How New Year's Eve Looks For Downtown's Bottom Line - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

How New Year's Eve Looks For Downtown's Bottom Line

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At Circus Circus Reno, marketing manager Debbi Engebritson can't help but reminisce. This will be her 28th year working a New Year's Eve at Circus Circus. She began as a cocktail waitress. The New Year's scene back then sounds familiar. As she told us, "The cocktail waitresses were carrying out 30 drinks around on the trays and just running the whole night."

Tonight, the party madness is back. But since the fireworks were brought in, it's a little less rowdy from years past. Engebritson says today, New Year's Eve in downtown Reno is "More family oriented with a lot more family events and that sort of thing. I think that has been a nice change."

But one thing that has not changed is the impact, the financial impact this holiday has on the gaming sector, which is still the biggest sector in our economy. When it comes to gaming income, New Year's Eve is in the top 3 events each year, almost tied with Street Vibrations and Hot August Nights.

Now that the weather has settled down and visitors can get over the hill, this New Year's Eve looks like a big moneymaker for the casinos. Engebritson says for New Year's 2013, "We get a lot of locals coming down for the events, the fireworks, and that also boosts our restaurants and our gaming."

Down the strip at Silver Legacy, publicist Tracy Soliday sees the same bounty heading to their tables. It's a bit more important there…2012 was the year they filed for bankruptcy. Their debt reorganization OK'd by the judge, Silver Legacy made a quick exit out of Chapter 11. New Year's brings a welcome boost. Tracy told us, "Our hotel is full, our parking garage is full, there's a lot of people around, we have lots going on and it's exciting."

Now this huge downtown landmark is kicking off New Year's with a bang...the Silver Legacy is about to show off its fresh start. Soliday says they "have a couple of restaurants that are moving around and a new one coming in. We've got a Starbucks opening on the casino floor in February, so we're going forward."

But like a persistent hangover, some vestiges of the recession remain. Most of the downtown casino hotels were not sold out for tonight as late as noon today. Some were even discounted on both Expedia and Travelocity for tonight. And it's been no secret…gaming numbers here have been declining here since the 1990's, which makes this New Year's full of hopes and wishes…that 2013 will be a lucky 13.

-written by John Potter

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