Founded in the spirit of the late Dennis Hopper’s CineVegas festival, the Vegas Indie Film Fest! celebrates self-produced works from established directors and first-time creators alike. Whether their creations are feature-length, shorts, documentaries, or photo-realistic flipbooks, every director stands to win one of more than 100 Golden Bulb awards—which are made from actual lightbulbs from the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Past events have been attended by the likes of Wayne Newton and Ted V. Mikels.
At 1,149 feet, Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the country. Its views of Sin City are unparalleled?360-degree vistas from indoor and outdoor observation decks?which explains why readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal named it the Best Place to View the City in 2010?14.
The thrill rides on the outdoor observation deck are some of the most extreme in the world. You can go bungee jumping, ride a tilt-a-whirl at speeds of up to 3 Gs, and plummet on a free fall ride, all at 1,081 feet above the ground. Afterward, grab a bite to eat at the Top of the World restaurant or a signature cocktail at the tallest bar in Las Vegas, preferably with the tallest man in Las Vegas, Tall Kyle.
Fremont Street Flightlines sends aerial daredevils on a zip-line ride through the kaleidoscopic canopy of the Viva Vision light show at Las Vegas' Fremont Street Experience. The five-block long Fremont Street Experience is a pedestrian mall made up of a 90-foot-tall canopy displaying the world's largest big screen, Viva Vision. An hourly light show, bevy of attractions, and frequent performances make the area a veritable feast of visual and auditory stimuli. Flightlines’ customers are harnessed to the zip line and soar through the space at speeds of up to 30 mph, whizzing as close as 14 feet from the ground on their parabolic trajectory. Up to four can zip simultaneously, making an endearing start to a double date or an awkward end to the remains of a quadruple date.
Outside, fountains pulse, bright lights shine, and sidewalks remain crowded well into the night. But inside the Spa and Salon at the Golden Nugget, classical decor and full-body spa services keep the outside world at bay. The sunny atrium, ringed with columns and draped white curtains, cocoons clients with an atmosphere that BestOfVegas.com says, "evokes class, elegance, and luxury." Within the spa, aestheticians perform massages or body treatments with organic royal honey or seaweed that go hand-in-hand with salon services to craft a knockout nighttime look. Beyond the beautifying treatment rooms, clients can jog, run, or endlessly summersault on Cybex cardiovascular machines poised above the hotel's shark tank.
Home of Las Vegas’ first traffic light and high-rise building, Fremont Street keeps fans of vintage Vegas consistently starstruck, with lavish celebrations thrown by the landmark's eponymous party-planning committee. As 2011 wanes, the TributePalooza celebration shreds resolutions into neon ticker tape with eight hours of crowd-pleasing rock strewn across three stages. Headlining the event, raucous hair-metal heroes Steel Panther glam it up with unabashedly goofy stage moves and unapologetic spandex. Following suit with headbanging levity, fellow silly-string strummers Rock Sugar mash up sound-pies of ‘80s pop and mascara metal, creating laughter you can dance to.
Outside of Graceland, The King's Ransom Museum showcases one of the largest collections of artifacts and personal treasures owned by Elvis Presley. Curated by Elvis historian Bud Glass and collector Russ Howe, the exhibit encompasses artifacts that span Presley's career from 1950 until his death. Highlights include familiar wardrobe pieces he donned on stage and screen, such as a custom two-piece leather suit and his massive ring from the 1972 documentary Elvis on Tour. The museum also houses large jewelry and gun and badge collections assembled by the "King of Bling," as well as the last car Presley ever purchased and other historic artifacts from his youth.
The museum also delves into Presley's private life, displaying more-personal effects such as the custom, red crushed-velvet bedspread from his Graceland home and his pajamas, whose dry-cleaning slips have been lost forever. To supplement these artifacts, Russ and Bud incorporate plenty of the King's private photos and home movies. On select days, the museum welcomes guest appearances from some of Presley's friends and colleagues, such as his Blue Hawaii costar Darlene Tompkins and his Kissin' Cousins costar Cynthia Pepper.