Every year like clockwork, I lobbied The Stratosphere for a yearly pass to the top of the tower, and every year (also like clockwork), they told me to shove a jalapeno-coated bowling ball up my ass.
I always thought their decision not to issue a pass was a little short-sighted.
First of all, if people bought a yearly pass to something, they would feel compelled to make use of that pass every time they were nearby. Even if they were staying at Caesars, they might say “hey, we should probably go up in the tower to make use of this pass we bought”.
In order to reach the Strat Tower, you must go through the casino, so the marketing angle here practically writes itself.
Second, if someone with at least some audience requests the pass, it probably makes sense on some sub-business level to issue it … even if you hate the person.
Allow me to give you an example.
After my visit to the Double Down pit a few years ago, business for this section of the Stratosphere Casino picked up a little bit (this is according to one of the employees). Not a lot, I’m sure, but my humble blog post was worth probably a few thousand dollars to the joint.
What did they invest to get this return?
I contributed to their bottom line, and got nothing in return. What more could they possibly want?
But, I was willing to do more.
If I could have obtained a yearly pass to the top of the tower, I would have been in the thing all the time. Not only that, but I was perfectly willing to pay for the pass … in essence, paying to advertise for the Stratosphere.
The bowling ball thing (see above).
This, among 1,000 other reasons, is why I do not pity Las Vegas. Never have I seen one town relentlessly kick itself in the balls so many times. Whether they want to fail, their egos are too big, or they are inept, I do not know, but I really don’t think that many of the gaming companies there deserve to succeed when they have spent the better part of a decade making stupid decisions from top to bottom.
Fast forward to now.
I once again live next to a tall observation tower. Well, actually I live near the monorail train that takes me to the tower, but you get the idea.
As an elevated view junkie (which is evidenced by my thousands of pictures in that genre), I once again longed to make that tower a frequent stop. A nerd-cave-away-from-nerd-cave, if you will … and … unlike in Dirt Bowl, I have finally been able to turn that fantasy into a reality.
For the last several weeks, I have had a yearly pass to the top of the Space Needle, and what did it cost me?
You read that correctly.
For less than the cost of three tower admissions, I get to chill at the top of the Space Needle whenever I damn well please.
But wait, there’s more.
I also have a quarterly guest pass. Four times per year, I can take a companion with me, and waive the $18.00 tower admission. This more than pays for the cost of my own pass.
But wait, there’s more.
I also get $25 off a meal at the Sky City Restaurant at the top of the tower.
But wait, there’s more.
For a limited time only, I get a set of Ginsu knives … okay now I’m just being silly.
I do get admission, the passes, and the twenty five bucks off, though. And it really did only cost $49.
This brings me to a question.
If you live in Seattle, and you don’t have this, what the hell is wrong with you?
Alright, if you live in Renton or Bellevue I get it. Parking’s a pain and you are too depressed about living in Renton or Bellevue to leave the house. I don’t blame you.
However, if you live in one of the more walkable central neighborhoods (Downtown, Belltown, Capitol Hill, Queen Anne, etc), you are really missing a great Seattle-only opportunity.
The Space Needle is an icon. It’s the defining structure by which the world recognizes the city. It’s our centerpiece, and it could be all yours for the asking every day of the week.
Why sit outside a goddamn coffee shop every day pecking away at your laptop when at least half the time, you could do it here:
Sure, the hipsters won’t see you up here (thus validating your existence), but you can always go to Linda’s Tavern and grab a Pabst when you get down.
It’s beautiful up here. Even more beautiful than seeing a double rainbow. Even more beautiful than a view of the empty Fontainebleau shell from the Stratosphere.
You don’t have to fight off any tourists if you go during off-hours. I’ve yet to incur any wait of any kind.
If you have a soul, this is a place that you will want to be … and want to be often.
After all of this time, I finally have a prime spot to get away from it all and contemplate life, and it costs far, far less than I thought it would.