The New Year's Eve party at CatHouse lounge and restaurant, opening Dec. 29 in Las Vegas, will include a champagne toast, menu by chef Kerry Simon (of Simon Kitchen and Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino), and the chance to schmooze with celebrity guests including Mischa Barton.
Across the country, in Miami, Ashley Simpson and Pete Wentz will ring in the New Year at Sky Bar. They, and those willing to shell out $250, will enjoy a top-shelf bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fork over $2,000 and partiers get table service featuring unlimited bottles of Moët Champagne and Grey Goose vodka.
Both are among a handful of ultra-exclusive New Year's Eve parties worldwide with a roster of stars serving to publicize party spaces or draw in crowds.
Why ship in a celebrity? Because regular folk will follow.
Attending a star-studded party allows one "to brag to their friends," says Nathan Ellis, creative director and founder of Syndicate, the Manhattan-based public relations and events company, behind the soirée at CatHouse. "These are not cast members from "The Hills" here. These are big, A-list people."
Promoters like Ellis use other tricks to hype their events. Take cost. By charging revelers hundreds to get in the door, they keep out all but those with bulging bank accounts. Tickets to these parties might cost up to $250; this fee typically includes a champagne toast at midnight. But head to the 4040 Club in Las Vegas, and you'll pay a $700 entry fee. If you're keen on reserving a table there, be prepared to fork over at least $1,000 per person. And that's before alcohol is added to the tab. At The Bank down the strip, $10,000 gets you a table, three bottles of the premium liquor of your choice, three complimentary bottles of Dom Perignon and a personal service team for eight people.
Yet, for many, dance floors and ball drops are unappealing. That's why some of the most exclusive parties are at private homes instead of clubs.
BillionaireVladimir Potanin has invited about 180 family members, friends and colleagues to his home in suburban Moscow. Last year, Potanin made a splash by paying singer George Michael £1.78 million (about $3.56 million) to perform for about 15 minutes. This year, he's toned it down, hiring popular Russian singer Vyacheslav Dobrynin to perform duets with his guests.
Interior designer Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, renowned for his New Year's celebrations, says he tries to avoid the night's clichéd traditions, including party hats, streamers and rounds of Auld Lang Syne.
Instead, this year Arcila-Duque has invited about 70 friends to his home in Cartagena, Colombia, where he'll serve traditional Latin drinks like mojitos, cachaça and margaritas and provide two Latin musical groups and a bolero singer as entertainment.
"Every year, I like celebrating the New Year in a different place," says Arcila-Duque. "I believe Cartagena is the new San Tropez, and I'm excited to entertain there."