World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel, The High Roller, Gets Its First Passenger Cabin

The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, The High Roller in Las Vegas, has gotten its first passenger cabin. First, let’s set the stage.

The High Roller is pretty, isn't she? Yes, it's a she.
The High Roller is pretty, isn’t she? Yes, it’s a she.

We dropped in at the High Roller at The Linq and got a glimpse of the passenger cabin, or “pod,” just after it was attached to the High Roller’s recently-completed rim.

We presume this is where the passenger cabin will rest as passengers get on.
Tease! We presume this is where the passenger cabin will rest as passengers get on.

A short time later, the wheel revolved (the first time we’ve seen it move) to reveal the passenger cabin in all its glory, just as the sun was setting.

Jaw, meet dropped. This is happening.
Jaw, meet dropped. This is happening.

As we watched, in a sort of geeky, stunned silence, the wheel revolved again and the cabin slipped back into the structure where riders will load up for their half-hour ride on the High Roller, taking in all the shiny gloriousness that is the Las Vegas Strip.

"Double glazed spherical cabins" sounds delicious, doesn't it?
“Double glazed spherical cabins” sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

Seeing the wheel revolve for the first time was awe-inspiring. It moves so smoothly and almost silently, an astonishing feat of engineering that is sure to make it an attraction known around the world.

This is the first of 28 cabins which will be installed around the rim of the High Roller. The cabins were designed and built by Leitner-Poma of America, a company in Grand Junction, Colorado known for building ski lifts.

Set against the massive High Roller Ferris wheel (or observation wheel), the cabins seem deceptively small. They actually have a capacity of 40 people.

The cabins are 22 feet in diameter and each weighs 44,000 pounds. We’ve heard each cabin costs about $1 million. Each cabin has 300 square feet of glass.

As darkness fell, the High Roller’s pod emerged from the other side of the loading platform.

Yes, we have a crush on a giant wheel. Don't judge.
Yes, we have a crush on a giant wheel. Don’t judge.

The High Roller, of course, is part of The Linq, a retail, dining and entertainment district from Caesars Entertainment. The High Roller sits just behind Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad.

Seeing the first passenger pod moving around what, at 550-feet, will be the world’s tallest observation wheel was one of the most exciting things we’ve ever experienced in Las Vegas, and trust us, Las Vegas has had a lot of exciting things happen.

Check out all our posts about Las Vegas’ newest attraction, the High Roller observation wheel. The High Roller is expected to open mid-2014.