Kellogg to pay $2 million to buy Cereal City USA

by Eric Schroeder
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — The Kellogg Co. has agreed to pay approximately $2 million for the former Cereal City USA property, which it will convert into office space, according to the Heritage Center Foundation (H.C.F.).

The H.C.F. opened Cereal City USA in Battle Creek in May 1998 and closed it in January of this year amid dwindling attendance.

The concept for Cereal City was planted back in the mid-1980s, when The Kellogg Co. closed its factories to visitors over fear of corporate spies. Ten years later, in December 1996, the company broke ground on an attraction it hoped would draw 400,000 people a year. Instead, attendance faltered, drawing 162,000 people in 1998 but subsequently dropping to an average of 86,203 visitors between 2000 and 2006.

Cereal City USA was meant to have everything a cereal fan would want: Interactive attractions, a cereal museum, a fake factory tour and Tony the Tiger.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg provided some early philanthropic support and allowed the foundation to use some of its licensed characters, including Tony the Tiger, for a token annual fee of $1.

An auction to liquidate the building’s contents will be held June 2.

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