This party will be literally dynamite
Tuesday 31 December 1996
New Year's Eve in Times Square, New York, could be a bit of a let-down tonight. (The main attraction, as always, will be the dropping of a giant, sparkling ball at midnight.) In Las Vegas, however, the entrance of 1997 promises to be dynamite, with the implosion of an 11-storey, 900-room hotel on the Strip.
With a little help from the ageing Hacienda Hotel and a firm of demolition experts, the desert city may this year have found the ideal gimmick finally to eclipse the Big Apple. Earmarked for destruction to make way for a new 4,000-room gambling resort, the once-grand but now faded Hacienda will serve initially as the scaffold for a giant fireworks display with a glittering waterfall of light that will run the length of the building. At midnight - Eastern Time - the pyrotechnics will culminate with a loud bang: a fireball will erupt from the hotel roof, after which the entire structure will be reduced to dust in front of an expected 300,000 revellers.
The decision to send the Hacienda to Hotel Heaven at midnight Eastern Time - 9pm in Nevada - is officially explained as a police tactic to minimise the risk of drunken antics on the Strip later in the evening. Clearly, however, the timing is also meant as a direct challenge to New York.
"You can always stand in Times Square and watch the ball drop, but I think we offer a little more diversification in things that are fun," Kara Kelley of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce said yesterday. "Coming to Las Vegas on New Year's Eve is now something that people put on their calendar".
New York is trying to fight back. This year, the Times Square ball will be bigger and brighter than before and a light and laser show is also promised. But already one TV network - Rupert Murdoch's Fox chain - has opted to forsake the familiar Times Square fare for the big kaboom in the Nevada desert.
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
People are American flagging their Facebook profile pictures in response to those rainbow flagging them
Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
Historic meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox head 'getting closer'
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...