Category Archives: High Roller Ferris Wheel

High Roller Ferris Wheel Takes First Riders, Set to Open March 31

A long-awaited moment in Las Vegas is finally here!

The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the High Roller at The Linq, has safely taken its first riders and will open to the public on March 31, 2014.

High Roller Las Vegas

Our other girlfriend.

The first riders on the High Roller are employees of Caesars Entertainment (the company that build it, along with the adjoining Linq shopping and entertainment district), and their families, who will be putting the wheel through its paces throughout the weekend leading up to the official opening.

High Roller observation wheel

The High Roller wheel is the latest addition to an already heart-stopping skyline.

The opening of the High Roller marks the culmination of a construction process that began in early 2012.

We’ve been watching the making of the High Roller every step of the way, including when the High Roller was little more than a couple of nubs protruding from the ground. (Technically, they’re called “plinths,” but let’s not get bogged down by “facts” or “details.”)

High Roller wheel

No, really, every step of the way.

Some quick High Roller facts:

googie The High Roller observation wheel is 550 feet tall.

googie It took 7.2 million pounds of steel to build the wheel.

googie The wheel is held together by 112 massive cables. Each cable is 225 feet long.

googie Each cable has a breaking force of 550 tons.

googie The High Roller has 28 passenger cabins, each capable of holding 40 people. That means it can accommodate 1,120 passengers at one time.

googie Each cabin weighs 44,000 pounds.

googie The final cabin was hoisted onto the High Roller in the early morning of Dec. 3, 2013. It was the 28th cabin to be put into place, but its cabin number was 24.

High Roller passenger pods

Shout-out to engineering geeks everywhere.

googie Fabrication of the wheel’s various parts took place in factories around the world, including in China, Japan, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Colorado and California.

googie The High Roller rotates on a pair of custom roller bearings. Each one weighs 19,400 pounds.

googie The High Roller takes about 30 minutes to take a full revolution. (No, there are no restrooms in the cabins. Plan accordingly.)

googie The wheel is lit with more than 2,000 LED lights.

googie The High Roller has a design life of 50 years, and was built to withstand 650,000 revolutions.

googie Prices for the High Roller haven’t been announced, but they’re expected to run in the $30 range, depending upon the time of day or night.

googie The High Roller Ferris wheel cost about $175 million to build.

Heartfelt congrats to everyone involved with this stunning new addition to the Las Vegas experience.

Now is as good a time as any to dive deeply into our massive archive of High Roller photos and wonder at this latest example of Las Vegas OMFG.

Please bask in the magnificence of our exclusive High Roller photo gallery.

High Roller Observation Wheel Las Vegas

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It’s Time to Stroll the Length and Girth of the New Linq Las Vegas Outdoor Mall

The Linq, a new outdoor dining, shopping and entertainment district between Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad has entered its next phase, and we’re pleased to say the place is turning into a destination worthy of the hype surrounding it.

We thought it was high time we meandered from one one end of this shiny new promenade to the other to see what’s open, what’s cool and what’s to come. So, let’s have at it, already.

Here’s a quick video overview in case you’re suffering from Short Attention Span Disorder.

We should say this right off the bat: For sheer “wow” factor, there’s simply nothing that compares, in Las Vegas or the world, to the 550-foot High Roller Ferris wheel that rises above The Linq. The challenge for Caesars Entertainment (the company that built The Linq) was, “How do we get people to come down what is essentially an alley?” Well, the High Roller is the answer, and it exceeds all expectations.

The Linq

The crown jewel of The Linq.

There’s a chance we took a photo or two during the construction of the High Roller, so check them out.

Yes, the High Roller is technically at the “back” of The Linq (on the east side, farthest from The Strip), but it demands your attention. We’ll probably return to it, too.

As you enter The Linq from Las Vegas Boulevard, the first thing you see is a new construction wall! The Linq is a work-in-progress.

The Linq

Lots of newness ahead.

This construction wall juts out of The Quad. We’re always sad to see construction walls, because we’re then forced to breach security to show you what’s behind them. Did we say sad? We meant gleeful.

Quad bar

It’s a bar, baby!

More bar action at The Linq is something this blog condones, of course. We tried to see the indoor portion of this new bar, but sadly, there was a door between us and it. Gleefully. We always get those two mixed up. Gleefully, doors open!

Quad bar

Dibs on that future spot at the bar.

Look we could dwell upon the fact we get you exclusive photos of Vegas newness, but there’s an ass-ton of Linq to cover, so let’s get moving.

Across from the new bar at The Quad, there are some handy ticket kiosks for the High Roller. There are more kiosks at the foot of the High Roller, too.

High Roller tickets

Guess what our Halloween costume’s going to be this year!

