The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:02cat

World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel Opens in Las Vegas

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The High Rollers Wheel features 2,000 LED lights The High Rollers Wheel features 2,000 LED lights Denise Truscello

The 550-foot tall High Roller Wheel opened near the strip in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday after nearly three years of planning and construction. The Ferris wheel is nine feet taller than the Singapore Flyer that had held the title as world’s tallest observation wheel since 2008. Tourists can purchase tickets for one revolution around the wheel, a 30-minute ride, for $24.95 during the day and $35.95 at night. 

Caesar’s Entertainment Corporation announced the High Roller Wheel project in August 2011. The Ferris wheel is part of their larger $550 million The LINQ plan to build more restaurants, shopping, and gambling on the Las Vegas Strip. Arup Engineering, the company who designed the Singapore Flyer, created the High Roller’s structural plan. The wheel structure required 7.3 million pounds of steel  and 112 cables to be completed. The High Roller rotates on two custom-designed spherical bearings produced by SKF, a Sweedish company that specializes in designing bearings. The 19,400-pound bearings with an outer diameter of 7.55 feet are the largest ever produced by the company. The High Roller’s outer rim is made up of 28 sections each 56 feet in length. The outer rim was finished in September 2013.  Leitner-Poma of America and sister company Sigma designed the 28 passenger cars for the Ferris wheel. These two companies helped create the passenger cars for the London Eye as well. Each car uses a motor to keep its floor horizontal throughout the ride. Each cabin weighs 44,000 pounds and has 300 square feet of glass that allow riders to have a phenomenal view of the Las Vegas strip. The cabins, able to accommodate up to 40 passengers, also come equipped with televisions and an iPod dock.

The High Roller Wheel will be opened 365 days a year. The wheel doesn’t stop as riders get on and off the cabin, but it only moves at 0.89 feet per second. The wheel is moved by 32 truck tires located along the circumference of the wheel. Once the sun goes down each day, the wheel’s 2,000 LED lights will turn on to illuminate the structure and can be customized to create a light show. Eric Eberhart, general manager of the High Roller, says that the cabins are available to be rented for special events. Someone has already booked one for their wedding this summer. Eberhart can also put a bar and bartender in each cabin when they are rented. The High Roller will be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel until new wheels are completed in New York and Dubai in the next few years.

Sources: USA TodayWUnderground

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