Downtown Ferris wheel: Thumbs up or down?

Downtown could certainly use another attraction.

What do you think of the Ferris wheel notion being floated by the developers of the London Eye?

Bernie Marcus, who funded the Georgia Aquarium, hosted a meeting Tuesday with civic and business leaders to discuss the idea, AJC staffers Rachel Tobin and Leon Stafford are reporting.

About $200 million is needed, along with a 2-acre site downtown. Marcus said he’d love to have a big observation wheel downtown — but made it clear he won’t be putting up any money for the Atlanta version of an Eye, according to a person who attended the private meeting, the reporters write.

Cities like London and Chicago have used Ferris wheels to attract entertainment and tourist dollars.

Do you think it would work here? Why or why not?

215 comments Add your comment

stinky pete

November 9th, 2010
3:32 pm

If Bernie Marcus is for it, I say go for it! Everything that Jew touches turns to gold…


November 9th, 2010
3:35 pm

Putting all your eggs in one basket is only a good idea if you’re in a hen house.

We shouldn’t locate all the tourist attractions in one single zone. Spread the wealth, people, and bring traffic to other areas of the metro. Also, as a resident of downtown myself, I’d like to see the area become more even-handed in it’s development. More residential growth and less tourist/convention growth. Building a complete, multi-faceted neighborhood downtown would be more beneficial than locating yet another tourist attraction there.


November 9th, 2010
3:38 pm

What are they going to look at from up there — surface parking lots, parking decks and highway lanes? What a view!

Tony Buckhead

November 9th, 2010
3:39 pm

Bernie knows what he’s doing. I’d ride the Ferris wheel, and my kids would love it.

stinky pete

November 9th, 2010
3:40 pm

Good point Evil…. maybe you could see Stone Mountain, but if you wanted to do something touristy to see Stone Mountain, you would probably go to Stone Mountain.


November 9th, 2010
3:41 pm

What would be great is if you could see the Falcon’s new outdoor stadium from the top of it.


November 9th, 2010
3:44 pm

I say sure why not.


November 9th, 2010
3:45 pm

You mean like the London Eye???? NOOOOOOOOOO! What an eyesore and a ripoff! Awful idea. But it is the biggest tourist attraction in London or probably the whole UK. So what do I know?

George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.

November 9th, 2010
3:45 pm

Atlanta is now the circus that Detroit once was so I suppose a Big Wheel here fits right in.


November 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

I think that the Southern Red Eye will be an excellent addition to our fine city.


November 9th, 2010
3:51 pm

The ones I have been on,,,,,,Chicago, London are awesome. I love the idea but I to question the view.

The Grammar Police

November 9th, 2010
3:58 pm

BT- You left off an ‘o’ on the word ‘to’ above. Thank You.

Inman Parker

November 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Okay, we get it Crumpy Frisky. You’re a rascist. Enough already.


November 9th, 2010
4:00 pm

What better place to see the crack houses and slums of Atlanta. You could watch muggings and shooting fro up there too. Bernie needs to quit smoking dope and go back to selling hardware.

William Commer

November 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

It would make fine reading to read all the reports about how many bullets strike it vs. how many of the riders are hit, and the mid-air gun battles will be the only gun play that has yet to happen in ATL. Maybe they should let the Jamican gangs in SW AT operate the ride, that way you can get high when you get high.

Crumpy Frisky

November 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

Inman Parker, I’m not a racist….I’m a realist.

There is a difference.


November 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

first of all downtown atlanta, five points needs to be cleaned up, nothing but a hang out.
it’s nasty and it looks bad. FERRIS WHEEL PLEASE…. CLEAN UP DOWNTOWN.

The T

November 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

Not as long as Park Atlanta is around – there would be no peace for the parkers.


November 9th, 2010
4:07 pm

GREAT IDEA ! Bring it on….A beautful skyline we have IDIOTS….go back to Alabama

Rainbow Fairy

November 9th, 2010
4:09 pm

Maybe the new Trolley Car they are building can take you right up to the Ferris Wheel. And maybe they can extend the Toll Booth on GA 400 another 100 years to pay for it.


