Voyager spins Dubai wheel in Las Vegas

Voyager provides more entertainment with its ubiquitous US $150m observation wheel. A company that claimed it had secured financial backing to build the world’s largest observation wheel in Dubai, has rehashed the same project for a new site in Las Vegas.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  October 15, 2005

A company that claimed it had secured financial backing to build the world’s largest observation wheel in Dubai, has rehashed the same project for a new site in Las Vegas. US firm Voyager Entertainment International came to Dubai in April to promote its US $150 million project. But the deal was abandoned after Construction Week revealed that the company was, at that point, on the brink of bankruptcy, having warned the US Securities and Exchange Commission in its quarterly filing that its existing funds would probably not sustain operations. Now the same firm is promoting another big wheel project for a site on the Las Vegas strip, linked to the Westward Ho Hotel and Casino. A statement on the company’s website indicates that the existing 800-room hotel which is currently on the site, would be demolished to make way for the 182-m structure. It states: “Centex Destination Properties, as managing partner of an established limited liability company, has purchased the Westward Ho Hotel and Casino as of Monday 26th September, 2005.” In April, Voyager claimed that it had signed a joint venture agreement with an international investment bank called Allied Investment House (AIH) operating out of the UAE and with offices in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Toronto and Hong Kong. But CW could find no record of the company after making checks with financial regulators in Hong Kong and the US and eventually traced AIH to a serviced office suite in Dubai’s Fairmont Hotel — rented by the day. The Las Vegas-based Voyager firm has never successfully built an observation wheel anywhere, despite promoting schemes as far apart as Dallas and Shanghai.

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