COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - On Saturday night, the city had six large holiday events with crowds of between 100 and 1,000.
"And it's not just downtown anymore," said Randy Rodriguez, host of a dance party at the Antlers Hotel. "They're all over town. As we grow and more people move here, I think they expect more."
Rodriguez has hosted eight similar celebrations in the area and has become popular for his wide variety of entertainment, child-friendly atmosphere, affordable admission and appeal to a wide range of people.
It's a combination that attracted the Persington family from southwestern Kansas.
"We were looking for something different to do on New Year's Eve," wife and mother Sharon Persington said. "We've been to Colorado Springs but never for New Year's Eve. So we looked online for activities and things to do. And (we) know that it was a safe environment and we're not walking around outside."
Johnathan Shankland, a manager at the Antlers Hotel, said most partiers live in the area and rent rooms for the night specifically to enjoy holiday events.
"They don't have to worry about driving home late or drunk," he said. "They can relax the next day -- to the point that New Year's Day is the busiest day for room service in the hotel industry."
Shankland said the city has potential for even bigger and better events.
"We can do some things outside," he said. "With two blocks of Pikes Peak Avenue between us and the Mining Exchange Hotel, it creates an area that not many other downtowns have. We can take advantage of that."
Shankland said the New Year's Eve ball drop, which ended after a brief return several years ago, will be part of the 2017 celebration.
The Antlers is considered a key location for annual holiday celebrations because of its history dating to the original hotel built in 1883. It was destroyed by fire in 1898, rebuilt in 1901, demolished in 1964 and reopened in 1967.
Of the remaining New Year's Eve's events overnight, two were at the Broadmoor; one at Glen Eyrie Castle; one at the Gold Room downtown and one at the Pikes Peak Center.