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Atlanta Ferris Wheel opening delayed

9:58 PM, Jun 26, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Big City Ferris Wheels
A drawing of what the Ferris Wheel may look like in downtown Atlanta (Courtesy SkyView Atlanta)

ATLANTA -- The SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel will not open in time for the July 4th weekend as originally planned.

Discovery of a Georgia Power duct below the Tabernacle Parking Lot, where the Ferris wheel will be housed, will now mean a 2-to-3 week delay and the adding of almost a half million pounds of rock and cement to level off the pavement where the Ferris wheel will sit.

Crowds had been expected to jam the Skyview Ferris Wheel over the July 4th weekend for inaugural 15-minute rides in closed gondolas.  But now that thrill will have to wait until late July.

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"Because of this extra power duct we did not know about, or we didn't quite figure on, it's (the floor level) is going to be about a foot higher than you would expect and that actually is a big deal in construction," said Jason Evans of Skyview, Atlanta.

"After getting moved off our July 2 start date and being around for July 4 weekend, I don't want to put an exact date on things yet. Let's let the construction get a little but further along and let the wheel get here," Evans added.

The Ferris wheel had been an attraction in Pensacola. It's now being disassembled for the trip to Atlanta.

Even with a delay, Skyview organizers say they expect 400,000 people to lift off in the first year and that could mean over $5-million in revenue, not counting concessions.

For now, Skyview has a short term lease but organizers say they don't plan to leave anytime soon.

"We have an 18 month lease but we have an option to renew and if this is received the way we think it will be, we are going to be in Atlanta for years and years," Evans added.

Skyview is tight lipped on what the delay will cost them but they tell 11Alive it will not impact projected profits.

The new attraction will be located at Centennial Olympic Park. Tickets will cost $13.50 for adults and $8.50 for children.

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