As We See It

Ferris 1.0: The High Roller won’t be the Strip’s first observation wheel

A cabin is shown attached to the 550-foot tall High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, under construction near the Las Vegas Strip and Flamingo Road Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. The wheel is the centerpiece of the Linq project, a $550 million outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district being developed by Caesars Entertainment Corp. The High Roller will feature 28 cabins that will each hold 40 passengers.
Photo: Steve Marcus

That a day would come when we’d all be discussing a giant Ferris wheel on the Strip seems unimaginable, even with all the crazy things that have happened over the years and in the last five minutes.

But replace the cars of your typical ride with stylish, glass-enclosed cabins and call the 550-foot tall High Roller an observation wheel, and you have some serious talking points.

Oddly, though, this isn’t the first Ferris wheel to hit the midway. According to the owners of Bonanza Gifts, sometime back in the 1960s, a functioning Ferris wheel, designed for actual rides, was built atop the building at Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard.

Though it may have closed after only a short time due to security or insurance concerns (the details, they say, aren’t clear), the ticket booths were still on the roof and the stairs to the ride were still attached to the building when they bought it in the 1980s.

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