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Dome boss Pierre-Yves Gerbeau
"Visitors are having the time of their lives"
 real 28k

Sunday, 12 March, 2000, 13:49 GMT
Dome may stay open into 2001
Pierre-Yves Gerbeau
Gerbeau: Plan to revive the Dome
The Millennium Dome could stay open for another year, according to the attraction's new boss.

Frenchman Pierre-Yves Gerbeau declined to rule out the possibility of the show continuing into 2001 when he was asked whether there was a chance the Greenwich attraction could have a stay of execution.

The 750m extravaganza is due to close at the end of this year.

body zone
Longer to see the Body Zone
A government competition has been launched to find a buyer who will find a new use for the site.

Mr Gerbeau, chief executive of the New Millennium Experience Company, interviewed on BBC1's Breakfast With Frost, said he had to make sure the Dome was a "very popular success."

"I think we have got enough focus right now and as soon as we have proved that it is better, it is working and it is a popular success, then we can look at different things," he said.

Longer opening hours

Mr Gerbeau has already taken measures to revive the fortunes of the troubled venue.

Earlier this month he announced that the Dome would stay open longer, with half price tickets available for some evening visits.

He also introduced special timed tickets, aiming at cutting queuing times at the Dome's most popular exhibits.

Mr Gerbeau was brought in in February when former chief executive Jennie Page resigned amid criticisms of poor attendance figures and long queues, especially for the Body Zone.

"We hope we are going to do better," Mr Gerbeau said.

"We're just going to go pretty big and now with new opening hours, we have a bigger capacity and a better overall experience."

He said the Dome would be targeting the tourist market "very aggressively" this summer in the hope of reaching its daily capacity of 45,000.

Mr Gerbeau was credited with turning around the fortunes of Disneyland Paris after it experienced a problematic launch.

The Dome has been plagued by media criticism and cash-flow problems since it opened with a chaotic opening night on Millennium Eve.

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See also:

08 Mar 00 | UK
Dome aims to cut queues
03 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Dome awaits million milestone
17 Feb 00 | UK
'Month to rescue Dome'
05 Feb 00 | UK
Dome chief resigns
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