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December 31, 2003

PARTY RESPONSIBLY

Revelers have plenty of choices

LOCALS CAN CHOOSE FROM FIREWORKS TO ROCK & ROLL BAND

By MARK WAITE
PVT

Need a taxi? Call early for reservation

Lori Knight, owner, of Pahrump Valley Taxi, said some people call ahead and reserve taxis for New Year's Eve. It's busy early in the evening and late at night when people want to go home, she said.

"It's our busiest night of the year," Knight said. "We'll take care of our customers wherever we can, keep everybody safe, keep everybody from drinking and driving."

While the taxi company won't offer any discounts off the regular metered fare, Knight said it's better than the alternative.

"Drinking and driving can ruin their New Year's Eve," she said.

Everything from fireworks to black-eyed peas and cornbread will be served up at local entertainment venues tonight, for both amateurs and professional revelers.

Virtually every musician will have a gig as Americans ring in 2004. Balloon drops, tooting horns; confetti, champagne and party favors will be common fare at many places at around midnight.

Seats for a dinner party at the Saddle West Hotel and Casino are almost sold out, according to Ryley Young, operations manager. The dinner, priced at $19.95 per person or $34.95 per couple, includes entertainment by the Ray Roberts Quartet, a jazz and string group from Las Vegas. Three shows are scheduled, at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Jack Reeves and his band will perform in the Saddle West show room. Tickets are $7 and include two free drinks. A $150 first prize will be given to the best-dressed man and woman.

"We expect that to be packed because everybody who buys tickets for the dinner show gets into that free," Young said of the Jack Reeves show.

The Pahrump Nugget Casino is offering its two-for-one buffet beginning at 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., Director of Marketing Lori Dollar said.

"In the casino, starting at 7 p.m. for our players, we'll be serving free finger food," Dollar said.

Deuce Coupe, a two-piece band, will be performing in the casino from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., she said. Invited dignitaries will be enjoying a VIP dinner in the pavilion beginning at 6 p.m.

Dollar said the Nugget is planning a special bingo promotion, with a $70 buy-in that allows for 40 games, complimentary buffet, sweatshirt and "unknown other surprises."

Party favors include champagne that will be poured at around 11:30 p.m. Random drawings are scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight, with five $500 prize winners announced at 12:15 a.m., she said.

Terrible's Lakeside is also having a bingo party, according to Bill Ladd, general manager of both Terrible's Town and Terrible's Lakeside.

The Lakeside party includes an $8,000 cash giveaway and a trip to Hawaii, along with a luau in the bingo room. "It's been just about sold out for the last month," Ladd said.

"We're giving away $25,000 in cash at both properties starting at 6 p.m. We'll give away $2,000 every hour until 1 a.m., and then at 1 a.m. we'll give away $11,000," he said. That drawing is open to those gamblers who have accumulated 250 points so far in December, which qualifies them to enter a ticket.

Balloon drops are scheduled at midnight at both Terrible's Town and Terrible's Lakeside, he said.

Roxanne and Hot Cargo last played the Longstreet Inn and Casino over Thanksgiving weekend when a fire damaged a single room at the popular Amargosa Valley getaway.

The band will return for an engagement New Year's Eve, "setting the house on fire again," joked General Manager Ronda Snow.

An all-you-can-eat seafood buffet will be served for $15.95 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Nebraska Steakhouse on the second floor, after which revelers can dance to the music of Roxanne and Hot Cargo starting at 9 p.m. Cash giveaways begin at 10 p.m. and party favors at midnight. A safe and spectacular fireworks show will be featured at midnight in back of the casino.

Unfortunately the Longstreet won't be able to offer motel packages like in years past since the rooms are presently closed due to the fire.

The Pahrump Valley Winery is normally low-key over New Year's Eve. General Manager Bill Loken said the winery would serve a special menu, during dinner hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is almost all booked up with reservations for tonight, he said.

Among regular nightclubs, karaoke remains a popular tradition in Pahrump, while others will have live music.

Four local men with decades of combined experience in pounding out rock and roll will keep the party going at Our Bar beginning at 9 p.m. tonight. Bobby Woods on lead guitar, Paul Castle on bass, Ace Perry on drums and Troy Hope playing keyboards, guitar, and singing lead, make up Timeslave, a band that plays everything from classic rock to alternative rock - just as long as it rocks.

Guitarist Rick Scanlon will play at the Valley Bar on Gamebird Road, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

At the Stagestop Casino, traditionally a home for country-western music, revelers can kick up their heels to Dean West from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The new owners of the Stagestop, Best Bet Products, will be carrying on the tradition of the former owners, in serving black-eyed peas and cornbread at midnight, a southern tradition for good luck on New Year's Eve.

Sullivan's Pub plans a grand prize of a two-night, three-day vacation for two, to the winner of tonight's karaoke contest. Party favors and free champagne are planned when the clock strikes midnight.

Others, like Dale Malquist, owner of the Last Chance Saloon and Steak House, were just planning business as usual.

"We're just going to have prime rib," he said.

Doug McMurdo contributed to this story.



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