New Years celebration not as cold or crowded as anticipated |

New Years celebration not as cold or crowded as anticipated

by Adam Jensen

Thousands of revelers braved 18 degree temperatures Friday night to ring in the new year in the Stateline casino corridor.

Law enforcement officers closed U.S. Highway 50 through the casinos about 10:30 p.m. after anxious partiers spilled into the street.

Crowds did not pack Highway 50 until shortly before midnight, but became shoulder to shoulder outside the entrances of Harvey’s Resort and Casino and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe about 20 minutes before the start of 2011.

While the customary cheers went up at midnight, law enforcement officers reported a relatively quiet night on their end of the annual street party.

South Lake Tahoe police arrested five people at the annual celebration by 12:20 a.m., said Police Chief Brian Ulher. Specific reasons for the arrests were not immediately available early Saturday morning, but Ulher said they are likely alcohol-related.

He said he expected to log a few more arrests as the party continued. He said most people came, celebrated and left without incident.

“All and all, we had a large number of people, but they behaved themselves pretty well,” Ulher said.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office representatives could not immediately be reached Saturday morning for arrest statistics.

The highway was expected to reopen about 1 a.m., Ulher said.