The aptly named High Roller, the world's tallest observation wheel, has opened in Las Vegas where it serves as the focal point of The LINQ, the innovative shopping, dining and entertainment district on the Las Vegas Strip developed by Caesars Entertainment. The 550-foot tall wheel has 28 glass-enclosed cabins that hold up to 40 passengers each. The 30-minute ride, scheduled day and night, offers unparalleled views of the Strip and surrounding valley. The experience includes a dynamic video and music show that fades away as the wheel ascends along with a colorful nighttime light show. Running behind the scenes is a full suite of Alcorn McBride gear.
"It was a challenge to work with a system spread over a 550-foot tall wheel and a 30-minute ride," says Kevin M. Ruud, a consultant with Design Horizons who served as the design engineer and programmer for the High Roller, the pre-ride building and The LINQ. "It took a lot of rides for us to get all the cues and programming worked out. The programming was especially complex with 28 different timelines for the cabins running simultaneously. We knew the only gear that could handle this accurately and reliably was Alcorn McBride."
When visitors arrive at the wheel's pre-ride building they meet Lucas, the narrator of the High Roller experience. Two Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD units feed monitors throughout the facility. In the security area, visitors see five consecutive portrait-mode monitors where Lucas's image is locked together and interacts with five different feeds of himself. In the reception and bar areas sets of monitors feature graphics and pricing for the ride. A photo area allows visitors to get their pictures taken with the wheel.
The departure concourse houses a 270º curved screen measuring 121 x 13 feet. Six video projectors display a giant, edge-blended image across the screen offering a glimpse of the adventure to come. Moving lights enhance the space and a 12-channel plus subwoofer sound system delivers the audio. An additional screen is over the ride entrance that leads out to the platform. All of the imagery and audio are run from Alcorn McBride V16 Pro and LightCue Pro systems.
Each cabin on the High Roller has a dedicated V16 Pro and A/V Binloop HD, which feed eight monitors wrapped above the windows of the cabin. They display content relevant to the position of the wheel at that moment, such as what sights visitors are seeing and how high in the air the wheel is; a celebratory piece displays when they reach the zenith of the ride. Dedicated AM4 units in each cabin play background music and announcements. All 28 cabins talk back to another V16 Pro on the platform that sends information to each cabin when the wheel is rotating.
When visitors finish riding the High Roller they can stroll along the quarter-mile LINQ, which features a sound system along its entire length. A V16 Pro runs the time-of-day routines, sets levels and adjusts music types. Announcements are run through an AM4, controlled by the V16 Pro.
"I've had experience with Alcorn McBride products and have found them to be reliable and cost effective - just what we needed for the High Roller and the LINQ," says Ruud. "The people at Alcorn are always great to work with, too. They're always available and more than willing to help."
Content for the High Roller attraction was created by the Hettema Group. Hettema Group was also responsible for the design of the wheel, cabins and the building entry. The installation was performed by National Technology Associates; the cabins and cells were built by Leitner-Poma of America, Inc. Building wiring was done by Bombard Electric.
About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry's best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company's products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.