BRANSON, Mo. – The first ride on the Branson Ferris Wheel is scheduled for later this month.
Since January, construction crews have been assembling the steel puzzle pieces for the 150-foot tall structure.
Now, other than some electrical work on the wheel, all crews have left are the photo and ticket booths that will stand directly below the new attraction.
“I still pinch myself every day, to be honest with you,” says Track Family Fun Parks owner, Craig Wescott.
Wescott says he’s enjoyed every part of the five-month process. When KOLR 10 was last at the site, in March, the holes for the foundation were being drilled and the 40 gondolas were still in shipping containers.
“We were waiting on those gondolas,” he says. “There’s something about those gondolas in the air, especially on a blue sky day like this.”
Wescott says when he purchased the former Chicago icon the gondolas had recently been refurbished.
Track Family Fun Parks opted to repaint the steel structure and add 16-thousand LED lights.
“We can still pull off the old look if we want,” Wescott says. “Or we can sync it up to a brand new sound system and really go crazy with the multicolored light show.”
The bridge between the old and the new will also be featured in the attraction’s sign.
“We decided to honor that, and pay tribute to where it came from. We did a pretty close replica to their sign,” he says.
Wescott says the buzz surrounding the project has been amazing, and he’s excited it’s the first
of many new projects planned for visitors in Branson this summer.
“We’re excited for this town,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, we love that it’s sitting right here, but we are very excited for Branson.”
The ride will open to the public on June 23 at noon; one full rotation lasts about seven and a half minutes, Wescott says.