|By Josh Poltilove, Tampa Tribune,
Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 21, 2008 --TAMPA -- Illusionist Criss Angel says it's a go: He will show off his escape artist skills during the implosion of a Clearwater Beach hotel this month.
If all goes as planned, Angel will be shackled on a seventh-story balcony of the nine-story Spyglass Resort. Angel will try to escape from steel restraints and make his way to a helicopter on the roof as the implosion occurs.
"Every time I do a demonstration, I try to take it up a level or two from what I have done in the past, from Cement Block in Times Square to my Double Straight Escape in front of over 10,000 fans in New Orleans," Angel says in a written statement. "I can assure you that this demonstration will blow your mind and be above and beyond anything you have ever seen me attempt."
The event will be broadcast live on A&E from 10 to 11 p.m. July 30. Tim Vincent will host the "Building Implosion Escape" episode.
The nine-story hotel has been vacant for years and has fallen into disrepair. There are numerous code issues, Clearwater spokesman Doug Matthews said.
Matthews said Angel's performance will be good for Clearwater Beach.
"It's an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the work that we've been doing on the beach over the last few years," he said.
Angel is the creator, executive producer and director of "Criss Angel MINDFREAK" on A&E and has been on several television specials, according to his Web site. The event July 30 will be broadcast in North America, Latin America and Australia, and live feeds will be on and .
The event, free and open to the public, will be visible from outside a blast zone perimeter, according to the written statement.
There will be a 9-by-12-foot screen at the site with a live feed.
The Spyglass property will be the site of the Kiran Grand Resort and Spa, with plans that include 350 condominium rental suites, according to the news release.
Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 259-7691.
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