In 2008 it was decided Santa Monica Pier needed to replace the solar-powered Pacific Park High-Flyin Ferris wheel, which had been in use from 1996-2008. The nine story tall Ferris Wheel would be sold and replaced by a contemporary Ferris Wheel. Santa Monica Pier offered free rides to Santa Monica residents from April 28 through May 4 and a chance to win a contest to be the last ride. On May 1st one lucky Santa Monica resident was selected to be the last rider, and that rider would be Christine Emhardt and guest. March 4th we arrived and were treated to dinner at Bubba Gumps and enjoyed that last ride on a beautiful Santa Monica evening.