Cuts: Not What You'd Do? What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Croftybaby, 13th Jun 2012.

  1. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Over the past Year we've encountered many schemes to enable the park to cut costs that have all been met with Gasps from both us Enthusiasts and the GP. Most, if not all these schemes have been reversed but the park obviously still need to cut costs to abide by rules set by its Evil Step Farther Current owners.

    if you were given the task to realistically cut costs then what measures do you think would work better than the current ones being trialled? Is there something that they are missing? Put on your best RCT Hat and see if we cant find reasonable ways to cut them there budgets.

    :) :)
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  2. Aly

    Aly TowersStreet Member

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    I would have all the staffing rota's looked at. Is their management that aren't required. Are all area's of the business which are customer facing staffed to an appropriate level (i.e not overstaffed). Utilising part-time staff a lot more as this can be a lot more cost effective for a business like Alton Towers giving it's opening hours and guest peaks etc at certain times of the day.

    I'd also want to look at every single buying contract in terms of suppliers etc. Every business in the UK is having to change how it operates. Infact, most people doing the same job they did 5 years ago will have found quite a lot of their job has changed due to cost savings. I think AT seem to be taking the easy road out of simply cutting services to guests first.
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  3. Sam

    Sam TowersStreet Member

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    I posted my thoughts on TTF about this a few weeks ago:

     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  4. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    - Increase the pricing of fastrack tickets, hopefully increasing revenue along with reducing wait times for major attractions (less purchasers).

    - Some rides are overstaffed; Oblivion and the Rapids to name two of them. It can't be done right now but the number of employed staff could easily be cut down for next season.

    - Operate rides with minimal trains on off-peak days only; Oblivion on 3 shuttles, Nemesis one train, Air one station et cetera.

    - Reduce the ERT line-up (removal of Rita, Hex?), eliminating it entirely on off-peak days

    - Open carefully selected rides at 11am (water rides, Charlie, Hex, Submission, Enterprise, Ripsaw, Duel, CCL) which don't get busy until later on regardless

    - Staff selling fastracks at ride entrances? Not cost effective, remove.

    - Open the ride kiosks only when needed, also cutting down on park food stalls opening hours (excluding 'restaurants') to 12pm-3pm only (also 5pm-7pm Scarefest).

    - Early arrivers to the park given access to priority parking, free of charge. The Monorail can now open much later on.

    - Sub Terra introduces 'normal' and 'intense' modes, the latter w/ actors operating between 2pm-closing only. Reduces staffing costs whilst introducing the ride to a larger audience.



    I don't consider all any of these ideas to be ideal, only preferable to what is currently on offer.
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  5. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Interesting that you mention that, as today I saw no staff at any ride entrances. I did not venture into Dark Forest but there were no staff at ride entrances such as Nemmy, Sub-Terra and Blivvy.

    :)
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  6. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

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    Great point's

    I too was thinking about how much it costs to put someone in a kiosk all day selling Drifter Bars. From what i've seen, I probably am very wrong but branded confectionery and the like don't really offer much of a mark up, why waste so much time trying to flog it?
    You can make a much bigger mark-up on home made shizz, just look at Disney and the Euro parks, They all make their own and sell crap loads of it.

    As much as I hate to say it, they need to look at staffing weather it be kiosks or those greeters like Sam mentioned. Maybe not this year, needing redundancy, but certainly next year, think about hiring less people.
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  7. Aly

    Aly TowersStreet Member

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    Again, this seems to be another massive downfall at Towers. They sort of 'home made' stuff they do like Donuts, Cookies and Crepes all cost a minature fortune! If they lowered the prices slightly I'm pretty sure they would sell SO much more of these.

