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Crowds mean big biz on New Year's Eve

By Femi Abebefe
Published On: Dec 31 2013 11:25:04 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2013 11:33:59 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Femi Abebefe reports on what for many High Desert businesses say is one of their busiest nights of the year.

BEND, Ore. -

Businesses were gearing up all day for what they expect to be one of the biggest nights of the year. One restaurant owner said New Year's Eve would be his busiest night of the year, and others had similar sentiments.

With big crowds in a condensed area, business is booming for restaurants, bars and transportation services. For one of Bend's biggest party days of the year, bars were expecting a wide variety of people ringing in 2014.

"A lot of locals plus visitors who come into town just to celebrate the new year," said Liz Johnson, bar manager of JC’s Bar and Grill.

McMenamin's Pub and Restaurant said this is the second-biggest business day of the year after St. Patrick's Day.

"This evening, we'll be packed,” said Ben Kruse, pub and restaurant manager at McMenamin’s. “Line out the door, wait list for hours on end."

Todd Bardwell, owner of the Blacksmith Restaurant, said they're hosting a special dinner.

"We’ve been taking reservations now for probably over a month, and we keep getting numerous phone calls all day," Bardwell said.

With so many people in a small area, things can get out of hand. JC’s Bar and Grill said safety is a priority, but they think they're prepared.

"We’ve got enough security,” Johnson said. “We've got enough bouncers to keep everything kind of under control tonight."

Bars and restaurants are not the only ones anticipating a busy night; transportation services like Sober Dudes are geared-up. They'll pick you up and take you home in your car. if you're too drunk to drive.

"I understand the importance of having a vehicle to transport your children the next day, or needing it for soccer practice or whatever that looks like for you and your family," said Jennifer Falls, the owner of Sober Dudes.

The owner said she's seen too many DUIIs through the years, and it's nights like this that remind her why she got into the business.

"Take a taxi or Sober Dudes,” Falls said. “We want to make sure that everyone in the community is safe. That’s what we're here for, that's our main objective and we care about our family, your family and everybody else’s family that's on the road tonight."

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