Brief History of the Ferris Wheel
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, civil engineer George Washington Gale Ferris conceived, designed and built the first Ferris wheel. The World’s Columbian Exhibition of 1893 was to be held in Chicago, Illinois. Its organizers wanted a centerpiece which would rival the Eiffel Tower, the primary exhibit of the Paris Exhibition of 1889. The “observation wheel” created by Ferris would be that centerpiece.
George Ferris’s observation wheel was 164 feet high. The supporting towers were 140 feet high. The axle, the largest piece of steel ever forged in the United States, weighed 46.5 tons. The wheel’s 46 passenger cars each held 40 people seated or 60 people standing.
According to Caesars Entertainment, the corporation owns and operates more than 50 casinos and hotels and seven golf courses. Among the properties owned and operated in Las Vegas, Nevada by Caesars Entertainment are Caesars Palace, The LINQ, Flamingo Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, The Cromwell, Planet Hollywood, Bally’s Las Vegas and Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino.
The LINQ is an open-air dining, entertainment and shopping district in Las Vegas which was developed by Caesars Entertainment, according to the corporation. The High Roller, currently the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, is the anchor property in the LINQ.
The ride, with its 2000 LED lights, is going to provide a sparkling light show. The lights will turn on at dusk and remain lit until early morning. Light colors ranging from bright pink, turquoise, purple, green and white will appear in varying combinations.
High Roller Overview
According to Caesars Entertainment, sales for the High Roller’s first ride began at 1:00pm on March 31, 2014. High Roller is located on Las Vegas Boulevard (the “Strip”), across the street from Caesars Palace, behind the Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad Resort and Casino. The wheel, 550 feet high (more than 100 feet taller than the London Eye), is located between two monorail stops.
High Roller Passenger Cabins
Caesars Entertainment has said that there are 28 passenger cabins (pods) on the High Roller, each one holding a maximum of 40 people. When operating at full capacity, the ride can accommodate 1120 people. Each glass cabin is equipped with eight monitors displaying video and music shows.
The High Roller Ride
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the ride, one full rotation of the wheel, takes 30 minutes. The beginning of the ride is not impressive. The view is of still undeveloped land. As the pods ascend, riders will have unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding Las Vegas valley. The view from the High Roller, while spectacular during the day, is even better at night.
Current Costs for a Ride
According to the Los Angeles Times, the High Roller will be operating every day of the year, from 10:00 am to 2:00 am. Rides cost $24.95 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and $34.95 from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am. Groups of 10 or more people receive a discounted rate.
If riders don’t want to wait in line, they can purchase an Express Pass for $59.95. Having the pass will enable them move to the beginning of the line.
The Future of Observation Wheels
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, if you want to be able to tell everyone you know that you rode on the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, plan to do so before Labor Day Weekend of 2016. That’s when the 630 feet tall New York Wheel is scheduled to have its inaugural ride. The Dubai Eye is in the planning stages. That wheel is expected to be 689 feet tall.