Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Las Vegas Basks in Glow of Successful New Year's Fireworks

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Las Vegas Basks in Glow of Successful New Year's Fireworks

Article excerpt

LAS VEGAS -- Fireworks on the Las Vegas Strip provided plenty of bang for the New Year's Eve buck, officials said Tuesday as they began planning another pyrotechnics show for next year.

"It was a great New Year's -- as good as it gets," said Mayor Oscar Goodman, who had blamed the absence of fireworks last year for the sense that Las Vegas' Y2K celebration was a dud.

The Big Bang fireworks show Sunday had some 22,000 shells lighting up the Las Vegas night during a 10-minute display designed to blow away last year's disappointing holiday celebration.

"The world expects us to be at the cutting edge of entertainment," he said. "Part of that, on New Year's, is fireworks."

In contrast to last year when resorts slashed prices at the last minute to attract visitors, hotels reported they were full for the holiday with guests who partied hard but stayed mostly within legal limits while ushering in what some dubbed the "real millennium."

"Busy, but under control," was the way Aladdin hotel-casino spokesman Lynn Holt characterized the night at his 2,555-room hotel. "We were certainly pleased."

No major injuries were reported among the throng of people who jammed the Strip, casinos and downtown Fremont Street Experience mall. Based on hotel room bookings and estimates of residents and non-staying visitors in attendance, county officials said as many as 350,000 might have turned out to ring in the new year.

Police Lt. Marc Joseph said collars around utility poles discouraged climbers from repeating a Year 2000 tragedy. Last year, a California man was electrocuted when he climbed a light pole and grabbed a power line.

A daylong New Year's Day traffic jam on Interstate 15 heading to California and big crowds at McCarran International Airport underscored the perception that more people were in town this year than last, when Y2K fears and sky high prices kept the official visitor count to 251,000. …

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