According to Hong Kong Free Pressthe floating restaurant’s parent company is said to have run up a deficit of more than HK$100 million (about US$12.73 million) since 2013. But it wasn’t until March 2020 that the restaurant had to close due to COVID-19 restrictions. And while there were plans to donate the floating restaurant to a nearby theme park, the donation was rejected because park management couldn’t find anyone to operate it.
In a statement, Aberdeen Restaurant Enterprises said it tried to speak to more than a dozen companies to take over the restaurant. “However, there were no takers, with all parties citing high operating costs,” he said, per yahoo. Even closed, the restaurant continued to cost its owners millions, as it had to be inspected and maintained, ABC News Remarks. Perhaps the final nail in the Jumbo’s coffin came earlier this month, when its galley barge, located behind the restaurant, tipped on its side and sank.
Hong Kongers mourned the loss of their floating icon. As a sampan driver said in South China Morning Post“How can I bear to let it go? It’s a landmark that has helped boost Hong Kong’s economy, from tourism and catering to the hospitality industry.”
He added, “Without a landmark, how do you attract tourists to Hong Kong? They may travel to other countries to seek a distinctive experience.”