The High Roller is Open For Business

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High Roller

The High Roller at the Linq

The day we’ve all been waiting for is here! (Okay, maybe not all of us have been waiting for it, but many of us have.) The High Roller, the observation wheel that is the focal point of the Linq development, is now open for business. Three cheers for more stunning views of the Las Vegas Strip!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t there for its opening, but my roving reporter brother Lee was.  He and his wife were able to take advantage of the free rides being offered last weekend during the “soft opening” and later went back when they started charging. Here is his “boots on the ground” report with some initial photos:

Doors

The doors to an observation pod (or cabin).

Lee: Our ride yesterday was free, but today they start charging. It is slow moving, so you get on and off while it’s moving. The ride is very gentle and smooth; you don’t feel it move (like a rotating restaurant). It takes about 30 minutes for a complete cycle.

Early reports talked about gaming table/bars in the car, but we saw none of that. (There was however a full bar right before you get on the ride.) Very minimal seating. Maybe about 8 people could actually sit if they wanted to.

You can buy tickets for a specific time if you want. You can book it for groups or even a wedding. (There’s one wedding on the books already.) The lights change colors at night. Also new once they went “live” were TV monitors that kept you up to speed on the progress of your trip.

Thanks for the firsthand report, Lee!

Check out some of Lee’s photos below, as well as some fast facts about the High Roller.

Monitor

A monitor inside the pod shows you the progress of your 30-minute trip.

(Sort of like watching your flight path on an airplane, right?)

Seating

Seating in the pods is pretty minimal.

Why am I calling it a “pod” rather than a “cabin”? Mainly because it amuses me to think that everyone who rides the High Roller will be a Pod Person. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

Here they are nearing the top of the ride. That’s 550 feet up. (You’re not afraid of heights, are you?)

Pod

A “pod” or “cabin” nearing the top of the ride.

I am afraid of heights, but I don’t think it would be so bad in this environment. . .as long as you don’t look straight down:

Looking down

Whatever you do, don’t look down!

Besides, the views are totally worth it:

View of Las Vegas

The High Roller offers amazing views of Las Vegas

Harrahs and the Venetian at night from the High Roller

Harrahs and the Venetian at night from the High Roller

The Strip at Night

The Strip at Night

The view isn’t so bad from the ground, either, especially at night, when the High Roller lights up:

High Roller at night

The High Roller changes color at night.

The High Roller By the Numbers:

  • Height: 550 feet (making it the tallest ferris wheel in the world)
  • Person capacity per pod (or car, or cabin): 40
  • Number of pods: 28
  • Total rider capacity per rotation: 1,120
  • Day (10am-6pm) Ticket Price: $24.95
  • Night (6pm-2am) Ticket Price: $34.95
  • Number of LED Lights used on the High Roller: 2,000
  • Weight of each pod (without riders): 44,000 pounds
  • Length of ride: 30 minutes

As for bars and gaming tables in the pods, I believe those are only available if you reserve the whole pod for a group. (So I guess we’re SOL on seeing those, solo travelers.)

What do you think about the High Roller? Do you plan on riding it on your next trip to Vegas?

All photos used in this post were taken by my brother Lee with an iPhone, unedited.

9 thoughts on “The High Roller is Open For Business

  1. rocky

    30 minutes of my precious gambling and buffet eating time? I don’t think so. Are they insane? I would not pay more than 8 bucks tops for something like this. Perhaps if I were winning a few hundred and my dogs were blistered and hot from a long summer Strip walk I might waste my money on it to rest. I am afraid of heights but with the pods enclosed I guess its not that bad.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      LOL, rocky. Totally depends on why you’re in town, I guess. For photography nuts like me, it’s a must-try. It is pretty expensive, though. I’m not likely to do it more than once. I also wouldn’t count on “resting your dogs” on the High Roller, if there’s only seating for 8 people in each pod, but room for 40.

  2. Hardware

    Why would you want to spend your time in the pod gambling? I don’t get that.

    I’m not fond of heights, but I do like a view from above in a safe environment. Atop the Eiffel Tower and Startosphere don’t bother me, thery’re a blast, so I’m sure I’ll love the HR. I’ll give it a try some time. I’m not in a hurry, however, and since it looks like I won’t have a spring trip for the first time in at least four years, I might be waiting until 2015 to try it.

    It will be interesting to see if demand pushes the price higher, or if the novelty of it wears off and discounts are necessary to put asses in the pods. So hard to know. I still can’t get over how much they charge for one coaster ride at NYNY 17 years after it opened.

    My biggest fear is being inside a pod at the top of the wheel and having to use the “comfort station.” I might have to wear Depends for a ride on the HR.

    I wear them anyway. Not because I need them. Just because I’m lazy. #rimshot Please don’t forget to tip your waitress.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      LOL, Mike, I know it’s weird, right? But people are weird. I’m guessing the gambling in the pods is so people can say they had a unique experience “I gambled on a ferris wheel 550 feet up!” I’m not much of a gambler, but I’d be willing to bet that within a few months, we’ll see discount ride tickets at Tix 4 Tonight because those prices are really steep. Yeah, can you imagine if it got stuck and you were at the top? Dear God.

      Oh no–no trip to Vegas at all this year? I’m sorry to hear that. 🙁

      1. Hardware

        I won’t rule out a fall trip, but it won’t be on Halloween, most likely, as Halloween is on a Friday this year and the seasonal haunted house I work at will be open Halloween night, and Saturday, Nov. 1. (This assumes I will go back yet again and work another year at the haunted house. Some day I’m gonna retire, but that’s another story, and a long one.)

        I wouldn’t mind going in September, although the haunted house is open in late September, so options for fall weekends doing anything in Minnesota are quite limited after Labor Day. I’m not opposed to going in early November, after Halloween. I did that in 2009, but even if it’s warmer than Minnesota in early November, you can’t count on warm weather when the average high on Nov. 1 is 73F. but maybe that’s all I can hope for this fall. Time will tell.

        The wheel ain’t going anywhere for a while, so if I do make it this fall, it won’t be a high priority.

        As for this spring, the main reason I’m probably not going to get there is that my girlfriend was dying to go to San Antonio. Nice place to visit, I enjoyed it, but it came at a price.

        1. Gray Cargill Post author

          You are right, Mike. The wheel isn’t going anywhere, so whenever you do make it back to Vegas, I’m sure it will be there waiting for you. San Antonio is a great choice, too. Sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere other than Vegas. I try to get to 2 other destinations each year in addition to Vegas. Just for variety. 🙂

  3. Ken

    Great photos but not interested at $25. Rocky’s $8 suggestion sounds about right. For $25, I would rather try the zipline at Rio. =)

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