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NEW OPENING


Edging Forward


At almost 1,200ft, the CN Tower’s new EdgeWalk attraction brings thrill-seeking to dizzy new heights, as Andrea Jezovit learns


topic than Jack Robinson, chief operating offi cer of Toronto’s CN Tower. The iconic structure has graced Toronto’s skyline and offered visitors panoramic views of the Canadian capital from its observation deck since it fi rst opened in 1976.


H EDGEWALK FACTS


Height: 1,168ft (356m) Total weight of steelwork: 16,330 kg (36,000 lbs)


Number of daily walks: two to three per hour, up to 30 daily Walk duration: 20-30 minutes (90 min- utes including briefi ng)


Ticket price: $175 CAD (£108m, 126m, US$166)


44


ow do you keep a 35-year-old attraction relevant? There’s per- haps no one better to quiz on that


The tower’s previous claim-to-fame was


its status as the world’s tallest structure, at 1,815ft (553m), but it was surpassed in 2007 by the 2,717ft (828m) Burj Dubai. Thanks to Robinson, the CN Tower now has a new calling card – EdgeWalk, an extreme walk leading thrill-seekers around the outside ledge of the tower at 1,168ft (356m). Launched on 1st August, it’s the highest attraction of its kind. “It’s a really awe-inspiring, thrill-seeking bucket list kind of attraction,” Robinson says. “It’s not a rollercoaster, it’s not a bungee jump, it’s something that when you see it you say to yourself, ‘I have to do it’.”


Upping the ante EdgeWalk, which played host to 8,000 adventure-seekers this year before it closed at the end of the season in October, is the culmination of a number of improvements made to the tower during


Read Attractions Management online attractionsmanagement.com/digital


Robinson’s tenure as COO. He fi rst joined the CN Tower in 1993 as director of sales, moving to the visitor attractions industry from roles in consumer packaged goods. During his 11 years in this role, two more


elevators up to the observation deck were added to improve the visitor experience, as well as a glass fl oor offering dizzying views of below. After Robinson became COO in January 2004, he started to build on this, ushering in what he feels has been a “ren- aissance” for the tower. “The aim was to have a variety of differ-


ent strategies. One was to maintain the integrity of a [then 28-year-old] building in security and safety, because the world changed on 9/11 2001,” he says. “Strategy two was how to take an older building where visitors come, mostly from other places and probably no more often than every few years, and make it relevant so that people will continue to enjoy it.”


AM 4 2011 ©cybertrek 2011


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