The Speed: The Ride rollercoaster at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas is to be removed, despite plans being drawn up to reopen the complex.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that the plans put forward for the Sahara's future include the renovation of the casino floor and 1,622 hotel rooms. However, Speed: The Ride does not form part of the proposals and would be dismantled. The plans have been approved by the Clark County Commission.
Speed: The Ride is built into the NASCAR Cafe that forms part of the Sahara, and features a unique design that may restrict its resale value. Despite this, Screamscape has previously reported rumors that the coaster could be snapped up by one of Las Vegas' other resorts. The most obvious candidate would be Circus Circus, which already houses the Adventuredome indoor amusement park, but the rumors are yet to be substantiated.
The coaster completed its final circuit on May 1, 2011. It debuted in 2000, becoming a major visual element of the Sahara. The LIM Shuttle Loop Coaster began in the NASCAR Cafe, where it was launched up to a speed of 70 miles per hour. It then dropped into a below-ground loop, before rising up through the resort's sign and plummeting back through the course in reverse.
The Sahara is the oldest resort on the Las Vegas Strip, having opened in 1952. Featuring a Moroccan theme, it was taken over by the current owners in 2007 but was badly impacted by the global economic downturn. It is located at the northern end of the Strip, which in recent years has seen two planned resorts mothballed and four others still stuck at the planning stage.