November 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

what do I know but unless there is a view of something, anything, other than buildings and parking decks, I can’t see what the attraction is. Without saying anything, think about underground atlanta and it’s issues, and try to tell me why this suffer from the same issues.


November 9th, 2010
4:12 pm

it should say above: why this wouldn’t suffer from the same issues.


November 9th, 2010
4:20 pm

I thought only white people went downtown for work? Have things changed?


November 9th, 2010
4:20 pm

Bernie Marcus makes up for our region’s lack of cohesion and anti-Atlanta hubris. He and other Atlanta philanthorpists are worth more to this City than 10 Chambers of Commerce.


November 9th, 2010
4:21 pm

Oh, and to h*ll with Alabama and Florida!

Stevie Ray

November 9th, 2010
4:29 pm

Dumb. WHy can’t we do something ORIGINAL? London has had the eye for a few years and Dallas has had theirs since the 80’s. We would just ripping off their ideas. What next, a spaceneedle?


November 9th, 2010
4:31 pm

No doubt, ATL has a nice skyline…would make for a nice view. The complainers probably haven’t left the burbs in years…..


November 9th, 2010
4:32 pm

I swam over to the whale tank to get some opinions. We here at the “big fish tank” do appreciate what Bernie has done for us. Those of us who hate swimming in the oceans and prefer to swim around in circles in the tank all day long. Of course, it’s all about studying us and all those good things the marine biologists employed here say. But I digress. Bernie is such a good Republican, I’m sure if he built a sewer pit, he would get support. And most of the northern suburb people would show up and look. Probably say things like “looks like a good Damocrat swimming pool.” LOL. You keep going Bernie, and remember, me and my friends do appreciate what you’ve done for us.

Rip n' Read

November 9th, 2010
4:36 pm

Incredibly dumb idea. I think Bernie’s toupee is on too tight.


November 9th, 2010
4:37 pm

The ferris wheel works in Chicago because it is located at Navy Pier on the beautiful waterfront. I’m not convinced it would have the same appeal here without other attractions..Underground does not count. Navy Pier is a thriving tourist attraction that offers a lot more than Atlanta’s downtown. It would get some action initially, but I don’t think it would last. Kudos for the idea though….we need a waterfront attraction, and there’s no way to do that…Aquarium does not count either….


November 9th, 2010
4:38 pm

Let me get this right, We are in a depression. People need jobs. B. Marcus has millions if not billions and He wants to put a Ferris Wheel downtown? Yeh! Great IDEAL!.


November 9th, 2010
4:40 pm

I think it would be great over the round Woodruff Park Fountain creating a view down Auburn Avenue. Call it the Wheel of Dreams. It would attract more people to Woodruff Park which is just a hangout for bums.

Buzz Belle

November 9th, 2010
4:42 pm

Add a Ferris Wheel but also add a gondola – the ones who work in Atlanta could hop from building to building instead of clogging up the streets! Like Six Flags – go from one side of the city to another. :)

Bob Barker

November 9th, 2010
4:44 pm

They could make it like a giant prize wheel like on The Price is Right.. you could win $$$ if your car stops on the “1.00″

William Commer

November 9th, 2010
4:45 pm

Bernie is wasting his money, they have already ruined the aquarium, its dirty, and most of the educational kiosk are non-functional, you cannot build something beautiful then hand the keys over to the same racist idiots who have been running ATL into the ground for decades. Yes, your not exempt from being a racist just because your dark skinned.
The ATL aquarium pales to the TN, I drive the 2 hours away from that ATL hell whenever my family wants to visit the fishes. I wasted my money taking my family of six once to the ATL bs, once is enough.


November 9th, 2010
4:45 pm

That would be a great attraction to Atlanta! And pretty to see that at night. Do it!

Michael Johnson

November 9th, 2010
4:46 pm

I love it that Atlanta’s major visionary leaders continue to invest in the city. Go for it Bernie Marcus. I agree with Steve Woodruff Park will be ideal, and would removed the bombs from that area.


November 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Me, Grimlock, love Georgia.

Me, Grimlock, no like Downtown Atlanta.

