The 550-foot High Roller wheel at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip opened to the public Monday after welcoming its first riders over the weekend.

Employees of the Linq entertainment district, which the observation wheel anchors, got to be among the first riders aboard the attraction. The High Roller, which is also touted as the world's tallest observation wheel, boasts 28 pods that can hold 40 passengers each.

According to the wheel's owner, Caesars Entertainment, an official operating permit was obtained last week paving the way for the first rides, which were set to be offered to the public at 1 p.m. Monday.

The buildup to the wheel's opening included hours-long transports of each 44,000-pound cabin from a warehouse to the Linq. The wheel is held together by 112 massive cables at 225 feet long each. In all, 7.2 million pounds of steel were used to build the wheel.

The Linq's website shows a daytime general admission ticket starting at $24.95 while a nighttime standard ticket costs $34.95.

Caesars also said each pod is equipped with air conditioning, which should provide relief for summertime riders.

Caesars expects between 4 million and 5 million riders within the first year of operation

The newly-minted Linq entertainment district, which sits between the Quad and Flamingo hotel-casinos, is already in operation.

For tickets to the High Roller, you can visit