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New York Wheel's Opening Pushed Back to April 2018

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 17, 2016 10:37am
 The New York Wheel will open for its first ride on April 2018 instead of 2017 as planned, developers said.
The New York Wheel will open for its first ride on April 2018 instead of 2017 as planned, developers said.
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New York Wheel

ST. GEORGE — The first spin around the giant New York Wheel has been pushed back by a year.

The 630-foot Ferris wheel coming to the Staten Island waterfront was scheduled to open in late 2017. But its developers announced that has been delayed until April 2018 to give more time to test the structure's safety.

"Big, trend-setting projects like the New York Wheel are generally challenging to schedule," the attraction's CEO Rich Marin said in a statement.

"The most important thing is to be sure that all the things get done properly and that quality and safety are maintained."

Construction of the $580 million project is still expected to finish next year.

"What people will see at the end of 2017 will look structurally like the wheel they have seen in the renderings, but the wheel requires rigorous testing and commissioning that must be conducted to the highest standards," Marin said.

"Accordingly and equally in keeping with the seasonality of attractions like this, we decided it would be better to postpone the opening to April 2018."

The delayed opening was first reported by the Staten Island Advance.

The New York Wheel project is taking over a former parking lot next to the St. George Ferry Terminal. It was announced in 2012, but hit several snags along the way.

The project went nearly $300 million over budget and has been in the middle of a legal battle involving early investors who claim they have been pushed out of involvement.

Marin previously called the suits "petty annoyances" and said a project the size of the wheel is expected to encounter problems.

"Big projects have lots of bumps, everything seems to take longer than you think," Marin previously said.

On Friday, the site opened 820 spots in its parking garage and plans to open the full lot in December.

But less than a week after it opened, the price of monthly passes dropped from $135 to $100 after complaints.

"I have been in touch with commuters and NY Wheel officials daily to ensure that the opening of the garage goes as smoothly as possible," Councilwoman Debi Rose said in a statement.

"While their experiences with the new valet and shuttle system have been mostly positive, some commuters have complained about the $35 increase, especially in light of the extra time it takes to reach the ferry terminal.

"I reached out to NY Wheel CEO Rich Marin and he agreed to return the monthly fee to $100 until December, when we expect to have an entrance at Nicholas Street and the option to self park."