La Perla Ferris Wheel
The gigantic ferris wheel, known as La Perla, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, has installed a combination of Boon Edam turnstiles to facilitate secure entry and egress for all visitors to the new attraction.
La Perla soars 57 meters above the city--equal to an 18-story building—and boasts 36 cabins that can hold a total of 216 people. The ferris wheel turns at a maximum speed of 10 kilometers per hour for a total ride time of approximately 12 minutes and 24 seconds.
La Perla has become one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Guayaquil. But more than just a tourist attraction, La Perla was designed as an “observation wheel”, giving all its riders access to amazing views of the Malecón 2000, known for its historic monuments, gardens, and vistas of the Guayas River.
Turnstiles ensure secure ingress and egress
Given the magnitude and importance of this project for the city of Guayaquil, two major concerns were security and access control. The entrance to the ferris wheel is divided into two lanes, each with a Boon Edam Trilock 75 CA (“collapsing arm”) tripod turnstile for the entry and then a single full height Turnlock 100 turnstile at the exit.
This Boon Edam security entry solution was put to the test from the ferris wheel’s first go-around. The night of October 26, 2016 was declared a premier and Guayaquil’s mayor was determined that all the city’s inhabitants could have a free ride. The lines for the ride were so long that they reached the pier, located on the north side of the Malecón.
“Trilock 75 tripod turnstiles have the capacity to lower their arms in special situations or in case of an emergency, with the use of a panic button. On the other hand, the main objective of the full height Turnlock 100 at the exit is to stop people from trying to enter illegally, which is prevented by its mechanical function,” explained Carlos Guerrero, Sales Manager for Only Control S.A., the company in charge of equipment installation.
“It was a highly publicized event, all eyes were on La Perla, so our staff had to work overtime and over the weekend before the premier to ensure that the system would be ready,” Mr. Guerrero added.
The added value of integrated access control
The turnstiles are integrated into La Perla’s ticket booth via a barcode and QR code reader access control solution, so that ticket holders are admitted or denied entry based on the validity of their tickets.
“This equipment offers a solution that does not require human intervention to control access to the attraction, because the system itself validates the tickets. Now, the security personnel can focus their attention on the flow of visitors and not get distracted by who does or does not enter. With this system, the client can be sure that only valid ticket holders can gain access,” an Only-Control executive explained.
Since its inauguration in October, over 75,000 people, including tourists and local visitors, have used the La Perla each month. Because it is an outdoor application, located next to a river, the fact that the turnstiles are made of non-corroding stainless steel becomes very important. Also, “the system is fast and efficient and that helps us serve a high volume of people in a short time,” said Mr. Guerrero.