The Skyviews Miami observation wheel is open for business, and its owners and city leaders are hoping it will quickly become an iconic landmark in the city.
"It's going to be a destination point. And we needed something like this," Commissioner Manolo Reyes said Wednesday at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The attraction towers almost 200 feet above Bayside Marketplace and features 42 enclosed gondolas. Each ride lasts about 15 minutes.
"It’s gonna be on postcards, it’s going to be on everything. Part of the landscape," Skyviews' Guy Leavitt said.
And in true Miami fashion, there’s a VIP gondola that features leather seats and a glass bottom floor.
"This is something that says to Miami, 'Bayside is back and Bayside is open!'" Commissioner Ken Russell said.
City leaders said the attraction will promote economic development during a time that's been very difficult for many businesses.
"It's not only creating 70 permanent jobs, it’s not only an $18 million investment in our city, without the city having to put one penny into it, we share in the revenue and we also are getting a tremendous branding and marketing opportunity," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.
Skyview Miami’s management said they plan to sanitize each gondola after every use and they’re following all necessary guidelines to keep riders safe. Tickets for adults cost $17 and $13 for kids.
"During COVID obviously the difficulty has been finding the balance between health and economic health. And we’re learning that, we’re figuring that out and there are safe ways to operate within the city," said Russell.