One of the big changes for the Atlantic City Boardwalk appears to on track to make its debut this year.

Here comes AC’s observation wheel

The Press of AC reported on the latest status of the observation wheel that has been in the works for the Steel Pier for several years. The logistics of putting an attraction that big — at more than 200 feet and a cost of $14 million — on the boardwalk is no small job, unsurprisingly.

The president of the pier, Anthony Catanoso, said he hopes the wheel can officially be added to the pier’s open attractions this summer. More from the Press of AC:

Catanoso said the wheel should be ready by July. Late last year, he said the pier hoped to have it open by Memorial Day.

 

That won’t happen because the pier people later learned they needed to order custom-made steel beams as part of the support structure for the wheel.

The Press of AC noted that a lot of the groundwork for installation has been laid in recent months, making the timeline achievable.

Once constructed, the wheel will be roughly half the size of ones in Las Vegas and London.

The Steel Pier, at a glance

The Catanoso family bought the pier in 2011 from Trump Entertainment Resorts — they operated it prior the purchase — and has been working on making the wheel a reality since 2013. The wheel was constructed in Italy and shipped to AC in 2015.

The Steel Pier has been an icon of Atlantic City for more than a century, dating back to its construction in 1898. While it hosted concerts from its start, it added amusement rides in 1993 at the height of the casino boom.

The pier already features a variety of attractions common at amusement parks, carnivals and other East Coast shore spots. But the observation wheel overlooking the ocean will certainly set it part.

Atlantic City, of course, has fallen on hard times, with just seven casinos left in the resort town. But the wheel might be a physical symbol of change that is afoot in the city.

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The changing face of Atlantic City

There is increasing evidence that AC is attempting — much like Las Vegas — to transition from an economy that is less dependent on gambling revenue:

The building of the observation wheel will alter the skyline of AC, which is already changing in a variety of ways.

Image credit: f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Dustin Gouker

About

Aside from his role as editor at LegalSportsReport.com, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.