PW MAY19 04 Park Hoppin_PW_Nov14_p08_09 24/05/2019 15:27 Page 4

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Park Hoppin’ with Paul Ruben

Flying High Q

uestion for you. What American city has the most zip lines? If you enjoy urban ziplining, and I do, then Las Vegas is the place to go. Las Vegas has three of them including Slotzilla down the middle of

Freemont Street, Fly LINQ over the LINQ Prominade, and the Voodoo Zipline high above the Rio Hotel and Casino. By Zip-Flyer, SlotZilla is the world’s most unique zipline and, except for the

rumbling elevator ride up, it's very smooth. The 120-foot-high takeoff tower is transformed into the World's Largest Slot Machine. Riders are actually “the jackpot” and exit the slot machine through the pay table and coin tray. From Zip-Flyer, the attraction opened in 2014 and features two thrill levels. From the lower tier of the tower, 77 feet (23.5 m) high, flyers zip in a traditional seated-harness position on an 850 foot (259 m) flight, half the length of Fremont Street Experience. From the upper tier flyers are launched from 114 feet (34.7 m) high and zoom at speeds up to 35 mph (56 kph) in a horizontal “superman” position 1,700 feet (518 m) across the entire length of Fremont Street Experience. Fly LINQ, on the Las Vegas Strip, features

10 side-by-side ziplines, capable of simultaneously launching all riders. Opened last November, the experience is located at The LINQ Promenade, the open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district situated at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Guests are launched from a 114 foot (35 m) tall tower and travel 1,121 feet (342 m) through The LINQ Promenade to the landing tower near the base of the High Roller observation wheel. Riders can choose to ride in either a seated or superhero position. Xventure LV, LLC developed FLY LINQ in conjunction with Caesars Entertainment. My current favourite is the Voodoo Zipline

at the Rio Hotel and Casino, simply because it’s the highest zipline I’ve ever ridden. Opened in 2014 and pictured here, it offers a spectacular view of the Las Vegas Strip. The 750 foot (229 m) long line by Soaring Eagle runs from the top of Rio’s MasqueradeTower to the Ipanema Tower, dropping two guests from a 500 foot

(152 m) height from 230 feet (70 m) at speeds reaching 33 mph (53 kph). Then, it pulls you backwards at 20 mph (32 kph). Now that’s fun. Zip lines have been used as a method of transportation in mountainous

countries for over 100 years. In remote areas of China, they serve as bridges across rivers. In the Australian outback, zip lines were occasionally used for delivering food and tools. Today, the jungles of Costa Rica and Nicaragua are popular destinations for zip line enthusiasts, where zip lines are used as a means of accessing remote areas. But zip lines are no longer just the bucolic high- elevation transportation highway system used for remote wilderness tours, but have found their way into the cities. Since they are gravity powered like a roller coaster, but with no hills, twists, or turns, I consider them civilized roller coasters. Smooth, fast, relaxing, always with a view to behold.

MAY 2019

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