Sunday, June 29, 2014

High Roller Observation Wheel - Is It Worth It?

High Roller Observation Wheel
Las Vegas, Nevada

Is High Roller worth it?

Going from ground level to the station platform involves two occurrences of walking through a bank style customer line.  Twenty feet north, 180 degree turn, 20 feet south, 180 degree turn, repetitively.  The result is that to advance 5 feet, one must walk 40 feet.

After walking 200 feet, (and thus advancing 25 feet) an employee will let you know when you are free to exit the first crowd control chute, and walk forward to an escalator up.

At the top of the escalator is a small walk up bar, High Roller Sky Lounge, which at last check sells soft drinks and bottled water for $7.00, and champagne for $13.00.  Other drinks are priced in between.

The second crowd control chute is designed in a roundish room, illuminated blue, like a miniature planetarium.

Ultimately one winds up walking on the station platform as the High Roller pods quietly run parallel on the right.

The architecture is somewhat futuristic, and the employee uniforms could be the garb of a starship's staff.

Entry and exit from the pods occurs while the pod is in motion.  First those in the pod exit the pod's right (east) doors, then when directed with flight deck style arm movements, those awaiting enter the pod through the pod's west doors.

The pods are frequently loaded with more people than the seating capacity.  As well, The Strip is on the west side of the wheel.  Thus if one would like to sit as well as be positioned to see and photograph Las Vegas Boulevard, it is advised to immediately sit as close to the entry doors as possible.

Since a full rotation of the wheel takes approximately 30 minutes, one would do well to sit for the first 12 minutes or so, and then arise as the wheel is nearing maximum height (550 feet).

Video screens in the pods frequently show the current elevation.  They also display a guy who resembles a disheveled Prince whats his name, orating typical tourist banter.

At the peak height, some couples make it a point to hug and kiss; however I caution that even if a couple were fortunate enough to have a pod to themselves, every pod is monitored by camera, so going beyond that and trying the 550 foot club is not advised.

An interesting photo opportunity exists as your pod ranges near the 550 foot peak height, in that one may photograph parts of The Strip with the neighboring pod as part of the shot.  Doing so gives a close and far perspective.

During the ascent, one is closer to Palazzo, Mirage, etc.  During the descent, one can photograph Bally's well.

Flamingo, Bellagio, and The Linq can be seen fairly well at all times, from varying angles.

As your pod completes it's revolution and returns to the platform, keep the following in mind.  The pods exit via the east doors (the non-strip side).  If you are first at the door to exit, the small crowd behind you will push you along.  Thus if you would like to take some photos from the exit platform and ramp, being the last to depart the pod is advantageous.

The exit is much quicker than the entrance.

So is High Roller worth it?

A better question might be:

Will you enjoy the time spent?

My answer is that that has more to do with your state of mind and the company you keep.  I enjoyed checking it out and figuring that I would write about it.

Parking for the High Roller is a large outdoor ground level parking lot on the east side of High Roller.  hat is exactly the type of parking I like, as opposed to a confusing, tightly stacked parking garage.

Going at night can be a very enjoyable, colorful experience, especially with the outdoor walking and shopping area of The Linq; (which runs between High Roller and Las Vegas Boulevard).

Points to consider:

  1. Night is better than day.  (Often more costly too.)
  2. Begin with High Roller, which by it's nature is a structured and time consuming activity.  Then relax with a leisurely walk through The Linq.
  3. Expect an experience, an enjoyable time, rather than the ultimate observation point.
  4. Use the restroom prior to going on the pod.  (I believe that the last restrooms are located near the bar, High Roller Sky Lounge.
  5. Coupons and discounts are frequently available.
  6. Look forward to visiting the cupcake ATM and Brooklyn Bowl, among others at The Linq.