Harry's big wheel deal
€9 to see all the sights in 13 minutes on docklands attraction
Published 28/07/2010 | 05:00
IT is the centrepiece of the entertainment village dreamt up by property developer Harry Crosbie.
'The Wheel of Dublin' stands 60 metres high and offers unparalleled views across the city as far as the Dublin Mountains and Howth Head.
The capsule pods that will carry the passengers will be fitted later this week at the Point Village complex in Dublin's Docklands.
But there's one local who wouldn't dream of taking a ride on it: the developer himself.
"Will I be going up on it? I certainly will not. I hate heights and have vertigo," Mr Crosbie said at the launch yesterday.
But after some gentle goading, it seemed as if the 65-year-old might change his mind.
"Maybe I could be convinced, if I could find a couple of very beautiful women to come with me," he conceded, before adding: "You're in an enclosed capsule up there, so there's no danger of falling out."
The developer hopes to get two years out of the 'Wheel', which cost between €8m and €10m. Visitors can enjoy sky-high views of the capital from Saturday, at a cost of €9 per person for the 13-minute trip.
Mr Crosbie joked that if anyone needed a "stiff drink" afterwards he recommended the nearby Gibson Hotel -- the four-star 252-room hotel at The Point Village -- which also had its media launch yesterday despite being open since July 15.
"Normally, with a big scheme like this everything opens together, but because of the failure of the Celtic Tiger we had to open incrementally," he said.
"We have got the weekend market down here, the new Luas Point station and now we're launching the Gibson Hotel and the wheel, which will be a great summer attraction."
The Docklands-based multi-millionaire said Dunnes Stores was in advanced negotiations to be anchor tenant at the Point Village, which he persevered with through the economic crash. "We've managed to keep going but it has been difficult. The trick is, we don't owe a lot of money. We bought this place years ago for small money, so we should be okay," he said.
He then said his next objective was to find a boatman to sail a gondola across the Liffey between the Gibson Hotel and Grand Canal Theatre.
"They'll be transporting pop stars so they'll need to be able to row, and oh, sing. If there is anyone out there who can fill that criteria, give us a shout," he joked.