Category Archives: High Roller Ferris Wheel

High Roller Pretty Much Lied About FAA Objections to Dimming Lights During Tarkanian Tribute

Right up front, we’ll say two things. We were against the dimming of lights on The Strip to honor basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. (Given the short list of luminaries for whom this honor was previously bestowed, a basketball coach doesn’t make the cut.) Also, we used to work at Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns the High Roller Ferris wheel.

That said, just about everybody on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown played along when there was a groundswell of support (at least among UNLV students and alum) for dimming the lights on The Strip when Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian died on Feb. 11, 2015. Almost everybody.

Watching video of the Strip going dark on Feb. 18, there was one prominent structure that remained fully lit during the Tarkanian tribute. It was the High Roller Ferris wheel. The world’s tallest observation wheel was fully lit and bright red. Watch.

Dimming lights on such occasions is voluntary, of course. So, why is it a big deal that High Roller officials decided to leave the wheel lit? Because when questioned about it, a High Roller representative said, “FAA regulations prevented the High Roller from going dark last night. In lieu of that, we opted to shine Rebel Red to honor the late great coach.”

This is, to put it poetically, utter horseshit.

High Roller wheel

The alleged horseshit.

For months, while the wheel was being built, and before its full lighting array was installed, the structure used what are known as “obstruction” lights to satisfy FAA recommendations. Those are the little red lights you see on buildings and towers.

On the night of the Jerry Tarkanian tribute, High Roller officials could’ve used those lights and dimmed the rest of the wheel. Instead, a conscious decision was made to leave the lights on, creating a rare situation where the wheel would be the most eye-catching part of the Strip for the duration of the widely-reported tribute.

When we inquired with the FAA, the Public Affairs Manager of the FAA’s Pacific Division confirmed what we suspected, “We are not aware of any formal FAA objection to this proposed dimming.”

He went on to explain that while the FAA has marking and lighting recommendations for tall structures, they’re just that–recommendations. The FAA “can object to a proposal to turn off lights or to not light something, but the FAA does not have the authority to enforce lighting or marking requirements.”

So, yeah, had the High Roller wanted to fully take part in the Jerry Tarkanian tribute, it could have dimmed the lights.

To do that, though, according to a High Roller rep, the wheel would have to be “parked,” and no passengers would be allowed on the wheel during the time the wheel was dark. That’s a costly proposition, and in that light, it’s more understandable why the High Roller made the decision it did. While the small “beacon” lights meet the FAA’s lighting guidelines, they won’t suffice when the wheel has passengers.

But let’s be clear: The FAA didn’t stop the High Roller from dimming during the Jerry Tarkanian tribute. It was a business decision.

So, is “lie” the right word? Maybe not. We just can’t think of a better one. We attended a public school.

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In a Stroke of Marketing Genius, High Roller Observation Wheel Offers “Free Mustache Rides”

It’s the most overtly sexual marketing campaign in recent Las Vegas memory: The High Roller Ferris wheel is offering guests “free mustache rides” during the month of November.

We’re not kidding. And, yes, this blog’s jaw has spent the better part of the afternoon on the floor as a result.

Mustache rides High Roller

Offering mustache rides is ballsy, even in Las Vegas, where marketing is known for pushing the limits.

Our hero Tim Dressen, of the must-listen Five Hundy By Midnight podcast, pointed us in the direction of this risque offer, and we still can’t believe the High Roller went there.

Caesars Entertainment owns the High Roller Ferris wheel at the Linq shopping promenade, and because its customers tend to be older, Caesars is pretty conservative in its marketing messages. We know, this blog used to work there.

Here’s the exact text as it appears on the High Roller observation wheel’s Facebook page: “Grow those ‘staches. Free #MustacheRides throughout the month of November when you donate $5 to Movember USA!”

We’ll overlook the fact somebody might not have the firmest of grasps when it comes to the definition of “free.” That’s missing the point.

The High Roller is flat-out saying riders will receive complimentary oral sex in the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Talk about an elevated level of customer satisfaction!

And people laughed when this blog provided tips for having sex on the High Roller observation wheel. Doesn’t sound so far-fetched now, does it? (Our post has had 38,000 views. Conclusion: People are freaks.)

High Roller

It’s easy to find the High Roller. Just look for the big O.

While there’s some peril in using such a saucy euphemism in a marketing campaign, the buzz it’s already created surely offsets any potential risk.

