Weymouth Tower crowds ‘below expectations’

Weymouth Sea Life TowerAttendances at the newly-opened Weymouth Tower have been “disappointing” according to the attraction’s manager.

The £3.5 million observation tower was constructed by Merlin Entertainments shortly ahead of the Olympic sailing events held in Weymouth last summer.

But general manager Craig Dunkerley actually blamed the Olympics as having a negative effect on attraction numbers at both the tower and Merlin’s other attractions in the town.

He told the BBC: “In terms of Weymouth as a resort, it’s not been a brilliant year. The Olympics has affected us and the weather has been terrible.

“In terms of 2012, it has been a very challenging year – it has been the same for the hotels. There have been a number of factors.

 ‘Down on numbers’

“It has been disappointing. The numbers coming to the tower have been below expectations.”

Merlin also operates a Sea Life Centre and crazy gold attraction in the town.

Dunkerly, who is joint manager of all of the attractions said: “The tower was a five-year commitment and the Olympics was only two weeks in that five years but we had hoped that all our businesses in Weymouth would be busier.

“The local area was significantly down, not just during the Olympics but we also had bad weather.

“It’s a fantastic site and we are hoping that in 2013 it will bounce back – some of the hotels are already telling us bookings are up this year.”