Thrill seekers visiting Las Vegas inevitably find their way to the High Roller. No, we’re not talking about gambling high rollers, we’re talking about a ferris wheel of epic proportions, or in the official description, “observation wheel”. At this time, it is the tallest functioning ferris wheel in the world.
The High Roller was opened in 2014 as part of the larger Linq shopping development but broke the world’s record instantly upon its completion. At 550 feet tall and 520 feet in diameter the massive wheel beat out the previous record holder (the Singapore Flyer) by nine feet of height. Spinning on a couple of colossal ball bearings weighing over 19,000 pounds each, the wheel can handle over a thousand passengers at once spread out among the 28 passenger pods. The spherical cabins themselves spin on their own axis, making sure that the riders are always upright and never feel so much as a minor lurch along their ride. (Grundhauser 2014)
The wheel’s spherical cabins each weigh approximately 44,000 pounds and contain 300 square feet of glass. Fabrication of the wheel began in late 2011 and took place in several locations across the globe including China, Japan, France, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Colorado and Las Vegas. (American Bridge)
How to Find the High Roller
The High Roller anchors the Linq Promenade, an open-air shopping district between the Linq and the Flamingo Hotels in Las Vegas.
Riders can head to the wheelhouse to buy tickets and line up for entry to the ride. Ticket vending machines sit at the entrance to the Linq Promenade, or you can purchase your ticket online.
The High Roller recommends anticipating about an hour between buying tickets, waiting to get onto the ride, and one complete rotation around the wheel. (Stapleton 2020)
Say It Ain So
There’s always someone or something ready to challenge your bragging rights. There’s a new “tallest” observation wheel call the Ain in Dubai and it is a whopping 820 feet tall. There is one thing stopping thrill seekers from dissing the High Roller – the Ain “ain” open yet!
Construction didn’t start until May 2015 at an estimated cost of US $1.6 billion. Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Starneth Engineering were appointed as the primary design and construction contractors. (Guiding Architects 2020) Scheduled to open in 2020 for a world expo, it did not happen and a new date has not been announced.
Fear of Heights
Acrophobia describes an intense fear of heights that can cause significant anxiety and panic. Some research suggests acrophobia may be one of the most common phobias.
It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort in high places. For example, you might feel dizzy or nervous when looking down from the top floor of a skyscraper. But these feelings may not cause panic or prompt you to avoid heights altogether. (Raypole 2019) Heights are something we normally confront in adulthood. Children seem to have fewer fears, so the High Roller may be a great way to introduce them to a height experience.
If you’re an adult thrill seeker looking to take your excitement to new heights, be sure you’re prepared to take on the tallest ride. If you find yourself challenging a heights phobia by riding the High Roller, we’re behind you for facing your fear. Be sure you have a plan for tackling extreme fear. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, visualize success, and acknowledge your accomplishment when you exit the ride. You can do it!
If you know in advance that you have a fear of heights, embarking on a ride on the world’s tallest observation wheel may not be the first thing you do when you get to Las Vegas. There is always peer pressure with friends or family getting us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. This might be one of those times. Having a panic attack is scary. While not life threatening, our body responds to extreme fear with “fight or flight” symptoms that can present as chest pain, shortness of breath, and even fainting.
It’s why Elite Medical Center is here, conveniently on the Strip. No one comes to Las Vegas thinking they’ll have a medical emergency, but it happens. It’s comforting to know that there is emergency care 24/7, 365 days of the year staffed with Board Certified ER Physicians to take care of you no matter what your health challenge is while you’re visiting. No one will judge you here. We just want to get you feeling better so you can move on to your next Vegas conquest!
Grundhauser, Eric. “High Roller.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 18 June 2014, www.atlasobscura.com/places/high-roller#:~:text=The%20High%20Roller%20was%20opened,by%20nine%20feet%20of%20height.
“Las Vegas High Roller.” American Bridge, www.americanbridge.net/featured-projects/las-vegas-high-roller/.
Stapleton, Susan. “A Guide to Las Vegas’s High Roller, the World’s Tallest Observation Wheel.” TripSavvy, www.tripsavvy.com/high-roller-at-linq-las-vegas-1678081.
Guiding Architects, et al. “Ain Dubai, the World’s Largest Observation Wheel.” Guiding Architects, 5 June 2020, www.guiding-architects.net/ain-dubai-largest-observation-wheel/#:~:text=Construction%20didn’t%20start%20until,the%20final%20stages%20of%20completion.
Raypole, Crystal. “Understanding Acrophobia, or Fear of Heights.” Healthline, 27 Mar. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/acrophobia-or-fear-of-heights-symptoms-causes-and-treatment#:~:text=Acrophobia%20describes%20an%20intense%20fear,some%20discomfort%20in%20high%20places.