The ArcelorMittal Orbit has had its fortunes turned around after the introduction of the slide led to a profit-making year for the attraction.
Anish Kapoor’s sculpture on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park made a £500,000 loss in 2015/16 but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) revealed it had made between £100,000 and £150,000 in 2016.
According to LLDC CEO David Goldstone, the introduction of the slide in June has led to increased visitor numbers to the attraction.
Speaking to the London Assembly’s Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee , David said: “The introduction of the slide has turned around what was an attraction that was costing us money and needed subsidy.
“I think this year we are looking at a surplus of somewhere between £100,000 and £150,000 but obviously the slide only opened in June so it’s not a full year.
“So the slide has been a great success in that respect and turning the whole Orbit attraction around from requiring a subsidy to generating a surplus.”
“It’s been a successful visitor attraction I think adding to what else is in the park and adding to the range of things people can do.
“I think it has made a real difference. The number of people just going up the Orbit for the views and experience have increased as well so it’s had an all round beneficial effect.”
The £3.5million chute wraps around the sculpture and is the world’s longest enclosed slide, measuring 178m.
When it was launched in June , it was hoped that annual visitor numbers would double from 120,000.
And during the ticket launch, Anish described it as “purely an idiotic experience”.
He said: “But there are other possibilities and meanings (in the Orbit), so it’s about that play between the two.
“I think it’s fine for people to look at it as just having fun. Of course I want more out of it but you bring to it what you can as an individual.”
Despite the need to make more money at the attraction, the artist believes visiting the Orbit should be free.
The 40-second ride down the slide cost £17 for adults, 43p per second, with child admission costing £12 or 30p a second.
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