Today is National Ferris Wheel Day. Yes I was a little surprised that there’s a “day” for Ferris wheels. It’s celebrated every February 14th, the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris – who designed and constructed the very first Ferris wheel in 1893.

In the early days, site selection for Ferris wheels was probably basic. After all, many of the grand bygone wheels of the turn of the century were constructed for specific events. For example the original 1893 Ferris wheel was constructed for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. A year later the Great Wheel debuted in London at the Empire of India Exhibition. The Wiener Riesenrad was constructed for the Golden Jubilee of Emperor Josef in 1897. You get the idea.

Today, Ferris wheels are not so much for events but rather they’re long-term tourist magnets…and locations for these wheels are heavily planned but not always implemented. Makes sense right? You would want your Ferris wheel to drive revenue-producing traffic. You would want it to offer the best views, have nice restaurants and shops nearby, and possibly be seen from miles away. Perhaps you would like to create your own retail ecosystem around your Ferris wheel. Is the location you’re considering ideal for that? Location is so important…and so is site selection done well.

So my question to you is…where would you put a Ferris wheel?

It’s a metaphorical question of course but the idea is to think spatially. Imagine if someone (a very generous person) gifted you a 200-ft tall Ferris wheel. It’s never been used and is being stored in a warehouse ready for shipping and assembly. How are you going to turn this gift into something that creates new jobs and helps to generate revenue? And where in the world are you going to put it?

Here are some things to consider and ideas for the very analytical process of site selection for your metaphorical Ferris wheel.

Target Audience for Your Ferris Wheel

One question you would likely ask is who’s going to appreciate your Ferris wheel the most? The people who will be most attracted to your Ferris wheel are the key people who will make up your target market. The newest site selection and location technology tools can help you build a profile of your target customer and isolate the geographic areas that offer the highest opportunities for attracting the right people to your Ferris wheel.

Potential Sales and Competition

You’ll want to know how your Ferris wheel will perform as far as generating revenue and competing with other attractions in the area. Location technology for site selection can give you a better understanding of your competition. The visual and analytical intelligence it offers will help you get a clear picture of potential impact to the success of your Ferris wheel attraction. Projecting future sales can be accomplished too through sophisticated predictive modeling to forecast Ferris wheel or store performance…so you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your Ferris wheel will have a really good shot in the locations you’re considering.

Identifying Good Location Finalists

Speaking of locations…you’re probably going to need multiple potential locations to evaluate. Location technology for site selection provides a series of “seed points” that can be analyzed and compared against one another to be able to strategize optimal performance…and maybe identify an area for a 2nd Ferris wheel! That’s right…you can compare multiple locations and determine which ones offer the greatest opportunities…or risks.

Marketing Your Ferris Wheel Attraction

And now that you’ve narrowed down the ideal location for your Ferris wheel with all of your mad site selection intel skills, you’re going to need to market that bad-boy. And you need a strategy…a good one. The same location technology that helped you get to this point can also help you build your strategy, predict your market reach (radius or drive-time), and provide you with a marketing blueprint to get you started.

Now again, this is all just food for thought to help you think through site selection from a geospatial perspective, using the best tools to help you make the right decision about whatever project you have in mind. Whether it’s a Ferris wheel or a shop near a Ferris wheel…or no Ferris wheel! Though we happen to think they’re pretty cool. In fact we made a Ferris wheel story map to celebrate today. Check it out!

ferris story map