In an effort to enjoy some fresh air whilst trying to remain cool in the 33 degrees heat, I decided to walk down to the Swan River this lunchtime to enjoy a sandwich.
One of the great things about working in a CBD the size of Perth’s is that the river is less than a 10 minutes walk from most office buildings and the cool breeze provided by the fremantle doctor was especially welcoming today.
My normally uneventful trip from our offices down to the foreshore was made a little less so when I caught site of a 60-metre high Ferris wheel that has been erected right next to the Bell Tower. It must have been put up pretty quickly to as there was nothing there but grass less than a couple of weeks ago.
I’d heard about the wheel on the radio a few weeks ago. Apparently it was 10 meters shorter than expected and I was surprised by the laid back attitude of the counsellor being interviewed. It was only 10 meters shorter than expected after all.
Back at the office I thought I’d utilise my time doing a little ‘Googling’ and have since found out a few additioanl facts about the wheel.
The “Wheel of Perth” consists of 42 gondolas which take paying passengers around once every 12 minutes.
Although the wheel appeared to be doing only a few test runs this lunchtime, at full capacity it’s capable of earning the owners, a London based company creatively called “World Tourist Attractions” a tidy $315 per minute! Some serious dosh in anyones books!
You may have some childhood memories of the more traditional fairground Ferris wheel however the man bringing it here, Nigel Ward, assures us it’s no simple fairground attraction.
“Our wheels are state of the art, a million miles away from the traditional fairground Ferris wheel most people might imagine. These are truly stand-alone visitor attractions [with] fully enclosed gondolas [and are] air conditioned, very graceful, multi-million dollar investments designed to fit into a wide range of environments …. Because of the location on your waterfront, you’re going to be able to see for miles and miles,” Ward promises.
“All of our market research shows that when people have friends and relatives visiting, they have a go, and a repeat visit is very common. Also, because the wheels are open normally from 10 in the morning ’til 10 in the evening, you’ve two different experiences, a daytime visit and also looking at the city at night from that height is a spectacular thing to do.”
In Perth “we have an initial three month term but, if everything goes well, we hope to be able to extend that,” he notes before adding, “we’re very excited, we think it’s a beautiful city, the views across the waterfront are spectacular and we think it’s ideal for a wheel.”
Personally, I don’t see what the hype is all about. Especially as the most spectacular views across the water can be had for free only 10 minutes away at Kings Park.
Still, it’ll have it’s place I guess and I’m sure the kids would enjoy a quick spin on the wheel during it’s initial three month stint here in Perth.