Buffalo Bill's Hotel & Casino
Are you ready for one of the best rides of your life? If you're a roller coaster enthusiast, then you certainly are.
Just off Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas there stands one of the best roller coasters in the world at Buffalo Bills Hotel & Casino. It's hard not to miss it, since the yellow steel structure can be seen for miles rising from the desert floor at the location known as Stateline.
For some Stateline is the first chance to drop a quarter into a slot machine, but for thrill ride fanatics, it's home to Desperado, one of the tallest, fastest, longest steel roller coasters in the United States.
Designed and custom built by Arrow Dynamics of Utah, Desperado is a dramatic contrast to the surrounding landscape. Combining the latest roller coaster technology and design techniques, Arrow built a ride that broke nearly every roller coaster record at the time it opened, which is exactly what Primm Valley Resorts wanted to accomplish with this attraction. The resort owners weren't looking for your average roller coaster. Instead, they wanted to give motorists driving on the nearby Interstate a reason to stop before continuing on to Sin City.
Type of Coaster
Height: 209 feet
Max drop: 225 feet
Descent angle: 60°
G-force: 4 G's
Top speed: 80 mph
Length: 5,843 feet
155-foot Spiral Second Drop, Tunnel
2 minutes, 43 seconds
Number Of Trains:
3 - 30 passenger
Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino
When Desperado debuted it was the tallest, fastest, steepest, and longest steel roller coaster in the world. It also fell into a new category of roller coasters called Hypercoasters.
The term "hypercoaster" describes a steel roller coaster designed with large drops for speed and air-time, but without inversions. Most Hypercoasters typically begin with a first drop in excess of 200 feet, which is then followed by a series of subsequent drops, hills, and likely a turn or helix as well all while traveling at high-speeds.
The Desperado begins inside of the casino as it starts the ascent up the 209-foot tall lift hill. Peaking high above the adjacent hotel tower, the first drop is incredibly steep as it plunges down 225-feet into an underground tunnel.
Guests arriving at Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino will get a front row view of Desperado as the trains pass through the porte-corchere at a speed of nearly 70 miles-per-hour. It's a definite must see!
Following the memorable first drop, Desperado begins the second, a 155 foot tall spiral drop, that again accelerates the train to a speed in excess of 70 mph. Riders will feel the lateral G-forces as the train screams by the parking lot below.
If you've survived thus far, it's save to say you'll survive the rest. Averaging about 60 miles per hour, Desperado begins to fly up and over a series of camelbacks each delivering incredible airtime. You'll either hang on tight or go with the flow and ride the wave of negative G-forces, up and down, over and over.
After the series of camelbacks the track begins to head for home making its way around the resort. After a mid-course block brake, the train picks up speed and flies towards the finale drop on the Adventure Canyon Log Flume ride. Avoiding the log ride, the track curves around the themed mountain, dives through a tunnel and into with a high-speed, upward helix inside the mountain.
With one final small dip and a good head-chopper effect the roller coaster finally comes to its end. Approaching the station, it's now time to catch your breath as you've just survived the Desperado. Yes, you can now lay claim to having ridden one of the tallest, fastest, longest steel roller coasters in the world.
As the brakes tighten, bringing the train to a stop, its time get off, but before you do, why not consider another ride. Are you ready to ride the Desperado again? Most we're sure won't pass up the chance.
Photos by Eric Gieszl. © 1998 Ultimate Rollercoaster.
Desperado logo courtesy of Primm Valley Resorts. All rights reserved.