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Las Vegas New Year’s Eve crowd expected to increase this year

Updated December 21, 2018 - 7:08 am

More revelers are expected to visit Las Vegas over the New Year’s holiday this year than in 2017, giving the city millions of reasons to celebrate.

An estimated 318,000 visitors are expected to swarm Las Vegas, a 3 percent jump over 2017’s 309,000, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Those visitors are expected to dump $240.2 million in direct spending, up from the $233.1 million spent in 2017, convention authority officials said.

The increase in numbers means more hotel rooms will be occupied. Of the almost 150,000 hotel rooms, 97 percent of those are expected to be filled. That represents an almost 3 percent increase over last year, authority officials said.

“While this is our estimate, there are still rooms available at just about every price point,” LVCVA spokeswoman Maria Phelan said.

Those expecting to celebrate on the Strip or downtown should brace for road closures around the city’s main party zones.

South and northbound Interstate 15 off-ramps will shut to traffic at 5 p.m. Dec. 31 at Spring Mountain Road, Flamingo Road and Tropicana Avenue.

But motorists can still enter and exit I-15 at Sahara Avenue and at Russell Road.

Tropicana Avenue will be closed in both directions between Koval Lane and Dean Martin Drive, with Flamingo Road eastbound at Valley View Boulevard.

The right lane on Sahara Avenue eastbound at I-15 will have one lane closed to allow a dedicated turn lane from the off-ramp at I-15 northbound to Sahara Avenue eastbound. Eastbound and westbound Sahara Avenue turn lanes onto Las Vegas Boulevard southbound will be closed.

“Roughly 320,000 visitors will celebrate the New Year in Southern Nevada, with many of them welcoming 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip,” said Tony Illia, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman. “As such, we are making several temporary road and highway closures, ensuring a safe and successful event for both motorists and revelers.”

Ramp restrictions will be lifted between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Jan. 1 or at the discretion of the Joint Operations Center in the Freeway Arterial System of Transportation, officials said.

For those planning to celebrate downtown, take heed of the following lane closures.

From 7 a.m. Dec. 31 until 5 a.m. Jan. 1, Fourth Street to Main Street and Carson Avenue to Ogden Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic, according to the city.

Also, the fireworks display at the Plaza will result in Main Street being closed from Carson Avenue to Ogden Avenue for about 15 minutes.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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