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320K expected to ring in new year in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — Tourism officials in Las Vegas expect Sin City to welcome about 320,000 visitors to ring in 2011 with plenty of fireworks, celebrity bashes and big-name concerts.

Spokesman Vince Alberta of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says officials are expecting about 3.6 percent more visitors than last year because New Year’s Eve falls on a Friday, the economy has slightly improved and Las Vegas has more hotel rooms.

Alberta says occupancy for nearly 149,000 rooms is expected to be 98 percent, less than one percentage point higher than last year.

Police plan to close more than four miles of the Las Vegas Strip to vehicles, giving pedestrians full reign of the street outside this gambling town’s biggest casinos.

Another 25,000 are expected to party at the downtown Fremont Street Experience.

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