San Francisco

Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park to Open Oct. 21 After Pandemic Delays

The SkyStar observation wheel is in place to celebrate the popular San Francisco park's 150th anniversary

NBC Universal, Inc.

The prolonged wait is almost over.

A 150-foot observation wheel being set up in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is set to open Oct. 21. The massive attraction was supposed to open in April for a one-year run to celebrate the park's 150th anniversary, but the opening was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers on Monday used a crane to attach 36 temperature-controlled gondolas to the SkyStar observation wheel.

"The view, while I can’t wait to see it myself, is from San Francisco downtown and beyond and then of course the bay and the Pacific Ocean," SkyStar spokesman Jon Finck said.

SkyStar said COVID-19 precautions will be in place when rides begin. The gondolas, which can seat six, will not be filled to capacity in order to allow for spacing. They will also be sanitized after each group gets off.

In an effort to reduce crowding, riders will have to make a reservation beforehand. When it's time to board, riders will not be placed in a gondola with a stranger or another group.

"We’ve really made the effort to ensure that this is going to be a healthy and safe ride for everybody," Finck said.

Many observers who watched Monday's gondola installation said they've already purchased tickets.

"Just an opportunity for people to get together and share an experience," Tom Greene of San Francisco said. "I mean, that’s been all too missing from our last several months here in San Francisco. So, I think this is something to celebrate."

Once it's up and running, the wheel will stay open until October 2021, but it could stay open even longer depending on public reaction.

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