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The STRAT Hotel


You know that friend who’s really afraid of heights? Stratosphere is probably not the place to take them. But once you’ve ditched them in the casino, at the Level 8 Pool or the Tower Pizzeria & Creamery, let yourself enjoy the ride up to the biggest attraction at Stratosphere. At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere Tower makes every other structure in the city awkwardly explain that they’re just cold or nervous. Since it extends to such a great height, it’s visible from nearly every vantage point in Las Vegas. But those sights are nothing compared to the view from the top. In less than 40 seconds, high-speed elevators pull you upward like you’re already on a thrill ride. You can’t see out, which is probably a good thing since you wouldn’t want to be stuck in an elevator with the one person who couldn’t handle it. But thanks to the attentive and explanatory elevator operators, you’ll have plenty of information to take your mind off the fact that you’re shooting upward at 25 ft/s. (Yeah, we did math.) Once you get to the top, you’ve got lots of options depending on how intense you are. If you’re quite calm, Top of the World restaurant, one of Las Vegas’ premier gourmet rooms serves sophisticated cuisine impeccably paired with wine and complemented by a 360-degree view of the city. The floor actually makes a complete rotation every 80 minutes. The place is so romantic they even offer special Proposal Packages. And for casual people who enjoy a cocktail, Level 107 Lounge overlooks Top of the World and Air Bar is literally the highest bar in Vegas. For people just slightly more daring, the Observation Deck offers indoor and outdoor viewing of Fabulous Las Vegas and is the perfect place to sit and wait for the friends you politely refer to as “adventurous” as they enjoy themselves. For some reason Stratosphere decided, “Hey, let’s put thrill rides on top of the tallest structure in the city. That’s a good idea.” So that’s exactly what they did. And it’s totally a good idea. There are currently four ways to test your resolve: X-Scream (A teeter totter that gets its jollies by dangling people off a building), Big Shot (A ride that takes you even higher into the air then drops you harder than a dubstep DJ drops the beat), Insanity (Like your childhood merry-go-round if it were jacked up on Four Loco and Spike TV), and SkyJump (It’s just jumping off the top of the building and trusting a cable to slow you down–because parachutes are for babies). We could give you warnings about trying these, but we can already tell that if you’re the type of person who’s already excited then nothing will talk you out of the ride. And you’re also probably the type of person whose main reason for not wanting to die is the fear of your family going through your stuff. But for the rest of who have self-control and a healthy fear response, Stratosphere also has more grounded appeal. The Michael Jackson tribute show “MJ Live” plays at the Stratosphere.  Fellini’s Ristorante Italiano Preparing excellent pasta and other Italian delights. Singing for your supper is all the rage at Roxy’s Diner as the wait staff in this nostalgic restaurant often put on a show to accompany their old-fashioned home cooking. And McCall’s Heartland Grill has a hearty mix of steak and seafood in a Midwestern-style restaurant. Add to all that The Buffet, the pool with poolside café, Roni Josef International Salon & Spa and Tower Shops with 32 stores that replicate street scenes from iconic shopping cities like Paris and New York and you can see that Stratosphere is much more than a tower. That said, the tower is still pretty awesome. Stratosphere is close enough that you can catch a cab or shuttle to the rest of the Strip (we don’t recommend walking), when you’re finished surveying it from the observation deck of course. And complete enough that you won’t have to leave if you don’t want to. It may not be for the acrophobic, but Stratosphere, with everything it has to offer and the heights it reaches, is definitely for the people who want to push themselves a little and look over the edge at least once during their Vegas vacation.

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