Anyone who’s driven from Las Vegas to Los Angeles or vice versa has likely noticed the expanses of desert punctuated by several buildings on the state line. Look a little closer and you might notice that there is a roller coaster winding its way around one of the buildings on the south side of the road.
It may be in the middle of nowhere, but Primm Valley Resorts offers six rides (including this roller coaster) for those who want to stop and play, making it an ideal break for traveling families.
The Desperado is the roller coaster you can see from the freeway, and it’s no tentative ride. Riders climb 209 feet before dropping at ridiculously high speeds. The ride twists, turns and dips for nearly three minutes up and around Buffalo Bill’s Resort and Casino. The Desperado is one of the tallest and fastest in America, and it has been ranked as one of the top ten in the United States. The amount of track that is squeezed into such a small space is impressive, and don’t be fooled by Primm’s location: This is a serious roller coaster built for thrill seekers. The price to ride is high by some standards, but it’s worth it.
Turbo Drop whips riders 170 feet into the air at 45 miles per hour and then drops them suddenly into a free fall. The ride forces negative Gs on riders, then follows that up with 4.5 Gs of force. Twelve people ride at a time, so lines move quickly. The Frog Hopper is the only kid-specific ride at Primm Valley Resorts. It’s like a mini Turbo Drop, only much lower to the ground. There is a parent seat on the ride, so Mom or Dad can accompany a little one who’s just a bit frightened to go on his or her own.
Adventure Canyon Log Flume is the classic log flume ride … but it leaves a bit to be desired. Whereas many log flume rides take riders up and through the floating river throughout the beginning of the ride and drops then down a sharp incline at the end, the Adventure Canyon Log Flume drops riders early in the ride, and the fall isn’t all that steep in comparison to similar rides. At one point in time, it appears that guests were given laser guns to shoot at the cowboy kitsch that lines the river, but that part of the ride no longer works, so the Adventure Canyon Log Flume is a bit lackluster at times. I do like the fact that part of the ride goes through the resort as it’s a fun way to check out the lay of the land.
The Vault allows guests to choose one of eight 3D experiences ranging from a magic carpet ride to a ride through the Old West. This ride is similar to the Maxflight Cyber Coaster in that you can choose an experience on this one as well. The cyber coaster isn’t in 3D though. Rather, riders are strapped into a small capsule that has a screen inside, and this simulated roller coaster sends riders side to side and even upside down. You can choose from one of several long and short virtual rides. For the best experience on these rides, ask the ride attendant which scenario he or she recommends.
Tips for riding:
- Not many people can take advantage of the 3D and cyber coaster rides at a time plus the lines move incredibly slow, so skip these rides during the day. They aren’t nearly as busy in the evening, once the day trippers from Las Vegas or Southern California have gone home.
- Eye the lines before choosing what to ride.
- If you expect to ride several rides, take advantage of the all-in-one pass, which allows for unlimited riding.
- A twilight pass is cheaper, and the lines are much shorter in the evening, so you can get through twice as many rides in half the time.
- Primm Valley Resorts is not heavily visited, so in the middle of the week, there may be rides closed simply because there aren’t enough employees working. Visit on the weekends for the largest selection of ride choices.
Costs for each ride are as follows:
The Desperado – $8.00
Turbo Drop – $6.00
Adventure Canyon Log Flume – $6.00
The Vault – $6.00
Maxflight Cyber Coaster – $5.00
Frog Hopper – $3.00
Photo credit: Primm Valley Resorts