Vegas' Tallest Strip Tease

Stratosphere is gambling on supergimmicks

To its proud papas--would-be gaming barons Robert Stupak and Lyle Berman--all you need to know about their 1,149-foot Stratosphere tower is that it's a casino, hotel, and retail complex. It's also the tallest building west of the Mississippi, and it features a sky-scraping amusement park where patrons will hurtle through space aboard a roller coaster 100 stories high, or get flung 160 feet in the air in a harnessed seat. Shares of Stratosphere Corp., the public com-pany controlled by the pair, have jumped nearly 60% in the past four months (chart), although the Stratosphere Tower, Casino & Hotel doesn't open for business until Apr. 30. "This is going to be the biggest thing to ever hit Las Vegas," crows Stupak. "How can you miss knowing we're around?"

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