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July 4, 2015

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


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

      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

      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

      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

      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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    1. Ferris wheels??? Are you kidding??? An amusement park??? I thought that was tried before - make the Strip a "family" place. I'm in Vegas at least once a year and the last thing I'd want to do is take a ride - that will probably cost a small fortune - on a ferris wheel, no matter how high it may be.

    2. Maybe I'm one of the crazy ones that enjoys this sort of thing. I've been on 3 of the highest towers in the world and being on one of the largest ferris wheels sounds just as enticing.
      Does it entice me to gamble and spend more? Probably not...

    3. As long as it meets all safety requirements and is PRIVATELY funded, I don't care what they build.
      I'm mortified of heights, so there is a 0% chance of seeing me on that thing.

    4. This whole thing about a giant ferris wheel and amusement park on the strip is all smoke and flatulence. This like so many other such schemes is bound to fail before the first rivet goes into the giant wheel. The money moguls now running Las Vegas have long forgotten what made Las Vegas great in the first place. This was an adult entertainment capital that offered fun and excitement for adults; it was never envisioned as an amusement park for children. The thing that attracted people to Las Vegas was nothing more than the simple logic of: Cheap lodging, inexpensive and plentiful quality food, great and inexpensive non stop entertainment. Profits were garnered from the games of chance offered at each resort. What money was lost on great meals and drinks was overbalanced by the games of chance. Yest, Italian mobsters, the "Mafia" had their hand in all aspects of Las Vegas but God knows people were treated as welcome and greatly valued guests. The current breed of coiffured, richly dressed and MBA graduates have forgotten or truly never knew about the real Las Vegas. This amusement park plan is doomed before it gets off the ground. Go back to what made Vegas so attractive and offer people something valuable

    5. To me this looks like a closed circuit monorail, and will probably be just as sucessful. It will create construction jobs to build it, then more construction jobs to tear it down. But if you are going to build it with private money, have at it.

    6. Sounds like a fun thing to do in 110 degree heat..Don't touch anything metal..Bring your first aid kit with you..

    7. So how will our local construction companies mess this up? Since they had The Harmon into a huge billboard sign that is uninhabitable & the rest of City Center is 30 floors too short, how are they going to make these monstrosities?

    8. Personally, I'd rather see the "world's largest and most extreme" water park in Vegas.

    9. I couldn't agree more with lvsreader ... An amusement park in the Desert just seems like a Bad Idea, with the exception of the Stratosphere which has the gimmick of it being on the top of the tallest structure in the desert. A water park with the most extreme water rides is a different story....Build a Bubble and Use it during the Winter as Well.

      I would just hate to be at top of the Ferris wheel when those Desert winds start whipping up at 60 to 70 mph....

    10. I don't think a giant ferris wheel will do much to bring more people back to the strip. I do think, however that they are on the right track. Vegas better find a way to get families coming back as the adult playground was driven by a strong middle class with a little extra change in their pocket. That no longer exists.

    11. Giant carnival games will NOT bring people back to the strip; 3/2 blackjack WILL!

    12. Also put me down for the Largest Most Extreme Indoor/Outdoor Water Park in the World. It's been done in miniature, was successful and now sits as a dirt lot due to Developers Greed. Build one Bigger and Better.

      When those frequent 40 MPH winds hit those wheels it will be The Ride Of Your Life.

    13. Forget the ferris wheel.

      Bring back another water park to Las Vegas. Build it OFF of the strip. I grew up in Wisconsin, south of the Dells. If Wisconsin can have Noah's Ark, why can't Las Vegas have something more extreme? We get triple digit temps here way more often than Wisconsin does.

      A ferris wheel does not get me excited.

    14. I am for the Huge Water Park, open 24/7 with an open and closing dome.
      Separate family areas and no children allowed areas
      with no alcohol or smoking.
      Adult only area with drinks and food and beach boy servers
      (One Wheel is okay but a water park a necessity!)

      I would be a regular local there! What a place to take visiting family and friends
      What a concept!

    15. At one time there was a plan to build an enclosed amusement park on or near the Boulder highway. What happened there? Zilch! These will not work in the heat of Las Vegas. Why do outdoor restaurant cafes fare so poorly in Las Vegas? The Heat, stupid, it is the heat! Why not build an outdoor Alaska theme park complete with glaciers giant snow drifts? Simulated whale hunts in a simulated Arctic Sea? Imagine dog sled races in July? Why not? It sounds just as logical as giant Ferris Wheel in 115 degree heat and humidity. The dummies, shysters, con artists and fantasy dreamers never cease to amaze me in the many ways they try to con people out of there investment monies. This is just like Oscar Goodman's fantisy dream of a major league baseball or other sport stadium near I-15 on the strip...

    16. Las Vegas is built on gimicks. We have a Eiffel Tower, Rides on Stratusphere, Roller Coasters, Circus Acts, Fire & Volcano, Water Fountains, and plenty of other attractions. I think a Ferris Wheel is a great idea. I really don't think the business will make money, but it will get me to walk to the Mandalay Bay. There isn't anything near that hotel now and I will then gamble there...after a ride on the Ferris Wheel.

    17. Wow, I actually think this is an awesome idea. I like it.

    18. It appears that the consensus of most commentators is, 'build a waterpark'. Sure, a single Ferris Wheel would be an excellent attraction, but a domed waterpark would be a knockout. And if any city could build this, it would have to be Las Vegas.

      Circus Circus has a domed amusement park (Adventuredome) that is unmatched on the Strip. The dome may not seem too attractive recently due to conditions on the North Strip (implosion of Stardust (shame, shame) Frontier and WestWard Ho), the incompletion of Echelon Place and Fountainbleu
      and the closing of Sahara. But what if the Sahara could become a drastic, out-of-this-world water park... in fact, an indoor domed water park. Sort of an AquaDome to mirror Circus' AdventureDome.

      Ridiculous? NOT IN VEGAS! If Wisconsin Dells can do it (and we have quite a few indoor/outdoor water parks here), Las Vegas can do!

    19. Giant Ferris wheels are cool, I'd ride on 'em. But, as has been mentioned, the winds might be too much for them.
      As has also been mentioned, the world's best waterpark seems to be a much better idea for the desert.

    20. This Project Linq does not seem to be planned very good at all. I make a prediction that this will be a total disaster.

      What has not been said (and I have pointed it out in other LV Sun news articles) is the simple fact that running through the Imperial Palace parking garage from Las Vegas Boulevard east to Winnick Street behind, continuing on towards Koval, is a Federal FEMA identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

      Whenever there is alot of rain, the law of gravity runs it downwards mid-Strip through the above identified area. The water gets so deep at times of prevalent rain, that alley has to be closed to traffic. A good portion of Winnick behind Imperial Palace has raging torrents of water waist high. And it runs faster than the Colorado River down to Lake Meade and the damn making it not only impossible to navigate, but dangerous as hell. Security guards run out there and erect barricades because it is rendered impassable to vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

      From the proposed maps and pictures depicting this Project Linq, it really don't seem to address that fact at all. Actually, it seems to overlook this reality.

      If it is built in order to elevate it over this flood channel, how exactly can the supports withstand an assured devastation after constant instances of flooding of that magnitude? Over a period of time it will wear down and degrade. And that will happen. Because they will build it and leave it be, with no maintenance to it. Money will drive them, not safety.

      Even if it has been determined that flooding is of no consequence, I really think it's not going to be very cost effective at all due to the fact they are going to be mandated to pay unbelievable amounts of money for required flood insurance.

      It really don't sound like any of this will get off the ground. Only a pipe dream.

    21. Too eyesores at least Harrah's will be hidden behind the Strip