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Zip line to give riders sky view of Vegas

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 5:36 p.m.

LAS VEGAS — Tourists will soon have a new way to see the lights of Las Vegas: By being spit out of the mouth of an 11-story slot machine and zinged down a five-block zip line past some of the city's oldest casinos.

Officials this week introduced plans for a permanent zip line on the downtown Las Vegas promenade known as the Fremont Street Experience.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said the thrill ride dubbed SlotZilla was destined to become an iconic city landmark.

“This is going to be known around the world: Come ride our Slotzilla,” she said, standing beside showgirls and a scale model at the reveal.

The monster zip line will cost $11 million to build and $20 to $30 to ride. Construction is expected to start in January.

The attraction, expected to open in June, is an expansion of a much smaller, temporary zip line that has for two years scooted families, newlyweds and Elvis impersonators beneath a long metal canopy that displays an hourly light show.

That ride was intended to be a 30-day novelty, but it proved such a crowd pleaser the business community began working to make it permanent.

Riders launch four at a time from a 67-foot metal scaffolding and land 800 feet away near the Four Queens casino, halfway across the pedestrian mall that features the world's largest video screen.

The new tower will be twice as tall, feature twice as many lines, and will look like a giant slot machine spitting out disoriented tourists.

With each new batch of zip-liners, the handle will dip, the wheels will spin, and the doors will open, revealing the course to the tourists on top.

Officials are betting the new attraction will lure more visitors to the downtown area, which has struggled to compete with the flashier Strip three miles away.

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