Las Vegas, Nevada or Vegas is also called the “Sin City” because it is known primarily for gambling, vivacious parties, effervescent events, and numerous strip clubs. In Vegas one can order a mile long drink twenty four hours a day and even get married before Elvis. Vegas has hosted countless bachelorette and bachelor parties where everyone wakes up not remembering anything that happened the night before. But Vegas is not just for drinking and gambling, the whole strip is a series of resort casinos where the whole family can relax and enjoy. This is why Vegas is also called the Entertainment Capital of the World.
One of the main attractions of Vegas is the High Roller. It is a 550-foot tall, 520-foot diameter giant Ferris wheel. It is located at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip’s newest entertainment quarter, The LINQ, and owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The High Roller is also called the world’s largest observation wheel with 28 transparent air-conditioned glass enclosed cabins which can hold 40 passengers each. It opened to the public on March 31, 2014, and is currently the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It is taller than its predecessors, the 541-foot Singapore Flyer and the 443-foot London Eye. The passenger cabins are mounted on the wheel’s outboard rim and are individually rotated by electric motors to smoothly maintain a horizontal cabin floor throughout each full rotation.
The whole experience lasts for thirty minutes with an entertaining audio video commentary. Ticket costs $23.00 during the day and $37.00 during the night for adults. They also have a “happy half hour” ticket which costs $33.00 during the day and $52.00 during the night. The “happy half hour” ticket includes the usual thirty (30) minute ride plus an open bar. At night the wheel is illuminated by a 2,000-LED system which can display differently colored sections or multiple colors moving around the rim, they can also make custom displays for special events and holidays. The High Roller has quickly become a must for any visitor to Vegas.
I was able to experience the High Roller during my latest trip to Vegas. We got there late in the afternoon. Luckily, there were no long lines as we were not able to pre-book tickets. The ticket costs $23.00 per person (approximately P 1,100.00). As there was no queue, we were able to get to our cabin easily and had the cabin all to ourselves (we were just four). We were greeted by a witty narrator in their audio video presentation who informed us the facts about the High Roller and explained how it was built. As we ascended, I was able to learn about the history of Las Vegas and some of the city’s landmarks coupled with unparalleled views of the downtown area and enjoying the unbeatable view of the Strip and the surrounding desert. It was breathtaking, I saw Vegas in a different light – the richness and crispness of its scenery. Not just the usual fun loving, alcohol thirsty, party goers’ tourists. From the peak of the High Roller the clouds seem reachable and the view of the strip, the famous hotel resorts The Venetian, Harrah’s and the like were splendid.
On a personal note, for those with fear of heights, do not lose faith, my husband who is an acrophobic was not bothered and enjoyed the whole thirty minutes. The ride was so smooth you won’t feel how ridiculously high you already are. Plus, you would be very busy admiring the view you would forget your fear.
Indeed, there is a famous aphorism – “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” – but this does not apply with the High Roller, this is one experience from Vegas you just have to share.
(VIEW FROM THE CABIN)