Next up, a couple of stores open for some time now, Haute Doggery (a hot dog place), Starbuck’s (an up-and-coming, overpriced coffee place) and Purple Zebra (a slushy drink place). See our coverage of early-openers at The Linq.

The Linq

This view is facing Las Vegas Boulevard and The Linq’s digital marquee. Read more.

Ambling farther, there’s Chayo Mexican restaurant, with lovely indoor and outdoor seating. As well as a mechanical bull. Spring is currently kicking winter in the nads in Vegas at the moment, and spots like this will be even more popular moving into late spring and early summer.

Linq Chayo

‘Sup, everyone shoveling snow?

Just past Chayo is the outdoor bar for what is arguably the most successful venue at The Linq to-date, O’Sheas. O’Sheas has packed since the day it re-opened, and rumors of an expansion are rampant.

O'Sheas bar

There’s no limit on bars in Las Vegas. We checked.

A few feet away is a Goorin Bros. hat store. Because fedora-wearing dipshits need a reason to visit The Linq, too.

Hatmaking shop

“Dipshits” was the nice way of saying it.

Next to that is the yet-to-open Polaroid Fotobar & Museum. Don’t get excited. It’s not that kind of bar.

Polaroid Fotobar sounds like a place where you can make prints from images on your smartphone. Although that can’t be right because that would be lame. And no lameness is allowed at The Linq. Other than the hat store, of course.

Fotobar

We’ll wait to see what develops here.

Across the way is a papered-over storefront. We thought the art was mildly racist at first, but then learned this is the future location of a store called 12:00 AM RUN, co-owned by Nas (short for Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones), an African-American rapper. So, it’s now probably not racist, then, thankfully.

Nas sneakers

It was probably a little racist to think this was a little racist. Why is it always about race with you?

Moving on!

But first, let’s turn around and see how much progress we’ve made.

The Linq Las Vegas

Our ankles are already swelling a little. How you holding up?

Our next enticement is the Tilted Kilt. Not open yet, but a solid entry in terms of the potential for flirtatious waitresses and plentiful hooch.

Tilted Kilt

As chain bars and restaurants go, this isn’t a bad one at all.

Next to Tilted Kilt is the much-anticipated Flour & Barley, an Italian joint. We know it’s much-anticipated because we’re very much anticipating it. It’s Italian! Food the way nature intended it. Flour & Barley is expected to open just after St. Paddy’s Day.

Flour & Barley

You hear more about flour than barley, mainly because flour has a better PR agency.

Across from Flour and Barley is Bella Scarpa, a footwear and clothing store. You know, standard mall stuff.

Bella Scarpa

Bella Scarpa means “beautiful shoe.” So, yeah, in Italian is better.

In this area, there’s a lovely fountain, and another great view of the High Roller, virtually screaming to have you pay attention to it again. Be patient, oh giant Ferris wheel, be patient.

The High Roller at Linq

A tranquil moment is a welcome break from all the fun and excitement of The Strip. Or something.

Next up is the freshly-uncorked Blvd. Cocktail Company, a bar so nice they put “cocktail” in the middle of its name. We’ll be back, despite the “Piano” part. Just as long as they’re not dueling, we’re cool.

The Linq

One of our few gripes at The Linq is the whole planting of trees in front of things.

Ruby Blue looks intriguing with ample lingerie in its window. If you’re into that kind of thing. Which we’re pretty sure we are. We’re a Las Vegas blog. It’s the law.

Ruby Blue

Rubies are red. FYI.

What’s not to love about cupcakes? Sprinkles opens March 21, and we’ll be there with the goal of acquiring type 2 diabetes during the course of our visit.

Sprinkles

Yes, you can see Brooklyn Bowl from here. Don’t jump ahead.

If you don’t manage to get your sugar fix at Sprinkles, walk across the promenade to Ghirardelli Chocolate, where the chocolate is so good, people often forget to pronounce that second “r.”

Chocolate shop

We were going to skip this shop, but they gave us a free sample, and now we’re BFFs.

Perhaps the biggest draw to The Linq, aside from the High Roller, is Brooklyn Bowl. The recently-opened venue is part bowling alley, part restaurant and bar, and part concert venue.

It’s also larger than many sports arenas.

Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl will be responsible for much of the mojo of The Linq.

Tons of high-profile acts have been booked at Brooklyn Bowl, so expect it to take the Vegas entertainment scene by storm. No, really, this time.

One of our favorite discoveries at The Linq was the concierge office. Yes, The Linq has its own concierge service. And it’s not those salespeople pretending to be concierges we loathe so much. These are actual concierges managed by Caruso Affiliated, the Linq’s leasing agent and builder of dreams. (They also did The Grove in Los Angeles.)

The concierge team is friendly and helpful, and they say guests can use them to seek out reservations in busy restaurants, and to perform other services to make their visit to The Linq unforgettable. They deliver, because their level of professionalism was the most memorable part of our visit.

