Thursday, November 30, 2023

High Roller, World’s Tallest Observation Wheel, Opens at The LINQ on the Las Vegas Strip

[quote]With many unique venues and the tallest observation wheel in the world, The LINQ has redefined the Las Vegas entertainment experience.”[/quote]Las Vegas, NV, USA (March 31, 2014) — Ushering in a new era of excitement in entertainment, the Las Vegas High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel, officially opened today, Monday, March 31 at The LINQ. An icon for modern Las Vegas, The Strip’s newest attraction began welcoming ticketed passengers at 1 p.m. PT.

A variety of ticket packages for the attraction are now available for purchase online with daytime prices beginning at $24.95 plus applicable fees. Tickets may also be purchased on-site at the High Roller as well as locations throughout TheLINQ. The High Roller will operate seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Standing more than 100-feet taller than the iconic London Eye, the High Roller features 28 glass-enclosed cabins each equipped to hold up to 40 passengers. High Roller riders will be treated to unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding valley during the 30 minutes it takes the wheel to complete one full rotation. The experience includes a dynamic video and music show that fades away seamlessly as the wheel ascends to showcase the most impressive views of the Las Vegas valley.

An official christening event commemorating the completion of the wheel and inaugural rides was held,  marking the final milestone in the construction of the wheel, which broke ground in February 2012.

The High Roller serves as the stunning focal point of The LINQ, the innovative shopping, dining and entertainment district developed by Caesars Entertainment.

Situated across from Caesars Palace, adjacent to Flamingo Las Vegas and The Quad Resort & Casino and between two monorail stops, the location of the High Roller at The LINQ makes the attraction conveniently accessible to both visitors and locals alike. Ample parking is available, including valet, at the east end of The LINQ. The High Roller is also easily accessible to pedestrians coming in from Las Vegas Boulevard.

In addition to the High Roller, The LINQ offers a wide variety of guest experiences and serves as the frequent host to special events, concerts, festivals and more.

Photo: Erik Kabik
Photo: Erik Kabik



Executive Project Director, The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment

David Codiga oversees the design, development and construction of The LINQ and the High Roller observation wheel in his role as executive project director

Prior to joining The LINQ team, Codiga served as the executive vice president of the Universal Studios Recreation Group where he led the design and development of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida, as well as many iconic rides and attractions including: Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Spiderman 3D and Earthquake. During Codiga’s tenure as Executive Vice President of Universal Creative, he managed a staff of more than 500 design, production, construction and project management professionals. Codiga is a senior executive with 20-plus years of management experience in the themed entertainment, software and Internet industries. He has an exceptional track record of leading large multidisciplinary project teams and corporate organizations through the process of developing complex projects.

In 2004, Codiga began a consulting practice specializing in the development of large-scale entertainment projects in Asia. Codiga is an expert in leading projects from the idea stage through the completion of construction and opening. His success is based upon maximizing the value of the initial idea, maintaining rigorous control over budget and schedule, and delivering a final product that exceeds the demands of the marketplace. His clients have included Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Turner Broadcasting and Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holdings.

Vice President and General Manager, The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment

Jon Gray, Vice President and General Manager of The LINQ, is responsible for the leadership, planning and execution of The LINQ. Gray brings a wealth of experience in the Las Vegas hospitality industry to this new role. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the N9ne Group at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas where he supervised every facet of the company, including oversight and operations for the property’s nightclubs, restaurants and pool.

Beginning in 2005, Gray also held a variety of positions at The Palms, including Vice President of Brand and Revenue Development, which included supervision of the resort’s highest profile events and clients, sales and operations for the Fantasy Suites, as well as public relations,
marketing initiatives and sponsorships. Previous positions at the property include assistant to the president, special operations manager and assistant hotel manager.

Born and raised in Tonopah, Nev., Gray earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2006. While in school, he assisted with the opening of two Las Vegas resorts, Wynn Las Vegas and the SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand. Gray began his career in hospitality as an assistant front desk manager at Paris Las Vegas and front desk clerk at Bally’s Las Vegas.

General Manager, The High Roller, Caesars Entertainment

As the General Manager of The LINQ’s High Roller observation wheel, Eric Eberhart will assist in developing the pre- and post-ride experience as well as oversee the staffing and day-to-day operations once the wheel is fully commissioned.

Eberhart brings more than 30 years of entertainment experience to the project including a 26-year tenure with The Walt Disney Company where he developed strategies for theme parks in Florida, California, Paris and Tokyo. During his tenure with Disney, Eberhart contributed to all Disney parks built worldwide from 1982 until his departure in 2000.

Most recently he served as principal of Orland, Fla.-based E CUBED where he focused on entertainment operational consulting from concept design to post-opening evaluations. In this role, Eberhart consulted on high-profile venues such as the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, The Reagan Presidential Library and the Billy Graham Library. Eberhart’s previous positions also include the vice president of operations, design and development of Mr. Gatti’s INC, a company focused on themed family entertainment centers, and the senior director of operations for Sundance Film Centers. Eberhart is affiliated with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

Wheel Project Manager, Themed Development Management

Randy Printz is an experienced themed-entertainment executive with more than 30 years in the industry, developing and implementing organizational policies, procedures and staff necessary to execute major development projects. He has managed projects at various levels from renovations to creating new theme parks, ranging in cost from hundreds of thousands of dollars to $1.8 billion.

Printz joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1979 as an economic planner. In this role, he was responsible for developing controls systems to manage the unparalleled simultaneous requirements of Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland. In 1981, he became a principal assistant to the project director for Epcot Center, helping to oversee the final stages of construction and installation of Epcot Center, before the famed attraction welcomed its first guests. From 1982 to 1986, Printz managed a number of small projects and renovations in Florida and Southern California, including monorail trains for both Disneyland and Disney World.

