Attendance Up at Holy Land

Attendance at the Holy Land Experience is up 25%. And no wonder!

Jesus Christ is crucified and resurrected here six days a week.

Snarling Roman soldiers whip and drag him, and somber audience members watch. Some quietly weep at a pageant both bloody and cruel.

Top that, Mickey!

Questions of good taste aside, when it comes to the bottom line the new owners of the attraction must be doing soemthing right.

Trinity Broadcasting Network, a California-based Christian empire with 12,500 worldwide TV and cable affiliates, took over Holy Land and its estimated $8 million mortgage. Both are nonprofit organizations, so Trinity describes the deal as a ‘‘marriage’’ rather than a purchase, saying little money changed hands. Already, ticket sales are up 25 percent, owing to mentions on the new parent’s broadcasts, and an expansion is planned. It will include new shows, a general freshening and a new Trinity television studio, where movies and TV shows will be filmed and furnish even more publicity.

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