Blackpool Pleasure Beach: General Discussion

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venny

TS Member
I’m not defending some of BPB’s bad practices; there are quite a few. Having said that, they continue to treat their customers far better than any UK Merlin park. It’s far too easy to jump on the bandwagon of simplifying these losses into being purely a direct effect of opening times and bad service. They’re not. BPB Ltd made losses in the halcyon days of midnight closes too.

The park are doing plenty of positive things and they deserve support for this in the same way we criticise their bad practices. We should be supporting our independent seaside parks. We’ve lost enough of them in recent years, especially in the North West. Let’s hope the park’s economic fortunes start to turn around soon, lest we’re left with another Morrisons supermarket in its place.
 

Dipper_Dave

TS Member
The park are doing plenty of positive things and they deserve support for this in the same way we criticise their bad practices. We should be supporting our independent seaside parks. We’ve lost enough of them in recent years, especially in the North West. Let’s hope the park’s economic fortunes start to turn around soon, lest we’re left with another Morrisons supermarket in its place.

Great post. Without getting into why it closed (and by whom), I visited Morecambe last April for the first time since my last Frontierland visit in the late 90s, and just found it incredibly sad that 18 years after it closing, a huge chunk of what was the park is still just boarded up wasteland. All that is left is the concrete base that held the ground level Log Flume trough / drop in place. I was going to post pics then realised that I deleted them as I’d rather remember the park as it was than dwell on what the site became (ie, nothing.)

Support the Beach, the alternative is 42 acres of nothing, or a bunch of houses / flats. I know what I’d prefer.
 

Craig

TS Administrator
From my limited 3 visits last year I actually saw an improvement in customer service at the park. Lots of people engaging in conversation and actually being friendly - something I hadn't seen there for a long long time. It was by no means amazing, but I saw a definite attitude shift personally although understand others may experience otherwise.

Away from that though, terrorism or brexit fears are not really a valid excuse for them. The only places terrorism fears even vaguely fly are in the cities that tend to the be targeted. Brexit fears wise, a weaker exchange rate is far more likely to encourage people to holiday in the country rather than out of it.

The main issue is:

"The group has invested in its infrastructure to ensure that the business is well promoted through marketing"

I like Icon as a ride, but I can't help but feel those adverts are beyond forgettable, especially to the general public. The marketing, in particular the initial TV advert seems to be one which impressed people within the company rather than something that engaged and captured the imagination of potential customers. I don't know if they actually carried out any audience research prior, if they did it must have been small samples!

These adverts should ditch the daft CGI, show off the whole park, shout about the price and show people right across the age spectrum having fun.

Dipper Dave said:
Support the Beach, the alternative is 42 acres of nothing, or a bunch of houses / flats. I know what I’d prefer.

Enthusiasts on the whole do support the beach, the issue is marketing with the wider public fails.
 

Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I'd agree to some extent. It's a good ride, but it's not the ride it should have been.

It hasn't had an overwhelmingly positive impact on guest numbers and the reviews from non-enthusiasts seem to be a bit 'meh' on the whole other than those who think any new coaster is the best thing since sliced bread.

A pity and a shame really.
 

Poopoohead

TS Member
It’s for the year to 25 March 2018 so I don’t think we can read much in to icons impact

Although I fully agree, it’s not the ride it could and should have been!
 

shakey

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Wild Mouse - Blackpool - :(
Icon is a great ride and from the reactions of people on my visits in 2018 it is a ride that the vast majority of people really enjoy.

I think one of the issues is that the ride was marketed from the off as an extreme machine with claims like "acceleration of a formula one car" and a tag line of "dare to ride".

What they actually built was a fantastic family coaster which everyone from age 7 and up can enjoy. It may not be the best coaster in the world but you can't really argue that its not one of the best in the country.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

Coaster

TS Member
Well, this appears to be what BPB do. They won't lose sleep over offending a few people & losing their custom. In fact they don't seem to lose sleep over a few hundred thousand people doing this either. Like Rob has said, there'll always be new people ready to part with their money and visit. The park has existed through thick and thin, leave the decisions to them and simply enjoy your day out.
It's all well and good saying there'll be "new people", but if the quoted 2018 gate figure is to be believed then clearly there aren't enough new people to replace the old people. Returning custom is very important, too.

Believe me when I say that I've always been a massive fan of PB, their ride lineup is still my favourite anywhere and when the majority of other options in the UK are Merlin I really want PB to do well.

