Until the developer of Las Vegas' newest attraction—the $300 million SkyVue observation wheel—had filled in the gaps in the project's finances, the contractors' legal bills seemed to be climbing higher than the structure.

Photo by Tony Illia
SkyVue broke ground in late 2011 along the Las Vegas Strip.
Image courtesy SkyVue
SkyVue includes a two-story, 200,000-sq-ft base building with two dozen retail shops, restaurants and convention space.

Now, according to developer Howard Bulloch, his steel observation wheel and retail complex on the Las Vegas Strip across from Mandalay Bay Resort "is approaching a period of huge momentum" as construction financing has been finalized, tenants sign up and parts for the wheel arrive from around the world.

One of two observation wheel projects being built in Las Vegas, SkyVue has shed its liens but still faces delays. The project's centerpiece will be 500-ft-high and afford views of the Las Vegas Strip.

The legal situation cleared up somewhat January 25th. A Clark County District Court posted that the $5.4 million in mechanics liens against the project had been released.

According to a statement by SkyVue, the project was “required by the title company to go through this process to be able to ensure first priority for our construction loan,” and it now has no outstanding construction debt or liens.

And to counter media reports that the project was in danger of foreclosure, Wayne Perry of Shotgun Creek Investments, a key source of the project's financing, proclaimed that his company has "invested tens of millions in the project and hope they'll allow us to invest more."

San Diego-based general contractor Ledcor Group had filed the largest lien, for $3.3 million, against the project. MMC Inc., a foundations contractor located in Las Vegas, had filed a lawsuit for $1.1 million in unpaid bills in Clark County District Court on January 14.

Previous statements from SkyVue regarding the liens stated that funding was being arranged through Shotgun Creek. Multiple media reports indicated that the investment group also provided $9.5 million to the project last year for the payment of a mortgage, but this could not be confirmed.

Original estimates placed the wheel’s completion date at the end of 2012.

Plans call for an 18-in-diameter tubular steel wheel with 16 spokes that connect to a custom spindle and hub assembly made up of two massive 26,000-lb. roller bearings manufactured in Germany. The wheel will feature 32 glass-encased gondolas, each with a 25-person capacity.