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Keep the contents of your stomach where they should be.
Stratosphere Tower (USA)
Member Name: garymarsh6
Stratosphere Tower (USA)
Advantages: Fantastic views of Las Vegas and the surrounding mountains.
Disadvantages: The worst nightmare for people suffering from Vertigo.
The Stratosphere tower.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the great casinos of Las Vegas each hotel is based on some kind of theme for example The Paris hotel has a copy of the Eiffel Tower albeit slightly smaller. The Luxor is built in the shape of a Pyramid; The Venetian is based loosely on scenes from Venice with a façade similar to the ducal palace and a canal running outside and inside the hotel. When they decided to close the Vegas casino which had only been open for 16 years making an annual profit of around $100 million dollars a year Bob Stupak its owner wanted to replace it with something even more spectacular.
The downside of the stratosphere hotel is its position although technically still on the strip it is one of the Last properties on the strip. It is at the wrong end of the Las Vegas Strip and quite a fair way away from the main casino areas of Las Vegas. In order to make it profitable it provides very cheap accommodation compared to the casinos at the South end of the strip.
The Vegas Casino closed in 1979 and building started on building the Stratosphere which would be the tallest structure in Nevada and the tallest observation deck in the USA at 1,149 feet. They wanted to build it even higher but the authorities would not permit it due to its location and the nearby McCarran international airport at the other end of the strip.
During the construction in 1993 a fire in the tower caused major disruption to the building project resulting in the closure of the Vegas casino. However the building recommenced ending in it opening in April 1996. However shortly after its opening the company filed for bankruptcy and the hotel ended up being sold.
The Stratosphere tower is the main feature of the Stratosphere Casino hotel complex in Las Vegas. The original concept was that a gorilla shaped lift would take people to the top of the tower but this was dismissed by the planning department instead high speed lifts whisk you to the top of the tower.
So what facilities are at the tower?
There is a revolving 360 degree restaurant at the top of the tower seating ( ) guests for dinner.
There is a tacky souvenir shop, and a Starbucks and a small café fast food eatery.
A glass enclosed observation deck giving a 306 degree panorama view looking out across the whole of Las Vegas and into the mountain ranges surrounding Las Vegas.
At the very top of the tower there are three incontinent producing type rides which can be bought on top of the price of your entry ticket.
So how much is it?
Admission to the tower
Hotel guests $12
Residents of Nevada $12.
Entrance including rides
Entrance & unlimited rides $35.95
Entrance & 3 rides $29.95
Entrance & 2 rides $25.95
Entrance & 1 ride. $21.95
Express Pass + $10
Getting into the lift you are whisked up to the top of the tower in less than 40 seconds. On the way up your ears actually pop and the lift operator reminds you to yawn to equalise the pressure in your ears.
When you come out of the lift at the top you walk into a sitting area and then the observation deck where you can look at the whole area of Las Vegas through a glass enclosure. There are telescopes dotted around the deck for you to use to see even further. You can observe the helicopters that constantly pass by the stratosphere on their tour of the strip. Here on this deck is the souvenir shop, Starbucks and the fast food joint.
Find the stairs to go up and observe from the cage enclosed observation deck and the queues for the following rides.
The BIG SHOT.
This ride takes you to the highest level on the tower. 16 people are strapped into a seat like device with a mechanical padded bar to hold you in place. The ride shoots up 160 feet into the air at 45 mph experiencing a G force in excess of 4G's. You are likely to leave the contents of your stomach on the floor and the rest in the air.
The X- SCREAM.
This ride takes four mentally deranged people on a mad daring ride 27 feet over the edge of the tower 900 feet above the ground. The ride is like a see saw in that you sit in the ride and it tips forward sending the ride shooting forward and breaking suddenly hanging precariously over the edge. It gives the rider the sensation of falling right over the edge. The car then rolls back along the tracks and without warning drops again sending the car hurtling to the edge of the rails again. The contents of your stomach are destined to part company with you so don't stand below the tower on this chilling ride.
The RIDE - INSANITY.
This is a crab like arm consisting of six seats which moves out 64 feet over the edge of the tower 900 feet above the ground. This is not the end of your ride the thing starts to spin at a rate of three G's which causes the arms to stretch out at 70 degrees so that you are actually facing the ground. Nice one eh for people short of any sensibility.
You would need to be sectioned if you want to go on any of the above rides and assessed for mental instability.
The TOP OF THE WORLD RESTAURANT.
The top of the world restaurant is over 800 feet above the ground giving diners spectacular views especially at night when the whole of the strip and Las Vegas becomes a sea of Neon entertainment. As you sit there drinking pre dinner cocktails watch the helicopters flying past observing the tower on their trip high above the Vegas Strip. They are like little buzzing bees.
The restaurant actually completely revolves every 80 minutes so that you experience a complete panoramic view of the whole of Las Vegas. We had dinner here one evening reservations are essential. The dinner was ok but nothing special as far as I remember. It was ok but at a price. If you are willing to splash out and eat at a unique restaurant that is certainly different then go ahead but to be quite honest I was a bit disappointed by the standard of the food which was ok but nothing spectacular. The view is phenomenal.
After dinner you can go upstairs to the Romance bar which is peaceful and with outstanding views again of Las Vegas.
Would I recommend this experience?
Yes as it is a must do experience in Las Vegas. You will regret not doing it while you are there. Each time we have been to Las Vegas we have walked down the strip as far as The Stratosphere and then got a taxi to the Freemont street experience but this was only ever during the day time which takes about half an hour. I would never walk around this area after dark as it is nearer the seedier part of town. It just does not feel safe here. If you are visiting at night the only way to get there would be by taxi from outside your hotel or for your return from the stratosphere.
If you want somewhere very cheap to stay then this is the hotel for you but if you want a bit more style and be in the heart of all the action then it is definitely not the right choice for you.
I am only awarding this a 3 star attraction due entirely to its poor location.
Summary: A brilliant view in an unusual setting. Weird, wacky and wonderful.
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