But when they make such poor decisions, decisions that directly impact on us as guests, I can't and won't defend them. Leaving the decisions to them is one thing but being negatively impacted as a result of those decisions is another, and it's become increasingly common in recent years IMO.

Up until 2015 I had very little to say about the park that wasn't positive, for sure it's never been perfect but it was a much more fun day out when you had guaranteed hours of 10am - 8pm, the rides were in much better condition cosmetically, you didn't have to rush around like mad in the first hour to make sure you got on Avalanche and you certainly didn't find PMBO closed or running one train on the busiest day of the year because they couldn't transfer a train on/off! Where a few years ago you'd find The Big One running 2 trains with 35 mph winds, you now find it closed; and on over half of my visits this year it didn't open until half 11/12 ish.

One thing I feel important to mention is that when I refer to poor "service" this is in no way intended as a reflection of the staff. The ride staff are the friendliest and best I've ever come across; by service, I'm referring to the overall park as an entity and the way they choose to operate the park.
 
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Katy

TS Member
Just had a look at the group accounts (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/01837026/filing-history)

£1.6m pre-tax loss for the group (£1m profit last year) - made up from:
£3m loss for the park (but with over £7m capital expenditure on the park in the year)
£987k profit for Big Blue
£655k profit for the insurance company

After tax it's £1.8m loss (£0.5m profit last year).

I'd expect they are hoping the second hotel will perform as well as Big Blue (which is usually giving a profit of about £1m every year). Also we don't know how Icon was funded - how much was borrowing, repayment on borrowing etc causing the £3m loss this year.

So dunno how bad it is really, I'm not an accountant!
 

jon81uk

TS Member
From my limited 3 visits last year I actually saw an improvement in customer service at the park. Lots of people engaging in conversation and actually being friendly - something I hadn't seen there for a long long time. It was by no means amazing, but I saw a definite attitude shift personally although understand others may experience otherwise.

Away from that though, terrorism or brexit fears are not really a valid excuse for them. The only places terrorism fears even vaguely fly are in the cities that tend to the be targeted. Brexit fears wise, a weaker exchange rate is far more likely to encourage people to holiday in the country rather than out of it.

The main issue is:

"The group has invested in its infrastructure to ensure that the business is well promoted through marketing"

I like Icon as a ride, but I can't help but feel those adverts are beyond forgettable, especially to the general public. The marketing, in particular the initial TV advert seems to be one which impressed people within the company rather than something that engaged and captured the imagination of potential customers. I don't know if they actually carried out any audience research prior, if they did it must have been small samples!

These adverts should ditch the daft CGI, show off the whole park, shout about the price and show people right across the age spectrum having fun.



Enthusiasts on the whole do support the beach, the issue is marketing with the wider public fails.

So, are we saying, like Swarm at Thorpe Park, Icon failed?

o_O

The link to the news article states the figures being discussed are to the year 25 March 2018, Icon has nothing to do with these figures. the weather of summer 2017 was very different to 2018 too.
 

shakey

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Wild Mouse - Blackpool - :(
On a more mature, sensible note, can I add...
Closed season has less than a month left.
Let me in.
Let me in.

Really looking forward to getting back and I am generally in a positive mood for the 2019 season.

Be good to see if they've fixed the Wild Mouse, although it's unlikely given that they still haven't fixed the reel and the fun house still has a flipping log flume inside it.

Hope business picks up for them this year and they give us all something to get excited about by painting some lines on the floor somewhere.

Who's round is it Rob ?
 

Rojo

TS Member
I know you all love a BPB barely advertised Icon complaint, so I thought I'd share some overly aggressive advertising of a new BPB show.

I think my app is borked, so don't want to give Mandyland too much credit here.

SUTSr15.jpg


Next

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Next

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Finally

rx3sOQ9.jpg

Disclaimer: I've not been hired for some guerilla marketing. If you buy tickets for this, that's on you:p
 

Alsty

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
It's almost like when they submitted the advertisement form, the page was really slow so they kept clicking the button.
 

Rojo

TS Member
To be fair I've just realised that they are individual "events" not adverts. Now don't I feel a twonk! I really shouldn't post before caffeine.
 
I apologize in advance for my crystal ball question but....

How busy is BPB on a wow weekend Saturday in February usually

Last time I went early it was march madness!!
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Zadra
It won't be that busy but the queues are longer than you see all season because everything is on one train
 
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