During the 2003-04 New Year’s Holiday, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported 1,839 traffic accidents statewide, with 12 people killed and 762 injured. Fourteen percent of the fatal accidents were alcohol related and 7.7 percent of all accidents involved alcohol.
In Boone County, there were 40 accidents during the 2003-04 New Year’s holiday that injured 11.
“People make choices. They choose to drink and they choose to drive,” said Capt. Chris Ricks, public information director for the Missouri Highway Patrol. “Anything that keeps them from drinking and driving we are in favor of.”
Some local hotels provide a venue for celebrating on New Year’s Eve that can eliminate traveling. The packages typically provide a place to party and a place to crash afterwards.
“I think it is an excellent way to celebrate if you do plan on drinking,” said Capt. Zim Schwartze of the Columbia Police Department. “It is a good idea that people are planning responsibly,”
Ed Baker, executive vice president of Executive Hotel Management, said the packages are a way to celebrate without the work.
“You don’t have to clean up, cook anything or even make the bed,” Baker said.
Columbia’s hotel specials and packages
Best Western, 3100 I-70 Drive S.E., 474-6161
- What: New Year’s Eve party in its front room.
- Cost: $35 per couple or $89 per couple with room and tax. Includes two drink tickets, free appetizers from 8 to 10 p.m. and a champagne toast at midnight. There will be party favors, giveaways and a disc jockey will provide music.
Days Inn, 1900 I-70 Drive S.W., 445-8511
- What: New Year’s Eve room deal
- Cost: Rooms from $59 per couple or $69.95 for three to four people. Includes one free drink at the Prime Time Lounge and free breakfast New Year’s Day. Also, a free glass of champagne at midnight.
Drury Inn, Interstate 70 and Stadium Boulevard, 445-1800
- What: Manager’s reception.
- Cost: Rooms from $71.99 per couple and an additional $10 per person. Includes three free drinks per adult, extended checkout until 2 p.m. and extended breakfast hours from 7 a.m. to noon. The Drury Inn will also be offering half price rooms for New Year’s Day.
Hampton Inn, 3410 Clark Lane, 886-9392
- What: New Year’s Eve room deal.
- Cost: Standard rooms from $129 per couple and Jacuzzi suites from $198 per couple. Includes candles, chocolate, bubble bath set, flowers and sparkling grape juice. The pool will be open for adults only from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., and checkout time will be extended until 1 p.m.
Stoney Creek Inn, 2601 S. Providence Road, 442-6400
- What: Family Fun Night.
- Cost: Rooms from $99. Includes 10 p.m. countdown for kids, bounce house, movies, spa, sauna, crafts, indoor/outdoor pool, snacks and party favors.
Holiday Inn Select, 2200 I-70 Drive S.W., 445-8531
As of Tuesday the Holiday Inn Select was out of rooms for New Year’s Eve and has partnered with the Drury Inn. Room packages will be honored with Drury Inn rooms, which is about 100 yards away, for the same price.
Holiday Inn Select Room Packages
- What: Krazy Kats room package with dinner and dancing.
- Cost: $179. With open bar $212.40.
- Includes entertainment by the oldies band, Krazy Kats, dinner at Picadilly’s and a room.
- What: Spanky’s room package.
- Cost: $212.40. Includes open bar, hors d’oeuvres and a DJ playing top 40 songs from 2004.
- What: “Clear 99 Country” room package with dinner and dancing.
- Cost: $123.32; with open bar $156.73. Includes entertainment by Clear 99 Country, dinner at Picadilly’s and a room.
Holiday Inn Select event packages:
- What: Krazy Kats
- Cost: Dinner and dance — $99 plus taxes per couple. Including drinks — $129 plus taxes. Dance and drinks only — $40 plus taxes per person.
- What: Spanky’s
- Cost: Dance and drinks only —$50 per person
- What: Clear 99
- Cost: Dinner and dance — $50 per couple plus taxes. Dinner, dance and drinks -- $80 per couple plus taxes. Dance only $10 per person.