Las Vegas thrills: Rappel Planet Hollywood for a cause

People admire the towering hotels and bustling excitement of the Las Vegas Strip everyday from the ground. But rarely do they get a chance to enjoy the scenery while rappelling more than 350 feet down the side of one.

On October 11-12, 2013, Special Olympics Nevada will host its fourth annual Over the Edge event as mere mortals once again harness in and defy gravity atop Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

All funds raised will benefit local children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“How many people can say they rappelled overlooking one of the most famous streets in the world, Las Vegas Boulevard?” asks Maggie Schwarz, regional vice president of Special Olympics Nevada. “People either think you are cool or crazy, but no matter what, they recognize their donation is worth the cause it supports.”

Among this year’s participants is physical humorist and juggling phenom Jeff Civillico, star of Jeff Civillico: Comedy in Action at The Quad hotel and casino.  A self-described adrenaline junkie with a long list of stunts to prove it, Civillico is rappelling for the second year in a row.

Jeff Civillico rappels during last year's fundraiser. This year the entertainer will be bringing along his unicycle.

“There’s no better excuse to do something crazy than for charity,” says Civillico, who will rappel this year with his unicycle in tow. Initially, he wanted to wheel his unicycle down the side of the building but that didn’t work out logistically.

In order to rappel, individuals must raise or personally donate a minimum of $1,000 to go toward supporting over 3,000 athletes of Special Olympics Nevada. No experience or prior training is required to participate.

“I would encourage anybody to give this a whirl,” says Civillico. “Marathons are cool but thousands and thousands do them. Only a select few get to do this, and it’s a really cool thrill. It’s kind of like a bucket list thing.”

Last year Civillico said he was able to enjoy the Bellagio fountains show during his descent from the roof, which took about 20 minutes.

“There’s nothing like this,” he said. “It’s really cool. It’s a very Vegas type of thing to do.”

There are still a few spots left to go Over the Edge. To register and rappel Planet Hollywood along with Civillico (and this writer), visit

See Jeff Civillico in his show Jeff Civillico: Comedy in Action Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 4 p.m. in the Showroom at The Quad.