After having such a good time on the Voodoo zipline, I was eager to give Las Vegas' other zipline, the SlotZilla, a try. On a sunny Wednesday afternoon in October, my assistant, Heather of Vegas Aces, and I mustered our bravery and headed to Fremont Street to experience it.
To give you some background, Slotzilla is actually two ziplines that transport riders down Las Vegas' iconic Fremont Street. What other zipline in the world zooms riders past several casinos under a canopy of millions of lights? The name brings to mind both slot machines and Godzilla. To be honest, I didn't see much connection to either. So, I can't give it many points for the name, but who cares about that?
There are two options -- the original shorter, lower line and the newly added longer, upper line. The upper line transports riders, who are laying on their stomach “Superman style,” the entire way down the "Fremont Street Experience," through five blocks of historic downtown Las Vegas. The lower line goes half that distance, and the riders are in a seated position. After watching countless others have fun during many previous visits downtown, Heather and I decided it was finally our turn.
The first step is buying tickets, which can be purchased on the south side of Fremont Street, between 4th Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Inside the ticket office, there are several kiosks where you can make your purchase. The main decision is whether to do the shorter, lower line at $20 or the longer, upper line at $40. We chose the upper line.
After choosing our adventure and selecting a time to depart, the machine printed out armbands and we were ready to go. Not only was there no waiting to buy tickets, but the next available launch, which happens every 20 minutes, was available too. The stairs to Slotzilla are right in the middle of Fremont Street, just outside the ticket office.
After walking up one flight of stairs, we grabbed bags from a bin to put our stuff in, nicely free of charge. Next, the staff put us in what is the biggest harness I have ever seen. Then, since we were long zipline riders, we traveled 114 feet up a big, orange industrial elevator to the top level. Here, Heather and I waited for about five minutes as other riders took their turn before we were called forward to the middle two of four lines.
At this point, we simply laid down on a mat, which is then raised about three feet like an accordion. The staff hooked our harnesses up to the cable and lowered the mats. We were just hanging there, waiting for the gates to open and let us out.
We literally hung there for a few minutes, which built up both excitement and anxiety. Then, the gate before us slowly lowered and off we went!
Leaving was slow at first. The height, 10 stories high, was more frightening than the speed. The cable is attached to the harness on your back, which you can't see, so the sensation of flying is quite realistic. Soaring down the iconic Fremont Street, our speed gradually increased. With each passing second we felt more wind in our faces and through our hair. Here, I held my arms out in front, and I suggest you do the same. It may be the closest sensation to flying you'll ever have, outside of base jumping.
As I was passing between the Golden Nugget and Binion's, about half way down, fear turned to excitement as I enjoyed the view, height, and speed. If only I could travel like this everywhere! Just as I was getting used to feeling like a bird, we suddenly came to a near halt. As I swung back and forth, I worried about my GoPro flying off my head. Then, we slowly started moving forward again and ended up above the landing platform.
Once we came to a complete stop, mats exactly like those we started on rose to meet us and the mounting process reversed itself. The staff unhooked us, the mats lowered, we got up, walked to a table, and removed the harnesses. Then comes the ubiquitous viewing of pictures. Normally, I have the resolve to say "no," but in the interests of adding visual aids to this article, I bought the whole package of about 40 photos, which were delivered to my e-mail address.
In closing, I must say I enjoyed every second of my experience. I appreciated that I never had to wait in line, there was no locker rental shake down, and they allowed me to wear my GoPro, which I was denied from doing at the Voodoo zipline before. Plus, the ride was exhilarating. My only complaint is I think the price of $40 for the long line is a bit steep. Overall, I left happy for the experience and glad to cross it off my list.
- Address: Fremont Street, between 4th Street and Las Vegas Blvd.
- Hours: 1:00 PM to 1:00 AM
- Cost: $20 for the lower line, $40 for the upper line.
- Weight limits: Lower line: 60-300 lbs., Upper line: 100-300 lbs.
- Web site: vegasexperience.com/slotzilla-zip-line
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