The Millennium Dome ended its life with a rush of activity as an estimated 38,000 people passed through the doors in its final hours. December proved its best month ever, with management estimating a pounds 10m saving on its debt (The Independent, 1/1).
Despite attracting just half of the forecast total, the Dome secured its place as the UK's most popular visitor attraction and was second only in Europe to Disneyland Paris. Criticism of a lack of vision behind its exhibits was not upheld by the majority of visitors who claimed to be satisfied (The Observer, 31/12).
Controversy over the Dome did not end with closure. Michael Heseltine criticised the 'madness' of decommissioning assets potentially beneficial to another bidder (P-Y Gerbeau), before a contract had been signed with preferred purchaser Legacy (The Times, 2/1).
Anger also emerged at Legacy's potential for huge profits from redevelopment plans. However, with an election looming, there was conjecture that the Government will press on with a quick sale to avoid further Dome-inspired media embarrassment.
Analysis and commentary by Echo Research. More information can be found at: www.echoResearch.com.