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Hundreds marvel at solar eclipse at Las Vegas’ highest point

Updated April 8, 2024 - 7:20 pm

She could have seen the solar eclipse from anywhere, but Gina Robinson chose to take her mom as close to the sun as possible — 1,149 feet up at The Strat’s observation deck overlooking the Las Vegas Strip.

The 57-year-old Las Vegan spent the morning at the casino’s eclipse viewing party, taking selfies and looking up at the sky through her plastic eclipse glasses.

“This is a time for everybody to just kind of have a moment to say, ‘We’re here. We appreciate that this is the time that we’re living in,’ ” Robinson said. “This is an opportunity for everyone to share that presence and be together.”

Robinson was one of more than 200 who went to the top of The Strat on Monday to catch a glimpse of the rare event. A total eclipse won’t be visible from the lower 48 U.S. states again until 2044.

There’ll be another solar eclipse in 2026, but it’ll mostly be visible from the Arctic Ocean.

Las Vegas only saw its view of the sun obscured by about 60 percent. The prime spots to watch the eclipse in its totality were concentrated in the East, where the sun was fully covered for about 4½ minutes.

Still, many Southern Nevadans and tourists eagerly put on their eclipse glasses to enjoy the show. And at The Strat, the first 200 people who arrived got free ones to add to their wardrobe.

“I heard about the eclipse on TikTok,” said Melody Fleming, a 27-year-old Las Vegas resident. “I was shocked — it was breathtaking. … It looked like an orange crescent.”

Looking toward the sky

Logen Swartley, who works at The Strat operating the elevators that lead up to the tower, said he had planned to take a trip to Texas see the eclipse in its entirety.

Though he couldn’t get the time off work to leave Las Vegas, Swartley said the view from the observation deck was special, too.

“It’s not once in a lifetime,” Swartley said, “but it’s an experience that people should enjoy because it could be once in their lifetime.”

The eclipse was an affair for all ages — Las Vegas resident Malcolm Celestin brought his 10-year-old daughter Brooklynn out to see it.

“It’s something I never got to see when I was younger,” Celestin said.

Contact Alan at ahalaly@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlanHalaly on X.

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