Peering at the Pier:  Last Glimpse of the Old Santa Monica Ferris Wheel, California
3 May 2008 - Page 1 of 2

Page 2

I went to the Santa Monica Pier for the last weekend that the old Ferris wheel would be in operation. Lisa and Lorenzo Scott, drummer for Nectarphonic as well as an avid photographer, joined me to take photos.

The Santa Monica Pacific Wheel Ferris Wheel was put up for auction on eBay in April 2008, with a minimum bid of $50,000, with 50 percent of the winning bid donated to Special Olympics Southern California:


Pacific Park’s High-Flyin’, Nine-Story Tall, Ferris Wheel Features 5,392 Light Bulbs, Reaches Speeds Of 2.5 RPM And Includes 20 Gondolas That Seat Up To 600 Riders Per Hour


Left:  An enthusiastic patron telling her friend about the Pacific Wheel being the first solar-powered Ferris wheel.

The Pacific Wheel catching the rays of the setting sun.

The Pacific Wheel debuted May 1996 with the opening of Pacific Park and was adapted as the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel in November 1998, more eco-friendly fun than you can handle.

The Ferris wheel originally cost approximately $800,000, weighs 122,000 pounds, stands 90 feet tall and is 30 feet wide.

Lisa and I took one last ride on the Pacific Wheel, looking at the setting sun and the boundless Pacific.


The Pacific Wheel has become a Southern California icon over the past 12 years, and has been featured in numerous movies and videos, and has given 3 million people beautiful views of the Santa Monica Bay during their ride.

Not to mention gorgeous sunsets over the Santa Monica Mountains.

Santa Monica Pier just after sunset, as viewed from the top of the Pacific Wheel ferris wheel.

Overlooking the Santa Monica beach.

The red bulbs of the 2,392 white, 1,500 red and 1,500 blue bulbs.

The big new Ferris wheel will have 15,000 total lights of varying colors, all LED for energy efficiency.  And they'll be able to make creative shapes out of 'em.

The octopus-shaped Pacific Park sign looming over the evening beachgoers, as seen from the top of the Pacific Wheel, Santa Monica Pier.

The new Ferris wheel, a $1.5-million state-of-the-art replacement for its 90-foot-tall Ferris wheel that will feature computer-generated special effects, have many more bulbs, and use 75% less power.  And yes, it too will be solar powered!

A Pacific Park employee gazes wistfully at the historic Pacific Wheel as he prepares another game for the many Saturday evening patrons.

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier.

After being put up for auction on eBay, the Pacific Wheel was eventually purchased by Grant Humphreys, the son of a former Oklahoma City mayor, sight unseen, for $132,400. 

'Course, he also had to purchase a supporting base.  He found one for $135,000.

And he gets to pay the shipping for this too.

I found myself wondering if he would still call it the Pacific Wheel.

Photos continued on Page 2.

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Peering at the Pier:  Last Glimpse of the old Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, California
3 May 2008 - Page 1 of 2

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