Las Vegas Strip May Get 500-foot Ferris Wheel
LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas may construct a 500-foot Ferris wheel, the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, on the famous Las Vegas strip, officials said.

A developer won permission to construct the Ferris wheel as the centerpiece of a 10-acre amusement park and retail center planned for a vacant plot of land on the Strip, across the street from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

If built, it would be the third-tallest Ferris wheel in the world and, at 500 feet, is the maximum allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The site is less than half a mile from McCarran International Airport, where more than 35 million passengers land every year.

Developer Howard Bulloch, the principal owner of 38 acres on the site, got the green light for the project from Clark County commissioners on Wednesday.

It would also include six additional rides, 140,000 square feet for retail and 21,000 square feet for conferences, said Ed Garcia, Bulloch's attorney.

The idea behind the Ferris wheel, he said, is to offer "a very unique view of the Las Vegas Strip."

Bulloch has not disclosed the financial backers of the project but hopes to have it built in 18 to 24 months, Garcia said.

The 541-foot Singapore Flyer is the tallest operating Ferris wheel in the world, followed by the 525-foot Star of Nanchang in China. '

The London Eye, on the banks of the Thames River, reaches 443 feet.