The regional market for large, permanent Ferris wheels may have dried up in the past year.
There are currently no plans to build the two giant spinning Ferris wheels planned a year ago on the Ohio River, one in Cincinnati and another in Newport.
Newport City Manager Tom Fromme recently told the Enquirer that the Newport SkyWheel planned for Newport on The Levee will not take place any time soon. He said the “economy has ruined plans for the 230-foot wheel that St. Louis-based Koch Development built on the flood wall between Levee and Newport Aquarium.”
The approval that the city’s Army Corps of Engineers issued in 2019 for the structure expires on July 18, Fromme said.
The possibility of another Ferris wheel returning to The Banks across the river doesn’t look much better.
SkyStar had operated a 150 tall luminous wheel along the Cincinnati riverfront from August 2018 to March 2020. It became a popular attraction and part of the city skyline. In March 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was spreading, St. Louis-based SkyStar dismantled the bike with a plan to rebuild a permanent 180-foot bike within a year.
But the pandemic may have put that plan on hold for good.
The SkyStar company’s CEO basically wrote the district administrator in December that they would like to return – but don’t wait.
“We respectfully ask you to keep the door open to the possibility of doing something on Lot 18 in the future, but we would certainly understand if something else comes up that you would like to do instead,” wrote SkyStar Managing Director Todd Schneider in December . 16. 2020 Email to Administrator Aluotto regarding the use of the property on which the Ferris wheel was located in front of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Schneider hasn’t answered numerous calls from The Enquirer about the possibility of the bike’s return since December.