In Las Vegas, the Rio All Suite Hotel And Casino is reportedly scrambling to find alternate lodgings for guests after a power outage yesterday led to the evacuation of some 900 rooms just before the start of the busy New Year’s Eve weekend.

According to a report from the Associated Press news service, the situation arose in the early hours of Thursday morning after a fuse in a backup generator that was powering the 2,522-room hotel’s Masquerade Tower shorted. Local fire control systems subsequently stopped working and forced hotel staff to ask guests to leave their rooms.

“It all went dark and then we heard a commotion in the hall,” guest Amanda Paulsen told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper. “We went to look and someone said “the power’s out, we have to leave”.”

The Associated Press reported that the problem first emerged on Wednesday when a blocked sink in a service area accidentally overflowed and shorted a fuse in the main power system. This caused a small electrical fire that prompted a more limited evacuation with management consequently relying on a backup generator although this later failed after shorting due to water infiltration from a fire sprinkler.

Evacuated patrons were reportedly directed to the lounge of the 1980s-themed Rock Of Ages musical where they received food, drinks and updates about the situation. By noon yesterday, a decision had been made to relocate the guests after their belongings were retrieved.

The Associated Press reported that the Rio All Suite Hotel And Casino, which was built in 1990 and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, is only a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip and is one of the more affordable hotels in the Nevada city with rooms running at less than $100 on an off-peak night. It is also home to magic double act Penn And Teller, the Chippendales male revue and Food Network personality Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho restaurant.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation reportedly revealed that the Rio All Suite Hotel And Casino was running at near capacity when the evacuation took place and it is trying to find replacement accommodation for guests at other nearby hotels. More than 300,000 visitors are expected to ring in the New Year in Las Vegas, which is welcoming big-name music acts and hosting an eight-minute pyrotechnic show complete with fireworks launched from the rooftops of casinos.

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