.Boardwalk Plans New Ferris Wheel

Commission to consider ride on Aug. 17

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk plans to bring back an iconic attraction, but it first must seek approval from the city’s planning commission.

Five years after the park removed its Ferris wheel due to age, plans are in the works to construct a new, 68-foot version of the ride.

Manufactured by Kansas-based Chance Rides, the new Ferris wheel will feature 15 gondolas, each able to seat four adults or six children. It will be across from the Giant Dipper and replace Rock & Roll, a spinning ride located in the spot since 2002.

The Boardwalk’s previous Ferris wheel, which opened in 1959, last operated in 2017. In early 2018, as the ride was undergoing its annual winter maintenance, Boardwalk officials determined that the attraction had reached the end of its useful life. The 67-foot-tall ride had spun around four million riders since 1986. It was originally located near the Cocoanut Grove before it was moved in the 1980s.

The Boardwalk’s permit for the new ride was scheduled for consideration by the planning commission on Aug. 3. However, only four of the seven commissioners were present, and Commissioner Timerie Gordon excused herself as her design firm works for the park’s owner, Santa Cruz Seaside Company. Four votes are needed to pass items.

The ride is expected to be considered at the commission’s Aug. 17 meeting.


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