Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Last week's LVW Col: Stratosphere's Other Big Shot

Sorry, I forgot to post this and a few of you asked where it was. FYI, you can also bookmark this link to find all my Las Vegas Weekly columns. -sf

Stratosphere’s other big shot
Ruby Malalay’s made a hobby of the property’s rides
- and set several records


Stratosphere employee Ruby Malalay thinks I’m a total wuss, and she’s probably right. She wants me to join her on the Stratosphere’s X-Scream ride, a long, green vessel that cantilevers 866 feet over Las Vegas Boulevard.

No thanks, I tell the 76-year-old pipsqueak nearly a foot-and-a-half shorter than me.

“You are scared?” she asks.

Uh, yeah.

She shrugs, lets it go and does it herself, leaving me off to question my virility. Thrill rides are not my thing, so much so that I’ve turned down many assignments asking me to grade Vegas’ roller coasters. What would be the point if I was going to keep my eyes as tightly shut as possible until someone told me it was over?

To Ruby, thrill rides make life worth living. She’s done the Big Shot, which hoists you 160 feet into the air at 45 miles per hour, at least 6,458 times. She’s twirled around over the town 64 feet over the edge of the Stratosphere on Insanity more than 1,000 times, and she’s plunged on the SkyJump, which lowers you 855 feet in 60 seconds, eight times. The aforementioned turn on X-Scream marked her 3,085th go. She tracks her times on the Big Shot and X-Scream in a notebook at home; she’s less enthused about Insanity, so she doesn’t keep such meticulous records.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com