John Gibson: Pre-Dome-inent, out on its own

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I counted them all in and, to be honest, there were too many to count them all out. They swarmed into The Dome to view the Christmas lights at 14 George Street, all oohs and aahs and oh-my-Gods.

There was nothing in Scotland to compare and, indeed, nothing south of the Border either, judging by the coachloads homing in on the decorations, significantly boosting the Capital’s economy and filling Kevin Doyle’s boots.

The entrepreneurial businessman was shrewd enough to snap up what formerly was a bank’s head office when it came up for sale. Already he and his staff are planning the same for this festival season. But bigger and better. And busy the year round.

Says managing director Brian Crawford, above, who also manages London nightspot Tramp for Mr Doyle, and marketing/sales specialist Kate Bell: “We can say in all modesty Christmas now just wouldn’t be the same without The Dome. We’ve become and institution. You well know we rarely talk figures but our electrical team were muttering about 38,000 lights for the towering centrepiece tree here and one we built for our garden cafe facing Rose Street.

“Edinburgh so much appreciated our contribution to the city over the festive season that we’re hatching an extra special repeat performance.”

Afterwords . . .

. . . Cruise companies cleaned up last year, when a record 1.7 million of us hit the high seas. It’s looking good for this year but I don’t see Leith anywhere in the ports of call.