Earl Ketry, owner of Buffalo RiverWorks, is off to the races… again. Back in August, we posted that Ketry was in the process of acquiring a giant ferris wheel that would be positioned at “The Wharf” along the Buffalo River.
It turns out that in order to construct a staging area at the site, engineers deemed that it would cost around $500K to erect. Ketry told me that once he heard that number, the “wheels began to turn.” Instead of spending all of that money to get the attraction as close to the river as possible, what about taking the $500K and doing something more “outrageous” a little further inland? It was then that Ketry asked whether it would be possible to place the ferris wheel on top of Stonehenge (the base structure of a demolished grain silo – now a beer garden). The engineers came back with a green light, which means that the ferris wheel has now found a permanent home at RiverWorks – a location that will position the ride an additional 15′ higher than originally planned!
“Now, people will be around 100′ in the air when they reach the top, which is the same height as the Labatt Six Pack,” said Ketry. “That means that you will now be able to look out over to the Outer Harbor. Can you imagine watching the sunsets over the water? We got the engineers to ‘bless it,’ and when it opens in spring of 2021, we’re going to tie it all in to our 100 Days of Summer music series, with live music 7 days a week (collaborating with Music is Art). The ferris wheel will be very dynamic, with upgrades to the lighting package that will feature a giant silhouette broadcasting incredible light shows, visible from The Skyway. We’re going to keep making big splashes. We want the ferris wheel to be operational by Mother’s Day in 2021 – we are going to have a brunch, where everyone gets to ride the attraction.”
Along with the ferris wheel, Ketry is also in talks about purchasing a kids’ “choo-choo train,” which will make laps around the grounds, as well as a giant 100′ “fun slide,” – both rides will be similar to attractions once found at Crystal Beach. Now, if he could only get his hands on the giant Paul Bunyan lumberjack that once greeted visitors at Crystal Beach… that would be the icing on a very spectacular cake.