If you’re looking for new and exciting ways to see money leave your pockets on your next Vegas trip, how about something literal? Everything on your body better be tied down tight if a new roller coaster – so high the creators, U.S. Thrill Rides, have had to submit their plans to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – gets the green light.
The new twist on a popular attraction will include an observation tower when you get to the top. Positioned to be built in the general area of the Tropicana Casino Hotel – which sits very close to where domestic and international flights take off and land at McCarran International Airport – the FAA will need to carefully review the plans for any potential hazards to incoming or outgoing flights.
Height is the New Black
The 650-foot-high so-called “Polercoaster” – you just can’t get away from the “pole” theme in this town – will be yet another in a series of uber height-related thrill rides that are coming into Las Vegas of late. Other rides for the not-faint-of-heart include several zip lines that also required FAA approval; a 550-foot-high rollercoaster “observation wheel” being built by Caesars Entertainment next to the Flamingo; and a “Dinner in the Sky” experience, also going up behind the Trop, where guests can both eat, survey and hopefully not hurl for a big chunk o’ change.
Perhaps they should make pilots get special clearance to land, just to make sure no one is sleep-deprived as they dart among the attractions.
Financing and a solid location assignment are on hold until the FAA approval comes through, but U.S. Thrill Rides president Michael Kitchen says they’ve been talking to banks that are willing to shell out $100 million in financing for the project.
‘This will be the tallest roller coaster in the world,” Kitchen said of the project. “Since Las Vegas is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, we think it will get higher visibility and foot traffic than other places.”
Working in Small Spaces
The Windmere, Florida-based company already has about 300 thrill rides, mostly coasters, under their belt; Kitchen says his father and company CEO Bill came up with the Polercoaster concept as the answer to areas that don’t have a large space of land to work with. “It goes very high, so you get an enormous amount of thrill from a very small amount of space,” Bill Kitchen said. “Using a couple of acres that you would need for a regular roller coaster would be out of reach on the Strip because of the cost.”
And also, because of the airport. Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.