Thursday, April 12, 2012
Venice is abuzz over plans to put a 200 foot observation wheel on Windward Plaza at Ocean Front Walk near Windward Ave. (we're sure there's some wheel wonk distinction between an observation and a ferris, but it's the same basic concept). UK-based Great City Attractions has asked for a three-year permit (with "likely extensions," according to Yo! Venice!) to put up a 200 foot wheel with an 82 foot base and "42 enclosed air-conditioned capsules that would give participants a 360-degree view from the beach during a 15-minute ride," according to Venice Patch. Capsules would fit six people each and one would be designated VIP, with no line and a champagne toast, for which the company will need to get a liquor permit. Non-VIP rides will cost $10 to $15 dollars. The plan is estimated to cost $12-13 million (all covered by GCA), with revenue going to the LA Department of Recreation and Parks, which will dedicate a portion for Venice.
According to Patch, there's "tepid support" for the project from locals; Yo! Venice! characterizes it as "overwhelmingly positive" overall. The main concerns are parking and traffic, and the president of the Venice Stakeholders Association suggested at a meeting this week that the wheel might help the neighborhood get those preferential parking permits it's been after for so long.
GCA hopes to have the wheel ready to go this summer--they say they can put it up in 10 days (and have it taken down in a week). They'll need permission from the city of LA and the California Coastal Commission.