New Steel Pier Observation Wheel Officially Opens to Public

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -

After a long and dreary winter, crowds and bright lights are starting to appear once again on Atlantic City’s Steel Pier.

Towering over the other attractions is the long awaited Observation Wheel.

“There’s nothing like it really, unless you go to the West Coast or down to Florida,” says Anthony Catanoso, president of Steel Pier. 

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The Observation Wheel takes riders around four different times, all the way to the top so they can see the sights and sounds of Atlantic City from 227 feet up in the air.

“It’s got 40 climate control[ed] gondolas and it’s about a 15-minute ride,” said Catanoso. “So when you get here, you’ll get a very smooth, enclosed ride, and great views up and down the coast.”

Catanoso says it’s taken a few years to get the ride on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, built and finally running.

They ran the wheel a couple of times in the winter for a sneak peek, but officially opened it to the public this past weekend.

“There are a lot of people that come off the Boardwalk and want to ride it, but we haven’t been able to put them on it because it hasn’t been open yet,” said Catanoso.

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He says this Observation Wheel is the third largest in the country, following behind the ones in Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas.

But it’s one of a kind for the Jersey shore.

“I mean, we have a great beach and a great coastline, and the skyline in Atlantic City with all of these great buildings is really something to behold," said Catanoso. "There’s really nothing like it ... up and down the Jersey shore.”

Although the ride is finally open, there could still be some changes coming to the Pier.

“Now we want to see how we can build the brand,” said Catanoso. “How we can tie into the rest of the rides on the Pier, make it a total experience, and, of course, with our new partner and neighbor, Hard Rock, we want it to kind of be one seamless experience while you’re up here.”

But soon the Observation Wheel won’t have the title as Steel Pier’s “newest ride,” as Catanoso hinted that they’ve been looking to bring another new attraction in next year.

“I won’t give it away, but when you’re on that, you’ll be looking down saying, ‘Hey, there’s the wheel down there!’ so that’s how big it’ll be,” said Catanoso.

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