Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stratosphere & Test Drive Pictures

On Tuesday morning last week Linzy and I ventured to the far North end of the Las Vegas Strip to see the Stratosphere Hotel and Tower. The tower is the tallest building west of the Mississippi river (1,149 feet tall), and you can go up to the top to look out over Las Vegas.

Looking down towards the Strip, from the top of the tower.

At the top of the tower, you can ride several rides. I went on "Insanity", which spins you out over the edge of the tower, at about 70 degrees (that is, tilted so you are nearly tipped forward and are dangling over the ground). It was a lot of fun. (this was a picture of the people on the ride before me)

The worst part of the ride (for me, since I am scared of heights) was the first part, where they were levering you out over nothingness, and you didn't really know what to expect. Once they started spinning you it wasn't too bad, and definitely fun.

Here is a view from the ground. You can see the Insanity hanging over the right edge of the tower.

Another ride on the top of the tower shoots you over the side. It looked scary, but not as much fun as the Insanity.

When we got off the monorail at the Sahara, we discovered a new attraction that just opened this month. It was called Test Drive, and was two driving courses where you could drive GM cars on. For $10 you could drive around one of the courses twice.

I originally wasn't going to do it, thinking it would be too expensive. But when we found out it was only $10 Linzy talked me into doing it. I am really glad I did, as it was a blast. Beating the heck out of a $50,000 sports car on a race course (even a 1.2 mile loop) isn't something you get to do very often.

I drove a CTS-V (a Cadillac CTS with a Corvette engine), so Linzy could ride with, and because my buddy at work has one. It handled terrifically, and despite my rusty clutch skills I even got the tires to chatter a bit off the starting line (i.e. what would have been squealing save for the traction control).

The off-road course, where you could drive a number of different SUVs through (almost everyone was picking the Hummers, imagine that).


Brenden Johnson said...

What other kinds of cars could you race at the track?

Steve Eck said...

You can see some of them in the last picture. They had several different Corvettes, the CTS-V, STS-V, a Saab convertible, a Pontiac Solstice, a GTO, an SSR, and a couple others. For the off-road track they had Hummers, some trucks, a Suburban, and an Escalade.

It was done by GM, so it was all their sports cars and trucks, basically.