Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011 | 12:50 p.m.
As the sun rose over Las Vegas for the first time in 2011, the Strip was quiet and cold despite the rowdy party it hosted a few hours earlier.
Other than the lines of temporary metal fences and portable toilets waiting to be removed and trash in the gutters, it looked like most other early winter mornings on Las Vegas Boulevard.
A few tourists took strolls in the crisp air and an occasional group of drunken partygoers staggered down the sidewalks.
“We’ve been up all night,” one such reveler bragged. He and his six friends from Oakland smelled of alcohol, rambled about being falsely accused of something or another at a casino and rambled off suspicious fake names.
“We’ve partied all night. It’s too much fun,” he said. “We had a great time.”
Some people might have stayed off the Strip early on New Year’s Day because of the cold weather.
Las Vegas had a low temperature of 27 degrees early Saturday morning and was below freezing until about 8 a.m.
Las Vegas had a record low high temperature on New Year’s Eve, hitting just 38 degrees. New Year’s Day was to be only slightly warmer with a high of 40, well below the average high of 56 degrees.
But even inside, people were hard to find Saturday morning, considering Las Vegas has about 320,000 visitors in town for the weekend.
In the Bellagio, a few gamblers sat at tables or slot machines while employees worked on cleaning things up from the night before. Others were wandering inside the new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, but few were gambling, and Aria was nearly empty Saturday morning as guests recovered from a late night of partying.
Maureen Halpin was on the Strip at midnight, but went back to her hotel downtown to get some sleep – “I took a nap,” she laughed – before returning to the Strip for breakfast.
Halpin, who is in Las Vegas for an extended vacation to get away from the snow in her home state of Montana, said she’s been getting up at 4:30 a.m. every day for 25 years.
She noted the contrast between the street party that had been on the Strip just hours earlier and the morning condition of the Strip.
“It’s amazing. You come out here last night and it’s packed. This morning it’s empty,” she said. “It’s the city that doesn’t sleep, but everybody’s sleeping.”