Abby Tegnelia

Taking the High Roller for a Spin

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Las Vegas’s newest attraction is as fun as it sounds!

I sort of miss the themed hotels that once ruled Vegas. After all, that’s what makes the Strip unique – the castle, pyramid, and the Eiffel Tower. But now Las Vegas is in a period of sleek modernism. Pretty, yes, but it makes for sort of a bland landscape.

So how excited was I when the High Roller went up! Taking my dutiful “Strip view” shot from my balcony at Cosmopolitan in April, I was absolutely thrilled that there was an enormous wheel in the center of my frame. It harkens back to the days of whimsy, and in true Vegas form of “newer and better,” the High Roller is the highest observation wheel in the world. Welcome to Vegas.

High Roller at LINQ

From far away, the High Roller doesn’t look like it’s moving, so you might not even know it’s available for a spin. Yet, it actually never stops, slowly turning at a rate of a whopping one foot per second. It’s a neat optical illusion.

Its name isn’t the only feature that allows the High Roller to fit right into its environs on the Strip. There’s a bar right before boarding, although you don’t even need a cocktail to keep you entertained. (There’s a sarcastic “narrator” on the TV – and spectacular views – for that.) It’s an amazing thrill to see your favorite hotels and attractions from that high up. The closest thing I can compare it to are the Strip helicopter tours. I took about a billion photos during my 30-minute ride, each view and angle as we climbed higher and higher, and then sadly descended, better than the last.

High Roller PodThe pods are air-conditioned and hold 40 people. There were only six of us when I went, so there was plenty of room to walk around and look out different windows. I went during the day (it’s open from 11:30 am to 2 am daily), which I liked, because I had fun looking for my old apartment and other non-Strip locales. But everyone who goes at night says the lights are incredible. To go back to the helicopter analogy, I believe them, as flying over the Strip at night is gorgeous.

The big space also allows for private parties. Think 30 minutes is too long to go without a drink? They’ll provide a private bar and bartender if you’d like. Also ask for wedding options!

The wheel is part of the brand-new Linq shopping center, which is nice to walk down before or after your ride. There’s an unbelievable Sprinkles cupcakes and ice-cream shop, the popular Brooklyn Bowl, and a few spots to stop for a drink and a snack.

Regular tickets (through September 2) for adults are: daytime, $19.95, and nighttime, $34.95. Youth (ages 13-17) are: daytime $14.95, and nighttime $24.95. Children 12 and under ride free. Headed to the High Roller around happy hour time? From 4-7 pm, $24.95 tickets include one ride in a pod with an open bar. Reverse happy hour is from 10 pm to 1 am, when the ride/unlimited bar combo goes for $39.95.

And don’t forget your Total Rewards card – that will knock a few bucks off the cost!

More Info: 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd, (702) 322-0560

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