General Motors Opens "The Drive"....
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16th April, 2006
On Monday, 10th April, 2006, with tonnes of dirt and a dose of speed, the corner of Paradise Road and Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, USA, was transformed when General Motors officially opened the doors of “The Drive.” The unique, hands-on driving facility will offers a first-of-its-kind “autotainment” experience within the United States.
“The Drive” features two professionally-designed driving courses, including a high-performance loop and an off-road adventure with two trails over a dirt terrain. Located at the Sahara Hotel and just steps from The Strip, “The Drive” is situated on 11 acres leased by GM from the hotel. For the duration of the project, GM will also be a marketing and advertising partner of the Las Vegas Monorail Company, and will have the only brand presence at the monorail station at the Sahara Hotel, currently the most northern point of the Las Vegas Monorail system.
“‘The Drive’ represents a significant marketing opportunity for General Motors, allowing us to showcase our products in a unique fashion that will provide a fun-filled time for the millions of people who live in or visit Las Vegas,” said Steve Tihanyi, general director, marketing and entertainment alliances for General Motors. “This platform elevates the driving experience, without pressure to buy, to another level that has never been presented within the U.S.”
“The Drive’s” Performance course features a half-mile paved route with jogs and turns complete with chicanes to enjoy both the speed and handling control of pure sports car driving thrills. The Off-Road course is situated in the middle of the oval Performance course and can be reached via a walking bridge.
The Off-Road course encompasses two adventure trails to test out Hummer vehicles, or GM’s powerful full-size SUVs and trucks. The main trail (for Hummers) features a 15-foot mountain to traverse, intensely sloped banks, v-ditches, giant moguls and aggressive obstacles to climb. A secondary trail (for trucks and SUVs) presents slighter-sloped banks, a dirt hill, moguls and obstacles.
“The addition of ‘The Drive’ is proof that the monorail is rapidly becoming an icon level attraction of the most-visited city in the world,” said Curtis Myles III, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Monorail Company. “We look forward to the marketing partnership with General Motors as it embarks on this journey.”
The vehicle mix offered at “The Drive” will include 13 different products from six GM divisions (Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab). As new products become available, the vehicle offerings at “The Drive” will be refreshed and expanded to also include Buick and Saturn vehicles.
Initial vehicle choices unleashed on the Performance course include: the Chevy Corvette coupe and convertible; Pontiac GTO, Cadillac CTS-V; Pontiac Solstice roadster; Cadillac STS-V; Saab 9-3 convertible; and Chevrolet SSR.
Ignition keys to the rugged yet refined Hummer H2, Hummer H2 SUT and mid-size Hummer H3 will be available to consumers who want to navigate the main trail of the Off-Road course. On the second trail GM features the 2007 Cadillac Escalade, 2006 Chevy Silverado Diesel and the 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Select vehicles will be E85 FlexFuel-compatible.
“Guests of the Sahara Hotel can get behind the wheel of a true sports car, or enjoy the thrill of an off-road experience in complete safety, and all of this is right outside our doors,” said John F. Morocco, director of operations for the Sahara Hotel Las Vegas. “The partnership with General Motors and the Monorail offers our guests a world-class attraction unlike any other on The Strip.”
“The Drive” will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week, including holidays. Hours are subject to change due to daylight and/or special events.
A single driver ticket will cost $10 and entitles the bearer to one of the following:
Drivers who want more than two experiences can purchase an additional ticket/s. Passengers may accompany a driver at no cost (where seating positions are available). For those wanting to watch, “The Drive” features special viewing locations to capture pictures and witness drivers experiencing the courses offered.
All drivers must be 18 years of age or older, present a valid driver’s license, sign a safety waiver, and pass a breathalyser test (zero tolerance). A professional driver will sit in the passenger seat with all drivers on the Performance and Off-Road courses to receive the optimum and safest experience at “The Drive.”
Driver tickets may be purchased at “The Drive”. Advance tickets for drivers may also be purchased at numerous retail locations at many of the most popular hotels on the world famous Las Vegas 'Strip'.
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