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NEWS: The Capital Wheel to be built in Washington D.C.


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The "Capital Wheel" is going to be 175 feet tall and it will be built by the Potomac River. Read more about it here

 

http://dcist.com/2014/02/the_capital_wheel_is_on_its_way.php#photo-1

 

The Capital Wheel is on its way from Baltimore, Md. to National Harbor.

 

Components for the 175-foot observation wheel are being transported via tug boat, and its journey can be tracked here. After the wheel arrives tomorrow afternoon, construction will begin and officials hope to have it operating by May.

 

Once it begins running, the Capital Wheel will have views of the Washington Monument, the Capitol and National Airport. A ride will cost an estimated $15.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Meh... 175 seems so lackluster when I get to be around the world's tallest on a daily basis. I'm sure the views will be awesome though.

 

Oh another one of these... it sounds great, let's see if it actually gets built.

 

Seeing how the ride components are already being shipped and they expect an opening in May, you can probably count on it being built.

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^At 175ft you'll still get a great view of DC area since nothing is really built that tall around here (Yay height of buildings Act of 1910!)

 

Placing it at National Harbor seems like a good fit and the best spot for this wheel, I expect it to do quite well down there and offer some great views of the area. Will certainly go give it a spin once it's open.

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IDK, or is it just me, but it sounds a little pricey for a not "that" big of a wheel off the beaten path. Most people don't ride something like this by themselves, so you're talking 30 bucks for two people or 60 bucks for a family of 4 for a ferris wheel? Given the drawings and info released so far, it just sounds kind of tourist trappy and temporary to me.

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Wow, $15/person? That's absurd in (well, not even in) a city where the vast majority of activities are free, or at least similarly priced but for an entire day's worth. Especially for a wheel that, at most, will give you a good view of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and an aerial of Old Town (and a few pretty cool interchanges).

 

I wish they had made this thing look more iconic - the Eye, for example, sits in the Thames and it's that single-side supporting and spokeless center that make it look so unreal. This just looks like a big ferris wheel - it's just there, it might as well be at some carnival down the road not at an up-and-coming (new casino, anyone?) tourist destination. Especially when the views are lackluster and pretty much the same ones you'll get when you drive across the bridge next door, or on the ramps of some of those interchanges.

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175 feet isn't terribly high (the one down here is almost 400ft and it seems small), although I guess in the right spot it could provide some decent views.

 

Still, I really do not understand the appeal of these things, or how they could possibly make money.

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175 feet isn't terribly high (the one down here is almost 400ft and it seems small), although I guess in the right spot it could provide some decent views.

 

Still, I really do not understand the appeal of these things, or how they could possibly make money.

 

Wheels might seem lame to coaster enthusiasts since we are accustomed to more thrilling attractions, but tourist and the GP tend to eat these things up. The London Eye is the most visited pay attraction in England. They tend to make a fortune, that's why so many are popping up.

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I love a giant Ferris wheel. At 175 feet, this is about the same size as Colossus at Six Flags St. Louis, which is actually my favourite ride at that park. Sure, Ferris wheels aren't thrilling, but they are very fun, and the giant ones have such a great view from the top. I've been to DC twice, most recently in 2006, and it is a beautiful city. In my opinion, it is America's greatest city, and on its own merits, not just for being our seat of government. It sounds like this has a very good chance of being built, and if it does in fact go up, then next time I'm in DC, I'll be on it.

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175 feet isn't terribly high (the one down here is almost 400ft and it seems small), although I guess in the right spot it could provide some decent views.

 

Still, I really do not understand the appeal of these things, or how they could possibly make money.

 

Wheels might seem lame to coaster enthusiasts since we are accustomed to more thrilling attractions, but tourist and the GP tend to eat these things up. The London Eye is the most visited pay attraction in England. They tend to make a fortune, that's why so many are popping up.

 

Yup. The High Roller in Vegas is expected to make quite a bit of money. I don't remember the exact figures (Kevin would know for sure) but I remember knowing it will make back its $100 million price tag within a year.

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^I can see this working in Vegas, mainly because visitors tend to have fairly open wallets in that city. Perhaps a 175 foot wheel in DC has a better business case than the 400 foot one in Melbourne, but I still don't think these things will get much in the way of repeat business.

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If it was much taller, it might interfere with planes taking off from the airport formerly known as National (DCA).

 

It would be much more appropriate on the National Mall, they could theme it to the political circus and it would have ideal views of downtown D.C. The "National Harbor" development seems an odd place for this, definitely a bit off the standard tourist routes. And if it goes broke, they can sell it to Six Flags America.

