Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel and Economy Churn Again

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The Giant Ferris Wheel – symbolic of Vienna and tourism – which had been turning without interruption since the end of World War II was switched off for the first time in 75 years in mid-March due to the Corona crisis. But today at noon Vienna time, Nora Lamac, whose family has operated the Giant Ferris Wheel for generations, and the Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig pressed the Giant Ferris Wheel’s on switch, setting the Viennese landmark in motion once again. Yesterday, artists and performers living in Vienna sent out a musical message of optimism and hope into the virtual world as part of an event streamed online. Participants used a stage set up on a purpose-built platform to share their online musical greetings from dizzying heights. Shops, bars, restaurants and museums in Vienna have been open for a few days or weeks now, and today the city’s hotels, amusement parks and public pools open their doors.

“The city is slowly coming back to life and hotels are reopening. We are showing what global rankings like the Mercer and the Economist have for many years: that Vienna is a safe, mindful and livable city, with excellent infrastructure, adept at overcoming challenging situations. We hope this symbol serves to inspire all those who have been touched by Vienna.” – Michael Ludwig, Mayor of Vienna

“Before Corona, the Giant Ferris Wheel was in continuous service for over 70 years. When the wheel stopped, life seemed to stand still. Today is a very emotional moment for me and my family. It gives us grounds for hope – not just for me, but for everyone who has had a difficult time over the past few months.” – Nora Lamac, Ferris Wheel Owner

“Like virtually no other landmark, the Wheel is now a symbol of the city’s restart. We are very much looking forward to welcoming guests – and can promise that Vienna has a lot to offer this year, too – in spite of distancing and the no- or low-touch economy.” – Norbert Kettner, Director of Tourism

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