Desperado (roller coaster)

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Primm (8).jpg
Primm Valley Resorts
Park section Old Western Times
Coordinates type:landmark source:dewiki 35°36′51″N 115°23′04″W / 35.61417°N 115.38444°W / 35.61417; -115.38444Coordinates: type:landmark source:dewiki 35°36′51″N 115°23′04″W / 35.61417°N 115.38444°W / 35.61417; -115.38444
Status Operating
Opening date August 11, 1994[1]
Cost $30,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel – Hypercoaster
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Ron Toomer
Model Hypercoaster
Track layout Ron Toomer
Lift/launch system Chain
Height 209 ft (64 m)
Drop 225 ft (69 m)
Length 5,843 ft (1,781 m)
Speed 80 mph (130 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:43
Max vertical angle 60°
Capacity 1700 riders per hour
G-force 4
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 5 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 30 riders per train.
Desperado at RCDB
Pictures of Desperado at RCDB

Desperado is a hypercoaster located in Primm, Nevada, United States at the Buffalo Bill's Hotel and Casino a part of the Primm Valley Resorts complex.

According to the roller coaster database, Desperado was one of the tallest roller coasters in the world at the time of being built. It features a 60-degree, 225-foot (69 m) drop; a 209-foot (64 m) lift hill; and top speeds around 80 mph. On the 2 minute, 43 second ride, riders will experience almost 4 Gs.[2] A portion of the ride runs through the interior of the casino. The coaster was listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's tallest roller coaster in 1996.[3] It is the only Hypercoaster in the state of Nevada. The ride was provided by Arrow Dynamics and fabricated by Intermountain Lift, Inc.[4]


Built by Gary Primm to attract those driving by on adjacent Interstate 15 to his new casino, Buffalo Bill's, opened on May 14, 1994. Desperado was not completed when the casino opened, premiering three months later. At its opening in August, the coaster tied the record for steepest and longest drop (225 feet). However, the top speed of 80 mph was slightly slower than Steel Phantom at Kennywood which had a top speed of 82 mph. When the ride opened, some questioned if the 209' lift height was higher than The Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in England. The Big One opened in May 1994, with a top speed of 75 mph and an advertised height of 235', but many suspected that number was actually above sea level which was several feet lower than The Big One's base. Ron Toomer of Arrow Dynamics confirmed the Big One's height is 213 feet from the ground with a drop of 205 feet.[5]

For his Top Secret special that first aired on February 24, 1999, magician Lance Burton staged a death-defying escape in a stunt where he was tied to the roller coaster's track and had to break out of handcuffs in order to escape.[6]


  1. ^ Palermo, Dave (August 7, 1994). "PRIMM SPRUCING UP CALIFORNIA-NEVADA BORDER". Las Vegas Review-Journal/Sun. 
  2. ^ Desperado's page on
  3. ^ "Desperado Roller Coaster Fact Sheet" (Press release). August 13, 2001. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  4. ^ "Amusement". Intermountain Lift, Inc. July 30, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ Hammond, Kip (1994). "Nevada Jackpot". RollerCoaster! Magazine (Chicago, Illinois: American Coaster Enthusiasts) 16 (1): 11–16. ISSN 0896-7261. 
  6. ^ "Lance Burton's Escape On The Desperado To Air Next Wednesday". Retrieved 2007-04-18. 

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