New Year's Eve

Will People Party in San Diego on New Year's Despite Omicron Surge?

Hard Rock Hotel planning for 2,000 guests at outdoor rooftop party

NBC Universal, Inc.

Despite COVID-19 and the surging cases from people infected with the omicron variant, plans are move ahead for huge celebrations in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, with people ready to party and yearning for a return to celebrations of the past/

“I think there are a lot of people who obviously stayed home last year…” said Michael Trimble, the executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association. “People are starting to come out and get back to normal. I know we have COVID still here, but the Gaslamp follows very strict protocols when it comes to keeping customers safe on a daily basis, not just for New Year’s but for every day that people come to the Gaslamp.”

The Hard Rock Hotel is planning for a fully outdoor event on its rooftop deck, with heaters to keep people warm and tents to keep them covered in the event of rain.

“We've seen a large pent-up demand in the marketplace,” said Taylor Murphy, director of operations for Hard Rock San Diego, who added that the event is almost sold out. "People are ready to come out and have a good time in a safe way."

With safety in mind, Murphy said, capacity will be less than usual, but still capping at 2,000.

Trimble said the Hard Rock's bash is one of many huge events planned for the Gaslamp, which are expected to attract thousands more people. He said businesses have been following safety protocols to keep people safe.  

“Our merchants have taken this to heart, and we've been doing this for over a year, so we just want to make sure that people can come back," Murphy said. "So we want people to be safe, we want them to be smart, and we want them to return to the Gaslamp in the future.”

Gaslamp visitors Art and Monica Herzalla of San Francisco, however, said they would be spending New Year's Eve celebrating with family.

“I think it’s too much, too much crowding," Art said, with Monica adding, “No, I won’t be going. I’m going to be staying home with my family, nice and cozy, warm, outside of the rain — hot chocolate, maybe champagne — safe at home.”

Go to to learn more about the safety protocols planned for the events.

So far, no major New Year's Eve events have been called off in San Diego due to the surge in cases.

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