The world’s tallest observation wheel opened in Las Vegas on March 31, 2014. Railings featuring Banker Wire woven wire mesh guide visitors onto the 550-foot High Roller, which takes them on 30-minute rides high above the Las Vegas strip.
The High Roller is the centerpiece of the LINQ, a Caesars Entertainment shopping and entertainment district. The wheel holds up to 1,120 people in 28 glass-enclosed and air-conditioned gondolas. Forty people can sit in each of the spherical cabins to experience a panoramic view of Las Vegas, or watch one of eight monitors playing video and music shows. Parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard, the wheel’s more than 2,000 LED lights display a multi-colored nightly show, visible from almost any point in the Las Vegas valley.
Guests board the High Roller after a multi-level, preshow experience, which includes a 270-degree surround theater and a bar and lounge. The boarding process begins on the third floor. There, visitors file onto the ride from a path lined with a stainless steel railing system – composed of a Banker Wire frame and woven wire mesh and a handrail by R.B. Wagner.
“Southwest Architectural Metals teamed directly with the architect to redesign a custom stainless steel railing system that uses Banker Wire’s Versatile Spine frame and R.B. Wagner’s illuminated handrail,” says senior project manager Matt Wright, of Southwest Architectural Metals, Henderson, NV, the fabricator for the project. “The outcome of the collaboration provided the owner with a superior product that was custom-built to suit this unique project.”
Southwest Architectural Metals designed the stainless steel railing system – relying on Banker Wire’s Versatile Spine frame to work seamlessly with the illuminated handrail. Just ½-inch thick, the Versatile Spine frame offers a stylish alternative to traditional framing and provides a strong interface for the woven wire mesh infill, as its laser-cut center spine aligns perfectly with the fabric’s perimeter.
The Banker Wire L-62 metal fabric used at the High Roller has a contemporary look that matches the wheel’s sleek aesthetic. This unique lock crimp weave, which is characterized by a highly defined bump where its wires intersect, provides strength and durability. These characteristics make it ideal for providing fall protection and withstanding heavy use at the popular destination. Like all Banker Wire woven wire mesh, it was manufactured with special attention to repeatability and consistency, which allowed for efficient fabrication and installation during the time-sensitive project.
Before ordering the stainless steel frames and woven wire mesh from Banker Wire, Southwest Architectural Metals needed to establish field dimensions. The company worried that this process, combined with product lead-time and the geographic location of Banker Wire’s facility might create tight delivery deadlines. However, Banker Wire ensured that the most expedited delivery dates possible were given and met. Since Banker Wire is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of woven and welded wire and has one of the nation’s most modern and productive mills, they can produce custom materials to exact specifications under the strictest deadlines.
The High Roller was announced in 2011 and opened to the public in 2014. The project team includes owners Caesars Entertainment, general contractor W.A. Richardson Builders, Las Vegas, subcontractor American Bridge Co., Coraopolis, PA, designers The Hettema Group of Pasadena, CA, and THG of Nevada LLC of Las Vegas, engineer of record Arup Engineering, San Francisco, and fabricator Southwest Architectural Metals, Las Vegas.