Weymouth Sea Life Tower is to open ahead of schedule on Friday, June 22nd.
It was originally scheduled to open early July.
Work on the 53-metre-tall observation attraction has progressed steadily in recent weeks, and the circular viewing gondola is already making gradual ascents to undergo safety tests.
“We were lucky with the weather in the early part of the construction schedule, and we’re now so close to finished we have been able to announce an early launch with complete confidence,” said general manager Craig Dunkerley.
The smooth progress of the £3.5 million Tower is in stark contrast to the last major south coast ‘Tower’ project…Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, a lottery funded Millennium project that ran massively over budget and finally opened in 2005.
Tickets for the new attraction, which will also offer spectacular views of the famous Jurassic Coast, are already selling steadily on a newly launched website www.weymouth-tower.com.
Passengers during the Olympics will get dramatic birds-eye views of the Olympic sailing action, as well as aerial views of the resort and Dorset countryside.
Owner-operators Merlin Entertainments, of Poole, who also operate the popular Weymouth Sea Life Park, have received huge interest in jobs at the Tower.
“We have had over 20 applications to work as ride operators, more than 50 for posts as welcome hosts and 10 for a single vacancy for a finance officer,” said Craig.
“Interest in the project has been overwhelming almost from the day we first announced it last summer,” said Craig.
“A big crowd turned out to watch the top being lowered into place a fortnight ago, and now the gondola has started to move up and down – albeit only partway for now – excitement seems to be growing steadily.”
Merlin has decided on a one-price-for-all admission of £8, but there are discounts available on even that modest price by booking online or buying a joint ticket to visit the Sea Life Park as well.
“Everyone who has worked on this project is thrilled to see it coming together so well, and we’re certain it is going to have a dramatic positive effect on tourism to Weymouth generally, as well as on its skyline,” said Craig.