SF Mayor moves to keep giant Ferris wheel at Fisherman's Wharf another 18 months

The SkyStar Wheel at Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco: Mayor London Breed on Tuesday, March 29, 2024, proposed an 18-month extension on the lease for the attraction. The current agreement is set to expire on April 30, 2024. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is seeking to extend the stay of a popular new attraction to the city’s waterfront.

The 150-foot tall Ferris wheel known as the SkyStar moved to Fisherman’s Wharf from its original San Francisco site in Golden Gate Park back in November.

The move was timed with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, which drew tens of thousands of people from around the globe to San Francisco. 

On Tuesday, the mayor introduced a proposal to the Board of Supervisors to allow for an 18-month extension of the special events lease between the Port of San Francisco and SkyStar Wheel LLC, currently set to expire at the end of next month. 

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The port’s special event license with SkyStar is set to expire at the end of next month, and the mayor's action came after the Port Commission last month approved the lease extension plan.

Breed said more than 90,000 visitors have enjoyed the presence of the observation wheel at the Wharf since its relocation four months ago.

"Keeping the SkyStar spinning in Fisherman’s Wharf will secure an attraction within one of San Francisco’s famed tourist destinations, helping attract prospective tenants in and around the area, and bolster visitor foot traffic along the Embarcadero," the mayor said in a press release, adding, "This is the kind of attraction that can make our City a joy for residents and visitors alike."

Port officials called the observation wheel a "symbol of the revitalization underway on the Wharf," and said it has led to increased foot traffic for businesses in and around the area.

The SkyStar Wheel is located near the Bistro Boudin and Pier 39. With the attraction's 36 gondolas, it offers riders views of the city and the Bay, including world-renowned landmarks Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The giant traveling Ferris wheel first arrived in San Francisco in early 2020 as part of Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary celebrations. 

The city said during the attraction's three-year stay at the park, it served more than 650,000 people. 

SkyStar expressed enthusiasm over the potential for an extended stay. "We are thrilled to continue this partnership with San Francisco for the next 18 months," said CEO Todd Schneider.

Breed’s office said the rental extension proposal now goes to a board of supervisors committee for consideration, with the full board expected to vote on the plan next month.