Rio de Janeiro will add another element to its already stunning postcard image this Friday (6) when it inaugurates the largest giant wheel in Latin America. It will be like climbing a 25-story building, only in (slow) motion.
From above, the attraction promises another perspective of the city's sights. On one side, downtown with Morro da ProvidÃªncia and, in the background, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. On the other, the Museum of Tomorrow, Guanabara Bay and the Rio-NiterÃ³i bridge.
If the sky is very clear, you can still see the Serra dos ÃrgÃ£os and its peak Dedo de Deus, almost 70 km away, in TeresÃ³polis.
One of Rio Star's challenges will be to bring visitors to a still undeveloped part of the port area compared to other Rio attractions - the very end of Porto Maravilha, revitalized for the 2016 Olympics.
"It will be an inducer of new ventures in that area, which is already starting to heat up in terms of movement," says TarquÃnio de Almeida, president of CDURP (Urban Development Company of the Porto Region), the city hall that manages the region.
This final stretch lacks details such as lawn, sidewalks, and signs. The total cost of the venture is a mystery. "Tens of millions of reais," replies Fabio Bordin, CEO of FW Investimentos.
What he discloses is just the number of tickets he expects to sell: 2,700 a day or 1 million a year, based on market research on Rio's attractions inside and outside Porto Maravilha. It is a quarter of the annual London Eye audience.
"Each cabin holds up to eight people [up to one wheelchair], which gives 432 people every 18 minutes on average. The wheel will operate at 25% of its full capacity, which means it can still grow a lot," he says. Bordin.
A few weeks ago, Rio Star won in Orlando (USA) the "unprecedented project" award from the Association of Amusement Park Companies of Brazil (Adibra) as the largest ferris wheel in Latin America and one of the 20 largest in the world. Although large in height, it is not significant in area.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon