SlotZilla riders can usually expect to travel up to 35 miles per hour on the downtown Las Vegas zip line.
But one man got a super slow motion, birdseye view of the Fremont Street Experience on Friday when the ride got stuck, suspending him at 114 feet for nearly an hour.
He got his feet back on the ground with some help from Las Vegas firefighters and their rescue bucket.
The fire department got a call at 2:25 p.m. from a bystander on Fremont who said someone appeared to be stuck on the SlotZilla “Zoomline,” which sends riders face down along a 1,700-foot cable.
After being launched from the 12-story slot machine-themed platform, the man had been hanging in one spot at 425 Fremont St. for about 30 minutes when the call was made, department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.
Firefighters used a bucket connected to an arm on a rescue truck to get the man down at 3:08 p.m., according to the department’s Twitter feed. He was not hurt.
Once on the ground, the man, who was all smiles, said he was rejoining his wife. But SlotZilla staff then said reporters could not talk to him and took the couple into the zip line office.
Their identities were not immediately available.
SlotZilla workers asked the fire department to be there on standby and the response was not classified as an emergency, Szymanski tweeted about 2:45 p.m.
“It was more of an assist than a rescue,” Szymanski said later, because the man’s life was not in danger. “We offered to assist and they took us up on it.”
SlotZilla has its own equipment — a crane-type machine with a bucket — to rescue stranded riders, Szymanski said, but the company accepted the fire department’s help since it had already responded from its downtown station, at 500 N.Casino Center Blvd.
Szymanski, who keeps up with fire department statistics, said he couldn’t recall the fire department responding to calls at the zip line, which opened in its latest version April 27.
And the very public incident wasn’t lost on the dozens of folks walking the casino corridor who snapped photos with their smart phones.
A Twitter user asked @SlotZillaLV on Friday evening exactly how a rider could get stuck on the zip line.
The ride operator responded: “Sometimes, it’s gravity’s fault. Today, it was friction, but our guys and the Fire Department handled it deftly.”
DT Zip, the company that runs SlotZilla, could not be reached for comment.
But Jeff Victor, president of the Fremont Street Experience, which oversees the zip line, backed up the tweet.
The carabiner attached to the rider’s harness dragged on the cable, which forced him to a rest, Victor said. The fire department responded while SlotZilla workers were still trying to free the rider, who grinded to a halt about 100 feet from the launch platform.
“He came to a slow, subtle stop at the very beginning of the ride,” Victor said.
SlotZilla has seen about 120,000 riders — who pay between $20 and $40 for a go — since its spring 2014 opening, Victor said. And incidents like Friday’s are rare, he said.
Only two riders have ever gotten stuck, Victor said. This was the first time the fire department, whose downtown station is about a ten-minute drive from the Fremont Street Experience, was called to assist.
“We have a great relationship with them,” Victor said. “It’s very common for an amusement attraction to use the fire department’s assistance.”
Fourth Street, between Carson and Ogden avenues, was closed while the fire department ladder truck was on site. Traffic was reopened and all trucks left the scene about 3:12 p.m., Szymanski tweeted.