Ferris wheel for Las Vegas

The Leitner group has been awarded the contract for the world’s biggest Ferris wheel. Innovative design and advanced engineering will be the hallmark of this new highlight for Las Vegas.

The gambler’s paradise in the Nevada desert has chosen a giant Ferris wheel as its latest attraction. With its 28 jumbo-size cabins – to be delivered by the South Tyrolean group – the new wheel will offer millions of visitors breathtaking views at a height of 168 m above the ground and, naturally enough, exciting on-board entertainment starting in 2013. The High Roller, as the wheel is called by the sponsor Caesars Entertainment, will be the central attraction of the new Las Vegas entertainment district, which the financiers have christened the Linq. It will feature restaurants, stores and clubs with a total contract value of USD 550 million and create 1,500 new jobs in the process. On the model of the London Eye, the High Roller will be more than just an observation wheel; the cabins have space for up to forty persons, who can celebrate a friend’s birthday or hold a stag party or even a wedding reception up in the sky. Each cabin has its own entertainment offering complete with a 360° battery of flat screens that can be used for a variety of purposes like providing resort information or showing the best wedding photographs, for example. The cabins naturally have air-conditioning and various other technical goodies. The new retail, dining, entertainment and hospitality district is being built near the famous and centrally located Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Harrah’s hotel casinos.

Cabins from Sigma
For Sigma, the cabin manufacturing specialist within the Leitner group of South Tyrol, the High Roller is an exciting contract and a big challenge for the company’s designers and engineers in terms of aesthetics and high-tech solutions. The 28 completely spherical cabins to be mounted on the external rim of the Ferris wheel will be largely of glass and resemble a kind of transparent space shuttle of the future. The cabins will be self-leveling to account for the movement of the wheel so that passengers can be sure of a smooth ride and breathtaking panoramic views.

“We are proud to be in on this high-visibility project, which is going to change the face of Las Vegas,” says Anton Seeber, CEO at Leitner-Poma of America, the company that will be responsible for handling the 45 million dollar US contract. “It’s going to be another exciting challenge for the group; we have to take full advantage of our cabin-building expertise, our experience with modern electronic entertainment systems, and the lessons learnt in the planning and construction of the London Eye in order to meet the requirements of the High Roller project,” he adds. London’s Ferris wheel, which opened in the UK capital for the start of the millennium in 2000, also operates with cabins supplied by Sigma. But the Las Vegas schedule is tight; in the next few weeks the drawings submitted by the design engineers are to be turned into the real thing, with a first prototype due to be presented at the beginning of 2012.

Photo: Sigma

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