It’s time for another TowersStreet news round-up, where we take a look at all the news that’s broken in recent weeks and highlight some news that you may have missed.
We begin with The Smiler, the £18 million worlds first roller coaster which is set to open in May 2013. Although vertical construction progress has slowed in recent weeks, groundwork is well underway and marketing has continued since the initial launch of the attraction.
A new mobile site has now launched which can be seen when viewing www.the-smiler.com from a mobile device. The mobile version has the same information as the desktop website, but will help to make checking for updates on this highly anticipated attraction much easier when on the go!
Alton Towers have also been posting a number of construction photos of The Smiler on their social networking feeds in recent weeks, mainly focusing on the ‘Staffordshire Knot’ track element.
Photo by Alton Towers, visit www.the-smiler.com for more photos.
Away from the construction site, more track has arrived on the coach parks and our roving reporters have been getting photos and publishing them on our Facebook page. Make sure you like us to receive the latest updates and photos first!
X-Sector has become even busier in recent weeks as the Oblivion repaint, new of which we broke a few weeks ago, has started. Progress has been made on breathing life back to the 180 foot vertical drop as shown in this photograph, which was posted by Alton Towers last week. As well as the drop, good progress has also been made on other sections of the ride such as the turn after the lift hill.
There are now less than 2 weeks until the theme park opens its doors for the first time in 2013 for the February Half Term event, which will be sponsored by Moshi Monsters. The popular children’s toy will be sponsoring the event for the first time, and a special quest is available for guests to find an ultra-rare “Moshling”. There is also Moshi Monster fun over at the hotels with special themed rooms available only during this event.
Full details about the 2013 February Half Term event can be found over on our special event page: February Half Term.
A new video screen has recently appeared at the Alton Towers Hotel advertising new rooms which are set to accept guests from this year, themed around the famous explorer Sir Algenon Alton. The rooms look to be taking guests on a Jules Verne-esque Moon Voyage…
During our first meetup of 2013 at the Resort’s Beach Party we also took a look at how construction is progressing on the new themed rooms, and we can see that the walls of the corridor have been stripped right back.
Our Facebook page also spotted a number of holes which have been drilled into the wall of the hotel, believed by many to be for air-conditioning which will help keep the rooms cool during warm weather.
Rumours on our forums are suggesting that these developments are just the first stage in a large-scale refurbishment of all rooms within the Alton Towers Hotel. The anticipation is now building to see what other treats Alton Towers Resort have in store, in what is shaping up to be a big year for the whole Resort.
Also at the hotels – hot on the heels of refurbishment work on Splash Landings and the Alton Towers Waterpark – it’s now the The Spa’s turn for its annual closure. No details are available as to whether any new treatments will become available after it’s reopening on the 8th of February, but as always we’ll keep you updated.
Merlin Entertainments set to float on the stock market?
After years of speculation, earlier this week The Times reported that Merlin Entertainments are set to float on the New York Stock Exchange either late 2013 or early 2014. After the original floatation was delayed due to poor market conditions, it now appears that Merlin feel it’s the right time to try again.
In a statement, Merlin said: “We have been clear that the moment to next look at the ownership structure was the end of 2013 or the start of 2014. As part of that, as you would expect, we are looking at a range of options.”
The group was last valued at £2.5 billion but since then there’s been rapid expansion in Australia and the USA, with more double-digit growth expected to be announced shortly. The Initial Public Offering is understood to be around £3 billion ($4.5 billion).
2013 is shaping up to be a huge year for Alton Towers, and the best way to stay up-to-date on all news relating to Alton Towers Resort is by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. Last but not least, you can discuss all these latest developments and more over at our discussion forums!