While holidays spent at resorts have become a bigger trend in recent years, resorts are now going above and beyond to please guests by extending the holiDAY into a weekend of festivities. Champagne toasts, special concerts and events, prix fixe (pronounced pree feeks) holiday menus and “stay and play” packages are only a few of the New Year’s Eve options guests may see available for ringing in 2012.

A few things to keep in mind when making New Year’s Eve plans include:


Be sure to get the best bang for your buck this New Year’s Eve. Many resorts, night clubs and restaurants like to up the ante for special occasions, but believe it or not (in part thanks to the current economy) there are specials available such as complimentary champagne toasts and even free events and concerts.


In this case, resorts offer the best of both worlds — an amazing time on New Year’s Eve without the hassle or worry of how to get home post-midnight.


An intimate dinner, live entertainment, ball drop and champagne toasts are only a few of the options being offered this New Year’s Eve. Compare what venues are offering your “musts” per the best price and location.

What guests of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Resort can expect to see come the end of the month is three days of New Year’s Eve festivities, featuring a different musical act each night. Better yet, all performances are free for guests and Valley residents alike.

New Year's Eve Events

December 29, 9 p.m.: John Michael Montgomery

Kick off three days of New Year’s celebrations with John Michael Montgomery’s soulful country ballads that have set the standard for love songs in this generation. The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inductee has had more than 30 singles on the Billboard country charts, including the Number One Country Single of the Year for “I Swear.”

December 30, 9 p.m.: Sammy Kershaw

New Year's Eve Events Harrah's

Sammy Kershaw exploded into the country scene in the early ’90s with top 100 hits “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” and “Cadillac Style.” His latest album, “Better Than I Used To Be,” is reflective of his rocky career, but tells the story of lessons learned, putting him back into the spotlight and into country music lovers’ hearts.

December 31, performances at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight: New Year’s Eve “Denim & Diamonds”

New Year's Eve Events at Harrah'sGuests are invited to ring in 2012 in denim and diamonds as they enjoy the psychedelic hits of The Family Stone Project. The party starts at noon with “hot seats” being chosen every 10 minutes until 7 p.m., where one lucky Total Rewards member could win big. The famous Harrah’s Ak-Chin Buffet will be featuring special holiday selections and the evening will ramp up as Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson of The Family Stone Project (original founding members of Sly & The Family Stone and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees) perform at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight, when a balloon drop will ring in the New Year.

So I ask: why celebrate for only one night, when staying a weekend can offer a myriad of entertainment and guarantee a safe and celebratory New Year’s Eve? Whether it’s in another city, state or even country, the options for New Year’s revelry abound for 2011-2012.