Tag: Observation WheelsView All Tags
Vegas Rants / Vegas Observations / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / → All Tags
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.
New Year's has come and gone so how was your first ride on the SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel? What? Not yet been built? Back in May, ground was broken on the substantial plots of land opposite Mandalay Bay with the aim to create a huge complex of shops, restaurants and a gigantic Ferris wheel. As late as July, the project said it would be open by New Year's Eve. Today? Not even close.
In case you've forgotten, Las Vegas should be home to World's largest and third biggest Ferris wheels by the end of 2013. The competing attractions should look something like this. SkyVue is on the left. Suffice to say, we're going to be waiting a bit longer than first hyped.
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:
Observation Wheels / Ferris Wheels / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / The Linq / The High Roller / Akita Plaza / Sahara / Speed The Ride / Roller Coasters / → All Tags
A tale of one city and two big wheels.
We recently had the chance to the visit the two rival sites for the proposed observation wheels competing to dominate your Vegas skyline at the tail end of 2013. One visit was official, the other our typical VegasChatter snoop-around-the-outside-looking-through-the-fence kinda of deal.
The SkyVue Super Wheel is destined to revolve opposite Mandalay Bay. The High Roller will rotate mid-Strip as the anchor of The Linq. We’ve looked around, talked to a few folks and we have some thoughts we think are worth sharing from our soapbox.
The High Roller will be the world’s largest wheel. 550 feet. They've hired project leaders and designers who’ve worked on the previous two highest wheels. They’ve raised $550 million dollars (total cost of The Linq). Have 72% of their allocated Linq tenants almost signed on the bottom line and are working with teams around the world to ensure the attraction opens on time.
Shops, restaurants, entertainment. The Linq is a huge transformation that will redefine that section of Las Vegas Boulevard. Or the fifty yard line of The Strip as the Linq folks like to call it. (It does, mentally, feel like the middle.) Well, today we learned a whole bunch about the observation wheel that'll be dominating the skyline (at least over there) and will reside at the tippity-top of the Linq project, just behind the monorail.
Behold, the High Roller, at 550 feet the world's largest observation wheel (according to Caesars, anyways). After months of prepping, planning and very careful safety measures, they've seriously started putting the segments together. On a press tour of the construction site, complete with personal protective equipment (hard hats and goggles!), we were taught how the bits and pieces will come together and where it will all go. Here are some of the basic details and we'll be letting you know more of the nitty-gritty, nuts and bolt data as the project unfolds.
The projected completion date is the end of 2013. It'll burn through $550 million in costs and about 3,000 construction workers. Reading the ultra-high-caliber resumes of the overseers we met kinda makes us believe they'll make the launch date. A number of the team previously worked on The London Eye and The Singapore Flyer mega-wheels. Most of the world's wheel kings are hovering around the High Roller. And, their enthusiasm as the first substantial support sections start to arrive is infectious.
First of all, take a look at this image. We are looking with our backs to the wheel, facing Caesars on The Strip. See that tower on the left? That's the Flamingo. You know, the tower with the Donny & Marie ad on it. The High Roller wheel is twice the height of that tower. Twice. When you are next on The Strip, take a look and think about that.
The construction area in this photo will comprise the open air component of the Linq. The shops and restaurants will be two stories high so you won't really notice the Coliseum in the distance when all is finished. It's a (mostly) open avenue that leads down to the wheel.
The Linq will be home to about 35 tenants and they already have Letters of Intent for about 72% of the spaces. No word on which retail or restaurant anchors will be there, but we'll keep you posted.
This is a worldwide construction jigsaw. The central spindle of the High Roller wheel had to be manufactured in China as U.S. resources couldn't meet the size of the task. Sections will be arriving on boats and trains from Asia and Europe. All carefully timed to be linked together at just the right time. Designers include veterans of theme parks, Disney projects and some of the most extraordinary engineering puzzlers of the last decade. The personnel involved are very impressive and they believe they've taken the notion of an observation wheel to a whole new level. Nothing blocking the view. A super smooth ride. And bonus, you get to see The Strip.
Construction for the wheel will occur on the west side of the site. And, for The Linq, to the east. Logistically, its already been carefully scheduled. It has to be. They don't have enough room for gigantor wheel parts and, say, McDonald's signs hanging around in the sun waiting to be fixed, mounted and elevated.
The entrance to step into your revolving cabin will be on the third floor of the High Roller building. That's the height of the just created steel level you see in this photograph. You'll enter the building and encounter some sort of introduction slash entertainment while you wait. There's also a bar if you need a bracer for the height.
It will take about thirty minutes from arrival to stepping into your cabin. An entire revolution takes another thirty minutes. On each turn, 1,120 people will join you as you spin. 2,240 customers an hour. Everything about this is big. They threw out 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. as possible opening hours. It won't be 24 hours, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to ride.
Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / Attractions / Construction / Openings / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / → All Tags
It's been a while since we checked across from Mandalay Bay and spied on Skyvue, the "third largest" observation wheel in the world. Sorry, that's "Super Wheel." It'll be ready for your rotating pleasure late next year. But, now we think we have a clue as to what you'll discover back on earth after a whirl in their fancy sky pods.
Much talk has focused on the other wheel, part of the mid-Strip overhaul called The Linq, but opposite Mandalay Bay things are progressing much quicker and, on paper, it's looking like a formidable rival.
Construction / Observation Wheels / Ferris Wheels / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / The Linq / The High Roller / → All Tags
We know we've said this before, but -- they're really doing this, aren't they?
Two ginormous observation wheels are still on track for the Las Vegas Strip, both coming next year.
Located across from Mandalay Bay, SkyVue is making headlines today for continuing to advance. Reps say phase one is complete and that crews will now start building it skyward as well as begin work on the accompanying "retail and dining experience" (a.k.a., 140,000 square feet of
souvenir shops and six fast food joints concepts).
Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / The High Roller / The Linq / Caesars Entertainment / SkyVue Las Vegas Super Wheel / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
Can Las Vegas support two ginormous
Ferris observation wheels? We're going to find out.
The Linq / Caesars Entertainment / The High Roller / Ferris Wheels / Observation Wheels / → All Tags
Well, that was fun while it latest.
After touting The Linq's coming High Roller observation wheel as what will be the world's largest back in August, it seems that Caesars Entertainment -- and Vegas -- will now have to settle for second best.