The iconic Strat Hotel, Casino & SkypodTower in Las Vegas is known for its unique space-needle like structure and has been a staple of the Las Vegas skyline for decades. If you’re wondering just how long the Strat Hotel has been around, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The original Stratosphere Hotel and Casino first opened in April 1996, making the property over 25 years old as of 2023.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the full history of the Strat Hotel Las Vegas, from its initial planning and construction to renovations and rebrands over the years. We’ll highlight key milestones in the lifespan of this landmark Vegas hotel and casino.

Origins and Initial Construction of the Stratosphere (Late 1980s – 1996)

Conception and Planning in the Late 1980s

The idea for the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, now known as the Strat Hotel Las Vegas, was conceived in the late 1980s. It was the brainchild of Bob Stupak, a well-known entrepreneur in the Las Vegas gaming industry.

Stupak envisioned a towering hotel and casino that would not only offer world-class entertainment but also become a landmark on the Las Vegas Strip.

After extensive research and planning, Stupak presented his vision to investors and received the necessary funding to move forward with the project. The design of the Stratosphere incorporated a unique tower structure, which would ultimately become one of its most iconic features.

Groundbreaking in 1991 and Construction From 1992-1996

Groundbreaking for the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino took place in 1991. Construction began in earnest the following year, with teams of workers and construction equipment transforming the vacant land into the towering structure we see today.

The construction process was a significant undertaking, requiring careful coordination and attention to detail.

Over the course of four years, the Stratosphere slowly took shape. The tower, measuring 1,149 feet in height, was constructed using state-of-the-art engineering techniques. It was no small feat, as building such a tall structure presented numerous challenges.

However, the construction team persevered, and the Stratosphere emerged as a testament to their skill and determination.

Grand Opening in April 1996

The Stratosphere Hotel and Casino celebrated its grand opening in April 1996, marking the culmination of years of planning and construction. The grand opening was a highly anticipated event, drawing crowds from all over the world who were eager to experience the new addition to the Las Vegas skyline.

During the grand opening festivities, guests were treated to a variety of entertainment options, including live performances, gaming, and dining. The Stratosphere quickly became a popular destination for both tourists and locals, attracting visitors with its panoramic views, thrilling rides, and world-class amenities.

Since its opening, the Stratosphere has undergone several renovations and rebrandings but has remained a prominent fixture on the Las Vegas Strip. It continues to attract visitors with its unique offerings and iconic tower, serving as a reminder of the innovation and vision that brought it to life.

Renovations and Rebranding Over the Years (1996 – Present)

The Strat Hotel Las Vegas, formerly known as the Stratosphere, has undergone several renovations and rebranding efforts since its inception in 1996. These changes have played a significant role in shaping the hotel’s identity and attracting visitors from all over the world.

Early Renovations and Addition of Rides (Late 1990s)

In the late 1990s, the Stratosphere underwent its first major renovation, which included the addition of thrilling rides at the top of the tower. The hotel introduced attractions such as the Big Shot, X-Scream, and Insanity, which quickly became popular among adventure-seeking tourists.

These rides offered breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip and added an element of excitement to the hotel’s offerings.

During this time, the Stratosphere also underwent various upgrades to its rooms and amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay for its guests. The hotel management recognized the importance of keeping up with the evolving needs and preferences of visitors, and these renovations were a testament to their commitment to providing an unforgettable experience.

Major Renovations Under New Ownership in the 2000s

In the 2000s, the Stratosphere underwent a series of major renovations under new ownership. These renovations aimed to revamp and modernize the hotel, attracting a wider range of guests. The updates included refreshed decor, upgraded dining options, and improved entertainment offerings.

One notable addition during this period was the SkyJump attraction, which allowed visitors to experience a controlled freefall from the 108th floor of the tower. This thrilling activity became a popular choice for adrenaline junkies looking for an unforgettable experience in Las Vegas.

Furthermore, the hotel’s casino underwent significant changes, with the introduction of new slot machines, table games, and high-limit areas. These renovations aimed to enhance the overall gaming experience and cater to the preferences of both casual players and high rollers.

Rebranding as The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod in 2019

In 2019, the Stratosphere underwent another transformation and was rebranded as The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod. This rebranding aimed to position the hotel as a premier destination in Las Vegas, with a focus on providing a modern and luxurious experience.

The renovations during this period included a complete overhaul of the hotel’s guest rooms, featuring contemporary designs and upgraded amenities. The casino floor was also revamped with new gaming options and state-of-the-art technology.

Additionally, the Skypod, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city, received upgrades and new attractions. The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod continues to attract visitors with its iconic observation deck, thrill rides, and a wide range of entertainment options.

