Leave the television coverage of the Times Square Ball drop and sad strains of Auld Lang Syne at home this year. Instead, strap on your party shoes and welcome 2009 with some of today’s hottest young celebrities in some of America’s hottest destinations.
Many of these stars are hosting New Year’s Eve bashes in Las Vegas. On December 31, The Strip will close its brightly lit roads to cars to make room for an estimated 300,000 people looking to ring in the new year—Vegas style. Motorcycle stunts, rock concerts, and fireworks exploding simultaneously from eight locations at midnight are just some of the shenanigans that will mark the end of 2008.
Even Robin Leach—former host of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and host of celebrity news blog—is impressed with the Vegas lineup this New Year’s: “It’s a new year, you’ve got to celebrate something, and being with celebrities has a certain cachet to it,” he says.
Famous faces include Fall Out Boy’s front man, Pete Wentz, who will be toasting 2009 with his new wife, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, at Pure nightclub in Caesar’s Palace. Tickets are a cool $200 for entrance to the private, three-tiered silver-and-white club. Down The Strip, reality stars/entrepreneurs/siblings Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe Kardashian will be kicking up their heels at LAX Nightclub, a sprawling, sultry boîte at the Luxor hotel. (General admission is also $200.).
Real-life newlyweds Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, the couple that everyone loves to hate from MTV’s The Hills, will kick off Treasure Island’s inaugural New Year’s Eve party at The Nightclub. Clothing designer Christian Audigier conceived this swanky space, and he’s outfitted it with his signature skull-and-rose motif. Partiers can pay $125 to gawk—or glare.
But Vegas isn’t the only place to rub elbows with the rich and famous this New Year’s Eve. Event producer Brett Hyman, along with Hardball Productions and BToll Entertainment, is throwing a 5,000-person party (a.k.a. “Gridlock”) at Paramount Studios’ back lot in Los Angeles. Thanks to some Hollywood magic, the lot will be transformed into New York City’s Times Square, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center, complete with Big Apple–style street food—pizza, hotdogs, and gyros. Headliner Katy Perry, the kooky singer/songwriter of “I Kissed a Girl” fame, will perform four songs and countdown with the crowd as a custom-made Hollywood star rises at midnight. (Tickets start at $100.)
Over on the east coast, Starlet Lindsay Lohan and gal pal DJ Samantha Ronson will host a New Years bash at Mansion in Miami Beach. General admission starts at $200 and includes an open bar after 9 p.m. And Sean “Diddy” Combs plans to oversee the festivities at nearby LIV nightclub, inside the stunning, newly renovated Fontainebleau hotel. For $250, revelers can join crooner John Mayer at 10AK in Manhattan, or Mario Lopez, television host of Extra and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, who’s hosting a party that promises celeb-spotting at Marquee in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. (Admission is $165; open bar included).
Tying all these hotspots together is New Year’s Nation, an interactive party that connects 10 venues in 10 U.S. cities. Producers will broadcast a live, two-hour New Year’s Eve concert by famed DJ AM and former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Party venues include New York’s Cipriani Wall Street, The Curtis in Denver, and the Old Red Courthouse in Dallas. Big-screen TVs strategically placed in each venue will show live footage from all of the parties, including midnight countdowns in different time zones. (Tickets start at $100.)
“If everyone is watching something collectively on New Year’s, they’re watching the ball drop,” says New Year’s Nation founder Jann Yogman. “I wanted to find a way to use technology to make one party where everyone is interacting, even if they’re in different venues in different states.”