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On March 31st, 2014 the largest and tallest observation wheel in the world, opened to the public in Las Vegas, Nevada – USA. Taller than the Singapore Flyer (541 Ft / 165 m), the London Eye (443 Ft / 135 m) and the Melbourne Star in Australia (394 Ft/ 120 m), the 550 Ft (168 m) tall “High Roller” wheel is the highlight of the newly developed LINQ Entertainment district project by the Caesars Entertainment Group – a new outdoor entertainment district including retails stores, dining and attractions.
How is Conductix-Wampfler related to this new attraction? The answer lies in 3 words: “conductor rail expertise”. Back in 2011, Brian Dreiling – District Sales Manager at Conductix-Wampfler, was approached at the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) trade show in Orlando, Florida, USA by several consultants about two giant wheels projects and was asked if Conductix-Wampfler would be interested. The answer was simple: Yes of course!
The Hettema Group of Pasadena CA an award winning design team, was chosen by Caesars Entertainment Corp. to design the “High Roller” wheel in collaboration with ARUP Engineering and several other companies. One of them, Bombard Electric, selected Conductix-Wampfler to supply the 1250 A single pole insulated copper conductor rail system 0813 for the rim electrification and cabin slip rings. The product was ordered in February 2012 and was shipped directly from Conductix-Wampfler Germany to Las Vegas. Bombard Electric started the installation of the conductor rails on the rim sections in June 2013, supervised by Conductix-Wampfler.
But a major challenge arose. Bombard Electric was under the impression that the conductor rail was to be cut and curved in Germany. When the rails arrived, Bombard noticed that the center pieces were full lengths and not cut to size. Initially, Bombard was very upset that they had to cut each center piece at the job site. As it turns out, there were rubber bumpers that needed to be inserted into at four locations along the wheel diameter. No one was aware of the bumpers when the conductor rail was ordered. The change in conductor bar geometry would have put the project in real trouble. However, the experience of Georg Bongartz (Global Application Support) and the Conductix-Wampfler Germany team who had worked on the London Eye project proved to be very valuable in finding a solution to resolve the issue. Indeed. Conductix-Wampfler Germany had intended for the center piece to be cut to size in the event something changed at the time of installation. Good call!
Conductix-Wampfler is very proud to have been part of this gigantic enterprise. With its 28 spherical glass-enclosed and air-conditioned cabins/gondolas that each can hold up to 40 people and its 2,000 LED lights changing colors and patterns nightly, capable of custom displays for special event and holidays, the High Roller Observation wheel is running at full capacity and offers unforgettable views of Las Vegas to its passengers during the 30-minute ride. If you happen to make Las Vegas part of your next destination, take a ride on the High Roller, it will blow you away!