SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Parks officials in San Francisco are seeking to keep the 150-foot observation wheel installed in Golden Gate Park, which has been closed for most of the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through 2025.
The wheel, brought in to celebrate the park’s 150th anniversary, opened more than six months behind schedule due to the shelter-in-place and other restrictions. Once it opened on October 21, the wheel was only in operation for 39 days before San Francisco re-entered the Purple Tier in late November.READ MORE: Lake County Luxury Hotel, Housing Project Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Risk
Officials said only about 65,000 people have visited the wheel, which was expected to accommodate half a million riders in a year. The wheel was originally scheduled to stay through March.READ MORE: Theft Leaves San Jose Couple Bereft: 'We’re Heartbroken, All Our Precious Things Are Gone'
“During the brief time the Wheel was open, it brought immense joy and life to the Music Concourse. It provided people with a respite from the pandemic and a new way to see their beloved park,” said Nancy Bechtle, co-chair of the Golden Gate Park 150th Honorary Committee.
Rodney Fong, also a co-chair of the committee, said the wheel would be a sign of supporting economic recovery following the pandemic. “It’s a unique experience that will help draw tourists back to San Francisco when health officials deem it safe again,” Fong said.MORE NEWS: Indoor Restaurant Dining Resumes, Movie Theaters Reopen in SF and Santa Clara Counties
The proposal is expected to be heard by the park commission’s Operations Committee and Historic Preservation Commission next month.