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User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) shiftgreen  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 2:00:31 PM(UTC)
shiftgreen
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I checked with Jim Strates, and he confirmed what I had thought: Our
Skywheel is semi-retired and will not operate at the North Carolina State
Fair this year. There is not enough ridership. It seems that most people
just aren't interested in the ride.

We hope you will still have a fun visit on our carnival midway.

Best regards.

Kathi Mauser
_________________________________________________________
Some people probably already knew.. but I had to make sure
ugh! .. I woulda thought they would atleast bring it back this year, but I guess not. Man thats a huge let down. Especially when I heard all those rumors a while back. Oh well, it looks like I will have to go to another state or something just to see a skywheel, it just wont be the same though, and I doubt I really will.

Sponsor
Offline Skywheelrider  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 2:17:02 PM(UTC)
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I feel for you man. I know EXACTLY what you are going through. For years here in Michigan I had Wade, Pugh, and Crown all traveling with a Sky Wheel. Was not one weekend in the Spring when I would not be able to see one. I kind of took it for granted. Then Crown sold their's, then Wade started using their's a little less, then Pugh's crashed in 2001 no longer to run again, and in 2001 it reached a head when Wade did not even bring their's to the Michigan State Fair, and they have not since. In 2002 I had to go all the way to Lima, Ohio to see Poor Jack Amusements' Sky Wheel just to see one, and could not even ride it because they had problems with it! Disapprove

Thankfully now McDonagh's Amusements here in Michigan has fully restored a 1965 Allan Herschell Sky Wheel to brand-new like condition and Matt McDonagh says they will have it out at as many spots as they can from here on out. I have been on it, and it is awesome, so smooth, fast, and quiet. A truly beautiful piece. Photos of it are in the McDonagh's Amusements albums at http://community.webshots.com/user/wonderlandshows . Oh, and I did get to back to Lima to see Poor Jack's Sky Wheel, but again could not ride it, no single riders. Got a surprise though when I went to see them in Wauseon, Ohio 10 days later--they had the Sky Wheel there and I was with a friend so I got to ride it--AWESOME ride. So, things are okay for now, I have two Sky Wheels I can see! Big Smile

Before McDonagh, the last Sky Wheel I rode was Amusements of America's at the 2001 Ohio State Fair, and now they have sold their's as well, to Power's Great American Midways (who have from what I have seen is a beautiful Sky Wheel that they operate a lot, especially in North Carolina, you should look for it). Smile
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
Offline bigeli  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 2:28:04 PM(UTC)
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LONG LIVE THE SKYWHEEL!!!!!!!!
So, in a few years, if you're walking down a midway and see a Sixcat or a Swinger or a bucket, look around. You might recognize an old man with a smile on his face. Especially if he's saying, "Hey Buddy, can I ask ya?" -sixcat,circa. 2007
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) shiftgreen  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 2:36:48 PM(UTC)
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ya, well he did say "semi" retired , so maybe they will bring it back if they do good this year and can afford an extra set of men to handle it. By the looks of it, they may not make a lot of money at my fair, but hopefully we can break a record like we did in 2000, with over 846,000 people. That will show Raleigh , Strates is on the right track maybe.
Offline Midway Provydr  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:20:15 PM(UTC)
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Quote:
quote:
Before McDonagh, the last Sky Wheel I rode was Amusements of America's at the 2001 Ohio State Fair, and now they have sold their's as well, to Power's Great American Midways (who have from what I have seen is a beautiful Sky Wheel that they operate a lot, especially in North Carolina, you should look for it).


Yeah, Powers brings their Skywheel when they come to Durham NC. Wink
Offline Midway Provydr  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:22:02 PM(UTC)
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I truely hate that it won't be in Winston Salem or Raleigh again this year, those were my two chances to ride it. Sad
Offline Midway Provydr  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:32:19 PM(UTC)
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One more thing, what i dont understand is why the skywheel is becoming a relic of the past but the ferris wheel which has been around just as long or longer is still going stong, being modernized and all. It would seem that the double spinning of the skywheel would come off as more thrilling and attract a big crowd. The ferris wheels obviously still get a lot of attention, so whats so different about the skywheel that it doesn't get the attention??

Inquiring minds want to know!
Offline Skywheelrider  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:46:50 PM(UTC)
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Quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Midway Provydr

One more thing, what i dont understand is why the skywheel is becoming a relic of the past but the ferris wheel which has been around just as long or longer is still going stong, being modernized and all. It would seem that the double spinning of the skywheel would come off as more thrilling and attract a big crowd. The ferris wheels obviously still get a lot of attention, so whats so different about the skywheel that it doesn't get the attention??

Inquiring minds want to know!

