded and cold.
- The Strip becomes a walkway in the early evening around 6:00 p.m., cars can return to driving on it around 3:30 a.m.
- If you do decide to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Strip be sure to dress warm, load up on alcohol before you go, and know where fireworks are shot off to optimize your view!
Debating standing out of the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve? You certainly won’t be alone – each year tens of thousands of people take to Las Vegas Blvd for what is known as “America’s Party”. Of course, there are a lot of options on how to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. If you are looking for an overview of all of the options for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve check out our article at this link. This article goes over the pros and cons of standing out on the Strip specifically as your way to ring in the New Year. I will then go over some tips for you in case you do decide to celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip.
Pros of Celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip
Here are the main reasons to celebrate on the Strip if you are going to Las Vegas New Year’s Eve:
- It’s Cheap: By cheap I mean it is free – you do not need to pay anything to go out onto the Strip for New Year’s Eve. If you look at your other options for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, standing out on the Strip is by far the cheapest option. If you look at Las Vegas nightclubs the cover charges are generally between $75 and $150 for ladies and $125-$250+ for gentlemen. That is pretty ridiculous to just get in the door. The nightclubs will also have you packed in like sardines.
It’s not just nightclubs that are expensive though. Generally any form of nightlife or popular restaurant will have expensive options for New Year’s Eve. If you decide to go to America’s Party on the Strip you have the low admission cost of $0.
- You can bring your own alcohol: Adding to the cost effectiveness of the option, you can also bring your own alcohol. The best part about Vegas is you can openly drink in the streets. However, there are some rules you need to follow to make sure you have a safe, and fine-free New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. The biggie is there is no glass or cans allowed so find a plastic container for your adult beverage. You should also note you cannot bring large backpacks, satchels or knapsacks for safety reasons.
- The Fireworks: The Las Vegas New Year’s Eve firework show is one of the 5 or 10 best in the world. If you are out on the Strip for New Year’s Eve you get a prime view of the fireworks. On most Year’s the fireworks are shot off of the roofs of seven casinos, so regardless of where you stand on the Strip you will have a great view of the show.
- The atmosphere: As someone who has gone to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve multiple times I can assure you people are there to have a good time. The atmosphere is festive and fun – you are sure to make a friend or two out partying on the Strip.
- It’s once in a lifetime: Similar to celebrating in Times Square, celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s on many people’s bucket lists so you will be able to scratch it off yours
Cons of Celebrating New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip
Of course there are some negative factors with celebrating Las Vegas New Year’s Eve on the Strip. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Crowded: Really, really crowded. The Strip will be filled with thousands of people and it can get pretty packed, especially leading up to the big fireworks show. If you don’t like crowds this definitely is not the best way for you to spend NYE in Vegas
- Cold: Everyone knows Vegas is hotter than hell in the summer but keep in mind it does get really cold in the winter. Last year when I went to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve it was in the 30s around midnight. Be sure to dress warm or choose an indoor option if you don’t like the cold.
Logistics to Know About The Strip on New Year’s Eve
These are some friendly reminders on things you should keep in mind for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.
#1 – Road Closures
Las Vegas Blvd, also known as the Strip, starts closing around 5 p.m. This includes the exit ramps for eastbound Tropicana Ave, Flamingo Road and Spring Mountain Road. If you fly in after that your cab driver will be well aware and should know how to get to your hotel. If you have a Uber or Lyft, which are now legal in Las Vegas, it could be more of an adventure. Expect the normally 10-15 minute ride to take much longer due to all of the closures. By 5:45 all other streets leading westbound to the Strip from Koval Ave and between the SLS and Mandalay Bay will be closed. Basically, you can’t drive onto the Strip on New Year’s Eve beginning around 5:00, don’t even bother trying.
#2 – The Strip Opens at 6:30 p.m.
Once the roads are closed police need a bit of time to clear out all of the remaining cars and put up all of the barricades. By 6:30 p.m. the Strip is closed down to and free of cars and you are free to walk it as if it were your own personal sidewalk.
#3 – Escalators/Elevators Shut Down at 6:30 p.m., Back Up at 12:15 a.m.
In case you have someone in a wheelchair with you or someone who is immobile all of the elevators and escalators shut down starting at 6:30 p.m. They are not needed any longer as you can freely walk across the street now on New Year’s Eve. Shortly after the New Year comes they will all turn back on for your convenience.
#4 – Roads reopen around 3:30 a.m.
This can vary but the plan is to generally have all the roads open, cleaned, and ready for cars again by 3:30 a.m.
#5 – Getting Out is a Nightmare
If you have a hotel on the Strip then this isn’t a concern for you. If you are planning to leave after the big fireworks show you may want to kill some time. The roads remain closed for several hours and tens of thousands of people will be leaving the area on limited roads. You can get stuck in traffic for hours trying to leave the Strip on New Year’s Eve. You have been warned!
#6 – 11:00 to 12:30 pm you can’t enter casinos unless you are a guest
As a measure to prevent the hotels from breaking fire codes, and avoiding obnoxiously drunk people, all casinos shut their doors from 11:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. You will NOT be able to go into any casino unless you are a guest of the hotel with a key to prove it. If you have to go to the bathroom do so before this!
Tips for Being on the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve
Ok so you’ve decided you still want to celebrate on the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve, now what should you expect? Here are our tips for surviving the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve.
- Load Up on Alcohol – Keep in mind the very important rule I mentioned earlier that you have to keep your booze in a plastic container! That said, load up – bring more than you expect to need and drink it tomorrow to clear up your hangover. You don’t want to be sandwiched in there and run out of booze. You won’t be able to buy it anywhere and moving is impossible.
- Dress Warm – The weather is typically in the 30s in the winter in Las Vegas. Expect New Year’s Eve in Vegas to be quite cold and dress warmly. You will be sandwiched between 100,000+ people on the Strip so that gives some warmth, but you are going to be outside for a while so dress appropriately.
- Consider the Edges of the Strip – The center of the Strip near the Bellagio fountains will fill up quickly. If you can’t, or don’t want to be outside all night, you can still get really great spots on the edges of the Strip. Last year I walked out in front of the Venetian at roughly 9:30/10:00 p.m. and it wasn’t bad at all. Fireworks are shot off at many hotels down the Strip. If you are anywhere on the Strip you will have a good view.
- Parking Garages View – Insider tip: some parking garage in Vegas have open roofs and will offer an absolutely fantastic and uncrowded view of the Fireworks. If you want to see the fireworks, but don’t want the crowds, keep this in mind.
- Know Where Fireworks Fire Off – Looking for the best view? Know where they are shooting off the fireworks for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Typically fireworks shoot off at seven different hotels: Aria, MGM, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Venetian, and Stratosphere. Try to find a spot where you can see all of these.
You will always remember the year you did the Las Vegas Strip for New Year’s Eve. I assure you there is plenty of food, booze, revelry and of course drunken people watching. Keep our tips in mind and have a safe and fun time ringing in the New Year in Las Vegas!