Downtown Atlanta full of brain-dead panhandlers who don’t type their restaurant servers and worship Obama Jive Talker. Obama Jive Talker should be cleaning up excrement for living instead of having high-paying Affirmative Action job or being fake US citizen in an illegitimate Presidency.

Me, Grimlock, love to ride ferris wheel but me not want to go to cesspool like City of Atlanta to do it.

Me, Grimlock, do without ferris wheel until it go to go Fayette County or Conservative Cobb County.

Optumus Prime

November 9th, 2010
4:50 pm

Grimlock does not speak for all of the Autobots!


November 9th, 2010
4:57 pm

Let’s Roll!


November 9th, 2010
5:01 pm

I’ve been inside the London Eye, and it was great. Atlanta needs tourist attractions, and this is a great idea. We also need a tower (ala Seattle), an arch (ala St. Louis), a statute (ala New York), a bridge, …

Not really, but we should come up with some original architecture that makes this city stand out. Such investments are nice to look at and bring in money for the city.

Great idea Bernie!


November 9th, 2010
5:16 pm

Lipstick on a pig does come to mind….
So many of us who travel to other cities in the U.S. want DESPERATELY to have a downtown that is worth visiting, but as we should have learned by now, all of our downtown gimmicks will fail if we can’t feel SAFE visiting them. Some of the idiots on this blog turn it into a race issue, but it’s not. Chicago, NYC and even DC are extremely diverse, but I don’t feel fear when I’m downtown in those cities.

Eye in the sky

November 9th, 2010
5:26 pm

I’d like to see an aerial tram from the Westin to Centennial Olympic Park!


November 9th, 2010
5:36 pm

maybe if they put a slot machine next to it. How many jobs is a ferris wheel going to generate? We keep taking baby steps to attracting industries to Georgia. Bold, innovative thinking is what we need. In addition to understanding Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina will continue to attract businesses and industries unless we have some forward thinking businesses leaders who are not shackled by backward thinking political leaders.

Shyeah Right

November 9th, 2010
5:42 pm

Our city nightlife (or lack of) is a complete joke, and we’re getting a frickin’ ferris wheel?!? While we’re at it, let’s try to revitalize Underground…AGAIN. Yes, riding this ferris wheel after I buy patchouli incense and stripper shoes along with my airbrushed “Hotlanta” t-shirt from the crappy kiosks sounds like a capital idea. Only time I ever felt safe in downtown ATL was 1996, when there were armed soldiers and policepeople everywhere for the Olympics. Grand opening…grand closing.

I read it as I see it

November 9th, 2010
5:50 pm

Bernie, save our money, Your children will need it with Obama and his ilk.

Question Man

November 9th, 2010
5:57 pm

Wouldn’t a ferris wheel be perfect for Atlanta? Wouldn’t it go round and round and never get anywhere?


November 9th, 2010
6:12 pm

beltline…beltline…please fund the BELTLINE!


November 9th, 2010
6:14 pm

You have got to be kidding me. Enforce quality of life laws and Downtown will attract more than just tourists and panhandlers for goodness sake. Does ANYONE in an Atlanta leadership role have their priorities straight? Bernie needs to do an ‘Undercover Boss’ and spend a couple of weeks living downtown to understand what it needs.

Art Vandalay

November 9th, 2010
6:21 pm

You don’t fear downtown DC or NYC because you don’t live there and read the news everyday. They are as bad if not worse. I have lived in DC and the panhandling problem is 1000 times worse than Atlanta. The difference between MARTA and the DC Metro is instead of standing in urine alone you are standing in urine cramped in a subway car with 300 other people, much better. i have also lived in Tennessee and the person who says they drive to Chattanooga, if it is for a better aquarium fine, but a safer city? not hardly. Only Memphis has more crime than Chat-town in Tennessee. Also, those of you lumping Midtown into your downtown misconceptions have so obviously not ventured out of the ‘burbs in quite sometime. I live in Midtown and have been guilty of downtown bashing myself, trust me they are totally different world. Being in real estate trust me when i say midtown and Buckhead are the only place seen worthy of development in the entire southeast, it is far from a cesspool.