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Ever have a few cocktails in Vegas and make a decision that you immediately regret? I had that feeling as the ride “Insanity” slowly extended me and 9 other thrill seekers over the edge of the observation deck perched on top of the Stratosphere. For those unfamiliar, Insanity is a ride that suspends you off the edge of the Stratosphere tower, dangling you over the Las Vegas Strip below. Once the ride fully extends over the edge it begins to spin and your seat is propelled up to an angle that has you looking straight down at the ground 900 feet below you. It’s a moment like that, looking down at what would be certain death, that you hope and pray the ride’s designer graduated top of his class.
The Stratosphere tower on the north end of the Vegas Strip is a can’t miss attraction. You can get up to the observation deck for $20 dollars ($7 if you are staying at the Strat) and you can add rides for $5 apiece. If you want to make a day of it, you can buy the Unlimited Tower & Rides package which runs $39.95. The view from Stratosphere is amazing and the rides will give you that “poop your pants” rush that you can’t quite find on a craps table. Additionally, I’ve never had to wait longer than 15 minutes to board one of the Stratosphere’s rides making it pretty hassle free.
In addition to Insanity, Stratosphere features The Big Shot and X-Scream. Big Shot shoots 16 riders straight up in the air 160 feet at a 45-mph rate of speed. You experience 4Gs of force and touch a maximum altitude of 1,081 feet. Regret. Regret is what you will feel while sitting at the bottom of the tower waiting to be catapulted, but it’s one hell of a view and experience for the cost of a table minimum blackjack bet.
X-Scream is like a giant teeter totter that slides you 27 feet off the edge of the Strat and back… Over and over.
If you are crazy enough to want more thrill than the rides above can provide you can drop $119.99 for the privilege of jumping off the Stratosphere. At 829 feet from the ground, the Stratosphere SkyJump attraction is the highest commercial decelerator decent attraction of its kind according to the Guinness Book of Records. If you aren’t planning on jumping yourself, ensure you budget time to watch others make this terrible decision.
If you would prefer to relax, there are options to take in the scenery while taking in a meal or cocktails. Lounge 107 sits atop the Stratosphere and menu incorporates local craft beers, wine and signature cocktails or bottle service (Lounge107 Menu). I have had a great experience with the service at this bar – Look for Ronnie! Fantastic.
AirBar can be a good spot on the 108th floor of the Stratosphere to catch in views of SkyJumpers while enjoying the 7pm-10pm Happy hour featuring $5 Jager Bombs and $8 Frozen Cocktails (AirBar Menu).
Lastly, if fine dining up in the air is your thing, check out the Top of the World. It can be a bit more expensive than its land based counterparts (Menu). I’ve been successful finding good deals at one of the numerous Tix4Tonite locations up and down the Strip.
While Stratosphere isn’t (in my opinion) a destination hotel or casino, the attractions up top are certainly worth your time and money. The Stratosphere Tower experience, for me, has been a great chance to make lifelong Las Vegas memories with friends and family. One hell of a view of the city we love – Both Fremont Street and the Las Vegas Strip.