The Linq consierge

Ask them anything. They’ll help with the legal stuff.

We’re on the final leg of our walking tour of The Linq, but we can’t finish without a stop at Yard House, another bar and restaurant familiar to many.

Yard House

Yard House is very familiar to our liver.

Chilli Beans is a watch and eyewear store. Look, not every store can have liquor. It’s just the way life is.

Chilli Beans

We’re pretty sure you spell it “chili.” That’s a little awkward.

Here, at the end of our stroll is the entrance to, wait for it, the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel.

High Roller entrance

Even the Linq’s bling has bling.

The High Roller is slated to open mid-April. While it was rumored the First Family would be the first riders, it now appears Britney Spears and her children will be the first official passengers. (Many will ride before her as part of a soft opening, of course.)

Check our photo gallery for more pics of the High Roller entrance, lobby and “Waiting in Line Experience.” We kid! Each of the High Roller’s passenger pods holds 40 people each, and there are 28, so these lines are going to move relatively quickly.

High Roller

Suck it, Disneyland.

The designers of the High Roller have brilliantly designed the attraction so riders exit through a High Roller gift shop.

High Roller Gift Shop

One of each, thanks.

Outside the gift shop is The Linq’s slick new porte-cochère. The design matches that of the porte-cochère of The Quad. It’s all coming together, baby.

The Linq

Thus answering the “Where can I park?” question.

This is the part where we finally get close enough to the High Roller we feel like we could touch it. Please don’t actually touch it. You’ll get smudges all over it.

High Roller Las Vegas

High Roller, we want to rub your belly.

Visitors are stunned to silence as they look up at the wheel from its base. There was so much neck-craning, The Linq’s concierge office had better hire a couple of massage therapists for their team.

Even though it’s not open yet, the High Roller is poised to become one of most popular tourist attractions in the world.

High Roller

The High Roller can’t not epic.

So, there are clearly a lot of new things to see and do in Las Vegas, and many of them are at The Linq. Pace yourself. Have fun. Buy something.

We can’t wait to see what’s next.

The Linq Las Vegas

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The High Roller Ferris Wheel’s Lights Will Change the Way You See Las Vegas Forever

We thought it was pretty exciting capturing images of the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller, as it was being built. Now, as the wheel’s lights are being tested, we realize the thrills are just getting started.

High Roller wheel

Put your eyes back into your head. That’s gross.

The High Roller wheel, at a towering 550 feet tall, has dramatically changed the Las Vegas skyline for good, and we thought it was fairly spectacular before!

High Roller wheel

Each of the passenger cabins carries 40 people, although you wouldn’t know it from looking at them. Riders will board every 10 minutes.

A team of engineers has been putting the High Roller’s lights through their paces, as well as doing some final testing of the passenger “pods.”

High Roller wheel

We sort of want to snack on these. Is that weird?

The colors along the rim of the High Roller Ferris wheel seem almost limitless in their variations.

During our recent visit, we saw light combinations sure to be used on holidays (red, white and blue for Independence Day, for example), and other colors that seems to move around the rim, which we’re thinking could be synchronized to music.

High Roller Ferris wheel

We’re counting the moments before they let actual high rollers control the lights for a fee, as Bellagio does for its dancing fountains.

We saw a heavy stream of Las Vegas visitors stopping to take photos of the High Roller wheel, so it is already well on its way to becoming a world-class attraction and photo op. (WTF moment: A security guard near the High Roller site told us no photos were permitted, except with smartphone cameras. Good luck enforcing that one.)

By the way, Travel + Leisure recently named the High Roller one of the “World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions.”

The High Roller observation wheel is the centerpiece of the new Linq shopping, dining and entertainment district between Flamingo and The Quad, and is expected to open for riders in the next couple of months.

Intriguingly, a test page on Ticketmaster seems to reveal both the High Roller’s price tiers ($25, $30, $35, depending upon the time of day) and an opening date, March 1. However, we hear the opening date is definitely not the first weekend in March, and the ticket prices aren’t accurate on Ticketmaster’s test pages either.

We have heard the High Roller won’t be open by St. Patrick’s Day, unfortunately.

Time will tell, but as we said, a spring opening is definitely in the cards. We’re still betting the First Family will be the first official riders when the High Roller opens.

 

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High Roller Wheel Weddings Will Soon Be a Reality

The High Roller Ferris wheel hasn’t even opened yet, but plans are already in the works to make it a popular new place for Las Vegas weddings.

Flamingo Las Vegas has announced a batch of High Roller Las Vegas wedding packages, ranging in cost from $2,045 up to $6,270.

The High Roller is just behind Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad, at The Linq, a new shopping and entertainment district on The Strip.

High Roller

Las Vegas visitors will soon be able to foolishly tie the knot in the world’s tallest observation wheel, 550 feet up.

