This is an artist's rendering of a proposed 625-foot Ferris wheel, billed as the world's largest, planned as part of a retail and hotel complex along the Staten Island waterfront in New York. (USA Today/AP)
NEW YORK -- Move over, Vegas and Singapore : As part of an effort to lure visitors off the ferry and into New York City's least populous and most remote borough, Staten Island will host what officials say is the world's tallest Ferris wheel.
Due to start construction in early 2014 with a planned opening by the end of 2015, the 625-foot structure would be 84 feet higher than the Singapore Flyer, currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, and 75 feet higher than the planned "High Roller" wheel on the Las Vegas Strip.
The $230 million attraction, to be called the New York Wheel, will overlook the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the downtown Manhattan skyline -- "an attraction unlike any other in New York City -- even unlike any other on the planet," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a release.
Once known for hosting the world's largest landfill, "Staten Island has its attractions, including a minor league ballpark and the zoo that hosts Staten Island Chuck, New York's answer to the famous prognosticating groundhog of Punxsutawney, Pa.," says the Associated Press.
But the privately financed project, which includes a 100-shop outlet mall and a 200-room hotel, is expected to welcome as many as 30,000 riders per day during peak season and an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year.