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A week ago, we told you about renewed activity at the site of what was once hoped to be Las Vegas' other observation wheel -- SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel. But this construction work was not the hopeful kind.
From watching SkyVue's still operational (for some reason) webcam, it looked as if the scaffolding climbing the wheel's support legs was coming down. And, we were right. It continues to slowly disappear. The photo at top shows how the site appeared on January 8. Below is a snapshot from January 9.
This photo gallery (captured by our @sammasseur) is from yesterday, January 15:
The excitement is high for Vegas' High Roller, the tallest observation wheel in the world (but not if New York gets its way). We can't take our eyes off it these days as more and more pods are added. (Nine as of this afternoon with 19 to go.) Noticeable from all over the Las Vegas valley, it's really hard not to look at it. It's already become one of the dominant parts of the city's skyline and it's still months away from welcoming its first passengers on board.
When it does begin to send folks soaring and twirling (each pod will rotate as the wheel itself spins) above the Vegas cityscape, we'll be sure to be among the first to take a ride. But, that got us wondering who else we might find ourselves next to on that 30-minute, bathroom-less ride. People like...
The person who was more scared than they let on:
OMFG SO I AM ON A FERRIS WHEEL WITH MY COUSIN AND SHES SCARED OF FERRIS WHEELS AND WE'RE STUCK ON THE TOP 😂 pic.twitter.com/hR9B8OHFIt— the drummer (@irwins_laugh) October 25, 2013
Observation Wheels / Ferris Wheels / The Linq / The High Roller / Construction / Flamingo / Twitter / The Quad / Instagram / → All Tags
Look what's flying high at The Linq now!
After showing you the first photos of the High Roller's cabins on Monday, the very first pod was attached yesterday and hoisted to the top this morning.
Each cab weighs in at 44,000 pounds and will hold 40 passengers. There will be 28 pods in all. It will take two months to add them all to the wheel.
The Linq / The High Roller / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / Construction / Openings / → All Tags
No, The Rock is not about to begin filming a new installment of Witch Mountain in Vegas. Nor, are we to host the next film in the Ender's Game series. Nor, are these spacecraft-looking pods on the way to Area 51.
A member of the Vegas Rover Facebook group has instead captured the first glimpse of the High Roller observation wheel's passenger cabins. These images were snapped as Samia M. was on the road last night so the blurriness is understandable. We still think they're pretty awesome.
Vegas Delays / Construction / Openings / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / → All Tags
Our skepticism has been wide and not unfounded. SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel has been long promised and long unrealized after once pledging a 2012 New Year's Eve debut. In January, we were told to look for activity around May or June. It's now September and the only movement has been of tiny tumbleweeds.
The SkyVue social media accounts are now just as dormant as its construction site located just across from Mandalay Bay. @SkyVueLasVegas halted tweets in June and its Facebook page went silent after this July 3 post:
The under-construction observation wheel taking shape behind the Quad and Flamingo (as opposed to the one not taking shape at all across from Mandalay Bay) is showing noticeable progress and catching eyes once again. Both here in town -- as captured at the top and bottom of this post by VegasChatter fan Brian F. -- and beyond thanks to The Linq's live webcam:
Vegas Delays / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / Vegas Observations / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / Construction / → All Tags
We drove by last night and pondered. A few hours later, VegasChatter friend Greg C. pinged us to inquire if we'd heard anything new while sending us the above pic. And, today, a story entitled "On one end of the Strip, a giant wheel takes shape; on the other, a construction site sits quiet" sat front and center on the home page of the Las Vegas Sun for much of the day.
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In all our excitement of telling you about the third observation slash Ferris wheel proposed for the Las Vegas Strip, we didn't give you a full update on our favorite revolving underdog, SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel. And now, they've gone and done the update for us. Sort of. And, wait to you hear what we found.
SkyVue recently redesigned their website. Not much of an improvement, but while they wait for all those extra and pesky parts to build an actual observation wheel, it looks like they have some time on their hands. The new website is more pitched towards to possible investors and "sponsors" than the general public. At the bottom of the page it clearly says, "the brands represented within this website are for presentation purposes only. There is no direct association between these companies and SkyVue." We're proud to think we have a hand in that.
Vegas Observations / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / WTF / SkyView / London Thrill / → All Tags
What fresh hell is this? Plans have been revealed to build a $50 million "observation wheel" and a London-themed thrill park across the street from CityCenter. Apparently, the creators also build time machines and live in 2006.
Wait, a London, England-themed park? We'll get to that, but you'll need to stick with us for a few paragraphs as we try and unravel the participants and history of this out-of-nowhere concept. The Las Vegas Sun first reported this part of the story after witnessing the Clark County Zoning Commission give a green light for this unlikely investment to move forward. And, now that we've watched video from that same meeting, we can add details and background that are simply puzzling.
Earlier this month, we warned of Metroflag Cable LLC's ambition to add outdoor pop-up stores to their hideous 18-acre plot of land that sits between the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse and the Harley Davidson Cafe. Hideous too harsh? Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani declared this area of the Strip, including the Hawaiian Marketplace, "tacky," during the meeting focused on these new shops. However, these pop-up establishments are just a "temporary" measure before they begin the real work on a theme park they think will revolutionize this whole neighborhood. They offered no blueprints or concrete information at this meeting. But, their first priority is apparently temporary shopping. Maybe the sale of wolf pack t-shirts will fund it?