Good for Caesars for pushing the envelope. It should be noted, of course, that envelopes require licking. We’re just saying.

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A Fresh Batch of Discoveries at The Linq

Las Vegas is a newness machine, and we’ve gathered a few new offerings at The Linq shopping promenade, including girthy public art, a free museum, Chinese tacos and more.

First up, murals! Apparently, the Linq has partnered with a group called I.S.I. Group (Industry Supporting Industry), and they’ve arranged for a number of murals all along the Linq’s promenade. While it’s likely they were commissioned to make unoccupied storefronts more appealing, they actually add a nice element to the district.

Linq murals

Proof that public art is sometimes polarizing.

I.S.I. Group is a local arts collective, whatever that might mean. Here’s an interview with one of the founders of I.S.I. Group if you’re into that kind of thing.

Linq mural

This is as close as you’re going to get to a political statement in The Linq’s mural collection, and we’re not even sure what the statement might be.

There’s nothing too edgy about the murals at The Linq, but middle-of-the-road is probably best given the vast swath of humanity that meanders its way down The Linq to see, and sometimes even ride, the High Roller, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Linq Las Vegas murals

See all the murals we could find in our photo gallery, below.

As we were doing our own meandering, we stumbled upon another new offering at The Linq, a sort of Caesars Entertainment fun book. Caesars Entertainment is the company that owns The Linq and the surrounding hotel-casinos.

The coupon book has offerings from The Quad, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flamingo and The Linq. The deals range from 2-for-1 and other cocktail discounts, match play and even a free admission to the Auto Collections at The Quad, an attraction that’s highly recommended for people who love cars or the people who love car lovers.

Linq fun book

Maybe we should have put “fun” in quotation marks.

If you don’t see people distributing the fun books, stop by The Linq’s concierge office. They seem to know everything.

Speaking of free museum admissions, because “segue” is our middle name, the Polaroid Fotobar store at The Linq has made the wise decision to drop the fee for its upstairs Polaroid Museum.

While we couldn’t recommend this lightweight exhibit when there was a charge (even at five bucks), we can heartily recommend it for free.

Fotobar Museum Las Vegas

Sorry, but Fotobar has no actual bar. Insert sad trombone here.

The museum has several classic Polaroid cameras and some history of this formerly-popular form of photography.

Polariod camera

There’s also this big-ass camera. It’s a Polaroid 20×24 camera, and if you try to lift it, you will get an instant hernia.

There’s also some weird enclosure with foil balloons floating around. We are a blog, not an art critic.

Polaroid Museum

Do not head scratch anywhere near this installation. It will telegraph the fact you failed art appreciation in college.

Here’s more information about the Polaroid Museum.

Moving on, there have been some changes to F.A.M.E. (Food, Art, Music, Entertainment), the Asian food court. Apparently, some of the Asian food wasn’t going over all that well, so F.A.M.E. now serves up pizza and tacos.

In an Asian food court.

FAME Asian food court

Quite possibly Sin City’s first Asian taco stand.

We’ve tried both the Chinese food at F.A.M.E. and the pizza, and we actually recommend the pizza. Las Vegas doesn’t live by society’s rules.

Pizza Buddha

Damn tasty stuff. You go, Asian pizza chefs.

Check out our photo gallery to see the menus at Pizza Buddha and Gangnam Taco Bar. We are not making those names up, and we really, really hope they’re being ironic.

Pizza FAME

Note: Serving pizzas in woks doesn’t make it Asian fare.

Also on the food front, there is absolutely nothing new to report at Tilted Kilt. We just needed to mention Tilted Kilt so we can share this photo.

Tilted Kilt

The aforementioned kilts.

Newness at The Linq often takes the form of street performers. You never know what you’ll see. There are often Taiko drum performances outside F.A.M.E., as well as random dancers and musicians who appear to have no set schedule.

Linq dancers

This Las Vegas blog does love it some free.

Our final find during our most recent visit to The Linq wasn’t actually at The Linq.

At the south end of Flamingo (that’s the Cromwell side), we discovered a young woman, Timmea, selling High Roller tickets. While the lines aren’t especially long at the High Roller a lot of the time, when they are, this is a convenient way to skip the ticket line at the High Roller ticket office.

High Roller tickets

We’d much rather get our High Roller ticket from Timmea than stand in line, any day.

