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Kellogg's Cereal City USA closes

Jan. 5, 2007 at 12:00 AM

BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Kellogg's Cereal City USA announced its closing Thursday after finding that a cereal-themed park in Battle Creek, Mich., did not draw the expected crowds.

When Cereal City was being planned, backers predicted 400,000 visitors a year. But the attraction lured only 162,000 people in 1998, the year it opened, and attendance has dropped every year since then, the Lansing State Journal reported.

The estimate for 2006 is fewer than 80,000.

Cereal City was owned and operated by the Heritage Center Foundation.

"The thing's been in the stew for about two or three years now," said Jim Hettinger, head of Battle Creek Unlimited. "What's happening was almost inevitable, barring any miraculous turnaround in the number of people attending."

Cereal City was created after Kellogg in 1986 decided to close its plants to tourists to keep out corporate spies.

The attraction offered a simulated tour of the Kellogg's Corn Flakes production line and a cereal museum with the emphasis on Kellogg's. Visitors could get Frosted Flakes boxes with their pictures on the cover and stop at the ice cream parlor for a Fruit Loops sundae.

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