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From the Ground Up: Branson Ferris Wheel

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Owner/developer: The Track Family Fun Parks
General contractor: DeWitt & Associates Inc.
Architect: Butler Architects PC
Engineers: Dutch Wheels (Vlodrop, Netherlands) and Engineering Consultants Inc. (Little Rock, Ark.), structural; and Tate Engineering Consultants, civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing
Size: 10,100 square feet
Estimated cost: $4 million
Lender: Central Bank of the Ozarks
Estimated completion: June 22
Project description: The Track Family Fun Parks President and CEO Craig Wescott said the Branson-based company moved quickly last fall to bring a Ferris wheel to the Highway 76 strip when officials learned Chicago was replacing the Navy Pier attraction after 20 years. The Track bought the 150-foot tall, 40-gondola wheel – which can hold up to 240 people – for under $2 million, but Westcott said the transition to the Branson Ferris Wheel represents an investment of $4 million. Project plans include construction of two buildings at the base of the wheel: an 1,100-square-foot ticket office and a 200-square-foot building for souvenir photo sales. The wheel’s footprint spans 8,800 square feet. Netherlands-based Dutch Wheels has led the installation of the Ferris wheel on the site of Track 4’s former Gator Golf course.

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