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Gadling Exclusive: Downtown Vegas zipline to open Friday

They've made it possible for you to fly over the ocean off the Haitian coast, through the scenic Pacific Ranges of Canada and the the Wild Animal Park in San Diego. And this Friday, Greenheart LLC opens its latest zipline above a different sort of native habitat, that of the Vegas Party Animals.

By the end of this week, tourists are expected to able to shoot across steel lines above the crowds milling about at the Fremont Street Experience, the five-block-long pedestrian plaza in the downtown section that is capped by a metal canopy. The underside of that canopy is the world's largest outdoor LED screen projects light shows at the top of each hour.
The Fremont Street Experience

At the Fremont Street Flightline, passengers will leap from a platform 60 feet high and glide 800 feet down one of four lines at speeds of up to 25 mph to a 14-foot-high landing near the performance stage. As with other ziplines, including the ones Greenheart has built in Haiti, Whistler, Canada, San Diego and 30 miles away in rural Boulder City, Nev., riders hang from the steel line in a harness and can speed up or slow down depending on their body position. Precautions are being devised to keep riders from dropping loose items on revelers below.

"The reality is, the world's most spectacular trails are all in the air," said Ian Green, co-owner of Greenheart, which also opens a series of four 100-foot-high bridges in the Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda. "They're trails that give you a very different experience. The experience of flying through something is a lot different."

Fremont Zipline plans to charge $20 per rider from 6 p.m. to midnight, $15 from 2 to 6 p.m., and $10 per re-ride, although that structure could change.

The zipline landed a 90-day permit on Monday from the city's building department and must get Las Vegas City Council approval to build a permanent structure after that. Green, who has plunged $150,000 into the temporary towers and lines, hopes to elongate the attraction to the entire length of the Fremont Street Experience – more than doubling the length – if that comes to pass.

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