Navy Pier Celebrates Leap Day with Final Steps of New Ferris Wheel Construction

Navy Pier takes advantage of warm weather in Chicago; gondolas are installed on new Ferris wheel

Feb 29, 2016, 16:34 ET from Navy Pier

CHICAGO, Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --Construction of Navy Pier's new Ferris wheel nears completion today as gondolas are installed, marking the final step in assembly of Chicago's newest skyline member, the Navy Pier Ferris wheel.


All 42 gondolas are enclosed, temperature controlled and have superior, high-tech safety glass to ensure optimum climate inside and prevent condensation. Each gondola will also contain an entertainment system with video screens that will play various Navy Pier information during the ride. Other updated features include leather cushioned seats, one VIP gondola with special amenities, and larger capacity for each ride offering an additional 180 passengers per ride compared to its predecessor.

Following the completion of the gondola installation, significant testing and engineering work will promptly begin.

Navy Pier is continuing installation of a nearly 200-foot Ferris wheel that will be ready for operation in time for the 2016 Centennial Celebration this summer. The previous wheel, which was installed in 1995, conducted more than 16.9 million rides and created countless memories for Pier guests and visitors throughout its 20-year history. The new wheel is anticipated to break that record as it features a larger capacity (180 more passengers per ride) and will operate year-round.

The new Ferris wheel is a key element of the Pier's Centennial Vision—a reimagining of Navy Pier to mark its 100th anniversary. Construction of the wheel is just the beginning of major news coming from the Midwest's number one leisure destination.

About Navy Pier
Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top-attended leisure destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than 8 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. In 2016, Navy Pier celebrates its 100th anniversary with a series of special events and programming, the grand opening of its new Ferris wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the Centennial Vision. Navy Pier, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, maintains and oversees Navy Pier and its redevelopment into a bolder, greener and more contemporary urban space.

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SOURCE Navy Pier