Crowds bid Bottle Tree Park farewell

Some 2,000 fans turned up during Bottle Tree Park's last weekend to bid a fond farewell to the bucolic attraction.

Chinese company Fullshare Group won the lease to the site in Lorong Chenchuru with a bid of $169,000 a month in July, and will be re-developing the park.

This marked the end of efforts by Bottle Tree's owners to save the rustic enclave which first opened 10 years ago. Apart from its interestingly shaped bottle trees, the place has ponds for fishing, several restaurants, and paintball and other recreational facilities.

On Sunday night, nearly 100 patrons dined at the seafood restaurant, Shin Min Daily News reported.

A regular customer, Mr Luo, who visited the place once a month, said the closure was a pity, as he enjoys the atmosphere there.

Bottle Tree managing director Alex Neo said the park welcomed 2,000 people on Saturday and Sunday, about 20 per cent more than usual.

At 11pm on Sunday, there were still at least a dozen people fishing for prawns.

Retiree Ms Chen, 72, told Shin Min that she spent five to six hours at the pond each day. She arrived at 11am on Sunday, and was reluctant to leave even when it was late in the night.

"I don't know how I will kill time in future," she said.

The prawn-fishing facilities will be moving as the rent has been raised, a supervisor told Shin Min. Rents will be raised from $10,000 to $30,000 a month, the report said. The new location has yet to be confirmed.

The Bottle Tree Seafood restaurant will be moving to Marina Barrage and will re-open in November or December, according to Bottle Tree's website.

Operations manager Neo Siong Hoon, 34, told The Straits Times the restaurant had been in talks with the new management for a space about a quarter of its current size and at more than twice its existing rental. In the end, it decided against it.

Meanwhile, the site in Yishun is likely to be transformed, as Fullshare is expected to invest $5 million to revamp the place.

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