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Vancouver police expecting large turnout for downtown New Year’s Eve celebrations

Click to play video: 'Hospitality industry and police prepare for first full New Year’s Eve in two years'
Hospitality industry and police prepare for first full New Year’s Eve in two years
With the first pandemic restriction-free New Year's Eve in two years falling on a Saturday night, B.C.'s hospitality industry is hoping to make up for lost time and money. Emad Agahi reports police are also preparing for a very busy night. – Dec 30, 2022

It’s finally the first New Year’s Eve celebration without COVID-19 restrictions, which limited events over the past few years in B.C.

In Vancouver, police said they expect lots of celebration enjoyers to descend upon the busy downtown core.

“We expect it to be a very busy night,” Const. Tania Visintin told Global News. “We are expecting residents from different parts of (the Lower Mainland) coming into Vancouver.”

Increased policing will be seen around the city, with an emphasis on more ground patrols in busier parts of the city.

“We will have extra officers deployed in our entertainment district including Granville Street, Yaletown, and Gastown. The anti-gang unit will be out and around visiting restaurants and bars as well,” Visintin said.

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The night of celebrations will give Vancouver establishments a chance to earn money that was lost during the pandemic, according to BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees.

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“New Year’s Eve is an opportunity for the hospitality industry to finally recoup some of the losses from the last few years,” said Jeff Guignard, BC’s Alliance of Beverage licensees’ executive director.

“We are looking forward to having an exciting New Year’s Eve for the first time in three years, really.”

Guignard said he’s been hearing lots of excitement from bars, clubs and restaurants regarding the big night, as anticipation for the big night on the town continues to grow.

“What I’ve been hearing so far is tickets are already selling out,” he said. “People are allowed to dance. We will have bands and entertainment.”

Guignard said last year’s celebrations were quite restricted, and with those restrictions now gone, people are ready to celebrate.

“Nightclubs weren’t open last year at this time, people couldn’t dance, and many had to wear masks,” Guignard said.

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TransLink has announced that all of its services on New Year’s Eve will be free to the public, from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Compass cards will not be needed.

TransLink has made a number of service changes for New Year’s Eve specifically:

  • Buses will operate on a Saturday schedule with more than 30 additional buses driving throughout the system
  • SkyTrain service will operate on a Saturday schedule with last trains running one hour later than usual
  • SeaBus will be running on a Saturday schedule with extended service every 15 minutes until 1:22 a.m. and every 30 minutes until last sailing departing Waterfront Station at 2:22 a.m.
  • Nightbus will continue to operate after SkyTrain and Seabus service ends

TransLink said additional security, police and staff will be working to direct and assist customers as well.

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