Designs have been unveiled for a 320 ft (98 m) observation tower and vertical gondola ride in New Orleans. The Tricentennial Tower concept is part of plans to redevelop the World Trade Center New Orleans building.

The Tricentennial Tower concept is designed by US Thrill Rides, the same firm responsible for the Skyscraper vertical roller coaster that is due to open in Orlando next year. It is a tourist and family attraction with a double helix gondola ride wrapped around its exterior providing 360-degree views of the city.

The tower would have a "sky-high" restaurant and an observation deck, as well as a planned New Orleans 360 Interactive Experience, which would provide visitors with a panoramic virtual reality tour of New Orleans through the ages.

Although the Tricentennial Tower is hardly in the same vein as some of the white-knuckle rides for which US Thrill Rides is best known, the company says it is designed to be an iconic attraction like Seattle’s Space Needle or the UK's London Eye. Rather than experiencing the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster, visitors would be afforded views of the French Quarter, Commercial Business District, Mississippi River and greater New Orleans area.

US Thrill Rides has developed the Tricentennial Tower concept in partnership with Two Canal Street Investors, which is currently a finalist in the process to redevelop WTC New Orleans. Plans to build the attraction would go ahead if Two Canal Street Investors goes on to win the redevelopment contract. Should that happen, US Thrill Rides says the tower will be completed by 2018, the year of the city's 300th birthday celebrations.

The video below provides a look at the design of the Tricentennial Tower.

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