Key Facts and Figures About the Property

Hotel Tower Height and Floor Count

The Strat Hotel in Las Vegas, formerly known as the Stratosphere, is not only an iconic landmark on the Las Vegas Strip, but also one of the tallest buildings in the city. The hotel tower stands at an impressive height of 1,149 feet (350 meters) and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Las Vegas Valley.

With a total of 1,149 feet, it is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States.

Number of Rooms and Suites

The Strat Hotel boasts a wide range of accommodations to suit every guest’s needs. With over 2,400 rooms and suites, there is ample space for visitors to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the vibrant city.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy room with modern amenities or a luxurious suite with stunning views, the Strat Hotel has options for everyone.

Casino Size and Gaming Options

The casino at the Strat Hotel offers an exhilarating gaming experience for enthusiasts. Spanning over 80,000 square feet, the casino floor is filled with a wide variety of slot machines, table games, and poker rooms.

Guests can try their luck at popular games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and more. The casino also features a state-of-the-art sportsbook where visitors can place bets on their favorite sports events.

Notable Restaurants, Lounges, and Amenities

The Strat Hotel is home to a diverse range of dining options, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. Guests can indulge in delicious cuisine at top-rated restaurants such as Top of the World, which offers breathtaking views while enjoying a gourmet meal.

The hotel also features a variety of lounges and bars, where visitors can sip on handcrafted cocktails and enjoy live entertainment.

In addition to its impressive dining options, the Strat Hotel offers a range of amenities to enhance guests’ stay. These include a rooftop pool, fitness center, spa, and various entertainment options such as thrill rides on the observation deck.

With its wide array of amenities, the Strat Hotel ensures that guests have a memorable and enjoyable experience during their stay.

The Future of the STRAT Hotel and Casino

Recent and Upcoming Renovations

The STRAT Hotel and Casino, formerly known as the Stratosphere, has undergone significant renovations in recent years to enhance its offerings and appeal to a wider range of visitors. The property has invested millions of dollars in upgrading its rooms, restaurants, and amenities to provide a more luxurious and modern experience for guests.

One notable renovation is the addition of the SkyPod, a thrilling observation deck that offers breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas while dining at Top of the World, the STRAT’s renowned revolving restaurant located on the 106th floor.

Another recent improvement is the newly remodeled STRAT Casino, which features an updated gaming floor with a wide selection of slot machines, table games, and a poker room. The casino also offers exciting entertainment options, including live music and performances by world-class artists.

Expansion Plans

The STRAT Hotel and Casino has ambitious expansion plans to further solidify its position as a premier destination in Las Vegas. The property aims to attract a diverse range of visitors by offering a comprehensive entertainment experience.

One of the upcoming expansions includes the addition of new restaurants and bars, giving guests even more dining options. The STRAT is partnering with renowned chefs and mixologists to create unique and innovative culinary experiences that will cater to all tastes and preferences.

Furthermore, the STRAT is planning to expand its hotel capacity by constructing a new tower. This addition will provide additional rooms and suites, ensuring that more guests can enjoy the exceptional hospitality and amenities offered by the hotel.

Position as a Vegas Landmark Institution

The STRAT Hotel and Casino has established itself as a Vegas landmark institution, known for its iconic tower and thrilling attractions. It has become synonymous with excitement and adventure, offering visitors an unforgettable experience.

With its strategic location on the Las Vegas Strip, the STRAT attracts millions of tourists each year. It continues to innovate and evolve to meet the changing needs and preferences of its guests, ensuring that it remains a top choice for those seeking entertainment and luxury in Las Vegas.

As a testament to its enduring popularity, the STRAT has been featured in numerous movies, television shows, and music videos, further cementing its status as a cultural icon. It has become a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The STRAT Hotel and Casino’s commitment to providing exceptional service, thrilling entertainment, and unforgettable experiences sets it apart from other hotels in Las Vegas. With its ongoing renovations and expansion plans, the future of the STRAT looks bright, promising even more excitement and innovation for years to come.


For over 25 years, the Strat/STRAT Hotel and Casino has been an iconic fixture in the Las Vegas skyline. From its visionary origins in the late 80s to the exciting renovations and additions happening today, the property has continued to evolve and offer fresh experiences.

The Strat offers a unique perspective on Las Vegas, with its towering height providing sweeping city views. Beyond its world-famous tower and skypod observation deck, the Strat offers fine dining, thrilling rides and a lively casino that keeps visitors entertained.

As one of the most established Vegas hotels, the Strat shows no signs of slowing down. With recent renovations and more plans for the future, it remains committed to the Vegas tradition of reinventing itself.

For those looking to experience a piece of classic Vegas history with some new twists, the Strat is a can’t-miss destination.

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