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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.
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.
Now, that we've thoroughly updated you on the battle of the wheels (see here, here and here), we turn our focus to another big brawl. Granted, one that we're completely making up, but one that we think is interesting nonetheless and one in which there is a definite clear winner. The battle of the... live construction cams (cue dramatic sound effect).
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.
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.
Well, it's too late for your answer because ground was broken today on The Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel, 500-foot observation wheel at the corner of the Strip and Mandalay Bay Drive, that can seat over 800 riders (!!!) and offer killer views of The Strip and beyond.
It will be larger than the London Eye, taller than the Mandalay Bay and true to Vegas-style, the wheel will be decked out with over 50,000 square feet of LED lights for advertising. (But hopefully not for Crazy Horse or other jiggly joints.) The gondolas will be about the size of a family's living room and guests can even eat dinner during the 30-minute ride.
One of the commenters on this 8NewsNow story wrote, "This could be the biggest things since the Monorail." Um...well, that's not saying much. But yes, this wheel will be huge. Fingers crossed it opens by New Year's Eve 2012.