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Plans for observation wheel in Balboa Park suspended

balboa park star observation wheel rendering.png
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 22:36:24-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Plans to temporarily install an observation wheel in Balboa Park have been suspended, the city confirmed.

Plans for the Balboa Park Star, which recently gained support from the majority of the city's Balboa Park Committee, would have seen a sky wheel temporarily installed in the park's Plaza de Panama. The effort was considered a feasible method to attract more visitors back as the park's museums and restaurants deal with coronavirus-related closures.

A city spokesperson said due to the "challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," the plans for the Balboa Park Star were halted by David Cohn, of the Cohn Restaurant Group. The group, alongside Sky Views of America, proposed the sky wheel last October.

ABC 10News reached out to the Cohn Restaurant Group but have yet to hear back.


The sky wheel intended to offer rides on 8-person gondolas for $12 - $15 per rider. Officials behind the plan had said the gondolas would be climate-controlled and sanitized and adhere to any coronavirus-related restrictions.

While the idea gained the support of the park's committee, some residents had voice concerns with the observation wheel's aesthetics and potential noise or operational impact to the park.

Last December, the committee said a number of potential impacts would need to be sorted out before the sky wheel could be installed, including a site plan, public safety, liability, permitting, and local outreach.