Last-Minute Getaway Guide to New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Last-Minute Getaway Guide to New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Las Vegas rivals New York City’s Times Square as the go-to destination for New Year’s Eve celebrations. More than 300,000 visitors are expected in Las Vegas to usher in the new year, with many packing the Strip as fireworks light up the night sky above the world’s most famous casinos.

In addition to the Strip, Fremont Street in downtown’s Glitter Gulch attracts huge crowds for concerts and fireworks. Fireworks also are part of the New Year’s celebrations at resorts across the Las Vegas Valley several miles from downtown and the Strip.

Finding the Right Las Vegas Hotel

With the excitement mounting, many New Year’s Eve revelers are deciding at the last minute to celebrate in Las Vegas. Sin City has always attracted those making impulse travel decisions, especially around major holidays like New Year’s Eve. As the big event approaches, options still exist for travelers wanting a quick getaway to Las Vegas for what has become the country’s most festive place to ring in the new year. searched for the best last-second hotel options in Las Vegas and narrowed down the choices based on price, amenities and access to the big events. Dozens of choices exist, though prices will go up and availability will diminish as New Year’s Eve approaches.

Check with travel agents and websites for transportation and hotel arrangements. We consulted with Allison Pederson of Unique Travel. She recently said rooms are still available “for pretty much any budget."

Here are's top selections for impulse travelers, based on a 30-point scale — 10 points for hotel room-rate value, 10 for location and 10 for area amenities.

Las Vegas Strip

Plan A: 

The Horseshoe hotel-casino has undergone a few name changes since opening on the Strip in 1973. It was the MGM Grand, then Bally’s and, since Dec. 15 this year, the Horseshoe. 

In transitioning to its new name, the Horseshoe has undergone impressive renovations. You’ll be a part of history by staying here only days after the changeover. The resort’s name is taken from a historic downtown casino no longer called the Horseshoe. 

The newly named Horseshoe is connected to the Paris hotel-casino by an interior walkway and is perfectly placed at the center of the Strip for fireworks-watching (and a nice view of the Bellagio fountains across the street). 

The Horseshoe also is close to New Year’s Eve performances by big-name entertainers at nearby resorts — Adele (Caesars Palace), the Killers (Cosmopolitan), Kevin Hart (Resorts World), Gwen Stefani (Venetian) and more.

The best part is the price. A nonsmoking room with two queen beds at the Horseshoe is a total of $859.31 from Saturday, Dec. 31, until Monday, Jan. 2. This all-inclusive price is less than what you might pay for one night at some of the nearby luxury resorts — and you won’t be in the room that much anyway. 

Plan B: 

At Resorts World Las Vegas, a deluxe room with one king bed is $1,176.88 from Dec. 31-Jan. 2. The resort opened last year on the north end of the Strip at the site of the now-demolished Stardust hotel-casino. (The Stardust was the Mob resort fictionalized as the Tangiers in the Martin Scorsese movie “Casino.”) 

As the newest megaresort on the Strip, Resorts World offers exceptional restaurants and entertainment. Also, through Jan. 1, “Enchant On The Strip,” billed as “the world’s largest Christmas light maze and village,” is on display at Resorts World. For room rates, check here.

Raiders, Golden Knights Highlight Holiday Weekend

In addition to being in the middle of the action, a room on the Strip puts visitors near major sporting events taking place over the New Year’s weekend. 

On Dec. 31, the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights host the Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena on the Strip near the Park MGM resort. Tickets are available at StubHub for under $100. 

The next day, the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders open the new year against the San Francisco 49ers. The game is at Allegiant Stadium just west of the Strip near the Mandalay Bay resort. Tickets start at $405 at Vivid Seats. 

Downtown Las Vegas

The historic downtown casino district has more of an old-school Las Vegas vibe than the Strip with its towering megaresorts. That’s not to say downtown is dull.

The Fremont Street Experience on downtown’s casino-lined pedestrian mall could attract 20,000 people or more for New Year’s Eve — compared to several times that number on the Strip.

New Year’s festivities at the Fremont Street Experience will include multiple live concerts and a street carnival atmosphere. Tickets for this “Time Of Your Life Festival” are $50 at Guests must be 21 or older.

To welcome the new year with a blast, the Plaza hotel-casino on Main and Fremont streets in downtown Las Vegas is hosting its annual fireworks show.

Plan A:

One of the best value deals downtown is the Main Street Station, a block north of the Fremont Street Experience. The south-facing rooms have a clear view of the Plaza’s fireworks show. 

The more-expensive Circa Resort — the first new hotel-casino built from the ground up downtown in 40 years — is just across the street.

From Dec. 31-Jan. 2, a deluxe king nonsmoking room at the Main Street Station is $629.53 for both nights, not counting fees and taxes. 

There’s a kicker for film buffs: The opening scene of the movie “Casino” was filmed at the Main Street Station, with Robert De Niro as a mobster getting into a car that explodes.

And there’s an added kicker: The Mob Museum, only a one-minute walk from the Main Street Station’s front door, is serving Prohibition-inspired cocktails from 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. in the Underground Speakeasy and Distillery. 

Plan B:

At the gleaming Circa Resort downtown, a room with a single king bed and a view of the Stadium Swim outdoor pool is a total of $1,093.72 from Dec. 31-Jan. 2. Circa opened in late 2020 as an adults-only resort and instantly became the most talked-about property in Las Vegas. The resort has what it boasts is the world’s largest sportsbook, which even includes a VSiN broadcast studio with betting experts providing live, on-air sports wagering analysis. 

Circa’s several dining options include Barry’s Downtown Prime, one of the top steakhouse in the country and the only place people under age 21 are allowed on the property. At Barry’s, a 46-ounce Mishima Reserve tomahawk ribeye is $249, and a Barry’s burger with crinkle-cut fries is $49. Since this is New Year’s, why not splurge?

Las Vegas Valley

To escape the crowds on the Strip and downtown Las Vegas, last-minute New Year’s travelers can find first-rate options at resorts throughout the valley. Fireworks will be easily visible from these locations.

Plan A:

Through Jan. 8, the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, about 30 minutes south of downtown Las Vegas, is featuring a “Snow Carnival Holiday Forest” with real snow gently falling on guests at the M Pavilion. Snowball fights are optional.

Complete with the Mini Matterhorn, this attraction includes a snowman-building area and more. 

Sports fans will enjoy the Raiders Tavern and Grill at the M Resort, the NFL team’s headquarters hotel. The tavern has Raiders memorabilia for sell and a menu featuring barbecue, street tacos, wood-fired pizzas and more — plus more than 45 high-definition television screens to watch all the games. 

Rooms are available from Dec. 31-Jan. 2 for a total of $1,231.91.  

Plan B:

The Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, about 20 minutes west of downtown Las Vegas, is a luxury hotel-casino offering sweeping views of the Strip and valley floor — perfect for fireworks watching — but has the advantage of being in a less hectic location. 

The Red Rock has an array of first-rate restaurants, including Osteria Fiorella, touted as “Italian heritage. Philly tradition. Vegas flavor.”

From Dec. 31-Jan. 2, rooms with views of the Strip start at a total of $1,661.10. 

Source: Hotel websites; Unique Travel