In the dark with its multi-colored lights aglow the SkyWheel is the skyline of Myrtle Beach.
It is 20-stories of spinning psychedelia that, upon fixing a gaze, might have one wondering if he or she is having a sixties flashback.
The attraction’s rim and spokes are lined with over a million LED lights. I spent last week counting them. (999,996..999,997) Okay, I didn’t really count them. Like much of the information here, I borrowed the light count from SkyWheel’s website.
The monstrosity is nearly as impressive in the daytime, towering over downtown Myrtle Beach, a five or six-block area that is at once tacky and sublime, crazy and cool.
SkyWheel features 42 enclosed, temperature-controlled gondolas. The wheel is the eye from which one can get a spectacular, panoramic view of the city and of the ocean. Its operators advertise the SkyWheel as the centerpiece of the 1.2 mile-long oceanfront boardwalk and promenade.
For $13, Adults can take a ten minute ride that consists of three revolutions (there’s got to be a revolution, man). Children’s tickets cost $9; tots under two board for free. Senior, military and group discounts are offered.
Myrtle Beach has, indeed, had open heart surgery.
Burrough’s $ Chapin (B $ C) tore most of the heart out, closing The Pavilion in 2006 and leveling it soon after. That left the city’s “arteries” — The Gay Dolphin, The Bowery, Peaches Corner, etc. — to try to keep the resort’s blood flowing.
Then Skywheel opened adjacent to Plyler Park in May 2011 and, voila, our city’s downtown was revitalized. Both tourists and locals have a great place to circulate.
We should cherish the attraction.
As B $ C reminded us with the razings of The Pavilion and Myrtle Square Mall, nothing lasts forever.