LOS ANGELES – The latest Los Angeles thrill ride has arrived — a glass slide that will jut from a skyscraper 1,000 feet above the ground.
A helicopter on Saturday brought the Skyslide to the 69th floor of the downtown U.S. Bank Tower. At 72 stories, it is the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
When it opens on June 25, the transparent, 45-foot-long slide will carry visitors from floors 70 to 69 as they peer down through 1 ¼-inch-thick glass.
"The Skyslide boasts a safe, thrilling experience unlike any other in the world," said a statement from Lucy Rumantir, head of U.S. operations for building owner OUE Limited of Singapore. "Guests of all ages will have the opportunity to transform their view of Los Angeles as they glide down, gazing at unparalleled views of the city."
Skyslide is part of a $50 million renovation that will also put an open-air observation deck and bar on the tower's top floors. The slide ends at the observation deck.
On a clear day, the tower provides panoramic views that extend to Catalina Island 22 miles off the Pacific Coast and over the Santa Monica Mountains to the city's sprawling San Fernando Valley.
The slide will cost $8 and admission to the observation deck will be $25. Tickets are being sold online.
The attraction arrives in the midst of efforts reinvigorate downtown. Recent years have seen newly fashionable apartments, a spruce-up park, new upscale hotels, The Broad museum, the LA Live entertainment district and trendy bars and restaurants.
Skyslide also continues a trend of creating attractions designed for people who seem eager to laugh in the face of acrophobia.
Grand Canyon Skywalk, the horseshoe-shaped bridge that opened nine years ago, allows visitors to stroll right off the edge of the canyon's north rim and stare through 2,000 feet of nothingness to the canyon floor. The Las Vegas Strip's X-Scream roller-coaster sends riders on a wild plunge off the top of the 1,100-foot Stratosphere Hotel and Casino.
Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) renovated its 103rd floor observation deck in 2009 to add all-glass balconies, allowing people to actually step several feet off the ledge.