Timmea said there are remote ticket-sellers outside Flamingo from noon to 8:00 p.m. Handy, and a great way to market the wheel to folks who might not necessarily turn into The Linq.

The Linq seems consistently filled with visitors, so we trust it’s been successful overall (albeit with a few unfortunate hiccups in the mix).

If you haven’t been to The Linq yet, check out our walk-through. There’s a lot to see and do and drink. And especially that last thing.

Murals at The Linq and More

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11 Vital Tips for Having Sex on the High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas

It’s the Las Vegas version of the Mile High Club. Rocking the Casbah on the world’s tallest observation wheel is one of the most thrilling ways to create one-of-a-kind Sin City memories.

As you might suspect, there’s some strategy required when it comes to making this fantasy a reality, so we’ve got 11 sure-fire tips to ensure your High Roller escapade goes off without a hitch.

High Roller

Hitting it on the High Roller is going to take some big brass ones.

1. Bring a Blanket

A small blanket or throw will be a lifesaver as you’re frolicking on the High Roller. First, it’s courteous to keep things sanitary for the riders who follow.

Second, a blanket will play a key role in avoiding being caught, or even detained, by The Man. One of the biggest risks in this sort of endeavor is other patrons who see your activities, get offended and complain. A blanket (or even a sweater or jacket) will help keep your activities on the down-low, pretty much guaranteeing a satisfying ride.

2. Ride When Business is Slow

Until recently, that wasn’t hard to do, as slow business has plagued the High Roller since a few weeks after it opened.

Now, prices have been adjusted downward ($19.95 daytime, $34.95 nighttime), so business is picking up. That means it’ll take a little more effort to figure out times when pods have few or no riders. Daytime during the week is when the ride is least busy, but for cavorting purposes, you’ll need the cover of darkness (see Tip #3). The bottom line: Plan on staying late.

High Roller pod

Choose your moment.

3. Use the Cover of Darkness

Yes, the view from the High Roller is much better at night, but the bigger benefit of a nighttime rendezvous is less chance of detection by security or your fellow passengers in nearby pods. Choose a ride time as late as possible, just before the High Roller closes for the evening.

There’s another benefit to a late night ride: While it’s great to have a wild time in Vegas, the last thing you want is to have people photographing or videotaping your thigh-thumping, sending those images off to Facebook or YouTube for the world to see. (What happens in Vegas rarely stays in Vegas, despite what you may have heard.) At night, the lights are dimmed inside the passenger cabins so guests can see the Strip without glare. That makes for great cover. During the day, you’re pretty much scrod.

4. Tip a Ride Attendant

This is a critical element of your quest to successfully copulate on the High Roller. The folks that load passengers onto the pods make a modest wage, so a $20 should be enough to win them over to your carnal cause. As you get to the loading platform, stand back and watch the flow of riders. If you see a lull, approach an attendant and shake their hand, passing along the $20, saying, “We’d love to ride alone.”

Odds are you’ll get a response like, “We’ll see what we can do.” Which is a ride attendant’s way of saying, “If you’re willing to hang out here for a few minutes, I can make that happen.”

High Roller

The $20 trick worked for your room upgrade, and it can work here, too.

5. Choose Your Spot

Congrats on getting your own private cabin. Let the games begin!

While the cabin will be pretty dark, you’ll still want to choose a spot that provides the maximum amount of privacy. There are two support beams that run along the sides of each cabin (they connect the pod to the High Roller wheel), with a crescent-shaped seat at the bottom of each. If you sit directly in the middle of the seat, the view from other passenger pods is almost entirely obscured. You’re welcome.

Las Vegas Ferris wheel

The idea is to be directly in one of the two blind spots (the part with the ridges), either fore or aft.

6. Watch the Time

So, a ride on the High Roller takes about 30 minutes. That sounds like a lot of time, but it goes by quickly. Sort of like sex, come to think of it.

Do yourself a favor and get warmed up even before you get in line for your High Roller ticket.

Once aboard, you’ll want to wait until you’re away from the launch platform before you start the festivities, and make sure to leave time at the end of the ride to get yourself together before you disembark.

Typically, in the area of amour, quick isn’t considered better, but in the case of a High Roller romp, brevity is optimal. If you want to play it safe as possible, don’t commence your tryst until your cabin nears the top of the wheel. That way, there’s less chance of being seen by anyone in a higher cabin.

