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NEWS: 500-foot SkyVue Las Vegas Wheel planned for the Strip


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110523/ap_on_re_us/us_vegas_strip_wheel

 

A developer is rolling out plans to build a 500-foot viewing wheel on the Las Vegas Strip that would be higher than the London Eye and give visitors an unparalleled view of Sin City.

 

Developer Howard Bulloch of Compass Investments released details of the project Monday to reporters, local lawmakers and business leaders at the site across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

 

Bulloch wants the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel to open in 2013 as part of a $100 million privately funded project also including a roller coaster and 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space.

 

A rendering of the Ferris-style wheel shows its rotation perpendicular to the Strip. That means unobstructed views of the city's casino row from the 40 gondolas.

 

"Skyvue Las Vegas will complement both the hospitality and entertainment industries," Bulloch said in a statement. "This world class attraction fills a niche in our economic recovery, creating jobs and offering a new and unique entertainment offering for the tourist base."

 

Workers were to begin clearing the nearly 11-acre site on Monday, officials said. The project will require demolition of a motel that was built in the 1950s.

 

The 40 gondolas will each hold up to 25 passengers and they will be available to be rented out for private parties with catering and drinks, developers said.

 

The main bearings for the wheel, on display Monday, are being provided by the same German manufacturer that supplied the bearings for the London Eye.

 

In announcing the project, its developers cited the success of the London Eye as a reason the similar project might be successful in Sin City. The wheel in London attracts 3.5 million visitors per year, they said.

 

Federal Aviation Administration officials were reviewing plans for the wheel and its height to determine if it might hamper operations at nearby McCarran International Airport, agency spokesman Ian Gregor said. No FAA recommendation has been made.

 

Casino company Caesars Entertainment Corp. also plans a tall viewing wheel as part of its Linq project behind several of its Las Vegas Strip casinos.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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Question: On these big wheels like this, that hold that many passengers per gondola, do you feel the movement of it? I mean, does it feel anything like a regular ferris wheel? I'm terrified of regular little ferris wheels, so something like this would scare the crap out of me. I couldn't imagine having a party on one of these things.

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Question: On these big wheels like this, that hold that many passengers per gondola, do you feel the movement of it? I mean, does it feel anything like a regular ferris wheel? I'm terrified of regular little ferris wheels, so something like this would scare the crap out of me. I couldn't imagine having a party on one of these things.

 

The London eye gondolas are "fixed" so they counter-rotate with the wheel but aren't free swinging. They're also really well air conditioned which reduces the number of people who feel motion sickness.

 

Dave

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Question: On these big wheels like this, that hold that many passengers per gondola, do you feel the movement of it? I mean, does it feel anything like a regular ferris wheel? I'm terrified of regular little ferris wheels, so something like this would scare the crap out of me. I couldn't imagine having a party on one of these things.

 

The London eye gondolas are "fixed" so they counter-rotate with the wheel but aren't free swinging. They're also really well air conditioned which reduces the number of people who feel motion sickness.

 

Dave

 

Thanks! I've always wondered about that. If they were free swinging I think I would die.

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Fun fact: this scene from Vegas Vacation was filmed at the casino (Klondike) that used to be there.

 

 

On a serious note...there's no way this is going to actually get built. Dude will be bankrupt in no time. Probably due to "costs associated with FAA approval" or some BS like that.

Edited by Jew
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Like all of these projects, I'll certainly ride them if they ever open, but I won't hold my breath. Who knows what will manage to get built in this economy, and what will succeed if it does get built.

 

That said, if they do manage to get the approvals and the money, I could see it being successful, especially if there are other notable rides there, too. While the view from the Stratosphere might be better, since it's nearly twice as tall, few people head out to that end of the strip, unless they're going to the convention center. See the recent closures of the Sahara Hotel (and Speed) and the Star Trek Experience for examples.

 

But the biggest challenge will be the competition from Caesar's wheel right down the street. it doesn't really make sense to have two big wheels so close to each other. As soon as this one opens, Caesar's will have to drop the price of theirs. At least, then they can market theirs as smaller, but cheaper! (Plus, they'll get all of the older and upscale tourists who shop at Caesar's.) This will probably lead to a price war that will drive one of them to closing.

Edited by David H
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What happened to the Giant Wheel that the Rio and Palms were planning on building awhile back...like when CityCenter was starting to be built? Also, I'm with ernierocker...what the hell happened to the Montecito? It was in that exact location!

 

Jimmy "Loves Vegas Baby!" Bo

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^The funny thing is, all the exterior shots had it in that location...but every single time they showed a view from a suite or an office, it was always a view from the middle of the strip.

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Clearly it is popular here to say 'yeah right, whatever;' however this appears to me to be a project that is an attempt to merge amusement with the Vegas lifestyle. Additionally, with the closure of every amusement area except for The Stratosphere, there should be a local market for it as well.

 

Will it happen? Maybe. Maybe not. But, it sounds like an interesting proposal at an end of the strip that enjoys the majority of the southern strip's popularity. If done right, this entertainment complex can really blend in well with the city and significantly change the approach skyline from Los Angeles.

