A new attraction has taken center stage in Las Vegas. Located across from Caesars Palace, the Vegas Ferris wheel, known as the High Roller, soars at an impressive 550 feet above The Linq, Caesars’ new $550 million entertainment and dining district, and takes the top spot as the world’s tallest observation wheel.
However, the Vegas High Roller is not like a typical Ferris wheel. The entire ride is slow, moving at only one foot per second, which does not allow the passengers to feel any movement and helps give them the illusion of floating through air. Each ride takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution of the wheel. Passengers ride in one of 28 sphere-shaped, glass-enclosed, and air-conditioned cabins called pods. Each pod weighs 44,000 pounds and can hold 40 people, for a total of 1,120 passengers when the ride is at full capacity.
But the High Roller Vegas Ferris wheel was not designed simply to be just another ride. In fact, the possibilities are endless. For example, individuals or companies can host events during their 30-minute ride such as parties and corporate dinners. One couple has even booked the High Roller for their wedding. In addition, passengers are allowed to bring a rolling bar on board so they can enjoy drinks during their rides.
Each pod is equipped with eight video monitors and as the ride begins, passengers can enjoy a video and music show experience. However, once the pods ascend, the monitors fade to unveil 360-degree breathtaking views of the Las Vegas valley. After the sun goes down, the Vegas Ferris wheel comes to life with lights, more than 2,000 to be exact. The LED lights work to create a one of a kind visually stunning display.
Randy Printz, project manager of the High Roller said it took just under three years to develop the 550-foot giant. Construction of the enormous and complex Vegas Ferris wheel took place at many different locations around the globe such as, California, China, Colorado, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Las Vegas, and the Netherlands. It was made using 7.3 million pounds of steel and has 112 cables that measure a total of 25,256 feet. The Vegas Ferris wheel is operated by eight drive units that use 60 wireless networks, all of which must work together within milliseconds to keep the ride going.
The High Roller Vegas Ferris wheel started soaring at 550 feet on Monday, March 31. Ticket prices during the day are $24.95 and they are $34.95 at night. VIP tickets are available guaranteeing front of the line access at a price of $59.95.
Passengers are already buzzing about their experience. According to sources, one man waited in line for six hours just so he could be among the first passengers to take a ride. After the ride, he said the view was “the best of the strip.”
Another passenger, Steve Sisolak, who just so happens to be the chairman of the Clark County Commission that governs the strip, said he could see the entire valley during the ride and was confident that the High Roller “is going to be one of those things everyone who comes to Las Vegas is going to want to do.’
Soaring at 550 feet, the High Roller Vegas Ferris wheel is the world’s tallest, surpassing even the Singapore Flyer, China’s Star of Nanchang, and the London Eye. In the first year of operation, Caesars Entertainment expects to have somewhere between four and five million people line up to take a ride on the High Roller, the new tech way of taking in the sights.
By Donna W. Martin