The Wheel of Excellence will return to Europe during the next week after being sold by its supplier.
In May 2010 the V&A Waterfront secured the rights to host the 50m high Wheel of Excellence as a temporary, added attraction for local and international visitors to the FIFA World Cup tournament last year. The Wheel was subsequently opened on 8 June 2010.
Due to its popularity, the Wheel’s stay at the V&A Waterfront was extended until June this year. “Until very recently we had been in discussions with the City of Cape Town about extending its stay further until the end of 2011,” says Chantelle Kidd, executive manager of strategic marketing at the V&A Waterfront.
“Unfortunately, given its sale to overseas owners, the Wheel will now be leaving our shores. It will start being dismantled from Sunday, 12 June. The entire dismantling process will take about five days, after which it will be shipped back to Europe,” she says.
The V&A Waterfront management team is in talks with the supplier of the Wheel, as well as with the City of Cape Town, about a possible return of a smaller model in the near future. “The possibility of the imminent return of the Wheel, or the installation of a similar structure, is at this stage not excluded,” Kidd says.
The Wheel of Excellence, featuring a fully illuminated structure with 36 enclosed luxury cabins, offered visitors a unique sightseeing opportunity, providing 360 degree view of the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island, Table Mountain, the City and across the Bloubergstrand area towards the Boland mountains.
The Wheel was located at the Canal Site, opposite the Caltex garage at the Coen Steytler entrance to the V&A Waterfront, for the duration of the FIFA World Cup tournament, and remained there until November 2010. From there the Wheel was moved to a more central location on the V&A Waterfront’s Market Square, which saw a steady incline in visitor numbers.
This particular Wheel is without a doubt a well travelled one; prior to its stay here in Cape Town, this particular Wheel did its duty in the heart of Paris in the Champs Elysee where it was a major attraction over the peak Christmas and New Year period, attracting high volumes of visitors.
“We are sad to be saying good bye to the Wheel of Excellence, but we are looking forward to bringing our many loyal local and international visitors other exciting experiences in the near future,” Kidd concludes.
“We would like to encourage visitors to experience the magic of the Wheel of Excellence one last time before it leaves our shores. The Wheel will be open for final visits on Friday and Saturday from 10h00 till 24h00 and Sunday from 10h00 till 18h00, at a cost of R80 for adults and R50 for children (four to twelve years). Children under four years ride at no charge”, says Kidd.