 

Why is nobody here talking about the roller coaster?

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^Nothing on the strip has a "locals market."

 

It's a great idea in a horrible location. Not ideal for foot traffic, right next to the airport...the Harrahs location in the middle of the strip is a MUCH better location.

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^I mention a possible locals market because it is at the edge of the strip, not right in the middle of it. I don't really see the strip expanding to the south much more, and if marketed correctly it can exist as a sort of anchor; catering to both tourists who have easy access, and locals who could approach from the south and avoid strip traffic.

 

I really think that Vegas developers need to start attempting to capture their local audience equally as much as the tourist crowd.

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Additionally, with the closure of every amusement area except for The Stratosphere, there should be a local market for it as well.

 

How can anyone forget what's under the garish pink dome at Circus Circus? There are good reasons it's still around: it's attached to a property that actively markets to families and it's indoors. Can we say as much for the new attraction (if built)?

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^I mention a possible locals market because it is at the edge of the strip, not right in the middle of it. I don't really see the strip expanding to the south much more, and if marketed correctly it can exist as a sort of anchor; catering to both tourists who have easy access, and locals who could approach from the south and avoid strip traffic.

 

I really think that Vegas developers need to start attempting to capture their local audience equally as much as the tourist crowd.

 

I have family in Vegas, locals don't go to the strip unless they work there. Anything found on the strip can be found elsewhere cheaper. Just with out all the glamour and glits.

 

Why would a developer on the strip want to target locals. Think about it, tourists stay a few days then new ones come in. Millions of new people every year on vacation and spending money. At best your going to get the locals to visit a unique attraction on the strip once and not return for years.

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http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/500-foot-wheel-on-Vegas-Strip-gets-OK-from-FAA-1395569.php

 

A developer's plan to put a 500-foot observation wheel attraction on the Las Vegas Strip won't hamper operations at nearby McCarran International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

 

The agency's obstruction evaluation group told developer Howard Bulloch of Compass Investments that it expected the rotating wheel with 40 passenger gondolas won't affect aircraft or airport facilities.

 

The wheel will be about as tall as two nearby casinos, and will be more than a half-mile from an airport runway, the FAA said in its note.

 

Bulloch introduced the plans for the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel on Monday during a press conference at the site across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

 

The Ferris-style wheel is part of a $100 million privately funded development that is scheduled to open in 2013. Plans also include a roller coaster, retail stores and restaurants.

 

The FAA, which doesn't approve or deny plans itself but instead makes recommendations based on its needs, said its blessing comes with conditions that the wheel be properly lit and that if developers change their plans, they tell the agency within five days after construction reaches its highest point.

 

A rendering of the wheel shows its rotation perpendicular to the Strip, meaning views of the city's famed casino row would be unobstructed. The gondolas would hold up to 25 passengers each and be available to be rented out for private parties with catering and drinks, officials said.

 

Another tall observation wheel is planned farther north on the Strip, as part of a project linking several Caesars Entertainment Corp. casinos on the Strip's east side.

 

Developers of the Skyvue project cited the London Eye as one example of why the similar project might be successful in Sin City. The wheel in London attracts 3.5 million visitors per year, they said.

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I wonder if the coaster they have planned will be the former Speed the ride from the Sahara. As much as I would like to see a brand new coaster built on the strip, it would make more sense if this developer purchased Speed for his project. Time will tell I suppose.

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^I doubt they would relocate Speed to that area. Even though it would fit, Speed has a sizable footprint and the spike is pretty tall. I don't think the developers want a 200-ft tall structure next to the wheel.

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^I mention a possible locals market because it is at the edge of the strip, not right in the middle of it. I don't really see the strip expanding to the south much more, and if marketed correctly it can exist as a sort of anchor; catering to both tourists who have easy access, and locals who could approach from the south and avoid strip traffic.

 

I really think that Vegas developers need to start attempting to capture their local audience equally as much as the tourist crowd.

 

That's what Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, South Point, Aliante Station, The Orleans, and all the other locals casinos are for...

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  • 1 year later...

SkyVue has sent us a press release regarding their latest construction milestone!

 

SkyVue, an iconic 500-square-foot observation wheel rapidly taking shape on the Las Vegas Strip, has completed the first phase of construction, is beginning its vertical climb and has begun excavation on its retail and dining experience. Upon opening, SkyVue will be the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere and the first attraction of its kind in Las Vegas.

 

Situated across from Mandalay Bay, SkyVue will deliver unobstructed panoramic views of the world’s most famous boulevard. Strategically located just north of the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, SkyVue will become one of the most photographed and recognized landmarks on the Strip. Each side of the wheel will feature a 50,000-square-foot LED screen (the largest in the world), that will be visible across the entire tourist corridor, and host concerts, sporting events, product launches and more.

 

Located on prime Las Vegas Boulevard frontage, SkyVue’s two-story shopping and dining experience will boast 140,000 square feet of retail space, a 21,000-square-foot convention facility and a food court. SkyVue projects the center to draw between five and eight million consumers annually.

 

The project will bring more than 700 construction jobs to the community in addition to an estimated 500 full-time positions once the development opens in Q4 2013.

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