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Seaworld Eye Closes in May

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Just received email from WVTP Sea World is excited to announce the Sea World Eye - an impressive 60m high giant observation wheel – will remain at Sea World until May 14! While there are similar wheels around the world, in places like London, Manchester, Seville and Niagara Falls, this is the first time this awesome attraction has appeared in Australia. Until May, visitors to Sea World will continue to enjoy sweeping views of the scenic Gold Coast area, including unparalleled views across the Broadwater offered by the Eye. And best of all, the Sea World Eye will continue to be offered as part of the Park’s normal admission price. With 42 air-conditioned Gondolas, each holding up to 6 people, there will be plenty of opportunity for everyone to experience the Sea World Eye. Guests of all ages will also hear interesting and entertaining facts about Sea World and the Broadwater from the audio system inside each Gondola. hopefully they will reconsider it would be nice for it to be perminant

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Probably for the Peak Season so they could say they had a "All New Ride" So it was just a marketing ploy. Also remember that they didn't pay multi millions for it, It is only on lease for 6 months to Sea World, and they had the option of making it permanent, which they have obviously decided not to do that.

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In the paper recently the locals of the spit are having a cry about how its too high so that might have been one of the reasons they didnt want to keep it.

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In the paper recently the locals of the spit are having a cry about how its too high so that might have been one of the reasons they didnt want to keep it.
But isn't the spit a fair bit from the actual eye? it's not that big from the road when you drive past on the way to brisbane so surely it can't be that big from the spit?

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I think the spit has a 6 level maximum and seaworld is right on the spit, Im glad there are no highrises there but the seaworld eye looks great .

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The Gold Coast Bulletin has run a few stories on the issue, and this is the latest (I've highlighted parts which are important to my post):

The Eye comes the full circle 18Apr07 THE ride has come to an abrupt end for The Eye at Sea World. Despite originally promoting The Eye 'for a limited time only', Sea World owner Warner Village Theme Parks applied to the Gold Coast City Council to make the 60m high ferris wheel a permanent attraction. But the council knocked back the proposal because it was concerned it could become a 'permanent blight' on The Spit. The ride has now closed. Warner Village Theme Parks management yesterday said it might appeal against the decision. Cr Susie Douglas said Main Beach residents complained about The Eye's presence on The Spit skyline. Cr Douglas said the size of the ride could also set a precedent for developers who might try to push height boundaries on the popular sliver of land. The Spit will be redeveloped as part of an overhaul announced by the State Government. "It was only ever supposed to be a temporary structure," said Cr Douglas of The Eye. "My concern is, if we approved it, how do we stop another big structure going in there?" Close ally Cr Dawn Crichlow did not share the same view and thinks The Eye -- which was shipped from England for the tourist season -- should stay. "I have had no complaints at all. People like it," said the Southport councillor. She said the council had received legal advice that the ferris wheel should not stay because its height deemed it 'a structure'. "But there are three other rides over there that are more than 20m high," she said. "What about all the rides up at Dreamworld? That's in a two-storey (height limit) area." Cr Crichlow conceded she had never ridden on The Eye, but said it was 'good for the Gold Coast'. "We're putting money into ferries so tourists can get around and see the Gold Coast, and hopefully spend money here. "You can go up in one of these (The Eye) capsules and you can see from Coolangatta to Coomera." Warner Village Theme Parks chief executive John Menzies said the Gold Coast's position as the entertainment capital of Australia was 'largely supported by our development and marketing of new attractions'. "It is disappointing that here on the Gold Coast, where a large part of the community depend on attractions to maintain the tourism lifeblood, we will lose such a fabulous asset," he said. The council cited advice from a visual amenity expert, landscape architect Alan Chenoweth, in refusing the application. "The ferris wheel would be a permanent blight on its (The Spit's) otherwise low-key setting," Mr Chenoweth wrote in a council-commissioned report. "It is also undoubtedly a major part of the attractive scenery as viewed from nearby high-rise apartments fortunate enough to have views over The Spit to South Stradbroke Island, the Broadwater and ocean. The ferris wheel will intrude significantly upon these views." The Eye was a scaled-down version of the London Eye.
Personally the more and more that comes out about this, the more I'm supporting the park. I must say that originally I didn't care one way or the other, but to hear there have been no complaints about the ride in Southport, and some council members support the ride, to me makes the whole story about why it should go pretty much null and void. After all, you can barely see the Eye from Main Beach. If anyone has a good reason to complain about the view, its the people of Southport, who haven't been vocal on the matter. Indeed, if you look at real estate ads in Southport, the Eye is front and center of the pictures of the view. As far as a wider "How do you stop other taller structures if you let this one stay?" argument, the point about it not being a problem in Coomera to me would indicate a valid precedent for future applications.

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I might be misreading this but DW is different as it's not in a residential area. Anyway i think the "Eye" should stay. I know it's easy for me to say as i don't live there but as the article says "There's been no complaints" So why remove it?

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I might be misreading this but DW is different as it's not in a residential area.
Yes it is:post-88-1176874813_thumb.jpg Remember, the township of Coomera is just south (heck, even the primary school has a nice view of the rip), there are all those gated communities to the east and a community sports park and upper Coomera is over the freeway to the west. That sounds close enough to a residential area to me. But, as for the council decision, I think a solution could be an amendment to the planning scheme to create a clear distinction between rides and other sorts of structures (apartments etc. ) as they dont deserve to be in the same category. And as for the current eye staying, well I thought everyone hated it when parks put in transportable rides as permanent attractions... Id rather see it replaced with a ride like the sun wheel at DCA for something different. Another thing to consider is the fact a wheel twice as high is opening in Melbourne, so whether something like this is really much of an asset to SW is questionable.

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Yup. I saw this on a roller coaster forum (cough, cough mine):

"The Gold Coast City Council has called for the closer of The Sea World Eye. The council says the structure is too high for the area even though some other of Sea World’s attractions is above the allowed height. But not everyone wants it closed, Close ally Cr Dawn Crichlow did not share the same view and thinks The Eye, which was shipped from England for the tourist season, should stay. However, Sea World Management might appeal, so you may see the Sea World Eye back open very soon."
Roller Coaster should update alittle more :P

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Yup. I saw this on a roller coaster forum (cough, cough mine):
I don't get the point you are trying to make, Joz just posted an article from the GC bulletin, then you abridged/copied chunks/added spelling errors to that article and posted it on your site, then made it sound as if you had "seen" it (how you can see an article you put on your site yourself as news I dont know) Theme park news should copy allittle (sic) less :P Edited by Gazza

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Roller Coaster should update alittle more
You're right I should drop everything I'm doing, come home and plagiarise an article everyone can just as easily read on the Gold Coast Bulletin site. Apologies to everyone; you can be assured it won't happen again. The problem is still that even if they were to amend the local planning legislation to allow for a distinction between rides and other structures is it's setting a precedent. In terms of visual impact I'm not seeing a huge distinction between a 60m tall ride and a 60m tall block of apartments. I've said many times before that I am ultimately for a Sea World Eye style attraction remaining permanently at Sea World, but not if it comes at the cost of opening the floodgates for high rise developments on The Spit. The ride won't do much good if it's surrounded by apartments. I'm still concerned that having the Eye or similar as a permanent attraction would indirectly damage the area. No one wants to build sky scrapers at Coomera so it's never been an issue there. I personally think that at the very least it'd be nice to keep a beach at this end of the Gold Coast where the sun doesn't disappear behind buildings at four in the afternoon. If they can manage a legally watertight way to let Sea World keep such a ride and stop other developers then go ahead by all means, but the day we see a high rise on The Spit will be a very sad one and the loss of one of the last decent spots in the area.

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Because maybe Richo likes having control over his content and doesn't just slap up a 4 line 'news story' without any sort of structure or close editing. Yes people can write articles and submit them to him so he could get as much help as he needs in that respect if people offer it, but again it comes down to the editing process. Often Richos articles arent up straight away, but they tend to have a bit of research put into them and look at the bigger picture, rather than just being the same thing everyone else is saying. And hey, your site doesn't have any DW Sumatran tiger stories so maybe you need to update more. It was obvious the only reason you posted the first comment was to promote your own site.

Edited by Gazza

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Since when has the Easter show been a theme park? And since when has DW not been a theme park? :wacko: Anyway, this thread is not about your site, this thread is about the SW Eye. Well the Gold Coast Bulletin have really taken this one to heart, with a follow up story today, as well as an opinion peice, and a poll on their: website www.gcbulletin.com.au Since the Gold Coast Bulleting only keep stories on their website for a couple of days:

Push on to keep The Eye open 19Apr07 SUPPORTERS of the Sea World Eye have hit back at the fun police who killed the tourist attraction. The giant ferris wheel was a temporary drawcard for the Christmas-New Year rush but it proved hugely successful and Sea World wanted it to become permanent. Gold Coast City Council refused the theme park's application for a year-round Eye after critics branded it an 'eyesore' and a 'monstrosity'. But now the push is on to overturn the decision. Gold Coast Tourism boss Pavan Bhatia said closing the ride was a kneejerk reaction and would be detrimental to tourism. "The wheel has been enormously successful from an iconic tourism (perspective) in showcasing the Gold Coast," he said. "It's doing the same thing as the Q1. When you have such a success, why would you wind it down? It's not a travelling circus where you are putting up tents and then you wind it up in three months." The council knocked back the application after receiving legal advice about town planning laws. The Main Beach Progress Association said keeping the wheel would set a precedent for developers wishing to get around building height restrictions on The Spit. "The main issue is height," said committee member Lyn Wright. "The wheel is 60m high but there is a three-storey height limit at The Spit, which is about 13.5m. "The law says you can't go to 60m so you can't go to 60m. It would set a precedent for applications from other developers in the background who are waiting to make The Spit go higher." The Main Beach Progress Association also opposes other high-profile tourist plans for the region, including a cruise ship terminal for The Spit and a unit and restaurant complex in Tedder Avenue. Property Council of Australia Gold Coast chairman Peter Trathen said the idea that a ferris wheel could create a precedent for high rise on The Spit was 'absolutely laughable'. "We should be doing things that enhance and support our tourism base, otherwise we are just shooting ourselves in the foot." Mr Bhatia said a precedent had already been set by allowing the wheel to operate in the first place. He said stopping a successful tourist attraction in its tracks was foolish. "If the town planners are going to give an OK for four months, five months or six months, then why can't they approve it for years?" said Mr Bhatia. "The question is not should they refuse it now, the question is if they were going to close it down because of the height restrictions, then why approve it in the first place?" According to Cr Dawn Crichlow, Sea World was in a strong position to appeal the knock back. "Sea World should appeal on the grounds that it already has three other rides that exceed the height limit and that it's a see-through structure, not a solid one, so it's not obstructing anyone's view," she said. "But they may not even have to go through that process because they are on crown land and the State Government could overturn the council's ruling." She said the wheel was a beautiful structure that could become an icon like Q1. "It looks absolutely wonderful," she said. "Since the article appeared in (yesterday's) Bulletin I have had so many phone calls and emails from people wanting the wheel to stay. "Only one email was complaining that the wheel is a blight on the skyline and that was from a man who owns a unit here but is living in California!" Mr Bhatia said there was no place for precious behaviour about tourist attractions in a city where tourists outnumbered residents by 2-1. "This is the only place in Australia where theme parks have worked," he said. "The entire economy is based on tourism. Even the 7-Eleven guy is dependent on tourism. The only measure of whether the wheel should stay should be its success." Sea World is considering appealing the council's ruling but did not wish to comment yesterday.
Coast should keep Eye on tourism 19Apr07 IF successive Gold Coast councils and state governments had always given in to warnings and misgivings about tourism, entertainment and accommodation projects on the tourist strip, visitors still would be camping in tents behind Gold Coast sand dunes. But imagination and can-do attitudes have largely triumphed, allowing the Gold Coast to become the excitement capital of the nation. So what are we to make of the super-cautious, conservative policies that won't even allow a temporary ferris wheel -- The Eye -- to remain at the Sea World site? Is this the same sort of thinking that torpedoed the cruise ship terminal proposal? Instead of encouraging the terminal and associated parks and gardens on The Spit, the Main Beach Progress Association and the greenies frightened the Labor Government into scrapping the idea just before the state election. Now the Gold Coast City Council, instead of being brave enough to vary the rules for the sake of extra tourism, has rejected a Sea World application to keep the 60m high Eye wheel as a permanent attraction. Perhaps Sea World should have asked for the permanent establishment of The Eye in the first place; maybe the theme park initially hadn't been confident of its success. But like London's Eye -- a much larger ferris wheel which first copped a barrage of criticism before becoming a must-see world attraction -- The Eye at Sea World has been very popular. It is not regarded as a 'blight', as a councilappointed visual amenity expert predicted. If the council's misgivings about The Eye height boundaries are to hold true, then the Tower of Terror at Dreamworld, the Batwing Spaceshot at Movie World and several of the other rides at city theme parks must cause concern. Since when does an entertainment structure represent a building? If the council is prepared to use a narrow interpretation of town planning to appease some Main Beach residents who apparently regard the Spit as their personal territory, then it really is out of step with the tourism sentiments of this city. The Eye has been a success and is well away from multi-storey apartment buildings, so let it stay. Queensland Tourism Minister Margaret Keech should step in and remove the council's discretionary power over The Eye's fate. If our tourism industry is to continue building and creating jobs for the next generation, then this city has to learn to fight for projects in the face of sectional interests. The anti-fun brigade can't be allowed to win every time.

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It always sort of bugs me when people describe things like this as an "eyesore". I mean its a ferris wheel for goodness sake, what is so ugly about it? Is it the circular bit, or is it the legs that hold it up? Help me out here. Personally, I consider an eyesore something dilapitdated, or something that has been left as a relic while the rest of an area has moved foward, or something totally unsuited to its location. The eye fills none of these categories. However, I think the ride was never going to be permanent even if the GC council had approved it for good, since it is only a transportable ride and is operated by another company. Hopefully the council will allow for a permanent one (hopefully an Intamin since all their wheels tend to be quite good) with better integration into the park (Eg with a nice modern waiting area, perhaps indoors so it is a true all weather attraction)

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AFTER being described as an eyesore and temporarily shut down because of safety concerns, the Sea World Eye on the Gold Coast is about to be closed for good but not before more than 680,000 people have experienced the ride. Sea World today announced the 60 metre ferris wheel would leave the Gold Coast following the Australia Day long weekend on January 26-28, giving visitors just 47 days to enjoy a bird's eye view of Australia's premier holiday destination. Gold Coast City Council officers initially approved the Eye as a temporary structure during the 2006 Christmas/New Year holidays but it became part of the landscape on the picturesque Southport Spit. Sea World insisted it was never intended to be a permanent structure. Nevertheless a special council delegation ordered the Eye banned in April this year following complaints it was a blight on the Spit, where environmentalists have fought hard to stop a shipping terminal and marina from being built. Council eventually granted approval for the Eye to operate as a temporary ride until January 2008. In August, the Eye was closed for a day and a half for safety checks following the death of five people who fell out of a gondola from the 66 metre tall Giant Wheel at Busan, South Korea. The Giant Wheel's Swiss manufacturer, Ronald Bussink Co, also built the Sea World Eye. Warner Village Theme Parks chief operating officer Steve Peet said today that since its arrival in November last year, the Eye had been enjoyed by more than 680,000 people. I just came about this and thought I would copy and past it. I think its a bit of a shame that it is going but theirs you go.

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Thanks - It will be front page news on my site in half an hour - jokes. :) I'm glad to hear the wheel is gone. I've grown sick of it and I would like to see something fresh put there.

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The Eye looks really good from a distance, but close up, once people realize it is a temp/ travelling attraction (as seen from the station platform and queue area) it looks real cheap and crap.

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