Once the most famous sightseeing spot in Taiwan, the observatory on top of the nation's third highest building, the Shin Kong Tower, will close down at the end of the year after posting losses over the past two years, a company official said yesterday.
The 12-year lease contract for the observatory, located on the 46th floor, or 200m up in the tower opposite the Taipei Main Station, will expire on Dec. 31.
Wu Chuan-chuan (吳娟娟), general manager of the Shin Kong Observatory, said the business started getting in the red two years ago and has posted losses of NT$6 million (US$179,100) this year alone.
"It's the best sightseeing spot. Perhaps people have forgotten about it, and perhaps we haven't done enough marketing and advertising," Wu said.
Opened in 1994, the observatory once drew over 6,000 people a day at its peak, but traffic has drastically declined to only 100 tourists on weekdays or more than 200 on weekends.
Shin Kong Tower's halo has been snatched by the much higher Taipei 101 Observatory, located on the 89th floor of the Taipei 101 building at a height of 382.2m.
Taipei 101 has become the new favorite with traffic surging to 5,000 to 8,000 people on holidays, said Michael Liu (劉家豪), assistant vice president of Taipei Financial Center Corp (台北金融大樓公司), manager of the skyscraper.