Just in time for the start of warmer weather and increased crowds in Las Vegas, one of the city’s most beloved attractions is reopening after being out of operation for the entirety of the fall season. Speed the Ride, the whirlwind roller coaster experience at the Sahara Hotel and Casino, will open today with new discounts in celebration of its arrival for the spring and summer.
One of the fastest and most adventurous Las Vegas attractions, Speed the Ride opened along with the NASCAR Café in 2000, and ever since, it has thrilled guests with extreme dives, loops, and heart-pumping high speeds. For the past five months, however, the roller coaster has been closed due to the generally slower fall season. During that time, staff took the opportunity to clean it up and perform some routine maintenance, and now, the ride is ready to launch into high gear.
To kick off its reopening, the NASCAR Café is introducing new discounts for guests. Through the month of March, Nevada locals will be able to enjoy Speed for 50% off, while military personnel will be able to ride for 20% off. These rates are only available on single ride passes, Monday through Thursday, and can only be used for one person per day.
And if you’re willing to face the ultimate challenge in pursuit of Speed excitement, anyone who can finish the NASCAR Café’s brand new “The Bomb” Burrito will receive two free passes to Speed. If this sounds all too easy, just wait until you see The Bomb – it’s 6 pounds and two feet of meat, guacamole, sour cream, and cheese. Anyone who can actually manage to down this monster in its entirety may actually want to wait a couple of hours before he or she gets on Speed.
If you’ve never been on Speed the Ride before, you’ll want to brace yourself for this one. The ride loads at the NASCAR Café, and you’ll have plenty of time to settle in and secure your shoulder bar – but you’ll still be caught by surprise as the ride launches from 0 to 45 miles per hour in 2 seconds flat.
Then, as the trains exit the Café, passengers will take a steep drop into a misty underground tunnel 25 feet below the surface, followed by twisty turns, a launch back to the surface, and a loop that will take your breath away. The ride then shifts into high gear, speeding up to 70 mph and whipping right underneath the Sahara’s 192-foot tall marquee. You’ll then be mystified as the ride curves around Sahara’s porte cochère and begins a vertical, 90-degree climb towards a rapidly ending track. But instead of continuing, things come to a halt 224 feet above the ground – only to take off back down the track and repeat the entire ride in reverse.
Designed by Premiere Rides, Speed the Ride is the first roller coaster of its kind in the US; it uses Linear Induction Motors to slingshot into high speeds using electromagnetic force. The 1,365-feet long ride lasts 45 seconds, though it’ll feel much shorter given how fast it is. Riders must be a minimum of 54 inches to ride.
Once the thrill ride’s over, riders can check out what kind of goofy or horrified expression they were making during Speed back inside the Café. Speed typically costs $10 to ride, though guests can pay extra to experience the rush all day long.