Tourists and locals brave a raging pandemic Thursday night to end a year of unimaginable crisis with a hopeful glimpse of a fresh start in Las Vegas to celebrate the start of 2021

Tourists and locals brave a raging pandemic Thursday night to end a year of unimaginable crisis with a hopeful outlook for a fresh start, and descended to Las Vegas in far fewer numbers than usual to celebrate the start of 2021 / p>
The usual New Years Eve celebration that has long been a hallmark of Las Vegas, an annual punctuation of its robust but dependent tourism economy, was rather muted.Several fireworks shows, including the lavish display on the Strip, were canceled early, as was the annual party in downtown, even though the plaza launched fireworks from its roof
Above: New Year’s Eve revelers at the Fremont Street Experience on Dec. 31, 2019 Below: New Years Eve at the Fremont Street Experience on Dec. 31, 2020 (Chase Stevens and KM. Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Sparse crowds roamed downtown and the Strip, and most appeared to be wearing face masks as required by the state. Small groups and the partial closure of Las Vegas Boulevard that resulted in people walking on the street seemed to add to social distancing

“We’re nervous and excited for 2021 but still worried because COVID won’t go away,” said Jessica Snyder from behind her mask on the south side of the strip, “But in 2020 it was real”

Snyder was dating her boyfriend Kyle Bentley. They planned the trip earlier this month and were worried about not having enough to do, but they said they were excited about their long weekend plans too

Until late at night, most officials tried not to guess how many people would be partying in Las Vegas, but it was expected to be less than 300 last yearThere would be 000 visitors on the Strip and in downtown

The revelers that came out were greeted by mostly clear skies and temperatures in the mid-1940s, according to the National Weather Service, and despite the dramatically reduced New Year’s Eve, there were obvious signs of what to expect from the annual Las Vegas celebration

In the area where Snyder and Bentley were enjoying the night, Las Vegas police blocked the center of the street to contain the crowds crossing the street. In front of the Bellagio Fountain, women in sequined dresses and flashy heels walked hand in hand with men with 2021 glasses

The biggest crowd was around the Bellagio Fountain Show, where a family from Washington State was watching

“Woo!” said her little daughter in a flashing hat as a pair of friends danced excitedly around her

Nearby, a couple from Cincinnati danced to “It’s the Best Time of the Year” ”

Couples took selfies in the middle of the street near The Mirage and Harrah’s Jessica Gault was among them

The South Carolina resident and her significant other arrived in Las Vegas Wednesday night and planned to stay until Monday, then it was home and back to work

It was the first time Gault came to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve, but the pandemic wasn’t quite what she’d imagined

Gault said they had decided to make the trip to change the landscape

The bars and restaurants between New York-New York and the T-Mobile Arena have been closed

Park MGM allowed guests of all kinds to come through the casino and hear a live band on the cigarette smoke-filled floor. The singer reminded listeners of social distancing

As a stark reminder of the severity of the pandemic in Nevada, earlier in the day the state reported the most deaths in a single day – 59

Nightclubs have been closed for months and public events were limited to 50 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever was lower, while at least some hotel casinos limited parties and casino entry to guests only. The newly opened Circa turned just to broadcast a live performance by Zowie Bowie originally planned for hotel guests

Bars and restaurants continued to work under strict capacity rules of 25 percent “

after a lengthy” nationwide hiatus ”

Gov Steve Sisolak and other officials this week urged people to reconsider going out to party, while state officials also expressed concern that around 14000 people expected to attend the downtown Fremont Street Experience could lead to an increase in new cases However, on Thursday the Fremont Street Experience announced that it would restrict pedestrian access to hotel guests only

Small groups gathered in groups along the unusually barren Fremont Street Experience at around 9 p.m. The street was closed to the general public and visitors could only enter with a wristband given to them when they checked into a downtown casino

“We don’t use the room. We just wanted the bracelets to celebrate here,” said Christine Loffert, “We didn’t even get room keys”

She and Rebecca Loffert were in town from Littleton, Colorado for their first New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.The sisters stayed on the Strip but said they had booked a last minute room at the Four Queens for them to be at in 2021 The Fremont Street Experience could call

Rebecca Loffert said she liked Las Vegas better with limitations, citing smaller crowds and more personal space

Erum Shahzad and Natalie Melton were in town from Dallas They said they had been to Las Vegas a couple of times for New Years Eve, but that trip pale in comparison

The friends said they had no regrets coming to Las Vegas this time because the weather is better than at home, but they were disappointed that most things were closed

“I feel so bad and I feel like I need to open my wallet and spend more money to support the industry here,” said Melton, who wore glowing 2020 glasses with a pipe cleaner that had a saying formulated before the year “And I feel terrible for the street performers who cannot make money tonight I wish I had given them more yesterday””

