Vegas is getting a new 120-foot-tall, $11 million amusement ride, and if you can believe it, this one’s not a Ferris wheel. It’s a giant slot machine that spits out zip-liners instead of coins: SlotZilla. At last week’s Fremont Street press conference, SlotZilla designer Chris “Vision Monkey” Brown explained, “We kept coming up with other names, but nothing sounded as imposing or as important as SlotZilla.” Mayor Carolyn Goodman seemed less sold on the name, but she was sold on the project as a whole—and enthused about the direction in which Fremont is moving.
Danny Boren, president of Skyline, explained how the ride differs from others: “Ecotourism zip lines—like the ones we run in Hawaii—are all about the guides. Very hands-on. So there’s more room for human error. But at Fremont, we’re doing an amusement-style attraction. We want to accommodate as many people as possible while keeping everything safe. So we do double safety checks.”
But what really sets SlotZilla apart from all other zip lines is the upper-tier powered release. You’re 11 stories up. You’re hanging from your back, Superman-style. And then you’re not just released; you’re launched. In a testing facility, Boren got a taste of what the sensation will feel like when SlotZilla opens in June 2013: “I’ve zipped thousands of times, but this was something different. It’s like being shot out of a cannon.”