The Seattle Great Wheel is now open for business. At the high point, nearly 200 feet, you can get scenic views of West Seattle, mostly Alki, Harbor Island, and of course, looking eastward, you see a sweeping downtown skyline.
SLIDESHOW: Ferris wheel opens, offers splendid new views of Alki
China may have the Great Wall. But that's OK. We now have the Great Wheel of Seattle, and it opened for business today at 5:00 p.m. This attraction joins the carousel, an arcade, and a collection of shops and restaurants on Pier 57. It has a diameter of 175 feet and will lift riders approximately 200 feet high. There are 42 gondolas that pass 40 feet out over Elliot Bay when the Ferris wheel is in motion.
"I've been working the crowd and haven't gone up yet," said Bob Donegan, CEO of Ivar's and Alki Spud Fish & Chips. He was dressed festively with blue and white striped jacket and a bow tie. He greeted folks entering the wheel "All the cars have space for a table to eat sea food," he quipped.
You'll see West Seattle very clearly," said Hal Griffith, owner of Pier 57. He had ridden the Great Wheel five times as of 4:00 p.m. on opening day. "The view is fantastic, totally everywhere. It's a smooth ride. I've ridden a similar wheel in Myrtle Beach (The SkyWheel). You can see Mount Rainier when it's clear. And if you had a good enough telescope I think you could see the Ferris wheel from Mount Rainier," he speculated with a grin.
Adults and children 12+: $13
Children under 12: $8.50
Their website says they are open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pier 57 is located at 301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA.
Their website is here, but appears unfinished.
Chuck Hilliard shot a night time time-lapse of the new waterfront attraction.
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