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The first time I took the Atlanta Streetcar, on its third day of operation, I waited alone at the Peachtree Center stop across from the Ellis Hotel. It was raining, but the shelter kept me dry. The stop is about two blocks from our downtown office, and I wanted to check out for myself the project that took almost three years and $98 million to build.
From the moment you push the oval Polaris button inside the glass elevator of the Hyatt Regency, the stomach-flipping wonder returns. In nineteen seconds, you’re rocketed up the atrium’s hanging ivy–accented twenty-two stories, through the roof, and out into the Downtown sky. Then you ascend into the space-pod lounge, hovering 312 feet above the lobby of the forty-seven-year-old hotel.