2015: Alton Towers Enchanted Village

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ian, 6th Mar 2014.

  1. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    One thing springs to mind here - if they are relying on people sitting outside their lodges to entertain themselves in the evenings, this could result in noise for the side of the hotel facing the new development into the evenings, particularly in the summer when the hotel guests will have their windows open.

    I agree about entertainments in the hotels being dire. The band now only play at peak times, and the singing in the hotel some nights has been nothing short of diabolical.
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #41
  2. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    With the spa set to have a new extension, this could involve a new restaurant or even a bar there? I know it always seems a bit odd having people sat in Secret garden at dinner or the dragon bar wearing dressing gowns, so they could plan on doing something with the spa extension, we will have to see when that appears online.
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #42
  3. Harv

    Harv TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    What are people hoping for in an "entertainment complex", just out of interest? :)
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #43
  4. Ian

    Ian TS Site Team Team Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    For me personally I'd like to see a decent sized bar (Sort of like the scale of the sports bar in 'Ney Village), a couple of different restaurants serving different things, and then maybe a decent sized arcade for kids, and perhaps a bit of a small amphitheatre for them to contract in different entertainment pieces during the summer months.

    Just something a bit different to what is currently on offer in the hotels where you can happily spend an evening before retiring back to the hotels for bed. It doesn't need to be anything major. Just something!

    One thing which has crossed my mind since seeing someone mention Davie Crocket's at DLP, is the possibility of maybe offering some different outdoor activities in and around the Resort area. Alton's proximity to the Peak District means that it's pretty well situated to pull in potential visitors who enjoy outdoor activities. They could perhaps look at targeting these sort of people by offering some more of these sort of activities.

    One which springs to mind for me (Although how practical it would be is another matter) is the idea of a small high ropes course. Combine this with perhaps a large outdoor play area and you could look at opening the resort up not just to more day visitors, but potentially continue to push multi-day visits and hotel sales, by making the Resort more of a destination for visitors. At the moment once you've done a half day in the waterpark, a round of Golf, and a day on the theme park there's not really that much else to do, so it could be nice to see them look at expanding the non-theme park offerings in any way shape or form.

    The lodges are certainly a step in the right direction though :)
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #44
  5. EuroSatch

    EuroSatch TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    I really like these. For once they are trying to do something different and create quite a unique experience. This will be a great move for the "resort" which a 3rd hotel just wouldn't provide
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #45
  6. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    I don't buy that its going to be different or unique, its going to be like a mini centre parks and for the amount I suspect you will be paying, it will probably be cheaper to go to centre parks.

    I also don't think this is going to solve any of the issues the resort suffers from. If anything, it will make the swimming pool more crowded, and less enjoyable.

    The idea of several Lodges being booked by TS close together, and having a BBQ and drinks in the evening does sound appealing though. Hopefully by the time they are built, the resort has resolved some of its issues, and things are a lot brighter.

    Its great that a lot of people who are feeling down about the park see this as a good thing, but I don't think this will improve the resort as much as a "proper" hotel and evening entertainment complex would.

    Going off topic, but I do not see Merlin ever doing it either, when their London parks are much more ideal for a 4/5 day holiday break, something that Alton Towers could never do. If Merlin were to provide a Disney style shuttle service between Thrope/Legoland/CWOA/London/Airports you can easily justify booking a 4/5 day hotel stay at one of those parks, as there is something you can do every day.

    Ian
     
    Posted 7th Mar 2014
    #46
  7. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    The London parks are far from ideal for a multi break stay because there is too much competition, also the majority of those parks visitors are from within an hour of the parks and certainly within 2 hours. Alton Towers has more rides, more to do, and the extra attraction (water park). On top of that it gets visitors who come a greater distance (the north/ Scotland).

    As for solving any issues, you seem pro a 3rd hotel Ian but that would induce the same issues on the resort as the lodges (pool getting busier). A "proper" hotel the size of ATH would only increase accommodation by about 50 rooms above these lodges (and 10 of the lodge rooms accommodate double what the hotel rooms do) so from a capacity point of view its similar. The restaurant is about the same size as Secret Garden and Flambos (it's bigger than the original lodge plans) and we don't know if there are plans for any entertainment.

    The only negative i can see for the lodges is they appear to not include a bar. On the plus side it's an accommodation style that no other European park offers, which is interesting at the very least.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #47
  8. IanB

    IanB TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Thrope, CWOA, and Legoland are all 1 day parks, just as Towers is a 1 day park. I would say there is probably little difference between Alton/CWOA/Legoland in number of attractions, I am sure someone has exact numbers (that will prove me wrong :) ), but will accept Thorpe does have less.

    The water park at Towers has such limited opening hours, and has been so crowded at weekends, I am not sure it can be counted as a positive. Increasing the capacity and number of rides in the water park might not increase its revenue, but it will certainly stop its increasing negative impact on customer experience.

    I think when you combine Thrope/CWOA/Legoland/London Attractions, you have a significant offering that could attract visitors from further a field. Its further to go, but if you have something that will keep people busy for a week, its easier to justify travelling further.

    There is clearly a demand for hotels at these parks, as they would not be building them otherwise, and it could be the lack of hotels near by that cause only people within an hours drive to visit the parks. I just think from a pure business point of view, that spending the money on the south parks, and connecting them, would generate more revenue for Merlin, than a entertainment complex at Towers.

    I just look at the space the lodges are going to use, and think that it is a lot of space being used, for very little in return. When the third hotel gets built (if it ever gets built), it is not going to be possible to connect it to the current two, so any additional evening entertainment venue and bar area is going to require a trek from the two current hotels.

