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August 1995

Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada


We just snapped a photo of this in Vegas and it's the OLD Stratosphere hotel. They've given it a whole new look now.  At 1,149 feet, the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States and the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.  The main point of this hotel is thrill; you speed from ground level to the observation decks in less than 30 seconds in double decker elevators traveling at speeds of 1,800 feet per minute or three floors a second.  At the top, visitors go even higher OUTSIDE the building; 100 stories above the ground on the Big Shot, X Scream and Insanity thrill rides.  The hotel features dining (tower rotates), banquet room, spa, shopping, pool and an observation deck.  SPECIAL INFORMATION ABOUT LAS VEGAS:  Las Vegas never sleeps.  Even the supermarkets and gas stations have slot machines.  We visited: Circus Circus (saw circus acts), Tropicana, Excalibur (where we stayed), Sands, Silver Dollar, Flamingo, Mirage (ate there with friends and saw the white Tigers of Siegfried and Roy there) and others.  Yes, there are Elvis impersonators everywhere. Beware! Smut is passed out along the streets and prostitution is legalized at certain places.  Also, lots of topless shows. Yes, Wayne Newton is a featured attraction and other stars too. You can eat inexpensively with coupons, but the buffets at the hotels are not cheap like some people think.  Free drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic if you specifically ask for it) if they see you putting a lot of money in the slots or on the tables.  Waitresses look for those big tippers.  Don't go unless you have a grand per person to blow.  It won't be fun otherwise.  If you go with small kids, they do offer babysitting but beware, it's VERY expensive.  We took turns gambling then one night a friends teen watched the kids.  There's lots for the kids to do (arcades are prevalent).  It's crowded and beware; crime is abundant, so keep those little ones REAL close.  



 Above:  Old Stratosphere Hotel and Casino



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