Gaithersburg carousel project revolves around city approval -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 11:30 a.m., Feb. 25, 2014.

A carousel will soon join the list of attractions at the Rio Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg.

The Peterson Cos., one of the developers of the 760,000-square-foot shopping center, announced Feb. 25 that a 36-foot classic carousel will open this spring near the waterfront area, according to a news release.

Featuring 30 jumping horses, whimsical creatures and two chariots, the carousel will have space for up to 38 adult and 30 child passengers, with wheelchair access, according to the release. It will overlook the lake, with a seating area, tables and shade trees nearby.

Chance Rides, an amusement ride manufacturer based in Wichita, Kan., is building the carousel.

The ride will have authentic details, including Americana-style scenery, an antique-style lighted ceiling, spiral brass pole sleeves, glass mirrors, crown lighting and music, according to the release.

Signage for the carousel and other areas is also on track to come, after the Gaithersburg Planning Commission gave the go-ahead at a Feb. 19 meeting.

Rio, the original building, encompasses the AMC movie cinemas, Sport and Health Club, ClubGolf Performance Center as well as restaurants and stores. Washingtonian Center was added later, expanding the commercial offerings with the arrival of Target, Kohl’s and other retailers.

While these two centers are next to each other, they are technically separate entities.

Trudy Schwarz, Gaithersburg’s community planning chief, said a previous sign package for Washingtonian Center was approved several years ago. Now, the Rio center will be included in the signage plan.

“This is kind of merging the two main centers,” Schwarz said. “They wanted to combine that identity into the sign package.”

According to the proposal, a variety of signs will be added, including a multi-sided site directory sign, with the names of both centers. Technology will also be incorporated, as a cinema marquee sign will be put on the front of the theater and a programmable electronic digital media display will provide information about events and promotions.

jedavis@gazette.net