A COMMISSION dedicated to protecting and beautifying the harbourfront wants thought to be given as to whether the Observation Wheel in Central should be a permanent feature.
Hong Kong’s wheel was closed recently after the government granted tenancy rights to another company, though the two sides reached an agreement last month that prevented the existing contraption being torn down. The new operator, Entertainment Corp, is applying for permits to restart the wheel next month under a short-term tenancy deal valid until 2020.
A recent commission meeting noted that the present wheel, put up by former tenant-operator Swiss AEX, is 57 metres in diameter compared to the London
Eye’s 120m. That makes it a ‘mini-wheel’, Harbourfront Commission (海濱事務委員會) Chairman Nicholas Brooke said, and officials should think on that when looking ahead.
Christine Au Wing-yan, the Development Bureau’s principal assistant secretary for harbour matters (發展局首席助理秘書長 (海港) 區穎恩), said people’s views will be taken into account. She said fi ve million people were attracted to the area by the wheel and other events on the Central harbourfront in the past few years, which shows an “appetite” for such attractions.
But long-term development will also affect the wheel’s future, Au said, for it stands in an area set to be a public open area of 10 hectares, and the Planning Development sees a promenade being built.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 October 2017)
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