Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breaking Exclusive: Fremont St Zipline Opens Friday

A couple hours ago on Gadling.Com, I broke a pretty fun one: By this Friday, the folks behind the Bootleg Canyon Flightlines attraction in Boulder City are slated to open a zipline that launches into the Fremont Street Experience from the plaza to the east of it with all that cool restored neon.

The Fremont Street Flightline is expected to go about 800 feet to the center of the Fremont Street Experience outside of the Four Queens and right by the main performance stage. See where Greenheart LLC owner Ian Green is standing by the pink X above to your right? That's where the landing platform is planned to stand.

If you look carefully at the top photo, you'll see the folks in the foreground with a tape measure, mapping out the location of the tower from which riders will leap from 60 feet and swing down to 14 feet up. Folks will buy their tickets ($15 from 2-6 pm, $20 from 6 pm to midnight) at an office on the ground level (the former office for condos at Streamline, in fact) and then ascend to the top floor of the FSE parking garage to get to the launch pad.

Greenheart LLC is spending $150,000 on a temporary four-line system that will hurtle folks a relatively genteel 20-25 mph over the FSE crowds and under the canopy. Yes, you'll be able to fly during the light show itself, although they're planning to time rider launches so that you go over Fourth Street when traffic is stopped at that light as a safety precaution.

If it goes well, Greenheart and FSE will go before the Las Vegas City Council for approval for a permanent attraction that they hope will span the entire length of FSE and land roughly in front of the Plaza Hotel. They got a 90-day temporary permit on Monday, just in time to get the thing up and running for Green's big Halloween idea -- a broom-racing championship. After that, he's looking at outfitting the lines with reindeers and such depending on the time of year.

Could be a lot of fun and definitely could bring a new crowd to downtown. My biggest concern is that the price is way too low and will result in very, very long lines. That will discourage people on the Strip from coming down. I wonder if some sort of a number or reservation or appointment system might not bring people down there and then set them loose in the casinos and such until it's their time.

I reminded Fremont president Jeff Victor that his folks contend that hula-hooping on the plaza is hazardous and distracting to tourists and could cripple old people and want that dastardly deed outlawed. I'll play his prickly response to that on Saturday's episode of "The Strip."

Unlike the Boulder City attraction, where the attendants are willing to shoot your photos and such for free, Cashman Photo will be shooting pictures of riders on the line and selling them at their kiosks. Green hopes the visibility will spur more interest in the Boulder City attraction which is, by the by, awesome. Here was my YouTube video from my day out there with my friend Trevor:

Next up, they hope: the long-discussed zipline at Excalibur. Hear on this coming weekend's episode of "The Strip" where Green might go, too.

[h/t to Sparky of LV.]