By Jay Jones
10:00 AM EDT, August 13, 2013
Parts of the Linq, a retail and entertainment complex along the Strip, will open in December, but don’t plan to ring in the New Year aboard the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. It won’t be completed until next year.
Plans call for a part of the restaurants and shops that will populate the 300,000-square-foot pedestrian mall to open their doors in time for New Year’s Eve revelers.
“We looked at (New York’s) Meatpacking District [and] Third Street Promenade (in Santa Monica),” said Jon Gray, the Linq’'s general manager. “It’s meant to feel like you’re walking down an old street that’s been closed to vehicles.”
Gray said about a quarter of the businesses would open in December with others to follow in February.
The High Roller, the giant Ferris wheel, is expected to be completed by year’s end, but Gray would say only that it would open “during the first half of 2014,” after safety tests.
When fully operational, the Linq, which is between the Quad and Flamingo resorts, will feature an outpost of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The museum, complete with a themed restaurant, will front the sidewalk along Las Vegas Boulevard.
Officials at Caesars Entertainment Corp., the parent company, estimate that more than 20 million visitors walk past the site each year.
The mall will also include the only Brooklyn Bowl bowling-and-music venue outside of the popular New York City original. Besides a 2,000-seat performance area, the location will host a restaurant and, of course, a bowling alley.
To the rear of the project, the High Roller is taking shape behind the two resorts. At 550 feet, it will be 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer and more than 100 feet taller than the London Eye. The creative team behind both those attractions is also working on the bigger cousin along the Strip.
Each of the Ferris wheel’s 28 cabins will hold 40 guests. It will take 30 minutes to make one revolution.
Gray said tickets would be in the $30-$35, comparable to the London ride.
“This is Vegas and we intend to do Vegas right," he said. "This will be a very entertaining experience from start to finish.”
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