A Sky Wheel is very difficult to move, and can be a maintainence nightmare. And a lot of guys do not want to deal with it. Sky Wheels do very well here in the Midwest, but in other parts of the country, not so well. Yes it is attractive to have on a midway, but in some spots, being that it is difficult to set-up/tear down/maintain, and if hardly anyone rides it, well, I think you see where I am going. And a lot of shows are going to more of the one trailer rides, which is where rides like the Eli Wheel's come in real nice. The Eli Signature wheel is 65' tall, yes, about 13 1/2' shorter than the Sky Wheel, but still tall enough to attract attention, and only one trailer too. See what I mean? But still, the Sky Wheel has always been, still is, and always will be THE KING OF THE MIDWAY! Smile
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) shiftgreen  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 4:01:08 PM(UTC)
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maybe people dont feel safe on them, b/c of its age. but I would feel more safe on that then a older zipper, and I think we have 2 of them at our fair. I dont know what a modernized SkyWheel would look like, but it wouldnt be the same if they changed the look. Oh well maybe if more carnivals carry them, it would start a trend.
oh , they could however replace the two frames that hold the ride, and convert them steel beams, like the larger ferris wheels, change the seats to more of a modernized (KMG Fireball) type seat with shoulder harness's, and have the seats freely move on there own axes also controlled by air hydralics, so it can do the whole Top Spin thing when the main boom is rotating..talk about freaky , and bulk up the joints that hold in the seats, those things always looked flimsy. reduce the sway, one thing I noticed on the strates skywheel, and maybe it would then be modernized. of course it wont happen.
Offline rdcolles  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 4:48:04 PM(UTC)
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Quote:
quote:
Originally posted by shiftgreen

maybe people dont feel safe on them, b/c of its age. but I would feel more safe on that then a older zipper, and I think we have 2 of them at our fair. I dont know what a modernized SkyWheel would look like, but it wouldnt be the same if they changed the look. Oh well maybe if more carnivals carry them, it would start a trend.
oh , they could however replace the two frames that hold the ride, and convert them steel beams, like the larger ferris wheels, change the seats to more of a modernized (KMG Fireball) type seat with shoulder harness's, and have the seats freely move on there own axes also controlled by air hydralics, so it can do the whole Top Spin thing when the main boom is rotating..talk about freaky , and bulk up the joints that hold in the seats, those things always looked flimsy. reduce the sway, one thing I noticed on the strates skywheel, and maybe it would then be modernized. of course it wont happen.




It's not a safety issue, it's just a lot of work to put them up and take them down. If you ever get a chance to see one being set up find out first hand. There's no doubt in my mind that a skywheel COULD be redesigned as a one trailer ride considering what they have done with the current one trailer wheels, but it's doubtful that the development costs could be recouped because people would not likely buy them. Guess we're fortunate in Michigan to have someone here who has taken an interest in one and restored it. I'll bet, however, that if McDonaghs had to pay someone to do the restoration rather than do it themselves that it would have never happened. The cost would be tremendous. Even now I'll bet it will be a while before they recoup the $ they have spent on it. But man, does it look nice!
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) shiftgreen  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 5:12:31 PM(UTC)
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plus if they convert to a one trailer ride, it might be smaller. I dont know if I could get used to a 50 foot sky wheel. Im suprised it does take a lot of work, I mean the Kroon Wheel we get from strates (I think its a Kroon) takes almost the whole week to get set up, b/c of its size, I guess b/c of its attraction, people love it. Ugh again.. the skywheel has been going to our fair ever since I was born..not one year has it been gone, till 2001.
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) the_rock401  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, September 24, 2003 6:59:46 PM(UTC)
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Quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Skywheelrider

Thankfully now McDonagh's Amusements here in Michigan has fully restored a 1965 Allan Herschell Sky Wheel to brand-new like condition and Matt McDonagh says they will have it out at as many spots as they can from here on out. I have been on it, and it is awesome, so smooth, fast, and quiet. A truly beautiful piece. Photos of it are in the McDonagh's Amusements albums at http://community.webshots.com/user/wonderlandshows . Oh, and I did get to back to Lima to see Poor Jack's Sky Wheel, but again could not ride it, no single riders. Got a surprise though when I went to see them in Wauseon, Ohio 10 days later--they had the Sky Wheel there and I was with a friend so I got to ride it--AWESOME ride. So, things are okay for now, I have two Sky Wheels I can see! Big Smile


That really is a beautiful job that McDonagh's did with that Sky Wheel. It was at the Minnesota State Fair, and a great, high-res shot of it can be seen in the second MSF album at my webshots, http://community.webshots.com/user/the_rock401

Paul
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you have to take a rain check.

DON'T FEED THE TROLL
User is suspended until 12/25/2100 12:00:00 PM(UTC) Steve F.  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2003 3:22:41 AM(UTC)
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Whatever became of that "Turbolite Skywheel"? I remember someone on here was gabbing about a show which was reconditioning their skywheel with programed turbolite strips. What ever became of that, it sounds really neat.
Offline Skywheelrider  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2003 7:12:41 AM(UTC)
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Originally posted by Steve F.

Whatever became of that "Turbolite Skywheel"? I remember someone on here was gabbing about a show which was reconditioning their skywheel with programed turbolite strips. What ever became of that, it sounds really neat.

That was McDonagh. They deterimined that it was easier to go with the neon than turbo lights. Yes it would have been cool, but Matt McDonagh said the neon was easier and less costly. Smile
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
Offline HUSSRAINBOW  
#15 Posted : Thursday, September 25, 2003 7:43:42 AM(UTC)
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oooh wish I could ride one, don't complain people, we don't even have one in Australia
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