Seattle Great Wheel

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The Seattle Great Wheel
General information
Status Complete
Type Ferris wheel
Location Seattle, Washington
Address 1301 Alaskan Way
Town or city Seattle
Country United States
Coordinates 47°36′22″N 122°20′33″W / 47.606139°N 122.342528°W / 47.606139; -122.342528Coordinates: 47°36′22″N 122°20′33″W / 47.606139°N 122.342528°W / 47.606139; -122.342528
Construction started April 17, 2012[1]
Opened June 29, 2012[2]
Cost $20 million[3]
Owner Great Western Pacific[4][better source needed]
Height 175 feet (53.3 m)[2]
Design and construction
Structural engineer Chance Rides[5] GeoEngineers, B&T Design and Engineering[citation needed]
Main contractor Manson Construction[citation needed]

The Seattle Great Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel at Pier 57 on Elliott Bay in Seattle, Washington. With an overall height of 175 feet (53.3 m), it was the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast of the United States when it opened on June 29, 2012.[2][6]

Opening day[edit]

The inauguration ceremony and opening to the public was on June 29, 2012. Participants in the ceremony, which took place at 2:30 p.m., included a presentation of colors by the US Coast Guard, a speech by Seattle mayor Michael McGinn, and entertainment by the University of Washington cheerleaders, spirit team, and marching band.[7]

Approximately 200 people lined up for the first ride on the wheel.[2] Tickets cost $13 per person, with discounts for children and seniors. One luxury VIP gondola with red leather seats and a glass floor is available[4] and costs $50 per person.[8]

Construction and design[edit]

Seattle was the third city in North America to offer a wheel of this design,[6] following the Niagara SkyWheel at Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada, which is also 175 feet (53.3 m) tall, and the larger Myrtle Beach SkyWheel in South Carolina, which is 187 feet (57.0 m) tall. The Seattle wheel is the only one of the three to be built over water.[6]

The Seattle Great Wheel has 42 climate-controlled gondolas, each able to carry up to eight passengers (except the "VIP" gondola, seating four), giving a maximum capacity of over 300.[9] The 12-minute ride extends 40 feet (12.2 m) out over Elliott Bay.[2][10]


  1. ^ "Seattle: What's New?". Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Sullivan, Jennifer (June 29, 2012). "The Seattle Great Wheel opens to a big crowd". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  3. ^ Nolasco, Joanna (June 1, 2012). "Structures: 170,000-pound wheel on the pier? That's a tall order!". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  4. ^ a b Laura L. Myers (June 29, 2012). "Seattle's new landmark Great Wheel opening on waterfront". Chicago Tribune. Reuters. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  5. ^ Levesque, John (June 2012). "Recreation: Big Wheel". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  6. ^ a b c Kugiya, Hugo (June 29, 2012). "What 'Seattle process'? Big wheel turns up fast". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Grand opening of Seattle's Great Wheel". June 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 
  8. ^ Frequently Asked Questions - Seattle Great Wheel
  9. ^ "Seattle Great Wheel". Seattle Great Wheel. September 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Seattle's Great Wheel opening pushed back to June 29". KING-TV. June 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30. 

External links[edit]