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Vegas Tower

Las Vegas Strip resort proposes new 
120 mph roller coaster ride !!!
August 28th, 2001...

 

 

Las Vegas Strip resort proposes new 120 mph roller coaster ride

August 28, 2001

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Stratosphere hotel-casino wants to build a roller coaster that will launch riders from a height of 740 feet down across Las Vegas Boulevard at speeds topping 120 mph.

The proposal, however, has nearby residents quickly lining up in opposition.

If the project were approved and built, it would be more than twice as tall and nearly 30 mph faster than the 310-foot Millennium Force at Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio, which holds the world record in both categories.

The Stratosphere holds the titles of the world's highest roller coaster and the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States.

Six-seat cars would hoist riders up the southern face of the 1,149-foot tower, Stratosphere spokesman Mike Gilmartin said. At 740 feet, the cars would drop off a ledge, plunge down the east side of the tower and across the street, where they would rise to a height of 415 feet.

"Obviously, we're very excited about this ride," Gilmartin said. "We believe it'll add a lot to the city of Las Vegas, add a lot off foot traffic and bring people downtown."

The Stratosphere will seek approval of its plan at a Sept. 6 city Las Vegas Planning Commission meeting.

Cynthia Sell, spokeswoman for the Planning Department, said no building permits have been issued for the project, which will need the approval of the City Council and the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Gilmartin said the roller coaster does not yet have a name, a cost estimate or a construction schedule. Drawings of the project will not be released until the Planning Commission meeting, he said.

Neighbors of the Stratosphere, on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, plan to protest the proposal.

The Southridge neighborhood was built in the 1950s and used to be home to a number of gambling executives, residents said.

John Delikanakis, a member of the community's association, said another thrill ride would just add to the neighborhood's problems with noise.

"We want to make it clear to the City Council that we are opposed to this sort of roller coaster," he said. "Who wants to live under a roller coaster? If there is a quicker way of destroy a neighborhood, I don't know of one."

Copyright 2001 Las Vegas SUN, Inc

 

 

Stratosphere's plans for ride opposed

August 28, 2001

By Diana Sahagun
<diana@lasvegassun.com>

LAS VEGAS SUN

Neighbors of the Stratosphere have grown accustomed to hearing the screams of riders on the Big Shot thrill ride and the High Roller coaster at the hotel-casino.

But the thought of the noise from the hotel's latest project is too much for some who live in the neighborhood bounded by Las Vegas Boulevard, Maryland Parkway, Oakey Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

The Stratosphere is proposing a thrill ride that resembles a giant ski jump as it races passengers 120 mph down the east side of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere tower, crosses Las Vegas Boulevard, and ends with a 415-feet ascent up a tower on Paradise Road.

Casino representatives are scheduled to appear before the Las Vegas Planning Commission Sept. 6 to request the approval of a site development plan and a waiver of the downtown parking lot requirements.

Members of the nearby Southridge Neighborhood Association have scheduled a meeting for 7 tonight at the Fremont Middle School, 1100 E. St. Louis Ave., to organize an attack on the proposal.

"We all fell off our chairs. We're appalled," said Jack Levine, president of the neighborhood association. "The real issue is we think it will have a huge impact on anyone who lives close to it. It will have a deterioration on home values."

The thrill ride would start 750 feet up the Stratosphere tower and race 120 mph down the side, making it the world's tallest and fastest thrill ride.

Eager to be the biggest and the best, the Stratosphere just missed the title of the world's tallest building after concerns about air traffic safety trimmed the proposed height of the tower.

The Stratosphere holds the titles of the world's highest roller coaster and the tallest free-standing observation tower in the United States.

"We've been the forerunner in doing things that people said were impossible," Mike Gilmartin, public relations manager for the Stratosphere, said. "We just want something that stands out."

Gilmartin did not release the cost to build the ride, saying it is still tentative.

Stratosphere has hired Arrow Dynamics Inc., of Clearfield, Utah, a leading manufacturer of roller coasters and thrill rides in the world, to design and build the giant thrill ride if the application is approved.

Gilmartin said the gaming company has discussed the potential noise with Arrow, and representatives are willing to meet with neighbors to address their concerns.

"Our motivation for building this was that we really wanted to bring economic redevelopment to this area," Gilmartin said. "We also wanted to bring more people downtown and to the Stratosphere."

The Stratosphere is in the middle of a $75 million expansion that includes a new hotel tower and a 67,000-square-foot swimming pool, recreation area and private cabanas.

Las Vegas Councilman Gary Reese said growth has remained stagnant in the area, and private investment is the key to redevelopment. He said the thrill ride would bring in much-needed tax dollars and attract people to downtown.

"I love the idea," Reese said Monday. "It would bring tens of thousands of people to the area."

The area surrounding the Stratosphere has had its share of problems for years. The neighborhood behind the Stratosphere near Tam Drive and Cincinnati Avenue, formerly known as Naked City, has been plagued by violence.

Other nearby residents successfully fought Stratosphere developer Bob Stupak's attempt in 1999 to build another hotel-casino with a Titanic theme and an adjacent iceberg-shaped shopping center.

The Southridge neighborhood, several blocks away near Paradise Road and St. Louis Avenue, was built in the 1950s and used to be home to a number of gaming executives, residents said.

The quiet neighborhood is an eclectic mix of mismatched houses of varying sizes, shapes and colors, some with large front porches and rose bushes. Monday night few cars passed on the street as some residents relaxed in hammocks and on lawn chairs.

Every few minutes, though, screams from people riding the Big Shot faintly rained down on the neighborhood, and there was an incessant buzzing of helicopters overhead.

John Delikanakis, a member of the association, said another thrill ride would just add to the neighborhood's problems with noise.

"I can't believe someone would put something like this so close to a residential area," he said. "We already hear the roller coaster, and it's not so bad, we live with it. But this thing is a lot different."

Clydette Harrier, a resident of St. Louis Manor Suites, directly behind the proposed thrill ride on Paradise, said she doesn't mind the noise. In fact, she said, the screams of delight from overhead have an almost calming effect.

"We live in Vegas, and this is what it's about," she said. "Fun, and lights. and noise. ... It's great. I don't mind it at all."

Frank Gordon, founding member of Roller Coaster Buffs, Inc. says if the thrill ride is built, he'll be the first one on board.

"I think if it's doable, that would be absolutely phenomenal," he said. "The momentum and the speed would be astronomical."

Delikanakis, though, plans to help organize residents to protest the thrill ride to the Planning Commission and the City Council, which will have the ultimate say.

"We want to make it clear to the City Council that we are opposed to this sort of roller coaster," he said. "Who wants to live under a roller coaster? If there is a quicker way of destroy a neighborhood, I don't know of one."

Copyright 2001 Las Vegas SUN, Inc

 

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