To put the year firmly in the rearview mirror, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority blew up a 2020 sign that viewers could see online just before midnight. The press release on the demolition was titled “Las Vegas Says 2020 To Kiss Off ”

In the adventure entertainment and art complex Area15, the focus was on the lighting of 2021 with a champagne toast at midnight

To say goodbye to a dark year with a glowing eruption was the plan at the “Illuminate” festivities in Area15, where night owls put on 3D glasses to enjoy the lysergic works of art in the Wink World gallery with breathtaking delicacies to be admired

“We like crazy I heard this is crazy,” said Reiley McGarry, who wore fluffy white boots and brightly colored braids. “Dress up crazy and be ourselves”

McGarry traveled with her friend Schuyler Thornton from her native Virginia to partake in the fun

“We wanted to live it by the end of the year,” Thornton explained, putting on a black devil headdress. “We wanted to make it big”

The socially distant crowd kept their masks on – as did the free pink glow shades

“We’ll play it safe, but we’re still having fun,” said Dallas-based Brent Loth wearing a toga. “We all know 2021 will be a better year”

A DJ in a sparkling silver jacket played INXS remixes under a towering tree with brightly colored foliage, while parties posed for pictures with a performer who appeared in a shiny silver robe and looked like a cross between the Tin Man and a disco ball

The capacity may have been reduced, but not the mood of the crowd, which was as bubbly as the champagne that smeared the evening

Around 1200 police officers were supposed to patrol the Strip overnight, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, about 100 fewer than last year Las Vegas Boulevard was closed between Spring Mountain Road and Reno Avenue, which was 1.5 miles less of the main thoroughfare closed than on the Previous years

Police said they had arrested 26 people on the Strip and on Fremont Street by midnight, nine for crimes and 17 for offenses, although police did not clarify the nature of the alleged crimes

Clark County said 11 people on the Strip were hospitalized as of midnight for “relatively minor” medical issues such as alcohol poisoning

Although there were less official fireworks shows on New Years Eve, the county said there have been many reports of illegal fireworks that could be heard across much of the valley and resulted in Christmas decorations being burned in a house

The sidewalks and streets near Caesars Palace were packed with hundreds of people just before midnight.After the countdown, the crowd cheered and some blew noisemakers, some pulled down their face masks to kiss their significant other, and the crowd started almost immediately afterwards to disperse

At the Bellagio Fountain, a groom and his bride strutted down Las Vegas Boulevard with a red rose

Although the surrounding casinos were closed to non-guests, the crowd was significantly larger than across the street, where night owls could enter the casinos regardless of whether they were customers

At midnight, Kit Maan and his friends, visiting from India, tossed $ 500 bills at the cheering crowd, the group said they wanted positive results in the New Year

“2020 was the worst year,” Maan said. “If we can survive 2020, nothing is worse 2021 will be a lot easier”

Back in Area15, when confetti rained from the rafters, the crowd erupted in unison, as if an emotional finish line had been crossed

“It’s finally over!” gushed a woman from Los Angeles in bright orange leggings from 2020 and identified herself as Foxy Jessica “It’s finally done”

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson @ reviewjournalcom or 702-383-0272 Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter The review journal’s authors Jason Bracelin, Briana Erickson, Alexis Ford and Julie Wootton-Greener contributed to this report

It was a muted celebration, but tens of thousands of people attended the New Year celebrations Check out the scene from the Strip and downtown Las Vegas

With so many popular New Year’s Eve activities canceled or closed this year, restaurants have become more of a focus than ever for some vacationers

Part of Las Vegas Boulevard was closed to traffic on Thursday evening so night owls can ring the doorbell in 2021

The Fremont Street Experience website will no longer sell wristbands giving access to the downtown entertainment district at six blocks on New Year’s Eve

The remodeled Circa Resort on Fremont Street has abandoned plans to allow guests to attend the Zowie Bowie performance at Stadium Swim until midnight New Years Eve

Nevada’s COVID-19 Damage Control and Management Task Force is concerned that Fremont Street Experience’s plans for New Years Eve could lead to an increase in positive cases

Las Vegas police say a lack of New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Strip caused them to prepare for an increase in bothersome house parties in neighborhoods across the valley

The city police and community leaders discussed the preparations for New Year’s Eve with members of the news media on Tuesday

The Fremont Street Experience stays open on New Years Eve, albeit with less pomp and circumstance than years ago

A competition winner will take the plunge from the top of the Strat Tower in a lighted suit to ring in the new year

New Year

World news – USA – “It’s finally over!”: Las Vegas is celebrating a subdued New Year’s Eve