The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower opened in 1996 and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Viewable for miles around with its 900-foot tall tower. It sits in the city of Las Vegas, a half-mile north of Sahara Avenue on the Las Vegas Boulevard.
Depending on who you talk to, some will say it’s on the Las Vegas Strip while others say the Las Vegas Strip ends at Saraha Avenue. Either way, it’s on the Las Vegas Boulevard tourist corridor!
This is a popular question for tourists not familiar with Las Vegas. People who read the blogs and hear the stories. However, in reality, The short answer is: YES. It’s safe to walk to the Strat from the Las Vegas Strip* !
Update: In 2019, the new owners changed the name of the resort to The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod
Because it’s not surrounded by the glitz and glamour of its neighboring resorts, the Internet trolls like to scare people away from visiting the resort. Making it sound like the half-mile walk to the resort is in the Chicago hood or you have to go through gangland or something worse. You don’t. It’s as safe here as the rest of the Strip is.
Yes, it’s safe to walk to the Stratosphere, But…
Crossing Sahara Avenue from the Las Vegas Strip puts you into the actual city of Las Vegas. This section of the Boulevard isn’t as fancy, yet has the same issues and situations you have walking in front of the Bellagio or any other part of the tourist corridor.
Be safe and vigilant as always and you are fine. (*) The issue comes when you get to the Stratosphere and you want to go exploring. Don’t! The area behind the Stratosphere is known as “Naked City” and its an area tourists should avoid.
The apartments behind the tower were once time the places the showgirls of old Vegas lived, out of the sight of the average Las Vegas tourist. In order to maintain that famous all-over tan, they reportedly had the habit of lounging around the apartment pools au naturale/topless/naked. That’s how the area got its nickname name, naked city.
Today? Not so much. Today, Naked City is where you would go to find things you can’t find easily on the strip and things that could land you in dangerous situations or even a night or two in the city jail… This is low-income housing, government assistance, and welfare occupants. Something every major city has.
So the walk to the Stratosphere and its front entrance is safe, that’s good. Walking back behind the resort is not. That’s bad. I use the parking garage as the demarcation line. Stay in front of that and all is well…
Vegas Crime Stories
The problem with Vegas crime stories is that the media makes it out to be a “Vegas Only” issue. With Las Vegas being an international tourist destination, we get a little more International media exposure than your average city of 2.4 million people.
We are always being closely watched by the worldwide media. So our issues get amplified more than other cities with the same population and demographics. The international spotlight is always on us. Making things seem worse than they are in comparison.
When you view the city crime maps, the area behind the Stratosphere does have its share of high crime rates, mostly domestic violence and disturbing the peace. Same issues as any other areas of the same demographics have. While the area in front of the Stratosphere share similarities of crime that you would find around the Paris or Flamingo Resort. Pickpockets, disturbing the peace, etc…
Always Play It Safe
As with any part of a tourist town or tourist corridor, you need to play it safe. Always be observant of your surroundings and don’t get too flashy in clothing or possessions. Lock the backpacks, keep wallets and purses close to the body, under the arms. Walk with other people you can associate with and don’t get into a game of three-card Monty with someone looking like their last bath was with the last rainstorm!