By Jay Jones
6:39 PM EDT, March 31, 2014
The world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the appropriately named High Roller, welcomed its first passengers on Monday in Las Vegas.
The first tickets were sold for rides beginning at 1 p.m. The 550-foot-tall wheel is the anchor attraction of the Linq, the new entertainment and retail complex directly across Las Vegas Boulevard from Caesars Palace.
The 30-minute ride isn’t impressive at first because it’s alongside undeveloped land behind the Quad and Flamingo resorts. Once it rises above those hotels, Las Vegas in all its over-the-top glory comes into view.
The city's sights are best seen at night, when the dazzling signs light up the Strip and the wheel itself puts on a colorful LED light show. Admission, not surprisingly, is higher in the evening.
Rides cost $24.95 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.. The price increases to $34.95 after 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. Those who don’t want to wait in line can purchase an Express Pass for $59.95.
The wheel’s 28 pods can accommodate up to 40 people at a time. At full capacity, more than 1,100 can ride at the same time.
Although the High Roller bills itself as the tallest Ferris wheel on Earth, it will hold that claim for only a couple of years.
The New York Wheel on Staten Island will soar 630 feet. It’s expected to open Labor Day Weekend 2016.
The Dubai Eye is also in the works. Planners say it will tower 689 feet over the city.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times