Developer proposing Vegas Strip Ferris wheel
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A developer won county approval Wednesday to try to build a 500-foot Ferris wheel and amusement park on the Las Vegas Strip, a plan similar to one he proposed for the site a decade ago before the project stalled.
Clark County commissioners gave unanimous approval Wednesday for a use permit for a 10-acre amusement park on land that developer Howard Bulloch owns next to McCarran International Airport and across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay resort.
Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said it would create an entertainment venue for children who might not have enough to do in party-centric Las Vegas.
“I think it’s time for Las Vegas to do different things,” Weekly said.
Bulloch said his ride would be the third-largest Ferris wheel in the world, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Plans also call for six additional rides, a 140,000-square-foot retail complex and a 21,000-square-foot conference center on the 38-acre site. The project could create 200 construction jobs and 200 permanent jobs after the amusement park opens, Bulloch said.
But Bulloch provided no details about funding during a recession, or customer interest in an area where past family entertainment projects have failed. And he is competing with casino giant Caesars Entertainment, which also wants to build a Ferris wheel on the Strip.
“It’s one thing to come up with renderings and get it approved, but getting it funded is much different,” said Gregg Carlson, head researcher at Apertor Hospitality. “They (amusement parks) tend not to come to life.”
Bulloch had proposed building a London-themed park on the property a decade ago, but it was never built.
“It’s time for an attraction like this on the Strip,” Bulloch said. “We think this will be a phenomenal attraction for the city.”
A sky wheel would be the centerpiece of Caesars Entertainment’s Project Linq, a $500 million entertainment, retail and dining corridor that the company plans to build near the center of the Strip. The wheel would have 32 pods or “gondolas” that each would hold 36 people, and it would take an hour to complete a revolution.
“When you look at our project, it’s planned, zoned and ready to break ground,” said Jan Jones, Caesars senior vice president of entertainment.