Stratosphere Tower

I had occasion this past weekend to pay a visit to the Stratosphere and decided I needed to go up in the tower, as it had been a number of years since I had gone up there. These are my thoughts upon revisiting. First, you need to buy a ticket and that is on the main (casino) floor. There are numerous permutations depending on whether you wish to do any of the thrill rides, but my thrill riding days are behind me. The first thing that struck me was the price. It is $20 during the week and $25 on the weekend. Frankly that’s a bit much unless you do want to ride the rides when you get up there. It does allow for you to come and go as much as you want until 2 AM but, unless you are planning to be in the area all day, that may not be much of a selling point. If you are a hotel guest, the price drops to $10 and that seems about right to me. Still, this is the tallest observation deck west of the Mississippi so it is an impressive view. The trick here is to go sometime after the lounge opens, tell them you are going up for some drinks, and you can ride to the top for free. I was there too early to take advantage of that but you can plan better than I did and arrive after it opens at 4 PM. To access the tower elevators, you’ll need to go up to 2nd floor and it is a bit of a hike. After that, expect the usual security and package checks. The elevator ride is fairly smooth and, of course, once you get to the top, the scenery is breathtaking. There is an indoor and outdoor deck, but only part of the outdoor deck is accessible. The rest is taken up with the thrill rides. There’s a bar, snack bar and souvenir shop but it is really all about seeing for miles and miles around you. Frankly, there are better ways to see the Strip but, outside of a helicopter, no better way to see the entire valley. If that sounds like something that appeals to you, it will be more than worth the price of admission.

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