Monday, April 22, 2013

An 18-story Ferris wheel might be headed for downtown

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Yes, you read that right.

St. Louis-based developer Pacific Development, LLC wants to bring an 180-foot-tall Ferris wheel to the parking lot next to the Tabernacle, just across from Centennial Olympic Park. If approved, the company would want to test the waters between May 1 and July 31 with the hopes of possibly sticking around longer.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle says that the "SkyView" Ferris wheel could be similar to the attractions that the company owns in South Carolina and Florida.

The Ferris wheel would sit on a parking lot owned by the Tabernacle at the corner of Luckie Street, Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Nassau Street.

The amusement would feature 42 "fully enclosed climate-controlled gondolas" that fit six people each. Rides are expected to take 12 to 15 minutes and promise views of Centennial Olympic Park and the downtown skyline.

The operators expect to attract 1,000 to 3,000 passengers each day, according to the plans. It would operate seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to midnight.

It's not the first time a downtown Ferris wheel has come up for debate. Home Depot co-founder and Grady Memorial Hospital savior Bernie Marcus toyed with the idea in 2010. He organized meetings with the developers who built the London Eye and nearly 30 Atlanta business leaders to discuss the attraction, but would have needed $200 million to make a similar wheel in Atlanta become a reality.

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