Chicago has always been a city of unique popular innovations. Innovations like creating the world’s first Ferris wheel in 1893. The iconic Ferris wheel at Navy Pier today is not the original one, but it is one of the most popular attractions in the city.
The Ferris wheel is so popular that many cities have installed one in the middle of their downtown area or overlooking a pier like the one we see at Navy Pier. The cities with a large Ferris wheel include: London since 1999, Las Vegas since 2016, Seattle since 2012, Washington, D.C. since 2014, Orlando since 2014 and St. Louis since a week ago.
Yes, Chicagoans, our fellow Midwest neighbor has installed their own Ferris wheel called the St. Louis wheel in hopes of drawing more tourists or at least in an attempt to keep their residents from touring our great city, which has been breaking records for visitors the over last few years.
Last year, over 57.6 million visitors visited Chicago which beat out Los Angeles 50 million visitors. Now, St. Louis is making a play to cut into our city’s booming tourism industry with a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel at the city’s Union Station that is taller than ours which the news in St. Louis won’t stop repeating over and over again. And let’s not forget the St. Louis Aquarium also known as the city’s answer to our popular Shedd Aquarium will open in December at the Union Station.
Sooner or later, St. Louis will learn that it takes more than a Ferris Wheel and a nice Aquarium to become a major tourism city, but these new additions combined with the city’s rich history could put a dent in Chicago’s tourism numbers.