What’s the best time not to come to Las Vegas?

When’s the Best Time to avoid Las Vegas?

The worst time to come to Las Vegas, if measured by crowds, high demand, and high prices, is New Year’s Eve. There’s barely a close second. Nearly 350,000 people clog the city, with 200,000 of them jamming the Strip and another 25,000 or so packed downtown. The lines for everything are ferocious and hotel-room rates hit the moon. In short, it’s one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in the country and if don’t care for massive crowds, stay far away.

The two three-day weekends that bookend the summer are also ferocious for crowds and prices: Memorial Day and Labor Day. Expect to compete with upwards of 200,000 other visitors during those. July Fourth, if it falls on a Thursday, Friday, Monday, or Tuesday, can be added to those two long weekends.

Super Bowl weekend can attract upwards of 175,000 visitors.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early January is one of the largest conventions in the world and the 2015 show was the largest to date: 170,000. “Normal” attendance is more like 130,000, which is 130,000 reasons to stay away then.

World of Concrete Expo bounces around between mid-January and early February and sees upwards of 70,000 attendees.

MAGIC (the men’s apparel show) takes place in February and August and attracts 85,000 people to both.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convenes every April with more than 100,000 attendees.

The National Finals Rodeo, though not technically a convention, is still one of the city’s largest events, taking place the second week of December and attracting 175,000 spectators from all over the world.

A new category here includes the several annual music festivals that now play Vegas. Electric Daisy Carnival averages a nightly attendance of 140,000; it’s usually held in June. Life Is Beautiful takes place downtown in April; the 2016 festival also attracted nearly 150,000 (though a lot were locals). The Academy of Country Music Party for a Cause takes place this week and 60,000 are expected.

What’s New Years Eve in Las Vegas like?

What’s It Like on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas?

What’s it like? It’s like rabid maniacal slaphappy haywire gaga nobody-home lunacy.

Simply put, it’s the most hyped-up night of the year in the most hyped-up city in the world. Yahoo! named Las Vegas the top place in the world to ring in the new year.

Upwards of 340,000 people jam the Strip every Dec. 31 to party, get rowdy, and ring in the new year. That’s more than twice as many people in Las Vegas as there are during the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest convention of the year.

What’s been called “America’s Party” since its first year, 2002, gets going a mere seven hours before midnight, as soon as the cops close Las Vegas Boulevard. The Strip gets ever more crowded as the minutes tick by and the bodies jam up.

Road Closures

The Strip is closed to traffic from 5 pm till the wee hours. (I-15 on and off ramps eastbound and westbound are also closed at Tropicana, Spring Mountain, Flamingo, and Sahara; the Harmon overpass is closed in both directions as well to all but guests of the hotels in the immediate area).

At 5:45 p.m., all other thoroughfares, including alleys, that lead westbound onto the Strip between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road begin closing; it takes about 15 minutes for all the barricades to be put in place. It takes another half-hour for police to direct any cars remaining off the Strip. Pedestrians can start crowding the boulevard at about 6:30 p.m.

Escalators and elevators on pedestrian bridges across the Strip also close at 6:30 p.m.

The Scene Leading up to Midnight

By around 10 p.m., the equivalent of the entire population of Reno (and Sparks) are all shoulder to shoulder on the four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard South, between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road.

The totally clueless are out there in shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops, freezing their butts off in the usual sub-40-degree temperatures (they’ll never think it’s always hot in the desert again). The half-clueless are out there downing copious quantities of beer, with nowhere to piss it off (they’ll never think that they can just duck inside a casino bathroom on New Year’s Eve again).

That’s just outside, on the street. Inside, hotel guests, invited guests, and other partiers and patrons pack the casinos from stem to stern until, finally, the whole tourist corridor reaches critical mass.

At that point, the casinos lock their doors and you have to show a hotel key — or in some cases, a players club card — to door-manning security guards to get into a joint. That lasts until the wee hours when enough people have left through the back doors for the casinos to start allowing people in the front.

If you’re staying at a Strip hotel, make sure everyone in your party has a key and get them early, because the lines at front desks for extra keys get ferocious after dark.

It’s not quite as constrictive downtown, where the party on Fremont Street charges admission to attend. Though 10,000-15,000 people cram a five-block stretch of Glitter Gulch, it’s easier to come and go from the casinos.

You’ll find a mostly younger crowd (20s and 30s) on the Strip, while the 40- and 50-something partiers tend to be inside the casinos or downtown at the Fremont Street shindig.

Happy New Year!

A five-minute $500,000 fireworks show (produced by New York’s Fireworks by Grucci) takes place at exactly midnight. The fireworks are choreographed to music and launched from the roofs of seven hotel-casinos along the Strip.

Back down on the Strip, it’s strictly bring all the booze you can drink with you. The later in the evening it gets, the more difficult it is to move around and the harder it is to buy alcohol, even if you can get to a store.

As for the bathroom conundrum, as mentioned, forget about relieving yourself anywhere inside. It might be tough to do so outside anywhere as well. Wall-to-wall people is somewhat inhibiting. And 1,000 uniformed Metro police officers are deployed along the Strip, with another 300 plainclothes cops lurking in the shadows where you might think to take a leak. They’ve been known to arrest people for urinating in public, then charge them with drunk and disorderly.

