As dawn brushes the sky with hints of pink and gold, hundreds of intrepid souls will gather at the base of the iconic Strat Hotel, Casino & Tower, ready to ascend its towering heights. ‘Scale the Strat,’ the climb-a-thon set to challenge both the brave and the bold, will see participants from near and far taking on the formidable journey up 108 floors—1,455 steps that spiral upward to the summit 800 feet above the glimmering Las Vegas Strip.

Among them is the steadfast Alexis Trujillo from Mexico City, a familiar figure on these staircases, his rhythmic steps known to those who frequent this event. In the quiet hush before 7 a.m., they’ll embark upon the vertical marathon that stretches through till noon—an endeavor not just of physical mettle but also of heart, as each step rises funds for the American Lung Association.

A record-breaking whisper floats among the climbers; it’s the echo of Wai Ching Soh’s lightning ascent last year, a swift 6 minutes and 46 seconds that etched his name in history. Yet, for many, the climb isn’t a race, it’s a stride of solidarity, a 40-minute march toward the azure sky, a communion of effort and spirit enjoined by the philanthropic purpose bonding them.

Among the climbers are celebrated veterans, individuals whose stories are rooted in the very cause they ascend for. They climb not just for the challenge, but for those who have battled every breath against lung disease. Shannon Proctor, the American Lung Association of Nevada’s executive director, shared on KTNV her personal connection—the breathless struggle of her grandmother succumbing to lung cancer and her parents facing the daily trials of COPD.

This year’s ‘Scale the Strat’ isn’t simply a Las Vegas affair; it is a confluence of global citizenship, with participants converging from across continents to step up—literally and figuratively. “We can’t wait to welcome stair climbers from all over the world,” declared Stephen Thayer, the Strat’s vice president and general manager, exuding anticipation for a tradition as moving as it is meaningful.

For those who’ve missed the online sign-up, hope is not forfeited. Last-chance registration beckons between 2 and 5 p.m. on the eve of the ascent and in the early hours before the sun crowns the day. With a $50 weekend commitment and a rallying call to raise at least $200 each, climbers can join the ranks of those scaling not just a structure, but scaling hope.

Since its inception in 2008, ‘Scale the Strat’ has fortified its legacy, amassing an impressive $2.8 million toward the tireless fight against lung disease. The monies pledged—amounting to $215K for this year’s event and eyeing a goal beyond $300K—fuel the American Lung Association’s vital mission, empowering advocacy, education, and research that promise cleaner air and healthier lungs.

And as the climbers rise, one step at a time, their spirit of camaraderie is palpable—teams born of friendships, family ties, and workplace bonds, ascending together, unified by a common cause. To honor their commitment, the Strat offers climbers reprieve: a generous discount on accommodation and sustenance through limited food and beverage credit—with the event’s code, ALA24, as their talisman.

When the stairwell surrenders to sky-high views, and heavy breaths catch sight of the horizon, the climbers of ‘Scale the Strat’ will have not only elevated themselves above the vibrant hum of Vegas—they will have uplifted the lives of many, with every step a stride closer to a world of clearer breaths and brighter days.

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Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson, a Senior Editor and respected voice in iGaming and sports, brings over a decade of journalism experience with a focus on digital gaming and cryptocurrency. Starting in sports analysis, he now leads a team of writers, delivering insightful and advanced content in the dynamic world of online gaming. An avid gamer and crypto-enthusiast, Mark's unique perspective enriches his professional analysis. He's also a regular speaker at industry conferences, sharing his views on the future of iGaming and digital finance. Follow his latest articles and insights on social media.


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