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New York Wheel May Make More Than Empire State Building

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Staten Island's very own version of the London Eye, the New York Wheel, is going to be so lucrative as a tourist destination, its developers say, that it will even surpass the Empire State Building in terms of revenue, The Real Deal reports.

Developers behind the project, Meir Laufer, Richard Marin and Andrew Ratner are estimating pre-tax revenues of $127.85 million in 2017, thereby surpassing the revenue earned by the Empire State Building's observatory deck, which made $111.5 million last year.

In their first year of operation, the developers estimate the Wheel will make $96 million in ticket sales, $10 million for sponsorship deals, and $8.7 million in gift shop sales. By the year 2021, the attraction could be making as much as $166.52 million in revenues.

In order for these estimates to prevail, the Wheel will have to attract four million customers its first year, and 3.5 million tourists each year after that. Empire State in comparison draws 4.3 million visitors annually.

Riders on the Wheel will also have to fork out just a little bit more for the expansive views - tickets are priced at $35 a head compared to $32 to go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

The project most recently got the approval of the City Council, and is slated for completion in 2017.

· New York Wheel developers say it could be more lucrative than the Empire State Building's famous observatory [TRD]
· New York Wheel Moves Forward With City Council Approval [Curbed]
· New York Wheel Archives [Curbed]