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Hamilton County ‘unable to commit’ to new Ferris wheel at The Banks

The region once looked forward to dueling Ferris wheels on either side of the Ohio River. Now it might get none.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - It’s been more than a year since the SkyStar Wheel left The Banks with promises to return bigger and better. Now some are wondering if it will come back at all.

A Hamilton County official tells FOX19 NOW at this point they can’t say whether the project will move forward.

That lack of commitment provides a stark contrast from the beginning of last year. In March 2020, the temporary SkyStar Wheel was taken down, and SkyStar Managing Partner Todd Schneider saying it would be replaced with a larger, permanent wheel.

Said Covington resident Carol Horn, “The view was amazing. And of course, when they got to the top and they stopped, that was a little scary at first. But you know, I took some great pictures from the top, and you could see the whole area, and it was really, really nice. I think it was a good addition.”

Newport had its own project in the works as well. In July 2019, the city and the Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit for a “sky wheel” that would go near the Newport Aquarium.

Those dueling wheels, together with the DORA at The Banks, the large-scale redevelopment of Newport on the Levee and the two new music venues on either side of the river augured a bright feature for both riverfronts.

That future still looks bright, but all the less so now that the wheels appear to have stopped spinning on the Ferris wheels.

Bridget Doherty, Hamilton County Administration communications manager, spoke on the issue on Tuesday.

“SkyStar certainly added to the beauty of our skyline and we’ve enjoyed a great partnership before this pandemic. At this point in time, it appears they are unable to commit to moving the project forward,” Doherty said.

Neither Schneider nor the City of Newport returned our comment request.

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