Gargantuan Ferris Wheel: Las Vegas Project, 55 Stories Tall, Continues

Image: Gargantuan Ferris Wheel: Las Vegas Project, 55 Stories Tall, Continues

Monday, 09 Sep 2013 02:24 PM

By David Ogul

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The outer portion of a gargantuan Ferris wheel touted as the world’s tallest was being put into place Monday on the Las Vegas strip.

The people behind the project, though, insist on calling the strip’s latest attraction an observation – and not a Ferris – wheel.

Either way, “it’s going to be an icon,” project director David Codiga told The Associated Press. “It’s going to be part of your visit to Las Vegas if you ride it or not. It’s more or less impossible not to see it if you come here.”

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That’s because the wheel, called the High Roller, will stand 55 stories tall and be outfitted with 1,500 LED lights. It’s expected to take its first guests for a ride early next year.

The wheel has been under construction since 2011. It is still smaller than the 1,000-foot-plus Stratosphere observation tower in Las Vegas, but its numbers are impressive nonetheless. It will carry 3.5 million pounds of steel and will take some 30 minutes to make a single revolution.

The attraction will soon be joined by another giant wheel that is being built across Las Vegas Boulevard from Mandalay Bay on the world-famous Strip, notes VegasInc. That 500-foot tall SkyVue wheel is expected to be completed in 2015.

The High Roller is part of a Caesars Entertainment Corp. project called the Linq development, a large outdoor plaza across from Caesars Palace. The project is expected to open this winter and is designed to appeal to younger visitors. Officials promised the project would generate some 3,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs in a city that was devastated by the Great Recession.

The High Roller will be 100 feet taller than the London Eye, 30 feet taller than China’s Star of Nanchang and 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, all of which opened since 2000, the AP reported.

“None of us in Las Vegas ever sits on our laurels,” Marybel Batjer, a Caesars Entertainment spokesperson, told VegasInc. “You continue to develop and bring new visions to this terrific place.”

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