    I'm the kind of person who generally doesn't care about the cost of things however I remember thinking 'HOW MUCH!?!' the last time I looked at the price of donuts! They we're so expensive. Like about double around what you would normally pay!
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  8. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would mothball some vehicles on smallers rides, no one is going to notice a few acorns missing from Squirrel Nutty, a few boats from CATCF and Riverbank, a tractor or two from Old Macs, a few Cars off Duel or a handful of Skyride Gonolas, except for in a slight increase in queuetimes.

    This is esepcially the case at the moment, where even at the busiest of times cars still seem to be going round on some of these rides empty.

    This not only saves on the power front (afterall even when they are sending cars around empty they are still paying for the power to do that), but also it minimises parts and maintenance costs. Plus they are cuts that can easily be reversed when times are less hard and the cars are needed once again.
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  9. PeteA

    PeteA TowersStreet Member

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    Heres a radical idea, just open up a decent coaster in 2013. No stupid advertising budget, no IP (if thats what they do go for), no gimmick, just a good ride. That will halve the budget there and then.

    ;D

    Of course that wont happen, so realistically what can they do what doesnt effect their customers day out?

    Some of the things that Alton can do, these wont recoup immediate costs, but long term they would

    - Energy saving bulbs being used
    - More efficient hand dryers in the toilets.
    - Sensors which turn lights off when no one are in toilets etc

    Quiet days

    - Turn off the queueline TV's
    - Fill the rides up before running them. How many times have you seen Ripsaw run with a handful of people on them.
    - Run the coasters on one train IF the park is empty. However if the park is busy, to have the capability of increasing.
    - Why Charlie is open from 10am to ride close I will never know.
    - Small food outlets / kiosks closed
    - Use the express parking / coach park for parking and the mini bus site for coaches / additional parking and dont run the monorail.

    Busy Days

    - These are the important times that everything needs to be open, at full capacity and on the ball.
     
    Posted 13th Jun 2012
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  10. Russell

    Russell TS Site Team Team Member

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    Just to add to the infrastructure style improvements -


    • Get fridges with doors for the cooled foods and drinks. Open ones just waste energy by having to cool all the time.
    • Have doors on the toilet blocks!! This would make them warmer and save on the cost of heating them (if they even have heating).
    • Turn off the speakers and TV's in sections of queue lines that aren't in use.
    • Have doors on shops and move the heaters away from them! The air shop for example has the heaters right above the doorway so there for most of the heat (and therefor money) goes straight out of the shop!
     
  11. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    Towers pricing structure is easily summed up by the stalls that sell donuts and other food... Price stuff so high originally (i.e. 5 donuts) that paying 'Just £1 more' (i.e. for 10 donuts) is an attractive proposition to people... I often wonder whether more money would be made by Towers if (generally) prices for everything (including entry) were lower... Would this then increase the amounts people spent within the park?

    In order to quickly cut costs I would avoid removing trains from the big 5 coasters, but would instead focus on any cuts that could be made on the smaller and less used attractions. Squiggs idea for removing some cars on certain rides is a great one and on Charlie would make sense as they send empty boats around due to only using one lift! An example would be closing Battle Galleons in ever so slightly inclement weather. It's not used much at the best of times, nobody would miss it during wet days!

    Also, how about opening some food kiosks and restaurants later than they do? I know a lot open with the park at 10am whilst the majority would not need to use them until 11... As long as one kiosk in each area was open for an hour - that would save on an hour's worth of costs (though again, I would feel bad for staff losing an hours pay)
     
  12. Aly

    Aly TowersStreet Member

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    Thinking about it, I would be happy if Battle Galleons was to change to opening during the summer months only! The ride NEVER has a queue, and you end up DRENCHED on it. They could easily get away with not operating it for a large chunk of the year - considering the weather we get in the UK too!
     
  13. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    It certainly wouldn't be missed unless it was a scorching day IMO... It definitely does *not* need a photo kiosk either... Though I assume that is funded by Picsolve as opposed to Towers...
     
  14. Badgy

    Badgy TowersStreet Member

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    Not cost cutting but more a revenue enhancement.