The ultimate goal would be to climax at the apex, but we’ll save that for the Advanced High Roller Copulation course. Which doesn’t exist yet, but should.

High Roller

Make it a quickie. The High Roller never stops revolving, even as people are getting on. And getting off.

7. Stay Seated

The best position for a High Roller dalliance is the lap dance position. The man sits (in the spot specified in Tip #5). The woman sits on his lap, facing away from him. With the blanket over you, this position should appear as though the woman is simply sitting on her man’s lap, albeit vigorously if you’re doing it right.

This isn’t the time to get totally crazy, or you may run afoul of High Roller security. The wilder you get, the more likely it is you’ll get caught. Don’t turn your adventure into an episode of “Cops” or the Vegas version, “Vegas Strip.”

8. Keep Focused, Guys

Don’t spoil your 550-feet-up coupling with an unintended fail. You know who you are.

There’s a lot to distract high above the Las Vegas Strip, including the jaw-dropping view and a running commentary by some dude on the pod’s video screens. Keep your eyes on the prize and your partner will thank you for it.

9. Use Moist Towelettes

Once the deed is done, you’ll want to clean up a bit. The High Roller’s cabins don’t have restrooms or running water, so break out your supply of moist towelettes. (You did bring some, right? We’re not barbarians, people.)

If you used birth control, don’t litter. Wrap your latex in the baby wipes and take your trash with you. It’s like camping. But without the bears.

High Roller

Basking in the High Roller afterglow.

10. Be Prepared for Some Awkward

The end of your ride is the most perilous part. It’s possible your hijinks were observed by staff at the High Roller, and when you depart your pod, there’s a chance you’ll be approached by security, or worse, some stiff from Homeland Security.

Chances are the worst that will happen is you’ll get a stern look, or possibly a warning. If you used your blanket, you weren’t exposing a lot of skin, so you didn’t violate any public nudity laws. Hey, you were inside a pod, is that even public?

We are a blog and not a lawyer, so honestly, we have no ideas if you’re breaking any indecency laws. It will probably depend upon your level of enthusiasm.

People have been joining the Mile High Club on planes for decades. If you’re approached by staff or security at the High Roller, the best way to go is to apologize profusely and pretend to be really, really stupid. Say you got carried away by the heat of the moment and it won’t happen again.

A benefit of having sex on the High Roller, as opposed to a plane, is if you’re caught, you don’t have to sit there being judged for the rest of the flight. You get to leave.

High Roller Las Vegas

The bottom part of the wheel is where you get off.

11. Be Fearless

Look, life is short. Pushing the limits isn’t for everyone, but it’s good to be bad sometimes. Knocking boots on the High Roller should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Boldness is required, because as we’ve said, your activity is likely to be observed (and possibly recorded) by High Roller staff. Hey, if there were no risk, it wouldn’t be as exciting.

Just be courteous, careful and it also wouldn’t hurt to keep the number of a bail bondsman on speed dial.

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High Roller Las Vegas Officially Named World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

The High Roller observation wheel at The Linq shopping district in Las Vegas has been touted as the world’s tallest since its construction began. Now, the nearly 550-foot wheel has been given the official stamp of approval by the team at Guinness World Records.

High Roller wheel

The High Roller also holds the record for the tallest Ferris wheel this blog has ever felt woozy in.

The High Roller kicked the metaphorical ass of the London Eye and Singapore Flyer to grab the world record.

There’s no telling how long the Sin City’s wheel will hold this distinction, as another wheel in New York is nipping at its heels.

For now, the High Roller takes its rightful place as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Because Las Vegas, that’s why.

Oh, and one of the great things about the High Roller’s Guinness World Record was the certificate. While Caesars Entertainment, the company that built the wheel, has insisted the wheel not be called a “Ferris wheel,” that’s exactly what the Guinness World Record folks called it on the official certificate. Told you it’s a Ferris wheel.

High Roller

In addition to its immense height, the High Roller Ferris wheel also has some of the most impressive balls in the world.

The anal retentive measurers-of-things at Guinness World Records also confirmed the wheel isn’t 550 feet tall. The High Roller is actually 549.54068 feet tall. That’s going win you a bar bet someday. (Then again, the official Guinness World Records Web site has a typo claiming the High Roller is 594 feet, 8.4 inches tall. That could win you another bar bet. You’re welcome.)

Check out our extensive archive of all things Las Vegas Ferris wheel, and see what it’s like to ride this bad boy.

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