Updated November 3, 2018 - 5:53 pm
There’s a new way to fly in Las Vegas.
As heart-pounding attractions continue to pop up throughout the city, thrill-seekers can now take to the sky in another first for the Las Vegas Strip.
The perforated metal siding of Fly Linq’s elevator allows only quick glimpses out as riders ascend 114 feet to the launch deck.
The elevator stops and guests are greeted by a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip. The group is getting a preopening ride on the 10-line Fly Linq, the Strip’s first and only zip line.
For thrill-seekers, Fly Linq’s “superhero” harnesses enable riders to soar head first through the air.
Those who prefer a slower, more leisurely flight are clipped into harnesses in seated positions. “It’s almost peaceful,” says Shaun Swanger, vice president of retail and leasing for Caesars Entertainment. “Especially if you’re riding at sunset.”
For superhero-style riders, clipping into the cable is a clumsy affair. As guests dangle, attendants juggle their legs behind them, manipulating the series of safety straps. Unclear instructions such as “bend your foot” and “straighten your leg so it’s over your knee” add to the brief confusion.
Once securely fastened, riders can hear the hum of the Linq Promenade below, and see open sky above and the High Roller observation wheel in the distance.
As the countdown nears zero, pedestrians turn their attention skyward — and the landing platform starts to look a lot farther than 1,121 feet away.
Zero! The flight eases up to the top speed of 35 mph. Riders instinctively extend their fists out in front of them. Some wave and shout down to spectators.
The ambient sounds of the Strip play like theme music and, in the evening, the light shows of the the High Roller bathe fliers in technicolor spotlights.
The illusion of flight is a convincing one for all of about 45 seconds. The end of the ride is startling — both for the rapid deceleration and the sudden snap back to reality.
With its quick shot of adrenaline, Fly Linq proves a thrilling complement to the world’s largest observation wheel, which takes a leisurely 30 minutes for one revolution, as well as a solid alternative to downtown’s resident zip line.
Since opening in April 2014, Las Vegas’ first zip line has launched hundreds of thousands of riders beneath the Fremont Street canopy. In a couple of weeks, it expects to send its 2 millionth rider flying.
Slotzilla offers four lines each of two flight styles. Seated fliers launch from 77 feet up and travel half-way down the Fremont Street Experience.
Superhero fliers launch from 114 feet up and fly 1,700 feet, the entire length of the canopy. Riders lie on beds while attendants connect them to the Zoomline. Beds are raised and lowered, streamlining the process.
Dramatically, the solid door that shields riders from seeing beyond the deck lowers like a drawbridge and the platform floods with the neon and clamor of Fremont Street.
Of the four fliers, the bold ones push off from the bed to gain speed before dipping down just below the video screen. They reach out excitedly, waving below them, pointing at costumed buskers and straining to brush against the just-out-of-reach canopy.
From above, riders whiz by, encased in the neon hues of the canopy. From below, their screams mingle with the live music and frenetic energy of the street. Casting fleeting shadows n the canopy overhead, riders become a part of the spectacle.
Fly Linq and Slotzilla are just two zip lines in and around the Las Vegas Valley. Voodoo Zip Line launches riders between Rio’s two towers, and, for a dose of nature, a zip line opened at Grand Canyon West this year.