The Conquerization of Slotzilla

Michael James met his wife’s challenge, so they both took to the air at Fremont Street Experience’s SlotZilla.

Back in April, my lovely wife and I spent six days in Las Vegas. Although we were there for me to bowl the USBC Open Championships (in which I bowled very well, thank you for asking) the bowling lasted only two days, leaving me lots of time for Las Vegas Experiences. After completing my bowling on Monday, April 24th (and after some delightful cocktails with a few friends at The Laundry Room), we decided to experience Slotzilla.

I took a picture of this beast last November.

For a quick refresh, while my wife and I were in the midst of our weight loss journey, I had hit a spell where I had had enough and was really considering quitting the program.  My wife (whose enjoyment of heights is expressed in this photo from our April 2016 trip) made an offer…

And this was in an enclosed pod.

“If you can get down to 250 pounds before we leave in April, I will go on Slotzilla with you”.  I don’t know if that offer did it for me, as much as the fact that my wife offered something that would terrify her seemed to motivate me!

So game day arrives, and we buy our tickets.  Now in fairness, with me being a nice guy and all, I made numerous offers to my wife that we didn’t have to ride Slotzilla.  I know her fear of falling from heights, and that she made the offer to encourage me.  That was enough for me.  I had gotten all the way down to 235 pounds, so her offer worked, and I was fine with not actually riding.

But she insisted, so we bought the tickets ($25 each for the “sitting” ride).  We were a little disappointed, however, when we were informed that we would have to take off our glasses or else buy these designer eyeglass bands…

$3 each for these bad boys. I guess I understand that is better than having the Slotzilla folks argue against paying $500 for every pair of broken glasses. However, $3 seems a little excessive for 30 seconds of use.


Slotzilla looked much as it had in November, just darker. Because evening.


Could Melissa look any more apprehensive?


Even I will admit that those stairs were a bit daunting. Not the stairs themselves, but the fact that once we started climbing, there was no going back.

We did make it to the top, and once we were strapped in (the rigging on each of us was checked at least three times before it was our turn at the platform), we were ready to go.

Did you hear those blood-curdling screams?  I wonder who made them.  Well, maybe the purchased souvenir photos will offer a clue…

Was it me?


Or was it my lovely wife?

That is a mystery that may confound scholars for all time.  However, in the end, we did conquer Slotzilla and had photographic evidence.

This is kind of like holding today’s newspaper as proof of “after.”

As an epilogue, after all of that, somehow my wife let me pick what was for dinner (long story, but it was after midnight, and we still hadn’t had dinner yet).  Well, I’m when downtown after midnight, there really is only one option for dinner.

My first – but certainly not last – Oxtail Soup at the Market Street Cafe inside the California.

Author’s note: If you think that was exciting, feel free to read my entire trip report from my April 2017 trip here on the Vegas Message Board.

[Photos: Michael James, Melissa James, Glenn Schwandt | Video: Glenn Schwandt]

About the Author

Michael James
Michael James is a true Vegas Nerd. First falling in love after hearing details of an aunt's visit in the '70s, and nurtured when the gambling bug hit as casinos started opening on every street corner across the country in the '90s. When not reading Vegas blogs and message boards, he's a metals buyer by day and a competitive bowler by night in Milwaukee.

3 Comments on "The Conquerization of Slotzilla"

  1. Bonnie Farina | June 27, 2017 at 11:47 am |

    Your poor wife! I would be screaming just as loud! Congrats to you both on the weight loss!

  2. You have my admiration for your weight loss Brilliant I also very pleased you enjoyed your rides, very brave

    Re Slotzilla, it’s my personal opinion it’s an eyesore, it’s totally blocked off the Main St end of Fremont & the damage done to Fremont’s once great surface now seems irreparable.
    Many people I speak to agree that Slotzilla has changed Fremont & not for the better.
    My wife & I still love downtown & even booked another trip yesterday but to us Slotzilla would be better torn down.

    • Thank you for the kind words.

      I am not sure on my thoughts on Slotzilla. I know the Plaza hadn’t been part of Fremont Street Experience (not sure of the current status) but it seems like the landing dock near Main Street is a big eff-ewe to the Plaza ownership.

      Then again, the stage is probably as bad (or worse) as the landing platform.

      I would rather a profitable enterprise that draws traffic – Slotzilla – be there than there not be a reason to go downtown. Like it or not, people photograph Slotzilla, making at an attraction like the Strip’s Eiffel Tower or High Roller.

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