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Ferris wheel as high as 10-story building planned for Bay Beach

This Ferris wheel is similar to a ride that is being proposed for Bay Beach Amusement Park. This wheel was shown as part of a presentation at Green Bay's city hall on July 12, 2017. (Photo credit: WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A new Ferris wheel is a spin closer to being on its way for Green Bay's Bay Beach Amusement Park.

The ride was discussed publicly for the first time late Wednesday afternoon at Green Bay's parks committee meeting.

The Friends of Bay Beach, which is the park's fundraising group, is planning to donate $2.1 million for the new Ferris wheel. That donation would cover purchasing the ride brand new, engineer work, and installation.

The current Ferris wheel at Bay Beach is one of the park's oldest rides. It isn't going anywhere, but the additional wheel would be twice its height and about triple its capacity.

“They are two very different rides,” said Jason Arnoldi, the manager of Bay Beach. “The current Ferris wheel is much more of a thrill ride. It goes a lot faster, whereas the new Ferris wheel is more of a scenic kind of deal.”

“If you've seen lots of other cities, San Diego, places like this, this will be the type of wheel when they do a flyover on Monday Night Football, this is going to be something that is going to be in the skyline of Green Bay,” said Robert Shade, a member of the Friends of Bay Beach.

A lighting package would be part of the donation.

An exact location for the ride hasn't been decided. However, city staff wants it be as close to the water as possible, where they plan to return the park's swimming beach, and put in a boardwalk.

“We need to work with the DNR on a few things and maybe look at some basic sites,” said Arnoldi. “We have a rough idea where we want it to go, but we may have to play with that a little bit in the coming months here.”

One stipulation the Friends of Bay Beach is requiring with the donation is that all Bay Beach revenue keeps being reinvested in the park.

“In the old days it used to go back in the general fund,” said Shade. “What we're requesting is as we produce more revenues with this Ferris wheel that they stay with the park.”

The goal is the Ferris wheel will be ready to ride and generate revenue in April of 2019.

The city council is expected to formally vote on accepting the ride donation at its July 18th meeting.

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