For many of us, it's time to hit the fast-forward button to move beyond 2010, with its depressing economy and nasty political campaigns. As the clock ticks toward midnight on Dec. 31, here's what to look for from revelers in Las Vegas, who may well chant "Roll on 2011!"
America's Party, as it's dubbed, climaxes with fireworks at midnight, shot from the rooftops of seven Strip hotels. While the pyrotechnics will be visible from anywhere in the Strip's sea of humanity, certain locations — with a price tag attached, of course — will provide excellent vantage points not only for what's happening in the sky, but also for people-watching.
One of Sin City's new hot spots — Surrender Nightclub at Encore ( 770-3633, surrendernightclub.com) — is offering what promoters are calling "the definitive luxury experience": watching the folks and the fireworks from the balcony of one of eight deluxe bungalows, complete with widescreen TVs and private bathrooms.
The new Cosmopolitan hotel ( 698-7000, http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com) will be celebrating with shows by Coldplay and Jay-Z, who'll then combine for a joint set. Can't get an invitation to this hot venue? Don't worry — the show will be projected on a 65-foot screen overlooking the gigantic block party.
Across the street at Planet Hollywood, the PBR Rock Bar & Grill ( 750-1685, http://www.pbrrockbar.com) has a large patio overlooking the Strip. An all-you-can-drink open bar is offered and a DJ will be spinning the discs until 5 a.m.
Moon Nightclub ( 942-6832, n9negroup.com) offers unparalleled views of the Strip — including the midnight show in the sky — from atop the Palms. Live music will be provided by party band LMFAO.
More urbane celebrants may wish to opt for the off-Strip Panevino Restaurant ( 222-2400, http://www.panevinolasvegas.com). Located just south of the airport, this eatery is popular with locals and offers panoramas of the skyline, plus a special five-course dinner complete with live entertainment and party favors.
Revelers can choose to ring in the New Year Rio-style at Sushisamba ( 607-0700. palazzolasvegas.com/sushisamba.aspx) at the Palazzo. In true Brazilian fashion, the staff will be in festive white dress to pay homage to Yemanja, the ocean goddess. Samba dancers will add to the evening's theme.
In not-as-pricey downtown Las Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience ( 678-5777, vegasexperience.com) will have 12 tribute bands providing music. The city's gin-swilling mayor, Oscar Goodman, will lead the countdown to 2011.
For those who can't wait till midnight to make some noise, Tacos & Tequila ( 262-5225, tacosandtequilalv.com) at the Luxor is the place to be. It'll have an East Coast countdown, complete with mariachi band, as the ball drops in Times Square at 9 p.m. Pacific time.