Photo: Steam

ExpediaLabs has released its first Virtual Reality experience via the popular gaming site, Steam. The experience takes users on a tour of Seattle’s most iconic man-made landmark, the Space Needle.

The real Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. The entrepreneur Edward E. Carlson first imagined the structure and sketched it on a placemat in a local coffee shop in true Seattle style. After his plan was set in motion, the Space Needle was completed in December 1961 at a cost of $4.5 million. The space-age theme was carried through all the way to the paint colors with Astronaut White for the legs, Re-entry Red for the halo, Orbital Olive for the core and Galaxy Gold for the sunburst and roof.

Now the needle can be experienced by anyone with Virtual Reality technology at their disposal. The ExpediaLabs game allows users to walk into the Space Needle, ride the elevator all the way to the roof, step right out to the edge and take in the beauty of the city below. If the spirit moves the user, they can virtually bungee jump off the top from a height of 500 feet.

“As Seattle becomes a leading hub for Virtual Reality development, Expedia is making a point to experiment in the space,” stated Expedia’s Arthur Chapin, SVP of Global Product and Design in a press release. “While this is ExpediaLab’s first experimental project in the VR space, it comes in partnership with many other AI/Voice initiatives that we are aggressively working on.”

Expedia is also making waves in the commercial real estate sphere. The city recently approved Expedia’s new corporate campus plans on the Seattle waterfront. Currently based in Bellevue, Expedia will eventually have 4,500 employees at its new Seattle headquarters, the former Amgen campus in Interbay. Opponents have 15 days to appeal Expedia’s plan, which is expected to add 2,870 daily vehicle trips to the neighborhood’s traffic.

Expedia is jumping head first into it’s virtual and physical expansion.

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