Many visitors were very disappointed due to Hong Kong Observation Wheel unexpected closure recently. As Hong Kong’s latest landmark and attraction, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel suddenly stopped its operation starting from the 28th of August without any prior warning or notice. It is obviously not the first surprise this company brought to Hong Kong. No matter its 3-year ago mysterious construction, all-of-a-sudden opening or today’s sudden closure, it seems that it’s the Swiss AEX’s style to remain silence and mystery.
On the day of Hong Kong Observation Wheel unexpected closure
The sudden closure of this attraction came very unexpectedly. Without any explanation, Hong Kong Observation Wheel just simply closed. Customers and visitors stood in front of closed doors with/without purchased tickets, having no idea what happened. Interestingly, there are no prior information or sign that this attraction will shut down. Not only the visitors, but also when asking security guards at the attraction gate, all we got is “no comment”. Surprisingly, even Hong Kong Tourism Board is left in the dark and cannot answer any questions.
There is no clue from their official website about the unexpected closure either. The website simply states that the “The Hong Kong Observation Wheel is closed today”. The lack of information and no comment attitude fuels again the confusion and mystery. In addition, the only information on their website is an email address for a possible refund.
What caused Hong Kong Observation Wheel unexpected closure ?
After several days, the reason of Hong Kong Observation Wheel unexpected closure finally gets clear. The land’s lease for the operator Swiss AEX has expired on Monday (28 August 2017). They have known the failure of bidding for new lease agreement since May 2017, but didn’t make any preparation for the coming issue. So, the next day just a simple notice showed up.
Future of Hong Kong Observation Wheel
For the moment, the future of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel remains unclear. Hong Kong’s Lands Department awarded the Swiss AEX Holding Ltd. a 3-year leasing contract in May 2013. The contract was under the premises to construct and operate a Ferris wheel next to the Central Harbourfront. The new monthly lease rate is around HK$ 1.5 million. The winner of new lease agreement is The Entertainment Corporation Limited (TECL), who is also planning to build a 50-meter ferries wheel on the same location. Whether they will purchase the old Hong Kong Observation Wheel from Swiss AEX is still not for sure. Otherwise, Swiss AEX has to disassemble the ferries wheel and return the land to Lands Department by the end of October 2017.
Update information about Hong Kong Observation Wheel unexpected closure
Update 4th of September 2017: It seems that Hong Kong Observation Wheel will be disassembled by Thursday (7th of September 2017). The news came out that the negotiation between Swiss AEX and new tenant company TECL was not going well. Swiss AEX claimed that the TECL could’t provide proof to have sufficient fund for purchasing the ferries wheel. Thus they may have to start disassembling the ferries wheel this week.
Update 10th of September 2017: After a round of trouble, the old and new operators of Hong Kong Observation Wheel finally reached a consensus. The new operator TECL company will purchase the ferries wheel from Swiss AEX. At present, the old and new operators are discussing the transitional arrangements for the registration and inspection of Hong Kong Observation Wheel. Upon completion, TECL will apply for a license to operate the wheel. The Hong Kong Observation Wheel may open again within half year.