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January 27, 2015

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City Council members take leap to showcase Fremont Street attraction


Christopher DeVargas

Las Vegas City Council members Steve Ross, left, and Ricki Barlow receive instructions from Max Margolis, general manager of Bootleg Canyon Flightlines, about how to wear a harness before riding the Fremont Street Experience Zip Line.

Fremont Street Experience zip line

Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross zooms 800 feet down the Fremont Street Experience Zip Line on Thursday.
Launch slideshow »

Map of Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

425 Fremont St, Las Vegas

Wearing a polo shirt with dress slacks and leather shoes, Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow looked a little out of place among those lining up to ride the Fremont Street Experience Zip Line.

Standing next to a 67-foot tall metal scaffolding, Barlow slowly began putting on the nylon harness that would eventually be hooked onto an 800-foot metal cable suspended above Fremont Street.

Barlow and fellow Councilman Steve Ross took the leap Thursday evening to showcase downtown’s latest attraction.

The zip line, which opened earlier this month, has been a success so far, officials said.

Bootleg Canyon Flightlines, which built and manages the zip line, sold 312 tickets on its opening day, a rainy one. Earlier this week, the attraction hosted a fundraiser for the Susan B. Komen Foundation, raising $6,700 for the nonprofit organization that supports women with breast cancer.

On Thursday afternoon, a steady stream of thrill-seekers waited in line to ride the zip line.

“It’s been phenomenal,” said Bootleg Canyon Flightline’s general manager, Max Margolis. “There’s no better fit than in downtown.”

Ross, who represents the city’s Ward 6, said, “This is exciting. The more people we can bring downtown, the more we can improve our economy.”

The zip line — constructed with metal pipes, steel cables and wooden scaffolding — is temporary. In January 2011, the City Council plans to discuss a permanent zip line at Fremont Street.

The proposed permanent zip line would be 100 feet tall and 1,550 feet long. The company, which has been operating a similar ride in Boulder City for two years, plans to build the aluminum structure at a cost of $400,000.

The Strip has its roller coasters, a helium balloon ride and a “controlled jump” off the Stratosphere. Barlow and Ross said they hope the zip line can find a home on Fremont Street to bring more people downtown.

“Jumping off [the ledge] was the most daring act I’ve ever committed in my life. I was praying the rope would hold me,” said Barlow, who represents Ward 5. “It was a very exciting ride...This will attract a lot of locals as well as tourists from around the world.”

If approved, the permanent zip line might be completed as early as March 2011, Margolis said. Until then, residents and tourists can pay $15 before 6 p.m. and $20 after 6 p.m. to ride the temporary zip line.

Henderson residents Tom and Lisa Resnick brought their 10-year-old son, Haden, to ride the zip line as a reward for getting good grades in school.

“It’s unique and different,” said Tom Resnick, 49. “The downtown needs something different, something kids can do...I hope they make it permanent.”

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  1. Am I to assume that our beloved Mayor could not ride the Zip Line because it would have required the use of two hands, which would be impossible for someone clutching a martini glass?

  2. The idea of a zip line on Fremont is cool. And as someoen who lives downtown I support endeavors to get more people downtown. If the zip becomes permanent, though, I hope they design better looking scaffolding. As it stands now, the scaffolding is a real eyesore and actually detracts from the overall look and feel of Fremont Street.

  3. Another attraction that seems to be doing ok and drawing a few people downtown. That is a good thing. We have been down there twice and seen a decent crowd watching and riding it. Every little bit helps.