Atlantic Cities

Atlanta's Getting a Ferris Wheel

Atlanta's Getting a Ferris Wheel
Flickr/dbcnwa

It appears Atlanta will be getting a Ferris wheel in time for the summer tourist season.

Atlanta's city council approved plans yesterday for "SkyView Atlanta," a 180-foot high Ferris wheel that could open for business in downtown Atlanta next month.

The wheel, originally used in Paris, is currently in Pensacola, Florida. Pacific Development, the St. Louis company that owns the wheel, has shopped it around to different cities since then, exploring options in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Miami before finally settling on Atlanta.

The future SkyWheel Atlanta as seen in its current location, Pensacola, Florida.

This wasn't the city's first attempt at getting a Ferris wheel, with Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus unsuccessfully pursuing his vision for an "Atlanta Eye" back in 2010.
 
SkyView won't require any public money. The 180-foot Ferris wheel with 42 air conditioned gondolas will be much shorter than the 450-foot high London Eye and only slightly taller than the 150-foot Ferris wheel at Chicago's Navy Pier. It will be located across the street from Centennial Olympic Park on what is currently a surface lot next to the famous Tabernacle concert hall.
 
SkyWheel will sit on what is currently a surface lot to the neighboring Tabernacle concert hall. View Larger Map
 

The wheel has a capacity of 10,000 riders a day but according to the Pensacola News Journal, 360 Pensacola, as the wheel is currently known, gets between 600 and 800 riders on its best days. Pacific Development thinks it's moving SkyView to a pretty promising spot in Atlanta, bordering a collection of popular museums and public space. "Centennial Park has a lot of other attractions," says spokesman Jason Evans, adding, "but they're the sort of things you watch instead of the things you do."

Each ride on SkyView will go around four times for 15 minutes and will cost $12 to $14.

Top image of "360 Pensacola Beach" via Flickr user bcbnwa

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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