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Top 10 Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Countdowns

The biggest night out in Las Vegas has come and gone. Before we wrap up the holidays and turn our attention to the big conventions just around the corner (we’re looking at you, CES), we wanted to share a quick look at the top NYE 2012 parties on and off The Strip. Of course the parties went on all night long, but we’re focused on the most important moment of the night: the countdown. Take a look as we present to you some videos of the Vegas NYE happenings along with our two cents and (completely meaningless) Countdown Awards.

The Fireworks on The Strip

First up are The Strip fireworks. As usual, the display was absolutely gorgeous. The video doesn’t do it justice, but people were out in force on The Strip to gaze upwards when the clock struck 12. As if The Strip at night wasn’t already dazzling, the fireworks always take things to a new level. As long as you were willing to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, it’s tough to beat this view for the price.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Bang for the Buck

Fremont Street

Fremont Street revelers were partying all night with cover bands such as No Duh, the Red Not Chili Peppers and Fan Halen. When it was time for the countdown, however, they were treated to a fabulous display Fremont Street’s overhead light show. A few fireworks lit off of the pillars holding up the screen, but with simulated fireworks dazzling the display screen, it doesn’t look like anyone wished they were on The Strip. This one really looked perfect for the casual partier who isn’t the type to don a bowtie or stilettos until 4:00 a.m.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Casual Countdown

Bruno Mars at The Bank (Bellagio)

Having Bruno Mars as your house band on New Year’s Eve is awesome. While a lot of the top clubs went with electronic dance music headliners, The Bank opted for the impeccably talented Bruno Mars. This choice gave the club into the perfect balance between Vegas hotspot and classic NYE ballroom party. With Stevie Wonder playing just next door, some might be shocked at our decision to award The Bank & Bruno Mars with Best Post-Countdown Performance. Stevie, however, opted for the classic Auld Lang Syne as a post-countdown song. A safe choice to be sure, but not enough to put you in the top spot!
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Post-Countdown Performance

Stevie Wonder at The Chelsea (Cosmopolitan)

Confetti? Check. Auld Lang Syne on the harmonica? Check. Counting out loud from 45 seconds? Who does that? A fantastic New Year’s Eve party to be sure, but we just didn’t see much in this countdown. It’s tough to pick on one of our favorite hotels on The Strip, but this just isn’t what we’ve come to expect from Cosmo. Luckily, this wasn’t the only NYE countdown happening inside their hotel…more on that later.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Longest Countdown

Hyde Bellagio Grand Opening

Celebrating its grand opening, Hyde Bellagio welcomed Modern Family’s Sophia Vergara to ring in the New Year. (As an aside, we think the backlit logo at around the 1:40 mark in the video is incredible.) What do you get when you combine a brand new lounge, Sophia Vergara, a view of the fireworks, and the Bellagio fountains so close they could splash you? The Sexiest Countdown Award.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Sexiest Countdown

LMFAO at HAZE Nightclub (Aria)

Aria brought in party rockers LMFAO to host their NYE bash at HAZE Nightclub. The duo brings limitless energy to all of their performances and their New Year’s Eve hosting gig was no different. This isn’t some celebrity sheepishly counting down to 2012 from a balcony while waiting to duck out and collect a paycheck at the door. These guys get after it and seem to have a blast doing it. Playing their smash hit while beach balls, foam confetti and puts them in a near tie with Bruno Mars’ Best Post-Countdown Performance, too.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Host

Kaskade at Marquee (Cosmopolitan)

Electronic dance music fans descended upon Marquee at The Cosmopolitan for New Year’s Eve to ring in 2012 with top DJ Kaskade. The place looked to be absolutely jammed. Perhaps a little too packed. One thing that does stand out above the other nightclubs, however, is the visual production of the countdown. Both the flickering neon tube-like countdown and the immediately following “Happy New Year” offer stunning visuals that are a perfect fit for the club’s vibe. Mixing that with confetti, light sticks and the throbbing music of Kaskade brings us to Marquee’s award:
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Sensory Overload

Steve Angello at XS (Encore)

Not to be outdone by Marquee, XS brought in Steve Angello for its New Year’s party. While their visuals weren’t nearly as wild, their confetti drop was absolutely crazy. In the video we show above, it’s apparent that the crowd was absolutely drenched in silver confetti and glittery streamers. Whether in their hair, on their shoes or otherwise, party goers will be finding that stuff for weeks. Clearly, XS didn’t want the patrons at their $30,000 tables to feel unsatisfied.
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Confetti Drop

Fergie at 1OAK (Mirage)

Another spot celebrating its grand opening on NYE, 1OAK brought in Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas to countdown to 2012. While everyone wanted to get a peek at the brand new Mirage hotspot, everything was turned up a few notches when Kanye West, performing as YEEZYWORLDPEACE, surprised attendees with a guest DJ appearance. Bringing along GOOD music signee Big Sean further upped the ante with impromptu performances of a couple hit songs. Anyone who bought a ticket for this event in early December sure got a lot more than what they bargained for. While we hear YEEZYWORLDPEACE’s first DJ set may have been a little rusty, star power was definitely present at 1OAK. GOOD Music cohort Kid Cudi and Joseph Gordon-Levitt of 3rd Rock From the Sun (oh – and Inception, and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises) were also in attendance. Based on the event as originally advertised, we’re shocked to be giving it this award:
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Biggest Star Power

Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disnick at Chateau (Paris)

The Kardashians descended in force upon Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve. A very glamorous Kourtney Kardashian and a “well-dressed but too much makeup” Scott Disnick had duties at Chateau Nightclub inside Paris Las Vegas. Benji & Joel Madden from Good Charlotte along with Jersey Shore’s Ronnie helped countdown to the New Year. The countdown, despite having under-enthused hosts, still appeared unforgettable. A gorgeous view of the exploding fireworks on The Strip along with the Bellagio fountains with a musical backdrop of Avicii’s Levels made for a great experience. With The Kardashians, Ronnie and Holly Madison next door at Gallery Nightclub, this event’s award is pretty easy to pick:
NYE 2012 Countdown Award: Best Bet For Reality Television Fans


That rounds out our list of New Year’s Eve Countdown Awards for 2012. The Strip saw lots of hits (and a couple misses) with its New Year’s Eve parties. However you spend your night, though, it’s tough to have a bad night on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Best wishes to everyone in 2012 and we’ll see you in Las Vegas to bring in 2013!

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