A $10 million, 235 foot tall Ferris wheel is coming to Newport on the Levee. Pending final approval, the attraction could be ready to open in 2017.
According to developers, the "SkyWheel" will have panoramic views of the city and climate-controlled gondolas. Each of the 30 gondolas will be fully accessible and seat up to six adults, according to a release.
From the news release:
Passengers will take three to four rotations on a safe and secure flight that will last approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The SkyWheel® will operate on a year-round basis on the plaza level of Newport on the Levee adjacent to the Newport Aquarium. Spectacular LED lighting displays will illuminate the SkyWheel® at night. Koch expects SkyWheel® Newport to draw approximately a half million riders annually.
SkyWheel® Newport will be developed and operated by St. Louis-based Koch Development. Koch expects that the investment will be well in excess of $10 million and anticipates that construction will begin following final approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates all construction projects along the Ohio River. Subject to securing all approvals necessary, Koch is projecting a grand opening of SkyWheel® Newport in the summer of 2017.
“A Ferris wheel resonates with the public. It sparks a feeling of nostalgia,” said Koch Development Managing Director Matthew Stack. “People know what it is. They are drawn to it. SkyWheel® is awe inspiring to look at and even better to ride.”
Koch Development Director of Attractions Mandy Kuhlman explained that, “This is a ride for families, for kids, for grandparents, for date nights. It’s for everyone. Our guests love the SkyWheel® because they get to experience it together with their family and friends.”