Skyslide has opened in Los Angeles, and it sounds like a thrill of a ride—for those who don’t have an immense fear of heights, that is. CBS News posted video of the long-awaited Skyslide, a $3.5 million chute made completely of glass and attached to the outside of the 70th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower, which is the tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles.
According to CNN, the Skyslide takes riders on a 1,000-foot-high spin from the building’s 70th floor to the 69th. The slide is 45-feet long and hangs 1,000 feet above the pavement. Skyslide is made of three-ply glass which is 1.25 inches thick and has been made to withstand earthquakes and hurricane-force winds of up to 110 miles per hour.
Adventure seekers can now soar to new heights over downtown Los Angeles as the city's "Skyslide" opens this weekend pic.twitter.com/syDp4VwvtS
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Skyslide is the main attraction at the new OUE SkySpace L.A. observation deck which is atop the city’s landmark skyscraper. OUE Americas senior vice president John Gamboa said there is nothing else like Skyslide in the world.
“The slide actually transports people from the inside of the 70th floor to the outside of the 69th floor. So you’re standing in the open air by the time you’re done with your ride,” Gamboa told CNN. “We don’t know of anything else like it.”
So, how does Skyslide work? Riders climb onto a mat that is positioned on a launch area where an attendant helps them inch forward to the mouth of the slide. Only one person can ride Skyslide at a time, so that means there’s no kids on a parent’s lap.
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Gamboa said that while other ideas were considered for an attraction for the SkySpace site—an external elevator, a zip line, and a cable car were just some of the concepts discussed—the Skyslide “ticked off the most boxes” on the panel’s checklist.
After a complicated onboarding process that involved “a lot of geometry and manual manipulation,” Skyslide was built and vigorously tested for safety. Now, it is slated to be a must-see attraction in Los Angeles—for those who can handle the extreme height.
“It’s not for everybody,” Gamboa admitted to CNN. “But I think you’ll regret it if you don’t go down the slide when you come to L.A…. When people sit out on the ledge before they go down, some hesitate. It takes a while for people to warm up, but when they go down — they want to do it again.”
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Of course, Skyslide doesn’t come cheap. It costs $25 to enter the observation deck and thrill seekers will have to shell out another $8 to ride the 360-degree glass slide, according to the Los Angeles Times. And the ride itself only lasts a few seconds. But during those few seconds, riders can see all of the big L.A. landmarks including Dodger Stadium, Griffith Observatory, and the iconic Hollywood sign. They can also see down 70 stories to the traffic below, with little more than an inch of glass separating them from a 1,000-foot drop to the pavement.
In a hilarious sneak peek at Skyslide, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez recently tried the contraption out. Guillermo reluctantly boarded the slide, but not before telling the attendant to tell his wife and kid that he loves them. Oh, and Beyoncé.
Like Gamboa said, Skyslide is not for everyone. And for those really afraid of heights, the landing point—the outdoor observation deck atop the 69th floor of the skyscraper–might be even more terrifying than the Skyslide ride itself.
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Take a look at the video below for more on the Skyslide grand opening in Los Angeles.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Ogilvy PR]