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in MJ Live". Las Vegas Magazine. Retrieved 2020-12-22. Katsilometes, John (2019-06-07). "'Celestia' gathers familiar acts under one tent on Las Vegas Strip"The Strat Hotel, Casino and SkyPod (formerly the Stratosphere) is a hotel and casino located in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. It includes a 1,149 ft (350.2 m) observation tower, the tallest in the United States. It is also the second-tallest in the Western Hemisphere, surpassed only by the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario. The tower is topped by a pod which includes a revolving restaurant, lounges, and observation decks. The top of the tower also has several thrill rides. The hotel and casino facilities are situated at the base of the tower, and the resort also includes a showroom and a shopping mall. The Stratosphere is located within city limits on Las Vegas Boulevard, just north of the Las Vegas Strip. The resort is sometimes considered to be a Strip property, although Clark County does not officially recognize it as such, stating that the Strip does not extend into city limits. A portion of the property was previously occupied by Vegas World, a hotel and casino that Bob Stupak opened in 1979. A decade after its opening, Stupak announced plans for a giant neon sign for Vegas World, to be built on adjacent property. The idea soon evolved into an observation tower with a rooftop restaurant. Construction of the Stratosphere Tower began in February 1992. A fire of unknown origin occurred on the tower in August 1993, during construction. Stupak then had difficulty acquiring funds to finish the tower. In order to complete the project, Stupak partnered with Grand Casinos, owned by his poker friend Lyle Berman. The tower was originally proposed with a height of 1,012 ft (308 m). However, in 1994, Stupak considered extending the height to 1,825 ft (556 m), seeking the title of tallest structure in the world. The Federal Aviation Administration opposed the new height, and the city ultimately rejected it, while allowing Stupak to go as high as 1,149 feet. Vegas World closed on February 1, 1995, and its hotel towers were remodeled to serve as the hotel for the Stratosphere. New hotel towers were also built to accompany the existing buildings. The observation tower, which cost $70 million to build, was topped off on November 4, 1995. The $550 million Stratosphere complex opened on April 30, 1996. Portions of the resort were unfinished at the time, including a hotel tower and sections of the shopping mall. The Stratosphere was built in a crime-ridden neighborhood known as Naked City. The resort struggled financially during its first year, for a number of reasons, including its location away from the Strip and other resorts. Marketing was also limited, as Berman initially believed that the tower had generated enough publicity on its own. The unfinished facilities were another factor in the resort's low revenue. Stratosphere Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 1997, and businessman Carl Icahn purchased the resort in 1998. Icahn had the remaining hotel rooms finished in 2001, as part of a $65 million renovation project. The resort became profitable under Icahn's ownership, by targeting value-conscious visitors. In 2004, ownership was transferred to Icahn's company, American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP). Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds purchased ACEP and the Stratosphere in 2008. Two years later, ACEP carried out a $20 million renovation which included the remodeling of hotel rooms. Other renovations continued into 2012. Golden Entertainment purchased ACEP and the Stratosphere in 2017, and additional renovations began in 2018, continuing into 2020. The resort was rebranded as The Strat on January 22, 2020.