Stratosphere Las Vegas

Stratosphere Tower - Casino & Resort Hotel

Article by jekky

In the early 1990s, The Stratosphere was conceived by Bob Stupak to replace his Vegas World casino. At the conception of the project, one of the planned rides was to be a giant ape that would carry riders up and down one of the tower's columns. The original plans envisioned the Stratosphere exceeding the height of the CN Tower (1,815 ft (553 m)), making it the world's tallest freestanding structure at that time.

However, due to possible interfence with nearby McCarran International Airport, and any possible flights that come through Las Vegas, the Tower's proposed height shrank multiple times until its current height of 1,149 ft (350 m).

On August 29, 1993, the Tower caught fire while still under construction. No one was injured, but the fire forced repairs and rebuilding that led to numerous delays in the construction of the Tower.In 1995, Grand Casinos was brought on as an equity partner for the still privately funded project under construction. While construction was still progressing, the Stratosphere Corporation was formed as a public company with shares being offered to the public.The Stratosphere opened on April 30, 1996.

Shortly after opening, the Stratosphere Corporation was forced to file bankruptcy. This caused construction on the second tower to stop, with only a few stories partially built, and it allowed Carl Icahn to gain control through one of his companies by buying a majority of the outstanding bonds. A major addition was completed in June 2001 for billion that included finishing the 1000-room second hotel tower. In the early 2000s, the company attempted to get approval for a roller coaster that would run from several hundred feet up the tower and, in the last proposal, across Las Vegas Boulevard. Part of that last proposal included an entry monument on the ride over Las Vegas Boulevard welcoming people to the City of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas City Council did not approve the project due to objections from the neighbors over possible noise from the enclosed cars on the proposed ride.

Dining options include Top of the World, a revolving restaurant; Fellini Italian Ristorante; a buffet featuring a one price/eat-all-day option; Roxy, a 50-themed diner with singing servers; and Lucky Cafe, a coffee shop and full menu restaurant reminiscent of Vegas in its "Rat pack" heyday.

The top of the tower has two observation decks, a restaurant known as "Top of the World" (revolving restaurant), and three thrill rides:Big Shot at 1,081 ft (329 m) is the highest thrill ride in the world, Insanity, opened in 2005, at 900 ft (270 m) is the second highest thrill ride in the world; it dangles riders over the edge of the tower and then spins in a circular pattern at approximately forty miles per hour. X-Scream at 866 ft (264 m) is the third highest thrill ride in the world

Some of the casino games include slot machines, video poker and European roulette. The Stratosphere has inherited some unusual variations on casino games from its Vegas World predecessor, such as "crapless craps". The 80,000-square-foot casino includes approximately 50 table games, 1,500 slot and video poker machines, a poker room, and a race and sports book.

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