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I am sure this will do just fine. You have to consider that Washington DC is one of the most visited cities in the country, and not just by Americans, but people from all over the world. Those who have already been will like doing it since they haven't seen D.C. this way before. Seattle has one right on Elliot Bay on one of the piers, and it had a significantly long line one of the days that I was there visiting around Christmas time.

 

I think the placement in National Harbor will be fine as well, because as mentioned before, there are not a lot of sky scrapers to block your view when you are at the top. Plus Washington DC really isn't that big of a city in total area (I think around 8 square miles, compared to 48 or so for the Walt Disney World Resort), so I would imagine you could see some of the more historic buildings from there pretty well.

 

Not to mention that while you may not have repeat customers in the sense of coming to ride it once a month, or once a year, or even every single trip. I could see a scenario though where someone may visit with friends, and ride it. A couple years later they meet their significant other and when they go for a trip to DC, they decide to ride it as one of them had done it before. Then fast forward sometime after that when they have kids and they bring them with to Washington DC, they may bring them to the Giant Wheel as well.

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I live about 5 minutes away from National Harbor (just across the bridge), so this will be fun to watch go up. Additionally, while at first it may seem like an odd place to put it, given the distance from DC itself, they're looking to break ground on a brand new Casino at the Harbor this summer which should draw crowds when it opens.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/april-hearing-likely-on-mgm-national-harbor-casino-project-could-break-ground-in-summer/2014/02/20/a4aedd7c-9a3c-11e3-b88d-f36c07223d88_story.html

 

Past that, there are a ton of really great restaurants in National Harbor, plus the Gaylord National hosts conventions and events consistently enough to bring people over there. The only thing that sucks is parking, it can be incredibly expensive and a pain to find.

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I wish they had made this thing look more iconic - the Eye, for example, sits in the Thames and it's that single-side supporting and spokeless center that make it look so unreal. This just looks like a big ferris wheel - it's just there, it might as well be at some carnival down the road not at an up-and-coming (new casino, anyone?) tourist destination.

 

I kinda think if you were to place a singled-out ferris wheel anywhere in a city (let alone above water, with some lights to give it color at night), it'll automatically become another sort of icon added to DC.

 

My only gripe with it is that I wish it was a tad closer to the mall area (or on the other side of the bridge, but other than that, I'm all for it. 175' isn't staggering, but I'm sure there won't be many buildings blocking any good views from the top either. Speaking from a photographer's standpoint, it'll also create some unique photo opportunities as well!

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It sure will be interesting flying out of Regan at night and seeing that. Also wonder if you'll be able to see it from the top of Superman at Six Flags America. If you go to there website, almost all of the comments are about how high the price is. Hopefully that's just the price per adult or price per gondola or something and not the price per (every) person.

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Thanks for sharing this with us!

 

I went ahead and updated thread's title, subtitle and first post to better reflect our news format from when we post things. We've found that it is far easier to get comments on a thread you start if you don't make someone click a link to view the story.

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I live about 5 minutes away from National Harbor (just across the bridge), so this will be fun to watch go up. Additionally, while at first it may seem like an odd place to put it, given the distance from DC itself, they're looking to break ground on a brand new Casino at the Harbor this summer which should draw crowds when it opens.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/april-hearing-likely-on-mgm-national-harbor-casino-project-could-break-ground-in-summer/2014/02/20/a4aedd7c-9a3c-11e3-b88d-f36c07223d88_story.html

 

Past that, there are a ton of really great restaurants in National Harbor, plus the Gaylord National hosts conventions and events consistently enough to bring people over there. The only thing that sucks is parking, it can be incredibly expensive and a pain to find.

 

I just spent last weekend at National Harbor and have to agree with this post. This is an up and coming tourist destination with unique shops, restaurants, the huge Gaylord center and the upcoming MGM casino - almost like Downtown Disney or CityWalk at Universal. I am sure that the ferris wheel along the waterfront will do just fine.

 

I would have to assume that the Metro will one day run down that far. I have to admit that it was kind of a bummer to have to bus 20 minutes to the closest Metro station. Took about an hour total to get from the Harbor to the Smithsonian...but it still beat driving into DC and trying to find a place to park near the National Mall!

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  • 1 month later...

According to the Capital Wheel's Facebook page, it looks already mostly put together:

10001405_227605074094849_931469155_n.jpg

 

I am kind of curious about the reason on why all these large ferris wheels are starting to go up around the U.S. Could it have something to do with the idea that Japan has done this over the last 10 or 20 years?

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