• Kyodo

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Phoenix Resort Co., operator of the Seagaia resort complex in Miyazaki Prefecture, announced Tuesday a restructuring plan under which it will close its Ocean Dome indoor swimming complex, at least temporarily, in October.

Phoenix Resort, owned by U.S. investment fund Ripplewood Holdings LLC, said it will also implement an early retirement program for 200 employees as part of its efforts to restructure. Those employees will leave the company May 31.

Michael Glennie, Phoenix Resort’s president, said the company does not expect Ocean Dome to pull in enough customers to make a profit, and so it is considering introducing other attractions.

The company said it will consider a new corporate structure, hoping to reopen Ocean Dome by summer 2003 at the earliest.

Another part of Seagaia, the restaurant complex Paradise Garden, will be closed within a year and rebuilt as a new facility featuring a pool, similar in style to popular resorts overseas, the company said.

Phoenix Resort, which was partly owned by the Miyazaki Prefectural Government, filed for court protection in February 2001 and was later bought by Ripplewood.

The all-weather Ocean Dome is 300 meters in length, 100 meters in width and 38 meters high.

Ocean Dome opened in July 1993 as the main feature of the Seagaia complex, but high maintenance costs and a fall-off in tourism caused by the economic slump hit the company’s earnings.

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