What’s billed as the world’s largest slot machine will dispense people instead of cash in June when the Fremont Street Experience unveils SlotZilla, a towering launch pad for new permanent zip lines beneath Fremont’s LED canopy.
Ground will be broken after the New Year’s holiday on the 120-foot tower that will double capacity on the existing temporary zip-line attraction that will feature a first-of-its-kind “power launch” system to shoot riders at accelerated speeds.
Fremont Street officials gave details on the $11 million attraction at a media event today.
A 6-foot model of SlotZilla was unveiled at the event, which was attended by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and a representative of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority as well as the project design team.
The 11-story slot machine will be built between Third Street and Casino Center where the existing temporary zip-line facility operated by Flightlinez Las Vegas has sold more than 1 million rides since it opened in October 2010.
The new attraction will have two tiers of four zip lines. The lower lines will extend 850 feet and hang 75 feet above the ground and riders in harnesses will fly in a seated position.
The top lines will be 112 feet high and the line will extend 1,700 feet to the front of the Golden Gate hotel-casino. On the top lines, riders will fly in “super-hero position,” lying flat in harnesses, and will be launched at speeds of 35 mph with a propulsion launch system.
The new attraction will also have a two-tiered pricing system. The lower-level zip line will cost $20 a ride while the longer “zoomline” ride will cost $30 a ride. A two-ride package with both rides will go for $40.
In addition, Fremont Street Experience President Jeff Victor said the organization is setting up a reservation system and online and advanced ticket sales so that riders can avoid waiting in line.
A team of developers and designers that have worked for the Walt Disney Co. and Universal Studios Theme Parks are working together on the SlotZilla project.
SlotZilla’s zip-line developer outlined details about the attraction earlier this month at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show in Orlando.
Danny Boren, president of Skyline Eco Adventures in Maui, Hawaii, said his company would serve as a consultant to the SlotZilla project, but that Fremont Street Experience would run the attraction.
Skyline says it offered the first zip line attraction in the United States. It currently operates three zip lines in Hawaii: two on Maui and one on the Big Island.
Victor said the Fremont Street Experience zip line started out as a 30-day promotional experiment with Flightlinez. Hundreds of thousands of riders later, the Fremont Street Experience board, comprised of downtown resort executives, began looking at how it could develop a permanent zip-line attraction.
Flightlinez founder Ian Green said in September that he feared his business was going to be taken over by Fremont Street officials.
Green, whose company also operates a zip line at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, said his attraction helped turn Fremont Street’s fortunes around. He said he also has given more than $200,000 to Las Vegas charities through special ride promotions.
In September, Fremont Street officials acknowledged they were in negotiations to develop a new permanent zip line but gave no details about the status of talks with Green. Green could not be reached for comment this week.
At the media event, Victor downplayed any animosity between Flightlinez and the Fremont Street Experience, calling Green a great partner in the initial success of the venture. But he also said Skyline was on board with what Fremont Street officials wanted to do.
Flightlinez will continue to operate its zip-line attraction while SlotZilla is under construction, shifting lines slightly to accommodate workers.
Fremont Street will hire 100 employees to run the attraction.
Announcements will be made in the months ahead on attraction hours, age and weight restrictions for riders.