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Ovation: The World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel … The High Roller.

09/12/2013

The High RollerA friend of mine told me a story on Monday morning about how he had taken his granddaughter to the state fair over the weekend to see the animals and ride on the carnival rides.  Apparently, as many little girls are able, his little princess used her charms to convince him to join her on the rides.  His story involved multiple episodes of nausea and running for the men’s room.  I could certainly feel his pain.

My carnival nemesis was always the Tilt-A-Whirl, a platform-type ride, consisting of freely spinning cars that use the powers of centrifugal and gravitational forces to spin in different directions and at variable speeds in an unpredictable nature that mathematicians call “chaotic motion”.  The ride is commonly known for making riders experience nausea.

I can’t even ride the spinning tea cups without getting sick to my stomach.

But I can ride a Ferris wheel.  I’m not at all afraid of heights and I actually find these slow-moving attractions to be quite peaceful.  Consequently, I’m interested to learn more about the newest addition to the Las Vegas Strip … The High Roller.

Soon the be the world’s largest Ferris wheel, the High Roller will be fifty-five stories high and visible from all over the city, including the airport.  When it opens next year, it will be decorated with 1,500 LED lights and begin its slow spin.  The rim of the wheel was completed this week and has already changed the city’s skyline.

“It’s going to be an icon.  It’s going to be a part of your visit to Las Vegas if you ride it or not.” – Project Director David Codiga

The High Roller, a part of a $550 million development in the works across the street from Caesars Palace, will be one hundred feet taller than the London Eye, which opened in 2000, thirty feet taller than China’s Star of Nanchang, which opened in 2006, and nine feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which opened in 2008.  Like most urban Ferris wheels, the High Roller will carry riders in large capsules instead of small baskets like those seen at carnivals.

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Ticket prices are expected to be comparable to those of the London ride (about $30) and it will take about thirty minutes for the huge wheel to make one full revolution.  Imagine the view of Las Vegas at night from the top of the High Roller!

As awesome as this might sound, the High Roller might not hold the title of World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel for very long since New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans last year for the 625-foot New York Wheel on Staten Island’s waterfront and The Dubai Eye, at 688 feet, is expected to open on New Year’s Eve 2015.

I’d wager that neither I nor my friend would get nauseous on any of these big wheels … especially considering they only make two revolutions per hour.

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4 Comments
  1. I love a good tilt-a-Whirl, but this 55-story ferris wheel just seems like an accident waiting to happen.

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  2. That is a big wheel. You could hold hands a long time going around in that circle.

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  3. I used to love ferris wheels too even though I am deathly scared of heights. But I liked getting to the top & looking all around – I just never looked down.

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  4. I’ve been on the London Eye. I don’t like heights. I had to stay in the middle of the pod by the bench.

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