In Milwaukee, the beer capital of the US, you can easily get a limousine:
But a limo ride to the party is relatively easy to find, even at this late date, thanks to a deepening recession.
Several Milwaukee-area limousine service operators reported that bookings are down this year for New Year's Eve, traditionally a big night for their businesses.
The signs of economic distress - layoffs, foreclosures, bailouts and a stock market with a hangover to rival anything that crops up Thursday morning - have led some party-goers to cut back.
"They're not booking yet," said Samer Abulughod, owner of Crystal Limousine & Coach Inc. "Usually, people start booking three months before."
"It's the economy. It affects everything," he said. "What can you do if people have no money?"
In LA, on Sunset Boulevard free hors d'oeuvres and slashed cover charges have replaced the velvet rope!
For the first time in years, clubs in this night-life mecca on Sunset Boulevard and nearby will be ringing in 2009 on Wednesday by slashing cover charges or offering special incentives, such as open bars and free hors d'oeuvres. A night out on New Year's Eve will still cost a premium, of course, but many club operators say they are purposely keeping a lid on prices even though they might be able to charge more...
Berghammer said the Viper Room considered setting New Year's Eve ticket prices around $200 but opted instead for a basic cover of $50, or $100 with drinks and other goodies included.
The less extravagant tone for New Year's reflects the big hit that nightclubs have taken in the yearlong recession.