SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The Ferris wheel in downtown Spartanburg is closing early due to what the city referred to as concerns about the quality of the ride’s operation.
According to the City of Spartanburg, staff were notified Saturday of concerns from a number of community members regarding the operation of the Ferris wheel.
Due to those concerns, the city decided to end operations for the remainder of the weekend.
After conferring with the owners of the Ferris wheel, the city later decided to cancel the remaining scheduled operating times.
The city said that the Ferris wheel “has not met the quality of operation standards we expect for such amenities in our community.”
“While we are disappointed in this outcome, the city will use this opportunity to evaluate our processes and oversight for future attractions and events in downtown Spartanburg,” the city’s statement continued.
Some community members said they were hoping the city would shut down the ride.
“It was just not what we were expecting for our first rollercoaster or first Christmas in Spartanburg experience,” said Samantha Frenzel, who brought her family downtown on Saturday to enjoy the Ferris wheel. “It was just disappointing.”
She said they were excited about the experience, as they waited in line.
“There was another operator when we walked up and he knew exactly what he was doing. He would really slow it down so people could get on easily and get off easily. He was really conscious of family and kids,” said Frenzel.
Then, she said a new operator took over.
“When this other gentleman walked up, he just literally threw it into full speed and it was the fastest. It was like ‘Final Destination’, you thought it was going to fly off the arms and go into the sky. It was nuts, you heard so many kids screaming,” said Frenzel.
She said the Ferris wheel was going too fast and she felt it was unsafe.
“I immediately took my family and left and said this is not the holiday we want,” said Frenzel.
Shortly after, the city posted on Facebook Saturday night, letting people know the Ferris wheel would be closing early.
Frenzel said she’s glad they chose not to ride. She hoped city leaders find alternative ways to celebrate the holidays.
“We should just invest in some pretty Christmas lights and call it a day,” said Frenzel.
The Ferris wheel was originally intended to be in operation through December 31.