Hotels along the Las Vegas Strip will be even more crowded than usual this New Year’s weekend as officials at the Rio resort try to find rooms for hundreds of guests displaced after a fire and power failure.
A small electrical fire Wednesday afternoon caused a brief power failure in the Rio’s Masquerade Tower. A generator quickly kicked in, but water from the sprinklers that activated leaked into the generator. Power failed about 7 a.m. Thursday.
By 11:30 p.m. Friday, about 120 rooms on Floors 4-7 were cleared for occupancy, leaving 780 rooms without power.
On Friday afternoon, Rich Broome, executive vice president of Caesars Entertainment, had said that nearly half of 900 rooms in the Masquerade Tower would “not be occupied for several days, well beyond New Year’s Eve.”
The Rio has more than 2,500 rooms and was expecting occupancy of well over 90% for the holiday weekend, Broome said.
Broome said other Caesars properties along Las Vegas Boulevard could accommodate guests who were booked in the now-dark rooms. Broome said some customers would have to be housed at competitors’ properties.
About 320,000 visitors are expected in Las Vegas to ring in 2017. The city and county have nearly 150,000 hotel rooms.
Hotel staff continued trying to contact people with reservations to advise them where they would be staying. Customers can also call a special hotline: (866) 635-6955.
After the power failure Thursday, guests were evacuated down darkened stairwells.
Six guests were injured during evacuation and taken to local hospitals, said Chief Greg Cassell of the Clark County Fire Department. None of the injuries was life-threatening.
The hotel’s VooDoo Lounge, a combination nightclub and restaurant on the top two floors of the tower, will not be open for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
The power failure also forced county officials to relocate the command center for the midnight fireworks display.
8:40 a.m. Dec. 31: This story has been updated to reflect that 120 rooms have been put back in service but that 780 remain without power.
This story was originally published at 3:20 p.m. Dec. 30.