Observation Wheels / Ferris Wheels / The High Roller / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
Oh, SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel. Will you ever be super? Or, even a wheel? The 550-foot-tall observation wheel aspiring to be built across from Mandalay Bay spent the week fighting off bad press after eight companies filed liens for non-payment for services. All told, a $3.3 million debt. The SkyVue folks say it will all work out once they receive another cash bolster from the friendly folks who invested $9.5 million into the project last year. So, we wish them luck with that.
When we recently asserted our continued skepticism that their big wheel dream will come to pass, SkyVue got in touch and presented a list of counterpoints. Good for them. You can read them here. But, after hearing news that trusted companies such as Ledcor have to get all legal to be paid for their work on SkyVue... we hate to say we warned you. There's still time for them to turn this around. There's still time for a guardian angel. However, that time doesn't seem to be right now.
Stay tuned. That's essentially the message from the folks at SkyVue Super Wheel after we reported on a seemingly stalled construction site across from Mandalay Bay. There's not been activity in a while. But, SkyVue sees dormant where we see dead.
We are not the only ones who see what's happening at The Linq's High Roller observation wheel site and what doesn't seem to be happening at SkyVue. Things that would naturally make anyone go hmmmm. Representatives, though, say it's two different types of wheels and that's why things are progressing differently. Here's how they explain it:
High Roller is a cable wheel, while SkyVue is a steel wheel. This is a major difference that results in a totally opposite approach to construction. The reason SkyVue will be a steel wheel is because it needs to have a major support system to host the 50,000-square-foot LED screens (largest in the world) that will be located on either side of the wheel. In addition to the view, the LED screens are a huge differentiator for SkyVue from any other wheel in existence.
Steel Wheel Construction: A standard steel wheel is constructed in multiple segments from the inside out. They start in the center and build almost like a steel spider web until they reach the outer edge of the wheel.
Cable Wheel Construction: They start with a center hub and attach cables to it. They have to build a structure to hold the cables to the outer rim.
We've always been a visual person so here's the two, side by side, once again:
Here's the construction that's been documented recently at SkyVue:
And, at The High Roller:
Additionally, SkyVue reports that construction isn't happening on the site because it's happening in another state. And, in another country. They expect ginormous bits and pieces to start arriving this quarter "with all parts on-site by May/June 2013." If you want to know exactly what is happening where, here's the rundown:
·Germany: Schaeffler is the German manufacturer of the wheel bearings. The bearing is 12’-0” in diameter and weighs approximately 26,400 lbs. We expect components to be ready for shipment from Schaeffler/FAG in Germany in early January 2013 with a 4-6 week travel trip via ocean freight before they arrive at LARON Industries machine facility Kingman, AZ.
Electrical commutator rings are being manufactured in Germany by Conductix-Womfler and will provide electrical power to the rotating wheel. Laid end to end, the copper commutator rings are three miles long.
·Arizona: LARON Industries, a heavy industrial machine and fabrication facility in Kingman, Arizona, is fabricating the yokes and main wheel axle. After receipt of the bearing from Schaeffler, LARON will commence with the final machining and installation of the main wheel axle. Bearing seals and the axle lubrication system will be installed as part of the final steps to complete the main wheel axle.
From there, SkyVue states things will start ramping up in Vegas:
· Concrete columns height has reached 247’-0”. Two more concrete pours are required to complete the columns. The yokes, which serve, as bearing seats for the main wheel axle, will be placed as part of the final concrete column pour.
· When the main wheel axle assembly is completed by LARON in Kingman, AZ. it will be transported to Las Vegas in two separate trailers. Each transport trailer will have 80 tires with a heavy hauler tractor in the front and rear of the transport unit. It will take approximately two days to bring the 350,000-pound units over the road to Las Vegas. The transporting trucks will be too heavy to cross local bridges, and therefore will be delivered via I-40 to Barstow and I-15 to Las Vegas, a 400-mile trip.
· After the main wheel axle arrives at the project site, electrical commutator rings will be installed.
· After the electrical commentator rings are installed, a large Manitowoc #2250 crane will hoist the 350-ton main wheel axle to the top of the concrete columns. After the main wheel axle is set, installation of wheel structural steel will begin.
· A majority of all construction activities revolve around the off-site fabrication of the main wheel axle by LARON Industries, in Kingman, Arizona. As a result, there will be minimal site activity until the main wheel axle arrives after the New Year.
So there you have it. A blueprint to creating and erecting an oversized observation wheel. But, will it go from words on a screen to reality? Now that we know what to look for, we'll continue watching. This time with an eye to the calendar. As always, we'll keep you up to date.
Delays / Construction / The Linq / The High Roller / Observation Wheels / Ferris Wheels / → All Tags
Another day, another Vegas delay to report.
With a touted opening of late 2013 for both it and the competing SkyVue wheel, but with doubt still being voiced about whether one or the other will actually come to fruition -- work does seem to be continuing, at least minimally, on both.
Here's what the Linq lot looked like on August 2:
And, here's what it looks like today: