The Las Vegas High Roller was developed by Caesars Entertainment, the world’s largest gaming company, on a 350 acre parcel one block west of the strip and across the street from Caesars Palace. The total height of the structure is 550’ (168m), making it the world’s largest observation wheel. Caesars will operate the attraction, which is part of a larger development that includes a Retail, Dining, and Entertainment (RD&E) District and the finish out of two shelled in hotel towers within the Caesar’s complex. The total value of the investment is $550M.
The San Francisco office of ARUP is the designer of the structure, assisted by the London office. The scope of work undertaken by American Bridge includes the supply and erection of a 469’ (143m) diameter wheel that rests on a fixed spindle on four inclined steel legs approximately 283’ (86m) above grade level supported by a transverse braced leg; the hub, spindle, bearing, and cable spoke system; and the erection (but NOT the supply) of the passenger cabins.The wheel structure boasts 7.2 million pounds of steel and 112 cables. Each cable measures approximately 225 feet, for a combined total of 25,256 feet. The High Roller features 28 spherical cabins that each hold 40 guests. Each cabin weighs approximately 44,000 pounds and includes 300 square feet of glass.
Many businesses came together to supply the project. JD Neuhaus supplied three air operated hoists, each providing a 50 tonne lifting capacity. The air operated hoists were located at a temporary chain fall platform suspended below the wheel central hub, and utilized their 280ft of cable fall to lift equipment from the ground level.
As each rim section was installed, it was held temporarily in place by cables and temporary steel struts. The 3-inch-diameter steel cables, supplied by Freyssinet, were left slack until the rim was fully assembled, at which point all the cables were tensioned to their target prestress levels. Thern supplied American Bridge with two TA5 Air winches to handle the task of pulling and positioning the 112 spoke cables. The High Roller also utilizes three Thern cranes for maintenance – One mounted on each side of the hub platforms and another down below.
Once the cables were prestressed, the tensions were fine-tuned to straighten the rim (much like tuning a bicycle wheel). This construction methodology allows for the rim to be built to extremely tight tolerances, which is critical for the operation of the wheel. After removal of the radial struts and installation of all permanent cable spokes, the wheel began operation using the permanent drive system. Final cable tensioning was a two-step process that resulted in achieving 1,189KN (267,300lbs) per cable within a tolerance of +/-10%. Final wheel tolerance was achieved within +/-25mm (1”).