Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Why we’re not amused by amusement park plans

A 19th century entertainment is sweeping Vegas. No, not that one. Or that one. Would you believe ... Ferris wheels? This week Caesars Entertainment dusted off a two-year-old plan to complete the flagship property’s Octavius Tower and build a 550-foot “observation wheel” behind Imperial Palace. And on Wednesday, county commissioners approved a proposal for an amusement park accented by a slightly smaller Ferris wheel across from Mandalay Bay. Those would compete with the wheel at the Sahara Avenue street fair where we currently satisfy our taste for carnies and elephant ears. Let’s be clear: We’re as pro-wheel as the next magazine, but we can’t help thinking the Entertainment Capital of the World can do better. The amusement park proposal indicates the project will be of the boardwalk variety, with various tents and rides on only 9.6 acres. (Knott’s Berry Farm, by comparison, spans 160.) That’s a shame. A full-scale theme park would offer parents an excuse to bring the kids to Vegas and give casino-weary locals another entertainment option. Imagine the fun to be had with a Vegas-themed Six Flags: Bugsy’s Shooting Gallery, the Home-Value Plunge. Heck, there’s even a smash-mouth spokesperson/mascot who will soon be looking for his next gig. Step right up to Goodman’s Gorge!

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