By this time next year, the Las Vegas Strip will look very different. There is the possibility that two huge observation wheels will reside on the central south end of the Strip.
Despite both projects featuring a giant wheel as a centerpiece, LINQ and SkyVue couldn't look more different at this moment. It's a tale of two wheels, and no one knows quite how it will end.
On the day Caesar's Entertainment took FOX5 on a tour of its $1/2-billion LINQ project, the man overseeing construction couldn't have been happier.
Earlier that day, David Codiga's crew lifted what looks like a giant kickstand into place. It's a brace leg that will eventually secure a giant observation wheel.
The next phase begins next week when Codiga's crew will put in place the end sections of the hub and spindle.
"Each of these sections weighs 350,000 pounds. They're going to be lifted up independently," Codiga said.
The High Roller observation wheel will stand 550 feet tall, twice as high as the Flamingo hotel and casino and 100 feet taller than the London Eye ferris wheel.
The wheel will be adorned with 28 44,000-pound spherical glass balls. Each one will hold 40 passengers.
"This being Las Vegas, these are going to be luxury cabins, I imagine?" FOX5's John Huck asked.
"They're luxury cabins. They'll have audio-visual. We can serve drinks inside of them," Codiga replied.
Once finished, LINQ will have an urban, outdoor feel similar to New York City's Meatpacking District.
"How concerned are you that half a mile down the road is another project that if it gets completed will look somewhat like the LINQ?" Huck asked.
"I'm not concerned at all," replied Jon Gray, the 28-year-old LINQ vice president and CEO.
At LINQ, it's loud, hoping with people working toward a December open. But a few blocks down Las Vegas Boulevard is SkyVue. The site has been quiet for months now, but the developer says that is going to change.
Like many proposed Strip projects, SkyVue stared with fancy renderings before running out of money.
The project got as far as two 247-foot columns before crews cleared out. Things may be looking up, though. SkyVue has cleared contractors' liens and its CEO, Howard Bullock, has said he will finalize financing in the next few months.
Bullock declined a request for an on-camera interview with FOX5. He did tell us via email that construction on SkyVue will resume in May or June and "the massive parts that will make up SkyVue have been rapidly taking shape all over the world."
Bullock expects the wheel to be up and running in 2014.
University of Nevada Las Vegas Director of Gaming Research David Schwartz doesn't share Bullock's optimism.
"I am a little bit skeptical of SkyVue, just looking at the track record. Only he knows what resources he has or doesn't have. From the outside, it's very easy to be skeptical when you have another project moving full-bore ahead," Schwartz said.
If LINQ and the High Roller wheel end up competing with SkyVue, will Las Vegas support two wheels? SkyVue reps said they have a study indicating both projects would thrive.
When finished, the High Roller will be the tallest observation wheel in the world, but perhaps not for long. New York and Dubai both have plans for observation wheels.
Construction on the Dubai Eye will start at the end of 2013. It will stand 689 feet high.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
You can download the new FOX5 Vegas mobile app, which now features an Interactive Radar and the MyReport photo submission tool. iPhone DownloadiPad DownloadAndroid DownloadAmazon Fire DownloadFor the bestMore>>
Friday, March 7 2014 12:25 PM EST2014-03-07 17:25:13 GMT
For one teenager, homelessness is his reality but not his label. Hard work. Struggle. Power. Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduatingMore >
Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduating senior plays football, track and wants to study athletic training in college. He comes to school every day, and many around him don't know what it's like when he goes home at night.More >
Saturday, March 8 2014 5:30 AM EST2014-03-08 10:30:53 GMT
A police sergeant from Windsor Locks sued state police in connection with a deadly crash that involved his son.Robert Koistinen claimed he was falsely arrested after his son Michael Koistinen's crash inMore >
A police sergeant from Windsor Locks has sued state police in connection with a deadly crash that involved his son.More >
Friday, March 7 2014 4:13 PM EST2014-03-07 21:13:43 GMT
A woman who claimed to be the passenger in a car that crashed in Waterbury two years ago was found not guilty Friday of manslaughter charges.The jury started deliberating Thursday afternoon in the caseMore >
A woman who claimed to be the passenger in a car that crashed in Waterbury two years ago was found not guilty Friday of manslaughter charges.More >
Thursday, March 6 2014 9:29 AM EST2014-03-06 14:29:24 GMT
A South Carolina woman who drove her mini-van into the ocean at Daytona Beach with her three kids inside is from Cross in Berkeley County, according to authorities in Florida. Police say they interviewedMore >
A South Carolina woman who drove her mini-van into the ocean at Daytona Beach with her three kids inside is from Cross in Berkeley County, according to authorities in Florida. Police say they interviewed her two hours before the Tuesday afternoon incident but the woman was released because she showed no signs of being suicidal.More >
Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.More >
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located...More >
Friday, March 7 2014 5:10 PM EST2014-03-07 22:10:01 GMT
Several Windsor police officers, along with State Police and members of the Major Crimes division continue to investigate at a home on Bina Avenue. Officers could be seen going in an out of the 2-familyMore >
A man charged with murdering his sons' uncle in Windsor faced a judge on Friday.More >
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:28 AM EST2014-03-08 13:28:03 GMT
A serious crash in Canton has closed Route 44 on Friday night. The accident happened at the intersection of Albany Turnpike and Old Albany Turnpike. According to police, multiple vehicles are involved. NoMore >
A serious crash in Canton closed Route 44 for a time Friday night.More >
Friday, March 7 2014 5:31 PM EST2014-03-07 22:31:14 GMT
A liquor store in Berlin has taken to social media to help find two men it says swiped an expensive bottle of booze.The Turnpike Wine & Spirits shop on the Berlin Turnpike said the suspects stole a $265More >
A liquor store in Berlin has taken to social media to help find two men it says swiped an expensive bottle of booze.More >