Monday, February 11, 2013

High Roller Observation Wheel

The first thing I noticed when I opened the drapes of my 20th-floor window at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas for the first time this last trip was an odd-looking structure that looked like four extra-slim cigarettes stuck in the ground at odd angles.
It wasn’t until I asked a cabbie as we went along Paradise Road behind the Strip hotels that I found out what they are.
They are the vertical supports of a giant Ferris wheel being constructed by Caesars Entertainment Corp. behind the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino (now known as The Quad). Part of Caesar’s Project Linq, construction of the High Roller Observation Wheel began in September 2011 and is supposed to finish late this year.
High Roller is scheduled to have 28 passenger capsules, aka cabins; each will carry up to 40 people.
(By the way, the faint ghost images of the photograph above are just the result of reflections in the Flamingo’s picture window glass, which must be pretty thick.)
Originally, the estimated price of a 30-minute, full-rotation ride was going to be less than $20, but it’s apparently risen to about $25 a head. That can only mean construction costs (labor, materials) and insurance have risen considerably.
They’d better hurry. According to what I’ve subsequently learned, a competing Ferris wheel known as the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel, aka SkyVue, has also begun construction. That one is near the Mandalay Hotel & Casino at the south end of the Strip.
I have to say that while I was in Vegas for a week, not once did I see anybody working on the project.


Hawaii Vegas Connect said...

Although I'll probably ride this when it does open, I'm not sure I want to sit in there for 30 minutes. I mean, the view won't change much, and I think after a while, I might get bored? But then again, I stay up on the Eifel Tower and Stratosphere observation desks for a while, so maybe it will be okay.

Craig Miyamoto said...

You can always rock it back and forth with a few of your fellow passengers. That might be exciting. No, wait. Don't do that.

I'm sure the half hour will go by quickly.

~ Craig