Elevating Clean

The safety of our Guests and Team Members is our top priority, which is why we’ve made investments to implement the most effective, science-backed cleaning technologies and protocols available today.

We’ve made many changes to incorporate redundant layers of safety – some you can see, some are behind-the-scenes. What hasn’t changed are the breathtaking views atop the Space Needle.


Safe Air is achieved through three primary focuses: air flow and circulation, air sanitation and filtration, and air quality monitoring. The Space Needle uses multiple layers of air safety technology and continually monitors indoor air quality.

Air Flow and Circulation

One of the most important elements of safe air is good air flow and circulation. Indoor air at the Space Needle has both high velocity (air speed or cubic feet per minute) as well as circulation (the displacement and replacement of fresh air) through the design and flow of our air handling systems. Indoor air at the Space Needle changes over at least six times per hour and in some spaces up to 30 times per hour – well above the recommended industry standards. When combined with our MERV 13 and HEPA filtration systems, this helps us achieve outstanding air quality throughout the entirety of the property. Guests can also enjoy 100% fresh air in the elevators as well as the 360-degree open-air outer observation deck.

Air Sanitation and Filtration

Powerful UV-C light works behind-the-scenes to clean the air as it changes over through the HVAC system. This is the same technology hospitals have used for decades to reduce and eliminate viruses and bacteria. UV-C light is proven to kill coronaviruses, and studies show that UV-C can have a first pass kill rate exceeding 95% for airborne pathogens and microorganisms. In addition, upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) inactivates viruses high in the air where it’s warmer and can’t reach people, before that air cools and falls back down into occupied spaces. Beyond the ultra-violet light sanitation, indoor air is also treated with a minimum of two types of filtration systems – MERV 13 and HEPA filters – which are proven to capture airborne pathogens.

Air Quality Monitoring

The indoor air is constantly monitored to ensure its quality and safety. The Space Needle has air quality monitoring devices throughout the experience, which log key metrics that contribute to the indoor air quality index (AQI). We track one of the best early indicators of indoor air quality, Carbon Dioxide (C02). We also track other important metrics such as humidity, temperature, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and the levels of fine airborne particulates like wildfire smoke. These key factors allow us to continually monitor the movement of air within our interior spaces, in addition to fine tuning our filtration efficacy.

Efficacious and Safe Cleaning

Clean, safe surfaces are just one of the layers of our Elevating Clean program. Team Members frequently disinfect touchable surfaces and restrooms all day using the Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant from EcoLab. Approved for use by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this product provides more intense cleaning – eliminating viruses in as little as 45 seconds – while being safe for Guests and Team Members.

Overnight we employ an additional deeper layer of surface disinfection. Using the Protexus PX00ES, a battery-powered electrostatic sprayer, a nontoxic cleanser is atomized throughout all spaces. Containing no VOCs, these magnetically-charged particles are drawn to surfaces, including hard-to-reach places, and can kill 99.99% of bacteria and viruses.

Vaccinations and Screening

With more than 95% of our Team Members fully vaccinated, the Space Needle implemented an additional layer of precaution by requiring all Team Members to take a COVID antigen test on a regular basis (at least twice weekly).

Touch Less + Card & Digital Payments Only

The Space Needle is now cashless. For anyone without a credit or debit card, free cash-to-card machines are available on-site. There is no cost to get a card, and there are no fees to use the card, which can be used inside and outside of the Space Needle.

We’ve also significantly reduced the number of surfaces Guests will touch. In fact, it’s possible to have an entirely touchless experience during your visit! Purchase tickets online, then self-scan your ticket to enter. Elevator operators will take you to the top in just 41 seconds where breathtaking views await.

Buy Tickets Online + Timed Ticketing

For the most seamless experience, purchase tickets online before arriving. Tickets can be scanned on your phone or mobile device and by purchasing for a specific arrival time, you can avoid waiting in line.

Redundant Layers of Safety

Read below for more details about the protocols and equipment aimed at keeping everyone healthy throughout the Space Needle experience:

UV-C and Far-UV-C Light

State-of-the-art UV-C light technologies play an important role in our new cleaning procedures.

UV-C light is powerful. It has been found to effectively kill or inactivate bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This is why hospitals have used it for many years to disinfect patient rooms, ICUs, and operating rooms. Far-UV-C light is a newer technology. Research shows it can effectively inactivate viruses in the air while remaining safe for people to be nearby.

These two technologies combine to create redundant layers of clean throughout the Space Needle, including:

  • Air Handling Systems: SLX UV-C lamps clean the air with powerful light. Installed in the HVAC systems on the ground level, in the elevators, and two indoor observation levels, the EncapsuLamps™ UV-C light will not reach Guests or Team Members, but constantly destroys bacteria and viruses as the air circulates. UV-C light is proven to kill coronavirus, and studies show that the proper dosage of UV-C light can exceed a 95% first pass kill rate of airborne pathogens.
  • Upper-Room UVGI: Upper-room UVGI is considered one of the most effective implementations of UV-C technology for cleaning indoor air. Installed in areas with high ceilings, UVGI devices hit the warm air in the top of the space where it can’t reach people. It effectively destroys the DNA and RNA of viruses before the cooler, clean air falls back down to people on the indoor observation deck.
  • Elevator Lights: Every elevator features Healthe by Lighting Science Cleanse® Downlights, which emit safe, 222nm far-UV-C light. This equipment can inactivate more than 90% of airborne pathogens, continuously cleaning the air on the short 41-second elevator ride.
  • Floor-to-Ceiling Cleaning: The Surfacide® Helios® UV Light Disinfecting Systems are portable UV-C machines used overnight and in the elevators when they are not in use. Remote-operated via a tablet for safety, the powerful UV-C light disinfects the air and surfaces in spaces using a laser map. Hospitals also use similar machines to assist with deep-cleaning.

Air Filtration

Portable EnviroKlenz Air Systems are located throughout the Space Needle. The systems were originally designed, and still used today, by the US military. Using a combination of earth minerals, including Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, HEPA filtration, and UV-C light, EnviroKlenz systems remove 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in the space around them.

MERV 13 filters are placed in the air handling units. These filters work to capture viruses while allowing the HVAC systems to change the air over at least six times per hour, but often up to 30.

Continued Auditing

We’ve developed our Elevating Clean procedures using scientifically-backed equipment and protocols to deliver as safe an experience as possible for Guests and Team Members. The work doesn’t stop there, though. Our team continually audits the experience to ensure everything is working as it should, while staying informed about new technologies and policies for the most up-to-date procedures possible.


The Space Needle’s exterior elevators are different from nearly all elevators in the world. Unlike indoor elevators, ours draw in 100% fresh air from outside. Plus, it’s a short ride to the top (less than a minute!) and they are always operated by Team Members for a touchless experience. With the addition of the far-UV-C and UV-C technologies, a ride in our elevators is as safe as standing next to someone in an outdoor park while wearing a mask.

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