By Steve Beauregard
The High Roller, the exiting, new large Ferris wheel now open on the Las Vegas Strip, costs each rider $24.95 during the day, up until 6:50 p.m. This new price marks an increase of $5 from the rates prior to September 2nd, 2014, when daytime rates were $19.95.
From 7 p.m. on, rides cost $34.95.
High Roller “Happy Half-Hour”
3 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. – $29.95
7 p.m. to 11:50 p.m. – $44.95
To promote ridership in the late afternoon, (before the lights of Vegas are prominent), the Higher Roller has begun offering a happy hour special. Between 3 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. (seven days a week), ticket prices to the Ferris Wheel are $29.95, and include an open bar inside your pod.
The nighttime happy hour starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 11:50 a.m. (that’s the cut off point for ticket sales). The ride closes at 1 a.m. however. It costs $44.95 per person.
There are 4 cabins designated as the High Roller “Happy Hour” pods. After purchasing your happy hour tickets, you’ll wait in a separate area for one of the pods. All four pods have a bar of course, and a bartender.
Once inside, the free drinks start as soon as the doors close. Yes, you can drink all-you-can for the duration of the ride, which takes thirty minutes. A savvy and quick drinker can get five drinks in during the 30 minute ride. Please note that “last call” is 3/4rds of the ride in.
The liquor selection includes Jose Cuervo tequilla, Bacardi rum, Sky vodka, and Tanqueray gin, among others. There are the usual mixers, along wiht Sprte, Pepsi, ginger ale, soda water, lime juice, etc. Please note regular water is not served.
As for beer, plastic bottles of Coors Light (with the screw on/off caps) are served. One tip for my fellow cheapskates is to get a beer, tuck it in a backpack for later, then get another beer for the ride.
(Here’s video of opening day)
Children’s Ticket Prices on the Linq High Roller
In a change from previously policy, when children 4 and up had to pay the standard price to ride the Ferris Wheel, the High Roller is now free for children 12 and under when they are with a paying adult.
Youth aged 13 – 17 pay the discounted rate of $14.95 during the day, and $24.95 after 7 p.m.
Those under 21 years of age are not allowed in the special “Happy Half-Hour” cabins.
The High Roller also has a family 4 pack ticket option available, both for night rides (7 p.m. on) and daytime rides.
The family 4 pack includes 2 adult passes, and two children passes. (Remember: kids 12 and under are free). The daytime family pack costs $74.95, while those of you wanting to ride after 7 p.m. will pay $99.95.
Linq Family Hour Package
In addition to the above family ticket package, there’s a new “Family Hour” ticket package that only exists from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings.
The $49.95 pass includes 2 adult tickets, 3 youth tickets, 3 juice boxes, and 3 pairs of binoculars.
Ticket prices for the Ferris Wheel are comparable to those of the London Eye, which is the 443 foot Ferris Wheel set on the banks of the River Thames in England’s capital. A ride on the London Eye costs 19 British Pounds, which equals around $31 U.S. dollars.
At 550 feet tall, the High Roller is the highest observation wheel in the world, topping a Ferris Wheel in Singapore by nine feet. In case you’re wondering, an “observation wheel” and Ferris Wheel are the same thing, however Caesars Entertainment prefers to call the High Roller an observation wheel.
Although just a baby, the observation wheel has already become a Las Vegas landmark, visible from nearly all parts of the center Strip. It has forever changed the already incredible Sin-City skyline.
When did the new Las Vegas Ferris Wheel Open?
The High Roller opened to the public at 1 p.m. on April 1st, 2014.
A group of executives from Caesars Entertainment (they own the High Roller), along with a congresswoman and other dignitaries, took the first official ride, before the pods were open for public ridership.
In early 2014, all of the pods were attached to the High Roller, and testing was completed. Originally planned to open in June of 2013, the High Roller experienced some delays, and it’s April 1st opening took place several months after the opening of the retail plaza it anchors, Caesar Entertainment’s Linq shopping and dining plaza.
The High Roller is set about 1,200 feet from the Strip, in-between the Flamingo Hotel and Casino, and the Quad Resort. It’s the centerpiece of Caesars Entertainment’s $550 million Linq Project – a restaurant/shopping/entertainment complex that has 300,000 square feet of retail space, all set on prime space right on the Las Vegas Strip. Coincidentally perhaps, the number 550 represents both the cost of the Linq project, and the High Roller’s height in feet.
The Linq officially opened December 27th, 2013, with a scaled-down opening featuring six businesses, including the re-opening of my much-beloved O’Sheas Casino. The new version has three bars and 5,000 feet of casino space. Other Linq tenants include a Starbucks, Purple Zebra (a daiquiri-type bar with a futuristic vibe), a hot dog place called Hotte Doggery (not the cheap $1 hot dogs – these are gourmet), Chayo Cocina (a Mexican restaurant with fantastic views of the High Roller), and a Koto – an shop selling “eccentric gifts.”
Ground-breaking for the observation wheel portion of the project began in February of 2012. With the wheel and foundational structures in place, (the wheel was completed in late October of 2013), the cabins, or “pods” began being affixed to the High Roller in November of 2013. The final cabin was attached on December 2nd, 2013.
How many people will fit in the new High Roller Observation Wheel in Las Vegas?
There are 28 cabins total on the Ferris Wheel. Each of these pods weighs 44,000 pounds, and can carry 40 passengers.
According to Caesars Entertainment, the ride last for about 1/2 hour. (The cabins travel one foot per second). According to a November 6, 2013 article in the Las Vegas Sun, management of Caesars Entertainment expects between 4 to 5 million people will ride the High Roller in its first year of existence. This seems pretty ambitious, as taking their low estimate of 4 million riders annually translates into roughly 11,000 riders per day.
Can you Drink on the Ferris Wheel?
This is Las Vegas. Of course you can drink in the High Roller. The operators of the Ferris wheel sell them (on ground level) at the “Wheelhouse” and they encourage you to bring them onboard. Just a warning though, there aren’t bathrooms in the cabins.
You also won’t be able to smoke. Each cabin has eight flat screen TV screens, in case you can’t find anything interesting to look at when dangling 550 feet above the most dazzling city on Earth. A story in Adweek described how there will be in-cabin branding, which I guess is a fancy way of saying they’ll be blaring ads at you on the TVs during the 30 minutes they have you captive in a glass egg.
There is also bench seating.
Will the High Roller be the Tallest Structure in Las Vegas?
Nope. The High Roller tops out at 550 feet, but the Stratosphere portion of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino tops out at 1,148 feet. (Go here to see how far it is from the Stratosphere to the Strip).