Myrtle Beach Sun News: Downtown Myrtle Beach's amusement district will reach new heights today with the debut of the SkyWheel.
A crowd of thrill-seekers began lining up as early as 5 a.m. to be the first to experience the nearly 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel, which opened about 10:30 a.m. today following a ribbon cutting ceremony. Jimmy Buffett's LandShark Bar & Grill also will open at the same time.
But the attraction will close from 12 to 5 p.m. today while work is being done on lighting, according to officials. The ride is set to reopen at 5 p.m. today and remain open until 1 or 2 a.m.
Four teens from the Forestbrook Road area rode their bicycles to the attraction and were at the ride at 5 a.m. to get in line, they said. Tanner Singleton, 17, Kameron Hughes, 17, Cody Singleton, 18, and William Tiraboschi, 18, wanted to be first in line.
“Just to say we were the first ones on it,” Cody Singleton said as he and his friends sat on the steps leading up to the ride.
Crews of the attraction were putting the finishing touches on it Friday morning before the grand opening.
Mark and Misty Mills drove more than four hours from their home in Belmont, N.C., to ride the SkyWheel on Friday. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Misty Mills said as the wheel spun in the background.
Officials said they expect the 12 million attraction to lure tourists to the city's downtown area. “I think it’s going to really boost it," Mark Mills said.
Here's what you need to know:
WHERE: The $12 million attraction is on the oceanfront beside Plyler Park in Myrtle Beach.
RIDE COST: $12 for adults, $8 for children ages 3 to 11, free for children ages 2 and younger
THE RIDE: Lasts about 12 minutes and goes around three times
REGULAR HOURS: Opens at 10 a.m. daily, will close about 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.