Stratosphere Planning Nightclub Way, Way Up - Sunday 28th of May 2006

by Howard Stutz

Las Vegas Gaming Wire

LAS VEGAS, Nevada The Stratosphere is approaching the city about building a nightclub atop its centerpiece tower in place of the roller coaster, which was shut down in December.

Stratosphere executives were to present a site plan to the Las Vegas City Planning Commission on Thursday night. The idea is to build a 6,880-square-foot nightclub 900 feet above Las Vegas. The nightclub would be on the tower's 111th and 112th level and include an outside revolving observation deck.

"We would have a 360-degree view and it easily would be the most spectacular nightclub in Las Vegas," Stratosphere spokesman Mike Gilmartin said.

No designs or renderings have been drawn up.

Gilmartin said the nightclub would take advantage of its location atop the Stratosphere Tower, offering skyboxes and views of the city.

"We would like to turn the site of the High Roller (roller coaster) into a nightclub setting," Gilmartin said.

The High Roller, a fixture at the Stratosphere since its opening in April 1996, was considered the country's highest roller coaster. It carried some 4 million riders around the 32-degree banked track since opening.

Work crews have been disassembling the 840-foot track over the past few months in the evening hours. Three rides remain atop the Stratosphere Tower; The Big Shot, X Scream and Insanity.

The proposed nightclub is just one of a number of changes being planned over the rest of the year by Stratosphere owner American Casino Entertainment Properties, a subsidiary of the Carl Icahn-controlled American Real Estate Partners. Plans include a casino renovation and more entertainment offerings and could include the construction of an additional hotel tower.

Gilmartin said the Stratosphere had an additional item pulled from the planning commission agenda on vacating portions of Philadelphia and Commerce streets, where the casino's ownership has acquired land parcels for expansion.

He said the Stratosphere taking over those streets wouldn't affect residents or businesses since the casino company has already purchased that land.

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