New Year’s a profitable weekend for area businesses
Despite mildly ravaging the town, tourists allowed Stateline business owners to rake in big bucks over the holiday weekend.
Every hotel and motel room was booked for almost a week, casinos reported record numbers, and ski and snowboard resorts were practically overwhelmed with customers.
“The hotel sold out Wednesday through Sunday. That’s 740 rooms,” said Laura Cotter, director of marketing and entertainment for Harveys Resort Hotel/Casino. “We had increases in excess of 20 percent over last year. New Year’s is typically a good time for us, but the way the holidays fell, coupled with the good weather, made for an exceptionally good weekend.”
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe sold out of their 532 rooms early in the week and reported growth in excess of 10 percent over the holiday weekend.
“This New Year’s Eve was better than the previous two years,” said Skip Sayre, director of marketing for Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. “From our standpoint, whenever the weather is good, it’s positive for us. We did make efforts to entice people to stay longer by throwing private parties and filling our showroom.”
Kirkwood Ski Resort’s Communication Manager Tania Magidson also reported significant growth over the weekend, in excess of 21 percent. About 500 people attended a sunset Torchlight Parade at Kirkwood on New Year’s Eve, which lasted about 20 minutes.
“We had really strong attendance for the parade and our weekend was very good,” Magidson said. “Even though our overall season isn’t up, the weekend was.”
Nevertheless, some business owners on the California side, despite being completely booked over the holidays, were not exactly pleased with the weekend.
“Monetarily it was a good weekend, but we find that the younger crowd just doesn’t care much about private property and personal rights,” said Mike Wilson, manager at Travelodge Stateline. “What I saw when I got up the next morning looking toward the casinos was that Nevada gets all the money and California gets all the trash. I think they should be responsible for the clean-up on this side.”
Wilson hired a property patrolman to keep watch during New Year’s Eve and prevent his estimated 100 to 125 guests from destroying motel property.
“We didn’t see anyone hanging from the banisters, thank God,” Wilson said. “But even with security, what can you do when you’re outnumbered by several thousand rowdy young people?”
Brandi Collins, front desk supervisor at Lake Tahoe Inn, which sold out of its 400 rooms early in the week, noted that the crowds seem to get crazier with each passing year.
“It was just a bunch of lunatics, everyone was drunk and crazy, just lunatics,” Collins said. “I think because we’re right next to the casinos, we attract the young college kids who just want to get drunk and party.”
Damages incurred by the motel were relatively minor, Collins said a vending machine was destroyed and a window broken.
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