SkyWheel promises panoramic views of Panama City Beach

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PANAMA CITY BEACH -- (WTVY) A new attraction in Panama City Beach will make people look up pretty soon.
City leaders broke ground Monday for a SkyWheel promising 360 degree panoramic views of the Emerald Coast from Pier Park 180 feet up.
Designers said riders will sit in a glass-enclosed gondola for up to 15 minutes seating as many as six adults and providing air conditioning.

"It's very iconic to have at a beachfront boardwalk to have a ferris wheel, but this is much more than a ferris wheel," Michael Denton, the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Pier Park, said. "This is a state-of-the-art observation wheel that will have 360 [degree] views completely of the Gulf and Pier Park."

The sky high spectacle is scheduled to start turning its gears in Spring 2018, and safety is a top priority for inspectors.

"We're going to be looking at all the footers and stuff that's going to be supporting this large structure," Tyson Scott, a Building Inspector for Panama City Beach, said. "We're going to be looking at all the electrical, plumbing, mechanical stuff on there as well. We're going to be looking at the backup generator at the very end."

The attraction is comparable to the SkyWheel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and will operate year-round directly behind Celebration tower between JcPenney's and Dave & Buster's in Pier Park.

Denton said a price for the attraction hasn’t been decided yet.

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