|A new pier will be built on Riverboat Row to accommodate the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Provided.|
The $10 million project needed final approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which regulates all construction projects along the Ohio River. The concerns were over drilling into the floodwall, but a compromise was struck in March to have the base structure sit overtop of Riverboat Row instead of on Newport on the Levee's property.
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There will be a 50-foot long pier that ride goers will walk to from the Levee or a neighboring festival like Italianfest, Seafoodfest or Goettafest.
For now it looks like the opening could be delayed until 2018.
“The SkyWheel is going to be iconic,” Newport City Manager, Tom Fromme, told Fort Thomas Matters in June. “It will be a tremendous attraction that will draw families and visitors to Newport and the Ohio Riverfront. We are anxious to continue working with Koch Development to make this exciting project a reality.”
The SkyWheel will soar above Newport on the Levee and feature 30 gondolas, including, one VIP gondola. Each fully accessible glass enclosed gondola will comfortably seat up to six adults and provide 360 degree views of the Northern Kentucky riverfront, the Ohio River, and the Cincinnati skyline.
|A rendering of the SkyWheel. Provided.|
Passengers will take three to four rotations on a safe and secure flight that will last approximately 10 to 12 minutes. The SkyWheel will operate on a year-round basis on the plaza level of Newport on the Levee adjacent to the Newport Aquarium. Spectacular LED lighting displays will illuminate the SkyWheel at night.
Koch Development, who is developing and operating the ride, expects SkyWheel Newport to draw approximately a half million riders annually.