Sunday, December 07, 2008

"The Walk of Flame"

This time of year, there's often a chill in the air in Las Vegas, as temperatures some nights dip into the 30s. But starting Monday evening, people making their way down the sidewalk may choose to shed their mittens and caps as they reach the Mirage, where there'll be plenty of heat coming from an erupting "volcano."

Since the hotel's opening in 1989, its mock volcano -- towering over a 3-acre lagoon along Las Vegas Boulevard -- has become a Sin City landmark.

The free attraction has been dormant since February, though, while it underwent a face-lift. And far from just a few tucks here and there, this is a $25-million overall redo.

Submerged in a lagoon beside the volcano are sophisticated flamethrowers. The Mirage project represents “a quantum step forward with flame choreography,” Wet Design’s Jim Doyle says of the Vegas spectacle.

Those seeking an even hotter spectacle may want to drop by New Year's Eve. That's the night motorcycle daredevil Robbie Knievel is preparing to jump more than 200 feet across the lagoon as the jets shoot fire and water skyward. Fox TV will broadcast the event live, beginning at 8 p.m., with the jump scheduled for 9 p.m. Knievel is expected to travel 100 mph during the feat, which is to begin on hotel property and end on the Strip.

The stunt will take place 41 years to the day after Robbie's father, Evel Knievel, was seriously injured when he lost control of his bike during a jump over the fountains at Caesars Palace, next door to the Mirage.

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