LOS ANGELES — Thrill seekers looking to take their fear of heights to a new level can come to downtown Los Angeles this summer and careen down a clear glass slide atop the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
The "Skyslide" is scheduled to begin sending urban adventurers down the relatively brief ride 1,000 feet above the ground in June. It will span 45 feet from the 70th to the 69th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower downtown.
Nothing but 1¼-inch glass separates riders from the ground, promising to provide both a thrill and quite the view for anyone willing to open their eyes along the way.
On a clear day, the 72-story tower provides panoramic views that extend to Catalina Island 22 miles off the Pacific Coast and over the Santa Monica Mountains to the city's sprawling San Fernando Valley.
"There will be nothing like it in the U.S.," said Lucy Rumantir, head of U.S. operations for the building owner OUE Limited of Singapore.
And that is just the reason for building a giant slide in the sky, she added.
Skyslide is part of a $50 million renovation that will also put an open-air observation deck and bar on the building's top floors.
Asked if she'll actually slide down the thing when it opens, Rumantir laughed:
"Oh yeah, of course. We're going to be the ones who actually test the whole thing before it goes public. The risk is on us."