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Celebrity Scene News - October 21st, 2007

Branson Leaps For Publicity

by Pete Allman
Richard BransonRichard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Airlines and founder of Virgin Records knows whereof he speaks when he introduced his new air service between San Francisco and Las Vegas in a high profile publicity act. What Branson didn’t know as well was the risk he was taking when he repelled from the top of the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for a publicity event recently.

Branson was lowered by a cable at 80 feet per minute when he lunged out with his arm throwing airline tickets. Unfortunately, he cut his hands when it hit the wall of the building, and he ripped his pants below his buttocks. Oh well, Branson landed then limped off into the hotel after his publicity stunt. George Maloof, CEO of the Palms and host of the event was there accompanied by his friends, the illusionist team of Penn and Teller. Maloof said he admired and respected Branson, which is why he allowed the stunt.

Brave as Maloof is, he said he would never have attempted it. Thrill Seekers Unlimited, the producers of the event, spoke about the stunt after the mishap.

“When you travel 80 feet per minute on a high velocity jump, you have to be careful of every movement, especially when you are next to a wall, stated Rich Hopkins the company’s CEO. Hopkins has been the driving force behind the extreme sports industry for the last 25 years.

Pete Allman is a Las Vegas-based celebrity interviewer and media personality. He can be reached by email at or phone (702) 265-9099.