The 150-foot Ferris wheel that’s technically known as the SkyStar Observation Wheel is scheduled to shut down April 30, but could stay at Fisherman’s Wharf through October 2025 if Mayor Breed gets her way.

SF’s SkyStar Observation Wheel Ferris wheel has had a wild ride since it was brought to Golden Gate Park in 2020 for the park’s 150th anniversary, and was supposed to be up for the duration of that year. Well, circumstances intervened, and thanks to COVID, the Ferris wheel that was supposed to go up in April 2020 did not start operating until October 2020.  And then it was only open for five weeks, because the Omicron variant shut everything back down in December 2020.

And then there was the politics of this thing. The SkyStar Wheel was extended to 2025, but supervisors Connie Chan and Aaron Peskin wanted that extension shortened, alleging there may have been some sort of Mohammed Nuru-style corruption behind the Ferris wheel’s (for-profit) finances. Yet Peskin suddenly became one of the Ferris wheel's biggest cheerleaders when he proposed moving it to his district at Fisherman’s Wharf, which the city did in November, in time for the APEC Summit.  

The SkyStar Wheel’s Fisherman’s Wharf residency was supposed to come to an end on April 30, just six weeks from today. But the Examiner reports that SF Mayor London Breed is proposing extending the Ferris wheel’s run for another 18 months, which would place it there until about Halloween 2025.

“San Francisco is a city known for its incredible views, and the SkyStar on our waterfront is moving up that list,” Breed said in a Thursday announcement. “This is the kind of attraction that can make our City a joy for residents and visitors alike. We are welcoming more people to our city every day, with incredible events like our recent St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Chinese New Year Parade.”

Breed’s release claims that 90,000 people have ridden the observation wheel in the four months since it was moved to Fisherman's Wharf, and that neighborhood businesses insist that it has brought more foot traffic. Most importantly, the people at SkyStar seem very, very eager to have their contract extended.

"We are thrilled to continue this partnership with San Francisco for the next 18 months,” Skystar CEO Todd Schneider said in Breed’s press release (and notably, his quote was included in Breed's press release). "The Fisherman's Wharf community, including residents, small business owners, and tourists have welcomed us with open arms and we are proud to be a part of this community."

But Breed’s proposal is just that: a proposal. The press release says that Breed “introduced legislation to the Board of Supervisors that will allow for the extension of the lease.” So the final call will come down to the SF Board of Supervisors. But considering the leader of the early ferris wheel opposition movement Aaron Peskin is now a Ferris wheel champion, it seems unlikely that there will be much Board of Supervisors opposition spinning up around this Ferris wheel.

Related: Golden Gate Park Ferris Wheel Moving to Fisherman's Wharf Ahead of APEC Summit [SFist]

Image: SkyStar Wheel via Yelp