    I would convert the Burger King outlets to own branded burger outlets. Similar to the Fried Chicken and Pizza/Pasta outlets.

    This would keep the considerable revenue and profits within the park. I would suggest that the BK outlets are the most popular of all through eateries across the park.

    Badgy


    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    In terms of entrance position on rides - they're there to height check children mainly. So tiny ones aren't entering the queue, it speeds up throughputs, improves guests days and experience and prevents any potential H&S problems...

    As for cuts.. I'd do things which wouldn't damage the long term reputation of the resort, nor affect the guest experience too negatively.

    I'd cut the street sellers (particularly annoying shouty quencher man) and have better targetted advertising at the booths around park instead.

    Ride wise, Air should be staffed to have one station open from the word go, with staffing for a second one coming in at 11-1130 (get the station open for 1130), which'd suit majority of days. If needsbe, look into the throughputs of smaller rides on quieter days, and have the small filler attractions opening at a later time, or perhaps areas depending on their usage at beginning of the day. Every part of the park should be fully open between 11 and ride close.

    Retail unit wise - be much more aware of the busier periods, and open accordingly. Move staff around more.
     
  16. Stelios

    Stelios TowersStreet Member

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    Close one of the Katanga cabins and that cookie stand near the Mutiny Lake. Close CCL until 11am so the children can visit the other family areas of the park first. Maybe close RITA til eleven too to make more sense why TH13TEEN is shut and not Rita. This could open up Air again early on to soak all the queues in the Valley early.

    Then I'd keep the N:ST Shop shut until Terry's peak queue at around midday and close lunch restertaunts Fish and Chips, Pizza Pasta, Fried Chicken Co. and maybe the BK outlets at til 11/11:30am as they are usually empty for the first hour of full park opening.

    Cut street sellers to bring back the infamous acorn character and maybe another roamer around the park, possibly a wraith for photos and atmosphere but with reduced hours. I wouldn't cut around the resort as a ill-completed hotel isn't a good sign. I think a couple hundred thousand pounds could be saved in a short period of time here. The spare money could also be invested into more efficient food and drink and sprucing up other areas of the park.
     
  17. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    How many people do they have flogging stuff on towers street in a morning and is it making enough money to justify it?

    Close kiosks, use vending machines.
     
  18. josht

    josht TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I think that merlin need to spend money to make money
    My view is that if a park is cutting certain things within the resort doesn't look overall good in general
    I'm not saying that merlin need major new attractions just additions that would make people want to come back within the year there is so many good points that have been put upon the forum
     
  19. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Just to point out Merlin are not cutting back on investment

    2012

    Thorpe - £17,000,000
    Alton - £6,000,000

    That's just two parks, plus next year they are spending around £17,000,000 on SW7. Companies like MErlin see money in pockets, so the investment fund isn't considered along-side the operational fund (except to operate new attractions). So it's quite feasible to cut operation spend then increase investment as different numbers appease investors in different ways.

    To look at it this way, the operation budget doesn't increase profit (except to actually run the attraction in question). Whereas a development budget should increase money-in so therefore is something investors are less likely to be concerned about.

    Also investments result in increased company worth which is as important as the profit.
     
  20. Olii

    Olii TowersStreet Member

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    First thing I would do is close the monorail on quiet days, the walk from the car park to the theme park isn't really that far and when it is quiet the car parks used by the small(er) amount of cars would be those closest to the entrance anyway. This would save on staffing and electrical costs of the monorail

    Also on quiet days the closure of small food stands such as Nemices would save on staffing costs.

    Open rides aimed at smaller children later than other attractions aimed at older audiences (say 11:30) to save running costs for the rides. This would mean that the park would be less busy in the mornings as families with younger children wouldn't want to get there as early and the park would be less busy, and also, speaking from experience, it can be difficult to get small children up and ready and to the towers by 10:00 AM anyway, so it wouldn't really have make a difference to families.

    That's all I got :D
     

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