While those prices might seem a little hefty, the wedding packages include a private passenger cabin for one revolution of the High Roller wheel. The passenger “pods” have a maximum capacity of 40 people each.

The basic package, the High Stakes package, includes the private cabin, a marriage certificate holder and clergy fees. The cost is based upon the day of the week: Sun. through Thu., $2,045; Fri. or Sat., $2,145.

High Roller pod

Sin City’s newest wedding chapels. There are 28 cabins around the wheel’s rim.

Other packages are the Wed in the Sky package (from $2,790), Circle of Love (from $3,525) and To The Top (from $5,835).

The more expensive High Roller wheel packages include things like a room at the Flamingo, wedding bouquets, photography and prints.

Thanks to Five Hundy by Midnight podcast fan Kelly Anne for the tip on this one!

The High Roller is shaping up to be quite the romantic destination in Las Vegas. We recently spotted a Twitter handle, @HighRollerDates, with the simple promise, “Want to find a date to ride the Las Vegas High Roller? Well you can real soon!” There’s a 61% these “dates” will be completely legal!

We’re also curious to see who’ll be renting out cabins to join the High Roller’s “550-Foot High Club.” Which doesn’t actually exist yet, but it shouldn’t take too long before it does.

“If this passenger pod’s a’rockin’…” Well, you get the idea.

Would you take the leap on the High Roller observation wheel when it opens?

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The Linq Announces First Concerts With Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban

The Linq, the partially-opened shopping, restaurant and entertainment district at the center of the Las Vegas Strip, has announced its first concerts with performances by Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban.

Headliners Rascal Flatts will perform April 4, 2014 and Keith Urban will hit the stage April 5, 2014.

Rascal Flatts band

Rascal Flatts is made up of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney. They’ve released 26 singles, and we’re looking forward to listening to our first one soon.

The performances are part of the Academy of Country Music’s ACM Party for a Cause Festival, leading up to the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 6.

The two-day outdoor music festival is the first to be held at the Linq, and the stage will be located next to the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. We trust the High Roller’s lights will be on.

High Roller Ferris wheel lights

We’re having trouble coming up with a more dazzling backdrop for a concert by anyone, ever.

The full line-up for the ACM Party for a Cause Festival also includes Joe Nichols, Jerrod Niemann, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young, The Cadillac Three as well as other acts we’ve never heard of.

If you’re curious where all those people are going to go, since The Linq is sort of an alley between The Quad and Flamingo, just take a look at this bird’s-eye view of the High Roller site to the east of The Linq shopping district.

High Roller site

What’s known in the concert business as an ass-ton of room.

The Festival will feature multiple stages, interactive games and a country marketplace with a kissing booth just for cousins. Although we may be making that last part up.

Keith Urban

Country singer. Aussie accent. Long story.

The Rascal Flatts show will benefit Outnumber Hunger, an effort which helps fight hunger in local communities. Keith Urban’s show benefits ACM Lifting Lives, assisting members of the military.

Two-day ticket passes are $65. Tickets go on sale Jan. 24, 2014. Find out more at the ACM site.

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High Roller Observation Wheel Gets Lit in Las Vegas, Just Like the Rest of Us

The world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller at The Linq, is all lit up in preparation for its big debut.

High Roller Las Vegas

We are currently engorged with awe. You?

Testing of the 550-foot wheel’s lights will be taking place for the next two weeks, and we just happened to drive by as the lights were being put through their paces.

Prior to the wheel being fully illuminated, a variety of colored lights appeared on a small section of the wheel’s 520-foot diameter rim.

High Roller observation wheel

Tease.

It may not look like it, but those passenger cabins (or “pods”) can hold up to 40 people.

The colors are striking, and we can’t wait to see the entire wheel glowing in red, blue, purple and other colors.

High Roller Ferris wheel

Behold the world’s biggest mood ring, baby.

Here’s some High Roller news we hadn’t heard before: When we shared the first photo of the lighted High Roller on Facebook, a Vital Vegas reader, Dave, shared that he’s heard President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are to be the first riders on the High Roller Ferris wheel.

Yeah, the High Roller’s a pretty big deal.

High Roller wheel

Although they look off-kilter at the moment, the pods have a stabilization system to ensure the passenger cabin floors will remain parallel to the ground throughout the ride.

Each of the High Roller’s 28 rim sections are 56 feet long. If we were any good at math, we could confirm that’s 1,568 feet of wheel rim being lit.

If you find the High Roller observation wheel nearly as fascinating as we do, you’ll want to dive headlong into our borderline obsessive archive of High Roller stories and photo galleries.

High Roller Ferris wheel

This is where people much braver than this Las Vegas blog will load onto the High Roller for their 30-minute ride.

Extensive safety testing will be happening for the next few months, with the High Roller opening for riders in the second quarter of 2014.

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