Inline Skating's 'Field of Dreams'?
Inline skating is part of an ambitious plan to develop a $9 billion sport resort and casino in Las Vegas.
As envisioned, the huge Las Vegas City of Sports resort would host 2000 sports events a year (everything from kayaking to downhill skiing) inside of its 21 separate arenas.
Inline skaters would race in the velodrome, which, aside from daily cycling events, would feature inline hockey, roller dance and roller derby.
The developers plan to hire about 20 top inline speed skaters, who would live and work at the resort. Aside from racing, the skaters would give lessons to guests.
"The guest will also be able to put on pads and — with the help of our professionals — train like a pro," said Stacey Blitsch, president of the resort's roller sports division. "We want our guests to get hands on ... or in this case, feet on ... experience."
Blitsch, who comes from the world of Roller Jam and Roller Derby, plans a wide variety of skate competitions, including inline speed, inline agility, inline marathon, roller dance, roller hockey and roller derby. (Go to Blitsch's request for advice from the skating community.)
A vast array of sports will compete for guests' interest. As described in a promotional DVD, more than 70 sports will be on the resort's schedule.
Among the many sports facilities will be the world's largest water park, an indoor ski slope and a circular white-water river. There will also be all the standard fare, including an ice skating rink, extreme sports arena, football field (indoors, of course), NBA-ready basketball stadium, bowling alleys, track and Olympic-size swimming pool.
And since it's Vegas, of course, there will be gambling.
The developers say they expect the resort to attract at least 20 million guests a year. Aside from sports lovers, they hope to draw families and non-smokers by offering a family-friendly (translation: no topless showgirls) and smoke-free environment.
The plans call for the construction of 8600 hotel rooms and 8000 condominiums.
Developers say they have secured financing to build 4000 of the condominium units. But no date has yet been set for the start of construction on the 135-acre site in the New Strip South area of Las Vegas.
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Burnson
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