Hong Kong Observation Wheel
|Hong Kong Observation Wheel|
Hong Kong Observation Wheel in September 2014
|Address||33 Man Kwong Street, Central, Hong Kong|
|Construction started||May 2014|
|Construction stopped||September 2014|
|Opened||5 December 2014 (grand opening to public)|
|Cost||HK$250 million (entire installation and transportation)|
2015-2017: Swiss AEX2017-Present: The Entertainment Corporation Limited
|Height||60 metres (197 ft)|
The Hong Kong Observation Wheel is a 60-metre (197-foot) tall Ferris wheel located on the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation overlooking Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. It is currently operated by The Entertainment Corporation Limited (TECL). TECL has officially partnered with AIA Group, making the wheel as a part of the AIA Vitality Park in the Central Harbourfront.
The attraction expects 1 million riders per annum which is approximately aimed at an average of 2,740 passengers daily.
In May 2013 the Lands Department of Hong Kong leased 9,620 square metres of land between Central Pier No. 9 and Pier No. 10. for the attraction. 90% of the site surrounding the wheel is accessible to the public with food and beverages available for purchase. Also, live entertainments are held at the event plaza throughout the year, which is suitable for all ages.
It is 60 metres (197 ft) tall and has 42 gondolas that each seat a maximum of eight to ten people. Each gondola is equipped with a communication system, air conditioner, and free Wi-Fi. A special VIP gondola is available upon request with leather seats and a crystallized floor. Each ride takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The wheel is designed to suit Hong Kong’s climate and weather. It is built within the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department and TUV standards.
The Ferris wheel was first presented by Swiss AEX, a company who claims their experience in Ferris wheel operations for more than a decade in their proposal contract. Swiss AEX had partnered with Hong Kong Telecom (HKT).
In 2017, the government awarded the second term of operating contract to The Entertainment Corporation Limited (TECL) which is set to commence in September 2017. The wheel closed to the public in August, when the dispute over transfer of its ownership resulted in a deadlock between the original and new operators. The Secretary for Development stated the wheel could be dismantled and closed for 2 years until a replacement is built by TECL. Swiss AEX, the former owner of the wheel, described the company “with no experience of operating observation wheels whatsoever”.
In November 2017, TECL announced that the wheel will be re-opened to public on 20 December 2017 as part of the new AIA Vitality Park, with a range of health and wellness-related events, attractions and activities organised nearby.
The government's decision to build a Ferris wheel here was controversial.
Some questioned the necessity of building such a tourist attraction, considering it seemed useless since the view is easily affected by varying weather conditions. The chairman of the Harbourfront Commission, Nicholas Brooke, showed support of this development project in the interview. However, the Harbourfront Commission has no executive power so the controversy continues.
Apart from that, although the contract to operate this sightseeing spot was awarded in 2013, the project was delayed several times. There were many complaints from the public about the lack of promotion and information.
Security has also been controversial after the release of a photo taken by one daredevil climber showing himself sitting on the top of the wheel. This picture was taken down before the opening day of the wheel to the public. It has brought the security concerns of wheel into the limelight.
- "Does HK really need the Observation Wheel?". Time Out Hong Kong. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "HONG KONG OBSERVATION WHEEL AT CENTRAL WATERFRONT" (PDF). The Hall Organization Ltd. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- "Hong Kong's observation wheel to reopen at HK$20 a ride | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 2017-11-01. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- Cheng, Kevin (9 December 2014). "Big wheel turns out to be a giant hit". The Standard HK. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "Swiss AEX Hong Kong Observation Wheel" (PDF). 14 May 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Hong Kong Observation Wheel - A Truly Unique Perspective On Our World-Class Harbour". 5 December 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- Task Force on Harbourfront Developments on Hong Kong Island
- "Hong Kong Observation Wheel". Atria, Architecture & Design. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- Lee, Danny; Cheung, Elizabeth (5 September 2017). "Fate of Hong Kong Ferris wheel 'to be known in days' says mediator and entrepreneur Allan Zeman". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- Blundy, Rachel (3 September 2017). "Hong Kong Observation Wheel could be closed for two years as new operator takes over". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "Bidder for Observation Wheel pledges to lower ticket prices". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- Kwan, Tammy (9 December 2014). "Hong Kong's new attraction 'amazing,' controversial". CNN. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- Woodhouse, Alice (10 December 2014). "Daredevil climbs Hong Kong's ferris wheel, putting security in spotlight". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hong Kong Observation Wheel.|