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Gazza

New landmark to be a wheel of fortune

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Just found an article in todays Herald Sun about the Southern Star Observation Wheel. The contracts to build the pods have reportedly been signed with Meshio but the opening has been pushed back to October 2008. Though one thing i found a bit worrying was the price: over $120 Million, thats what? 2 WWWs? 10 superman escapes? 20 Claws? 6 WnW/Jamberoo Expansions? 1/2 a DW? or one big ferris wheel? and they want to charge $25 for a 30 minute ride. Thats 4.8 million visitors just to cover construction costs, and assumes that about 1/4 of Australias population actually wants to ride it. IMO it seems like a pretty poor project, especially since they are just copying London and I dont think it will be as popular as they think it will be. It seems all of Docklands has become something that only really appeals to those with money to burn (Except for maybe Telstra Dome) Thoughts? post-88-1159237160_thumb.jpg

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Interesting read. I know ING are trying to secure a major sponsor for the attraction (who will get full branding rights to the attraction, for example "The Qantas Southern Star Observation Wheel") which will knock out a considerable chunk of the costs associated. Unlike a roller coaster which has maybe five years at the most of direct influence on the park's attendance, this attraction will be a signature tourist attraction in Melbourne for years and years to come and will be a consistent money-maker. My understanding is it is ING's intentions to sell off the attraction once it is established, so they won't be in it for the long-run. To pay it off in five years, they only need to attract 1 million guests per year. When you break that down, assuming a 12 hour day (10am-10pm), that's less than four guests boarding per minute. They're actually aiming for 1.5 million riders a year so it should operating profitably within only three years of opening. I'm just puzzled why they didn't add an extra 16 metres and go for the world record. Celebrating 120 years since it was 100 years since Cap. Arthur Phillip setup the Australian colony? :P

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$25 for 30 minutes is not to bad for an attraction like this. When you compare it to the London Eye it's a bargain. The London Eye will cost you a minimum of £13.50 up to £29.50 to go on the London Eye. That equates to roughly $34 for the cheapest "flight" and a staggering $74 for the "champagne flight". If you ever get to London I recommend going on it. If you get a clear day as I did you will have a fantastic experience. "The Bus is now leaving for London Bridge Lookout, NSW"

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