National Harbor to Include Ferris Wheel

Long before MGM opens Maryland’s sixth casino in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the casino site at National Harbor will feature a 175-foot Ferris wheel.

Milt Peterson, the developer behind the National Harbor mixed-used project that will be the site of Maryland’s sixth casino in two years, announced that the development will add a 175-foot-tall Ferris wheel this spring.

Slated to be unveiled in April, the brightly lit Ferris wheel will offer visitors to National Harbor 12-to-15-minute rides overlooking the Potomac River, with the iconic monuments of Washington, D.C. up-river in plain view.

“When you have a place like National Harbor or Washington, you need new things, iconic things, not piddly things,” Peterson told the Washington Post. “When you do something like this wheel, you are going to get people from Richmond driving here, people from Philadelphia driving here.”

Jon Peterson, Milt’s son and head of the family’s development firm Peterson Companies, said the wheel will be visible to air travelers flying into Reagan National Airport. “When people fly into National, they are going to be saying, ‘Holy cow. Look at that. I want to go there,’” he told the Post. “This will just solidify that we will be the place to be in the Washington area. This just adds another item to our bag of tricks.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, who led the charge to bring the MGM gaming license to National Harbor, told the newspaper the new attraction, to be called the Capital Wheel, proves that Peterson is developing National Harbor into a diverse attraction that does not just depend on the MGM casino to draw visitors.

“National Harbor is not just resting with MGM coming or the things they’ve been doing with Tanger Outlets, but always upping their game,” Baker said. “I think the expectation of the residents of Prince George’s County is: How do we make this an attractive place where people want to spend some time and not just pass through? I think people will not only get it but will be excited about it.”