Coasting through Vegas

There’s a day to celebrate just about everything and today is no exception. It’s  National Roller Coaster Day and in honor of one of the world’s favorite thrill rides, we’ve compiled a list of Vegas’ most hair-raising roller coasters:

Desperado (located in Primm)DESPARADO ROLLERCOASTER

Length: 5,843 feet

Max Height: 209 feet

Biggest Drop: 225 feet

Max Speed: 80 mph

Ride Duration: 2 minutes, 45 seconds

Capacity: 1,700 people per hour on three trains

Special Features: A 225-foot high speed dive down a 55-degree hill into a tunnel kicks off the ride followed by a 155-foot second hill. That’s higher than most other coasters’ first drop.


Canyon Blaster (at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome)CANYON BLASTER CHAOS

Max Length: 2,000 feet.

Max Height: 90 feet

Biggest Drop: 90 feet

Max Speed: 55 mph

Ride Duration: 1 minute 45 seconds

Capacity: 28 people per ride; two trains available

Special Features: 74- and 72-foot vertical loops followed by a two inversion corkscrew. First drop: 45 degrees. 


The Roller Coaster at New York-New YorkNEW YORK NEW YORK ROLLER COASTER

Length: 4,777 feet

Max Height: 203 feet

Biggest Drop: 144 feet

Max Speed: 67 mph

Ride Duration: 2 minutes, 45 seconds

Capacity: More than 1,000 people per hour on three 16-passenger trains

Special Features: High-speed dives and two inversions, including a unique heartline twist and dive, right on the Las Vegas Strip


Speed – The Ride (at the Sahara)Speed2

Max Speed:70 mph

Max Height: 224 feet

Biggest Drop: 224 feet

Max Length: 1,365 feet

Ride Duration: 45 seconds

Capacity: 24 people per ride

Special Features: Linear Induction Motors (LIMs) use electromagnetic force to launch the coaster from 0-35 mph in 2 seconds and 35-70 mph in 2 seconds. After reaching a peak of 224 feet, the coaster reverses itself and runs the whole course backward.


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.