Also watch out for the people with half-gallon beer mugs: They don’t care where they spill it. And try to stay away from barricades and other crowd-control impediments, which can collapse in the crush. If you’re leaning on or near one, you could go down with them and get hurt.

Many years, in addition, some Darwin Award candidate climbs a lightpost or the side of a building and falls to his death or electrocutes himself, sometimes taking whoever he lands on with him to the grave.

The Clean-up

After the fireworks extravaganza, the crowds on the Strip begin to disperse. The escalators and elevators at pedestrian bridges come back on around 12:15 a.m. The barricades on the Strip are gone by around 1:30 a.m., and the street sweepers are out about 2. Roads around the Strip should be open from 3:30 to 4 a.m.

Beautiful overview of the Las Vegas Strip

What’s the least expensive time to visit Vegas?

There are two prime discount months: July and December. The intense summer heat depresses visitation in July and room rates (and airfares) plummet as temperatures soar; and people tend to travel during the holidays, not right before or after.

But the absolutely least expensive time is the week or so before Christmas. There’s a five- to ten-day stretch (it varies from year to year, depending on the calendar) between the big National Finals Rodeo convocation and the Christmas rush, during which the casinos practically give away their rooms, discounts and deals abound, and crowds are thin. (Even traffic on the Strip is light.)

As soon as Christmas Eve rolls around, however, the crowds descend and costs skyrocket. The week-long party culminates on New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas’ busiest night of the year.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the largest conventions in the world, hits town the second week in January, then the place settles down for a bit in a post-New Years (and CES) lull.

Note that a number of Las Vegas shows are dark during this period and that few, if any, special events are taking place. But if you simply want the best values, shortest lines, easiest bookings, and potentially better weather than the rest of the country, plan your trip for this period.

Is prostitution legal in Las Vegas?


As part of the general clean-up of the city’s image, initiated in large measure by Howard Hughes, and to safeguard the revenues from gambling, in 1971 state legislators passed Statute 244-335 (8), rendering prostitution illegal in counties with a population of more than 250,000. That lets out Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno).

Prostitution is also illegal in the Carson City Capital District and Lincoln County (northeast of Clark County).

The closest legal brothels to Las Vegas are in the Pahrump area (Nye County), roughly 60 miles west.

But what about all the working girls floating around casino bars and clubs and advertised in the sex rags from newsracks lining the Strip and on cards handed out by smut peddlers on the sidewalks?

It’s still illegal. But as long as it’s not obviously flouted in the tourist corridor (such as by scantily dressed streetwalkers), Las Vegas tradition tolerates it.

Is Las Vegas a good place to get married?

According to the Clark County Recorder’s Office, just under 81,000 weddings were performed in Las Vegas in 2014, down 37% from a high of 126,000 in 2004. Many of these take place in the Las Vegas wedding chapels, of course, while others are in more traditional venues, including the more than 500 places of worship to which Las Vegas is home, plus the Office of Civil Marriages downtown. Still others take place in private gardens, in hot-air balloons and helicopters, on horseback, even in gondolas.

If you want to be kidnapped by cowboys, beamed up by Captain Kirk, serenaded by Elvis, married in the front car of a roller coaster, or at a drive-thru wedding window, Vegas is definitely the venue for you.

There are approximately 60 wedding chapels in and around Las Vegas. An exact count is difficult for various reasons, but five dozen is pretty close. These stand-alone chapels vary quite widely in aesthetics, cleanliness, and the comportment of the managers, while the casino chapels are (usually) classier, though they can be more expensive and harder to book. To some extent, you get what you pay for, which can be anything from less than $100 for a quickie ceremony by a “Marryin’ Sam” (officiate) at the Fragrant Garden Chapel and Chop Shop or others of that ilk up to $20,000 or more for the super-deluxe package at one of the five-star resorts, and that’s before you’ve started popping the bubbly.

Receptions are easy to arrange, given that every hotel has meeting and reception facilities that can handle four to 400 and all kinds of restaurants on-site.

Wedding coordinators are common at the hotels as well as the chapels and they can steer you in the right direction.

Finally, if you get married in Las Vegas, you’re already in the number-one honeymoon destination for Americans (ahead of Hawaii at number two and Jamaica at number three).

Is there a curfew for those younger than 18 in Vegas?

In the Las Vegas metropolitan area, anyone younger than 18 years of age who’s not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian must be off the streets and out of any public area between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from midnight to 5 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, legal holidays, and during summer vacation.

There’s an exception for the Las Vegas Strip on weekends and holidays. On the Strip and surrounding streets, curfew hours are 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and legal holidays year-round.

Teen driving laws are similar. Drivers under 18 may not drive between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless they’re traveling to or from a scheduled event (such as work or school). Law-enforcement officers may ask drivers to show proof of the scheduled event.

If police officers identify teens who appear too young to be out after curfew hours are in force, they typically check their IDs, determine if there’s reason to hold them, such as warrants or even previous curfew violations, make a note of their names, tell them to go home, and release them.

Officers also have the discretion to hold a curfew violator for pick-up by parents, and to issue a citation. Fines for first offenses start at $35. Failure to go home when told or to pay a fine can lead to a court appearance in front of a “referee.” Cases may be referred to probation officers, who can impose counseling or community-service requirements.

Several thousand citations are issued annually, which, according to one estimate we saw, is roughly 10% of curfew violators who are stopped and ID’d.