Stratosphere ride taking shape

Aug 19, 2003 7:46 AM

In just a few weeks, daredevils will have a new Las Vegas thrill ride to test their derring-do. And it might just push them over the edge. Literally.

Stratosphere’s new Project X Sky ride is currently being constructed by Interactive Rides of Logan, Utah, with a christening date set for October.

The ride resembles a giant teeter-totter that will be perched on the edge of the Stratosphere’s observation deck, about 900 feet above the Las Vegas Strip.

The ride consists of an open, floorless vehicle that holds eight passengers. The vehicle will be attached to a pivoting track that will propel the vehicle over the edge of the observation deck at about 30 miles per hour.

Riders will experience free-fall while racing back and forth, across the edge of the observation deck.

"Project X Sky will play upon the passenger’s primal fear of falling before pulling them

back from over the edge," said Bobby Ray Harris, senior vice president of operations at the Stratosphere Tower. "A Project X Sky passenger is the type of person who wants to see if they can handle the intensity of literally going over the edge."

The ride was supposed to travel about 27 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere’s observation deck, but was recently extended to 31 feet.

"An extra four feet will seem like a mile," Harris said. " We opted for maximum thrill and speed by adding additional footage to the ride experience."

Once the Project X Sky structure is completed in September, it will be brought to Las Vegas, and then hoisted up the side of the Stratosphere Tower by way of commercial helicopters.

The builder, Interactive Rides Inc., is an amusement ride engineering and manufacturing company. It was involved in the design and construction of the Stratosphere’s Big Shot ride, which opened to the public in 1996.