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Las Vegas’ High Roller observation wheel opens today

Mar 31, 2014 10:08 AM

The resorts that line the Las Vegas Strip are mammoth, the biggest boasting more than a dozen restaurants and hotels within a hotel. Drinks are oversized, too, the biggest requiring a souvenir neck strap to lug it around.

So it’s no surprise that the city’s latest attraction, the High Roller ferris wheel, is supersized.

The High Roller, which is the centerpiece of the new Linq outdoor pedestrian mall sandwiched between the Flamingo and Quad hotels at the center of The Strip, becomes the world’s tallest observation wheel when it opens to the public today.

At 550 feet, it will take over the No. 1 spot from the Singapore Flyer, which stands at 541 feet, and will be about 100 feet taller than the granddaddy of modern observation wheels, the London Eye, which opened in 2000 on the banks of the Thames River in England. 

Travel + Leisure magazine named the High Roller it one of its must-see new attractions for 2014, a list that also included the 9/11 Museum in New York City and the Glacier Skywalk at Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Both are opening in May.

Executives with Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns hotels up and down the Strip and developed The Linq, expect the High Roller to attract up to 4 million tourists and locals per year. Las Vegas attracted nearly 40 million visitors in 2013, with Arizona a major feeder market.

Caesars treated employees and many visitors who stopped by the High Roller over the weekend to a free preview. The regular admission prices will be $24.95 during the day and $34.95 at night.

Unlike popular attractions at the Stratosphere, New York-New York and Circus Circus hotels, the High Roller is no thrill ride. Each rides is 30 minutes, the time it takes for the wheel to complete a rotation. It is designed to provide thrills of another sort: stunning views of The Strip and surrounding mountains.

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