Balboa Park Dine-In Ferris Wheel Receives Preliminary Approval

December 4, 2020

Cohn Restaurant Group's plan to install an upscale, dine-in Ferris wheel within San Diego's Balboa Park received preliminary approval last night by the Balboa Park Committee. 

This past October, we broke the news that San Diego's Cohn Restaurant Group, which operates more than 20 eateries around San Diego County, had submitted a proposal to the Balboa Park Committee to install a temporary Ferris wheel within Balboa Park. Sited within the Plaza de Panama between the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Museum, the Balboa Park Star would feature 36 enclosed gondolas that each can fit up to 8 passengers. Up to 288 passengers would be elevated nearly 150 feet in the air at the cost of $12-15 per rider. The Cohn Group hopes the installation would stay for 3-6 months and billed the idea as a safe dining option during the continued pandemic. Installation and removal of the wheel would take about 2 weeks each.

Last night, the Balboa Park Committee voted in favor of the Balboa Park Star proposal, with San Diego planning commissioner Vicki Granowitz being the only dissenting vote and one member abstaining. The proposal still must be reviewed by San Diego's Historical Resources Board and the City Attorney's Office.  Representatives hope that the Balboa Park Star could be approved in time for a spring 2021 opening, so long as the county is permitted under state and local coronavirus restrictions. 

"Like the Ferris Wheel that anchored the Isthmus Entertainment District of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the Balboa Park Star will re-energize the heart of Balboa Park with a spirit of excitement and discovery," reads the formal Balboa Park Star proposal. "Inspired by the Cohn Restaurant Group’s imaginative, award-winning cuisine, the Balboa Park Star will set the stage for unforgettable Sky Dining experiences, while taking dining in San Diego to new heights."

Review the Balboa Park Star proposal to learn more about the project.