Too Bad Waterford Didn't Make Crystal Balls
For years, visitors to Dublin have been taking side trips (and getting lost on the way, it must be admitted) to the town of Waterford, 100 miles south. Its presence on the Irish dance card was attributable in large part to the world-famous crystal company located there and especially the Waterford factory tour, which drew more than 300,000 patrons a year -- one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland.
But, as a reader informed us during a recent online chat (thanks, "London"!), Waterford has apparently become another casualty of the economic crisis. The factory itself closed on Jan. 30. The workers staged a sit-in almost immediately, and as of now Waterford remains closed.
The crystal company, part of Waterford Wedgwood PLC, says it's looking for a buyer, but the future of the factory and its tours is very much in doubt. Gone, at least for now, are the glass-blowers and etchers and the Times Square exhibit devoted to the spangly orb Waterford designed for New York's millennial New Year's Eve ball drop.
Regular readers of CoGo will remember that it was just a few months ago that Waterford unveiled its latest creation, a new 12-foot Times Square ball, which descended from its pole for the first time this past New Year's Eve. A high-tech effort composed of 2,668 Waterford crystals, the ball was not only designed not only to make that annual descent for years to come but also to be visible atop its pole year-round. It sits there now, apparently, shivering in the February wind.
Prospective visitors to the Waterford factory might want to check the company's Web site -- even though as of now it gives no indication that the factory is even closed.
By Christina Talcott |
February 18, 2009; 8:05 AM ET
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