Newport SkyWheel gets green light from feds
NEWPORT, Ky. (FOX19) - The City of Newport and the United States Army Corps of Engineers approved the permit for construction of the SkyWheel Monday.
The 230-foot tall ferris wheel will be built at Newport on the Levee near the Newport Aquarium.
"The SkyWheel is going to be a major tourist attraction,” said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme. “We expect about 400,000 riders a year. And because the gondolas are climate controlled, the SkyWheel can be enjoyed year-round.”
Koch Development of St. Louis will construct the new Ohio River attraction.
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Koch Development Managing Director Matthew Stack says schedules and logistics are being finalized and construction will start “as soon as possible.”
“SkyWheel is very excited with the recent news from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Stack. “Despite the time to reach this point, we have been confident and committed to Newport SkyWheel’s partnership with The City of Newport, North American Properties and the Newport Aquarium solidifies Newport on the Levee as the premier entertainment destination in the region.”
Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso said it is not to be confused with the SkyStar standing across the river.
“Comparing any other local wheel to Newport’s SkyWheel is like comparing Mount Adams to Mt. Everest,” Peluso said.
Peluso says people can enjoy the large attraction after a concert at Newport’s newest venue.
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“After being entertained at Newport’s world class indoor-outdoor music venue, visitors can take a relaxing, 360-degree experience on the region’s huge Newport’s SkyWheel and see spectacular panoramic views from both sides of the Ohio River," Peluso said.
Parts of the SkyWheel are being constructed in the Netherlands and will be shipped to New Orleans. From there the pieces of the attraction will be placed on barges and sent up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to Newport.
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