The Space World amusement park in southwestern Japan will be closing at the end of 2017, its operator said Friday. The park in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, has seen a dwindling number of visitors despite the fact that it has been one of the key local tourist attractions. Space World, which opened in April 1990 on an unused lot of the Yawata steelworks, had 2.16 million visitors at its peak in fiscal 1997 but the number has since been declining.
"We will be closing on the last day of December 2017 for various reasons," the park said on its website. "We thank you for your patronage for a long time." Space World informed the Kitakyushu city government of its closure plan on Thursday, municipal officials said. The city held talks the same day with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., the landowner of the facility, about future plans for the 240,000-square-meter site. Nippon Steel promised to seek a tenant for the land taking the promotion of the local economy into consideration, the officials said.