In 1985, Printz became executive project director for the Disney∙MGM Studios. He managed the project from concept to completion, playing an integral role in creating the theme park elements as well as the film/television studio.

In 1989, Printz was promoted to Project Vice President responsible for a wide range of projects including Mickey’s ToonTown and Indiana Jones at Disneyland. He also oversaw the concept  development, feasibility analysis, and financial reviews for five proposed theme parks to be located in the U.S. and Western Europe.

In 1994, he was recruited to join Universal Studios as Vice President and Project Executive for the $1.1 billion Islands of Adventure theme park. In 1996, he was promoted to Senior Vice President and added the CityWalk Orlando, the 21,000 space parking structures and the infrastructure for all the Universal Orlando Resort to his responsibilities. He managed these efforts to their successful opening in 1999. Returning to California, Printz provided executive management oversight for the Universal Studios Japan project.

In 2000, Printz joined ValleyCrest, the world’s largest landscaping and site beautification contractor. He managed ValleyCrest’s work on large complex resorts, and design/build projects including the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Bacara Resort and Spa and the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel.

Printz holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Systems Management degree from the University of Southern California. He is an accredited LEED Green Associate.


THG of Nevada, LLC, Creative Director – Wheel Concept Design

Phil Hettema has directed the design and production of numerous theme park rides and shows, cultural attractions and museum exhibits for more than 35 years. The team at The Hettema Group, led by Phil’s creative vision and extensive experience, is known for creating attractions that focus on maximizing the guest experience through innovative storytelling, compelling technology and a commitment to emotional resonance.

Prior to forming his own company, as Senior Vice President of Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for 14 years, Phil was responsible for the creative development of all attraction planning for all five Universal parks, including domestic and international expansion for Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Port Aventura (Spain), and Universal Studios Japan, and most notably, the conception and delivery of Islands of Adventure.

Phil began his career as a designer at Disneyland and Walt Disney World before becoming production supervisor for major worldwide events such as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games and “Liberty Weekend,” the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York.

Hettema credits also include projects for Steven Spielberg, The Walt Disney Company and DreamWorks Animation SKG. He has been a guest lecturer at CalArts, Carnegie Mellon University, USITT, IAAPA, KIN, and SIGGRAPH.

THG of Nevada, LLC, Design Architect – Wheel Concept Design

John Kasperowicz, AIA, is an architect, recognized internationally as a leading specialist in the design and implementation of theme parks, rides, shows, attractions, and themed experiences.

As an Imagineer with The Walt Disney Company, John was involved in the design and planning of EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland, and World Showcase, subsequently developing the themed lands and interiors for Disneyland Paris, including the iconic Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
His architectural company has created experiences for LEGOLAND, Knott’s Berry Farm, Ripley’s Entertainment, Marvel and Hero Ventures, and casino and resort locations throughout the United States and internationally.

John is Principal of Las Vegas-based XPA Experiential Architecture, specializing in the creation of destination experiences, themed environments, and interactive attractions.

Associate, Arup Engineering – Wheel Engineering and Design

Jason Krolicki has more than 14 years of structural engineering experience on a wide range of projects including mixed-use high-rise structures, observation wheels, university buildings, hospitals and office buildings. His design and project management experience spans all project phases from conception to completion. Krolicki is the Project Manager for the design and engineering of the Las Vegas High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel at 550 feet, with capacity for 1,120 passengers during each 30-minute revolution. The observation wheel is the centerpiece of The LINQ development by Caesars Entertainment located adjacent to Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip). Krolicki is client-focused, always aiming to understand and respond to overall project goals; yet he maintains a deep involvement in the design of each project, providing experienced structural guidance and creative solutions to a variety of technical challenges, from high-level conceptual problems to specific detailing issues.

Principal, Arup Engineering – Wheel Engineering and Design

Michael Willford has 30 years of design experience in building, civil and offshore structures. He is a specialist in structural dynamics and environmental loading, including seismic and wind effects and in performance based design utilizing advanced numerical simulation.
Willford’s portfolio in high rise buildings started in the early 1980s including the Hong Kong Bank (Hong Kong) and Century Tower (Tokyo). Recent projects include Maison Hermes (Tokyo), the CCTV building (Beijing) and the St. Francis Towers project (Manila) which incorporates a novel patented damping system that evolved from the design he developed to suppress the wobble of the London Millennium Footbridge. This system is now being adopted on several other buildings resulting in considerable cost savings.

Willford is currently Global Leader of Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research Practice and was awarded an Arup Fellowship in 2002 in recognition of his technical contribution to the firm and industry. In 2006, he was appointed Co-Chairman of Seismic Working Group of the Council of Tall buildings and Urban Habitat.

Arup Engineering is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a broad range of professional services. Founded in 1946 with an initial focus on structural engineering, Arup first came to the world’s attention with the structural design of the Sydney Opera House, followed by its work on the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Arup has since grown into a truly multidisciplinary organization. Arup provides engineering design and development services, project and risk management and other specialist services such as economic planning.

Arup’s skills have contributed to some of the most significant industrial and structural engineering infrastructure projects in the past 50 years. Most recently, its work for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing has reaffirmed its reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs that reinvent the built environment. Arup brings together broad-minded individuals from a wide range of disciplines and encourages them to look beyond the constraints of their own specialties. As the engineering and design team for the High Roller, Arup will build upon the knowledge gained during the design of the Singapore Flyer and London Eye to develop the “next generation” wheel structure that will become the tallest observation wheel in the world.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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