OXON HILL, Md. (WNEW/AP) — An amazing time-lapse video shows the construction of the newly opened Capital Wheel at the National Harbor.
Crews began erecting the wheel at the end of the pier in February and completed their efforts in May. The video condenses the nearly three-month time span into 1:47.
The newest attraction is opening in time for summer: a 180-foot (54-meter) Ferris wheel built over the water, inspired by similar wheels in London and Paris. The $15 million Capital Wheel features views of Washington in the distance, as well as the river. Its 42 air-conditioned gondolas hold a total of 332 people.
National Harbor began with a convention center and 2,000-room hotel that opened amid the Great Recession. Over time, it’s drawn conferences, as well as tourists and families driving from Philadelphia, Baltimore and Virginia. Officials said visitor numbers total 8 million to 10 million annually.
Five hotels now offer views of the water. The harbor has added paddle boating and waterfront activities. The National Children’s Museum moved here from Washington. New townhouses sell for more than $500,000, and businesses are leasing office spaces. In November, an outlet shopping center opened nearby, and MGM will open a casino resort in 2016.
Developer Jon Peterson called the casino, outlet shopping and the Capital Wheel a “triple crown” of attractions.
Officials say the National Harbor has room to grow, with enough land to triple in size.
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