Steel Pier’s New Observation Wheel Will Be NJ’s Largest
Steel Pier is spinning the wheel on a huge new ride they hope will attract 50,000 riders a month to the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk amusement park.
The 220 foot-high Observation Wheel, now under construction in Italy, will be the largest of its kind in New Jersey and one of the biggest in the country. Orlando has a observation wheel that's 400-foot high and the 550-footer on the Vegas Strip is the world's largest.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, new ride will be the centerpiece of Steel Pier's new 30,000-square foot expansion and should operational this year. The original schedule for the ride's opening was in 2014.
Anthony Catanoso, the owner of Steel Pier, is in Italy this week reviewing the construction of the wheel at Technical Park, a ride manufacturer outside of Venice.
The structure will carry heated cabins that can be enjoyed even in the cold weather. The cabins will provide a spectacular view of Atlantic City. The 40 climate-controlled cars on the wheel will feature padded seats with Wi-Fi access and even music for the wheel’s ride, which will be about 15 to 20 minutes.
In addition, the wheel’s location, adjacent to the Steel Pier, is part of a larger plan to make the Pier a year-round attraction.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has authorized a total of $8 million in loans for the wheel project, which carries a total price tag of $14 million. CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri Palmieri says although gambling is still the town’s centerpiece, this just adds another non-gaming attraction.
“We’re creating a more appealing place for visitation,” he said. “Obviously casinos are still a big employer, and they are the base part of the economy, but our focus is on diversity.”