Thursday, June 7, 2012

Seattle's Waterfront Ferris Wheel Has Me Wondering About Fort Worth's Waterfront Attractions

In the picture, I am guessing you're thinking you are looking at an artist's rendition of the future Lake Granger and the future stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth.

Well, you would be guessing wrong.

What you are looking at is the current state of part of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Seattle.

With a new addition. That round thing at the bottom of the picture, in the middle, is a 175 foot tall Ferris Wheel, stuck on the end of Pier 57. The Ferris Wheel's air-conditioned gondolas are currently being installed, with the Ferris Wheel open for spinning this coming 4th of July.

When I first read about this Seattle Ferris Wheel my reaction was the same that I had when I first read about Fort Worth's Cowtown Wakepark. That there is no way this is going to make a financial go of it.

Unlike the Cowtown Wakepark, the Seattle Ferris Wheel is a private operation, not part of any bizarro vision run amok.

I opined my opinion about the Seattle Ferris Wheel to a fellow Washington exile in Texas. That person opined that he thought this would be a very popular addition to the Seattle Waterfront.

Then I read the comments to the Ferris Wheel article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where a lot of people were opining that this Ferris Wheel is a good thing, with many anxious to ride it.

One guy commented that in addition to air-conditioning and heating the gondolas should also have windshield wipers.

I think my negative reaction to the idea that a Ferris Wheel would succeed on the Seattle Waterfront was caused by the way Texas has altered my perceptions.

Basically, I forgot what a tourist trap Seattle is these days. It's not a seldom visited outpost, like Fort Worth, where you don't see throngs of tourists or out of state license plates.

The last time I was in Seattle was Thursday, August 7, 2008. I spent most of the day in Pioneer Square. Then about 2 in the afternoon I walked to Westlake Center, and then through Pike Place Market to the Seattle Waterfront.

I was so used to the ghost town-like downtowns of Fort Worth and Dallas that I was sort of shocked at the amount of humanity on the streets of Seattle, with Pike Place and the Waterfront being a human traffic jam.

Five or Six cruise ships now use Seattle as their homebase. I suspect those boats account for some of the throngs of people.

If the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle ever comes to fruition I wonder if we will see throngs of tourists on the waterfront of Lake Granger, that being the ever shrinking pond that is a key part of the vision? Will there be a Ferris Wheel? Will a cruise ship take visitors on a cruise up the, likely to be infamous, un-needed flood diversion channel to nowhere?

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