Vegas News

‘Really scary’: How 150 passengers were stranded for 90 minutes on High Roller

Steve Marcus

A view of Strip casinos from the High Roller Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

The High Roller on the Las Vegas Strip stopped working last week, stranding about 150 people on the attraction for nearly an hour and a half, prompting Clark County Fire officials to respond. 

A pod on the High Roller observation wheel tilted and wasn’t able to reset, said Clark County Fire Department spokesman Billy Samuels. The attraction is in The Linq Promenade, owned by Caesars Entertainment. The incident happened shortly after midnight Saturday morning, and the ride was completely unloaded just after 2 a.m.

The wheel will stop automatically if it tilts more than it should, Samuels said. And even though CCFD responded, Samuels credited the maintenance staff with resetting the clutch and clearing most of the passengers from the ride. 

Nobody reported injuries, Samuels said.

Caesars Entertainment, in an emailed statement, said the attraction stopped because of a “network connectivity issue” involving one of the cabins. 

“The High Roller Observation Wheel was stopped during its rotation on Friday night, due to a network connectivity issue involving one of the cabins,” Caesars said in the statement. “Approximately 150 passengers were aboard the wheel at the time. Engineers resolved the network issue within approximately 90 minutes, the wheel’s rotation resumed, and all passengers safely disembarked and received refunds.”

The High Roller raises riders 550 feet in the air and is the largest observation wheel in North America, according to The Linq website. The wheel takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution and features 28 cabins. 

One user on TikTok, @esmyyyyyy, who claimed to be in the cabin when it was over-tilted, said her anxiety was bad even days after, and “we thought we were going to die, so we started calling 911.”

“So first, all the TVs and everything shut down, so we didn’t know what was going on. And then it started tilting, and it wouldn’t stop. … Obviously, it was like, really scary. I thought I was going to die. Like, I genuinely thought I was going to die, so I started calling everyone I knew and told them I was going to die. So it’s like really traumatic.

“They thought that giving us a refund would, like, fix everything. Do not recommend.” 

That video had more than 702,000 views. A follow-up, in which she posted video taken while the ride was stuck, had more than 4.5 million views.

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