Discordant Themes

World-class exhibitions are failing this year on a world- class scale, while a Volkswagen park is a surprise hit. Why?

Whatever 2000 will eventually be known for, it won't be world-class theme parks. The turn of the millennium will go down as the year that the earth's fun-seeking public, at least outside the U.S., soundly rejected their governments' efforts to keep them entertained. Take Britain's Millennium Dome--please. It was conceived as a symbol of Cool Britannia. The government spent $1 billion on it, then sold it last July for just $158 million to Japanese financial group Nomura amid a flurry of bad press, worse reviews and lousy attendance reports. The heads of chief executive Jennie Page and Bob Ayling, chairman of...

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