    I see a third hotel having two restaurants, one high quality, one premium (that caters for all three hotels). I see it having a larger bar area, and I see it having a auditorium for evening entertainment that would be designed to cover guests from all three hotels visiting. I see it being larger than the two previous hotels, and that it would be more expensive than the current hotels. This would allow ATH to become the midway hotel, and Splash to become the cheapest. You would than have the lodges for people wanting to stay on a small budget, but these prices would still be set about £10 higher than local B&Bs to avoid taking trade away from them.

    Clearly the above is just my ideal feelings on a third hotel, and what we get, if it is ever built will be something completely different, but for me the lodges are just not pushing the right buttons for me, and this is from someone who loves the Tipidorf, and loves Centre Parks.

    Like I said, hopefully, when they are complete, and TS is stopping in them for a meet, and we have the BBQ on, and are enjoying a glass of wine, I will get the mick taken out of me for these posts :)

    Ian
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #48
  9. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    The only problem I can envisage with this is if they make the accommodation TOO expensive.

    Other than that, it sounds good.

    People will have their own little cabins to retire to after a day in the theme park. They won't have to just sit in an enclosed room or listen to music acts that they don't like, or be surrounded by crowds in the bar. They can sit in the fresh Staffordshire air on their own little porch with their own reasonably priced alcohol with the people who they wanted to spend time with. And if you're feeling lively you even have a bit of space outside the cabin to mess-about. Then you can just crash in your bed inside the cabin whenever you feel like it.

    If I was there I'd probably be the one chilling on the porch with a few beers trying to get people to play a game of Trivial Pursuit in the evening in the fresh air.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #49
  10. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    This type of Center Parcs style accommodation (is it self catering?) has been on the cards since the Broome years so it is long overdue.

    The problem is there's no real USP - just a load of lodges and one restaurant. Splash has the waterpark, ATH has the spa and atrium entertainment but what will this have?

    Also with the 3rd hotel, although i'm not convinced they will ever gt permission to build it, I agree that it needs to be premium in order to create a pricing structure amongst the hotels which reflects their true quality.

    :)
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #50
  11. aru

    aru TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    I'm glad AT have revisited the idea and submitted a new application, albeit a bit smaller. I find the cynicism on here quite amusing at times. I guess that is the job of enthusiasts.

    Clearly AT were not going to get permission for their last application hence they withdrew it. They have addressed whatever the concerns were - location, size, impact etc, and now we have a new proposal. I don't think it has anything to do with budget cutting, or trying to scupper a third hotel - simply AT have submitted a more sympathetic scheme in a better location which is more likely to get planning permission.

    It would seem logical to me that a lower impact lodge development would go on greenfield in a more sensitive location, whilst a third hotel would work better in planning terms between Golf and Air, replacing a car park. That's my take on things. :D
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #51
  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Also the biggest competitor for the lodge cabin style accommodation is still going to be the Raddle Inn. Although Alton Towers will be two or three times the price of the Inn's log cabins, but I except there will be a difference in quality too.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #52
  13. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Other parks have similar, although not identical: -

    Efteling Bosrijk is like a slightly upmarket version of this

    Heide-Park Holiday Camp is like a slightly downmarket version of this.

    Europa-Park have the Camp Resort.

    :)
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #53
  14. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Regarding pricing. It will most likely be high priced for the first year as demand will most likely be high, then I think we will see some decrease (not massive, just a little that makes the pricing more realistic after the first year).

    If this gets approved then it looks like we could be welcoming this development in 2015? Maybe it could coincide with the rumoured kiddie coaster opening in the theme park. We'll certainly be seeing two years of a heavy family focus! 2016 looks set to go back to thrills then (with SW8 as a high possibility).
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #54
  15. Johno

    Johno TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Unfortunately, I think to have the support of the locals it will have to remain somewhat high priced.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #55
  16. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    It's Alton Towers so a high price is a certainty. They will never have really cheap accommodation! However I do think for the first year of its opening the prices will be through the roof and then lower down slightly (but still at the 'Alton Towers prices' we expect).
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #56
  17. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Didn't know about Eftling but the other two are camp sites, Europa's been a choice between a tent or a wooden hut and public showers... Should certainly say this is something different .
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #57
  18. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Im interested in the 'tree houses' more than the lodges.

    But the layouts of them are actually quite poor. You have 8 people and only 2 bathrooms, of which one of them is en en-suite to a bedroom.
    So essentially you've got one loo between 6 people, and it opens into the living room. Errm. Nice.

    Also it appears a couple of the bedrooms don't have any windows.

    I imagine the tree houses will become the highest priced place to stay on resort, so Id have expected a little bit more thought to have gone into the layout.

    I will say though the huge patio with hot-tub overlooking the valley should be lovely.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #58
  19. Josh

    Josh TowersStreet Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    Well some of the rooms in splash sleep up to 6 people with only one bathroom so it's not really much different. Except that the bathroom doesn't open up directly into the bedroom all 6 people are sleeping in :p

    Does anyone think this could be a two phase developement? It says on the planning documents that parking will be provided on car park J, leaving K empty. Maybe if this proves successful they'll apply for permission to build more on car park K.
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #59
  20. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    Re: Resort Lodge Development

    I think it's likely this could be a two phase development. Although unlike the previous lodge plans maybe they're playing it safe this time and seeing how the lodges are received. Maybe if they are a success we could see a second phase in the future. You never know with Towers though, even if there were such plans they could change at any given moment!

    If a second phase did happen though I would like to see an entertainments venue and a secluded bar - a second smaller restaurant and a shop would be nice too. It would then join the complex as a whole and provide more for guests. Maybe from there they can start working on a third hotel (although we're probably talking 10-20+ years until the resort ever hits this point).
     
    Posted 8th Mar 2014
    #60

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