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August 2, 2015

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2 big observation wheels planned for Strip, here are 6 others

Image

Courtesy Ceasars Entertainment

If all goes according to plan, two giant observation wheels will dot the Las Vegas skyline. These artist renderings show the two wheels. At left, Caesars Entertainment is planning to erect one near O’Sheas as part of Project Linq. (The rendering is from 2009, when Caesars was known as Harrahs Entertainment.) At right is the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel project, which has already broken ground at a site near Mandalay Bay.

Will an amusement park, a new shopping and food district, and a pair of Ferris wheels bring a needed tourism boost to the Strip?

Or is Las Vegas just spinning its wheels?

Las Vegas real estate developers David Gaffin and Howard Bulloch and Caesars Entertainment are banking on the former.

This past week Gaffin and Bulloch, who together head Desert Land LLC and Desert Oasis Investments LLC, broke ground on the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel project, which, if completed, would erect a 500-foot-tall Ferris wheel alongside an amusement park across from Mandalay Bay.

It would be the tallest in the United States. That is, of course, unless plans materialize for yet another giant Ferris wheel north on Las Vegas Boulevard planned by Caesars Entertainment.

The gaming company plans to develop “Project Linq,” an area of bars, shops and restaurants between the Flamingo and O’Sheas. When the project was announced in 2009, Caesars officials (then Harrah’s) indicated the wheel would tower about 600 feet above the Strip.

It remains to be seen what, if any, effect these Ferris wheels would bestow on the entertainment capital of the world. Here’s a look at big-time Ferris wheels across the country and around the world. How will Las Vegas stack up?

    • Ferris Wheel
      /ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

      Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Skywheel

      This 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel started its spin cycle on May 20 and currently ranks as the tallest Ferris wheel in the Eastern United States. The $12 million wheel has a million LED lights and 42 air-conditioned gondolas.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? 300 feet.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 400 feet.

    • Ferris Wheel
      /ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

      Dallas – Texas Star

      The Texas Star, which debuted in 1985, has the title of being the largest Ferris wheel in North America — at least for now. The $2.2 million Texas Star is usually operated for 24 days during the annual State Fair of Texas (September-October) and is 212 feet tall, with 45 gondolas.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? 288 feet.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 388 feet.

    • Ferris Wheel
      /Associated Press file

      Chicago – Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

      This 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel in Chicago may not boast incredible height compared with the rest of this list but for any Ferris-aficionados, it’s a must. The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel was modeled after the very first Ferris wheel, which was built for Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The ride has 40 gondolas, each of which seats up to six passengers and provides views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? 350 feet.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 450 feet.

    • Ferris Wheel
      /ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

      London – London Eye

      Erected in 1999, the 443-foot-tall London Eye was at one time the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It’s still the tallest in Europe. The wheel contains 32 sealed and air-conditioned capsules that each can hold 25 people.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? 57 feet.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 157 feet.

    • Ferris Wheel
      /ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE

      Marina Bay, Singapore – Singapore Flyer

      The operators of the 541-foot-tall Singapore Flyer refer to it as an observation wheel. It’s also the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. The Flyer contains 28 air-conditioned capsules and can hold 28 passengers. According to the Straits Times, the wheel reversed the direction of its rotation in 2008 after Feng Shui masters convinced management that the wheel was turning the wrong way.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? It would be 41 feet shorter.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 59 feet.

    • The Colossus
      Photo by Courtesy Josh Miller via Flickr

      Eureka, Mo. – Colossus

      The Colossus holds the distinct title of being the largest Ferris wheel at a theme park. Located at Six Flags St. Louis, the Colossus is a 180-foot-tall and 165-foot-wide Ferris wheel. It weighs 180 tons and can hold up to 320 people.

      How much taller would Super Wheel be? 320 feet.

      How much taller would the Project Linq wheel be? 420 feet.

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