Wind Engineering the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower

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The Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas dominates the skyline, rising to 866 ft (264 m) at the observation level and 1149 ft (350 m) at the peak of its spire. CPP became involved with the project in 1991, during its initial design phase. Initially, the wind-related issues included the standard wind loads and effects for the tower.

However, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the design of the Stratosphere Tower evolved and changed. CPP tested the design with a larger observation pod, enclosures for the tower arms (which would have increased the wind loads so significantly that this idea was abandoned), and changes to the spire, which included various lattice designs that would each respond differently to the wind. In fact, the dynamic analysis of this complex project required CPP to create a custom computer program specifically for the task.

The most unique, and ultimately the signature feature for many visitors, was the addition of several amusement rides at the top—and on the outside—of the Stratosphere. The first ride to be added was the High Roller (now out of operation), which was a roller coaster that wrapped around the top of the tower.The Big ShotSkyJumpInsanity, and X-Scream rides followed, each of which required reanalysis of wind interactions and the structural effects on the Stratosphere. Ultimately, CPP helped address all the wind-loading and wind-response issues that arose and now, thrill-seekers enjoy these one-of-a-kind rides high above the Las Vegas Strip.

Much like the visitors to Stratosphere Tower, CPP found this project to offer unique, complex, and exciting challenges. That’s just how we like it.

Read CPP’s technical paper, Wind Engineering for the Las Vegas Stratosphere Tower, for a detailed description of the project.

Project Team

CPP Project Director:
Dr. Daryl Boggs

Structural Engineer:
Wright Engineers

Steelman Partners

Project Details

Client name:
Stratosphere Tower
Las Vegas, NV
Steelman Partners