The Wheel Deal: Eric Eberhart

General manager of the High Roller

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

ACHIEVEMENTS: He’s the man in charge of the day-to-day operations of the world’s tallest observation wheel and the marquee attraction at Caesars Entertainment’s Linq development, which begins accepting its first passengers in the spring. Eberhart, who started as a consultant for the High Roller two years ago, spent more than a quarter- century developing strategies for Walt Disney theme parks worldwide.

HIS CHALLENGE: Eberhart was tasked with assisting in developing the pre- and post-ride experience. It’s similar to his duties at Disney, but with a Vegas twist: “I’ve never had a lounge where I’m encouraging someone to have an alcoholic drink before they get on an attraction. Mickey just didn’t work quite that way!”

REINVENTING THE WHEEL: The 550-foot-tall High Roller features 28 cabins, each weighing about 44,000 pounds, each capable of accommodating up to 40 passengers and each cooled by 8 tons of air conditioning (twice that of a typical home).

THE $30 QUESTION: How many people are really going to spend that on a 30-minute Ferris wheel ride? “I have no doubt that … we’ll make the bottom line without any problem,” Eberhart says. “The bigger challenge may be, ‘How do I handle the influx that we weren’t anticipating?’”

GUEST HOST: “A lot of companies talk about patrons or customers,” says Randy Printz, project manager for the High Roller, who’s known Eberhart since the 1970s, when both worked at Disney. “One of the things we’ve learned at The Mouse is, ‘No, they’re guests.’ And that’s a significant difference. A guest is somebody that you have an obligation to, somebody you’re trying to make feel as good as they can.”

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