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Celebrating New Year's Eve on a budget

December 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Hollywood is usually a popular place for a lot of people here to ring in the new year, but this year because of the economy, a lot of people simply can't afford those expensive admission fees to all the clubs and restaurants. This year a lot of owners have decided to slash their prices, which could result in some big savings for those looking for a bargain.Last year, money was no object for many celebrating on New Year's Eve. But this year, the biggest party night of 2008 will be a tame event for those that simply can't afford to go all out.

"No big plans, we're just going to be at home, eat some dinner, watch some movies," said Encino resident Deborah Fagin. "Much quieter than years past."

It's an attitude that owners at The Highlands Hollywood nightclub were anticipating, which is why they decided to lower the price of this year's big New Year's Eve bash.

"General admission is at $40, which in the past our general admission would definitely be anywhere from 75 to a hundred, and then we would do a VIP ticket, and that was above that," said Adam Manacker, Highlands general manager. "This year our VIP ticket is $75."

The discount may help in the end, but so far ticket sales have been slow. Manacker says last year they had 2,000 people come to their New Year's Eve party. This year they've only sold about 500 tickets.

"I've also noticed a lot of more haggling, people trying to negotiate over ticket prices," said Manacker.

At Tengu restaurant in Westwood, owners are also accommodating those celebrating on a budget. Last year a six-course dinner would have cost up to $95 per person. This year, the New Year's Eve menu had been lowered to nearly half that price. It's also been scaled back to only four courses.

"It's our way of kind of just helping everybody out, and making sure everyone can just go out and have a good time on New Year's Eve," said Michael Izzo, Tengu Westwood general manager.

So whether you're going out or staying in Wednesday, chances are this New Year's Eve may not have all that glitter and glamour of years past. Although you could find some good deals.

Not all restaurant and clubs in Hollywood are lowering prices this year. The Dolce Group, which represents such Hollywood hot spots as Les Deux and Geisha House are keeping prices the same as last year, and they've almost sold out their events. But they also say the venue sizes for their events this year are a lot smaller than last year.


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