Drayton Manor Park

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Matty, 15th Jun 2012.

  1. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I think the Looping Group must of had an idea of there first few years of investment as well as there overall plan for the park. I would presume with taking on a park in a global pandemic the main objective was for long term growth of the company and by extension the park. I imagine the river rapids and the rest of Adventure Cove has had very little impact on attendance however I suspect it is a longer term plan to build up for the future, capacity and ride availability wise. I'd like to think they knew that Drayton wasn't ready for a major investment when they bought it and that they need to wait a little for the pandemic to end/slow down before they could put such an investment in.

    However I would guess that from the next few years they need each investment to achieve a certain rise in attendance and profits. The issue is how high they give these estimates. Unfortunately the UK theme park scene is very unpredictable especially since the accidents on both the Smiler and Splash Canyon. Operators just don't know what a new ride will achieve attendance wise and they definitely have no idea with Drayton as they haven't added anything major since the rapids incident. Hopefully they release that there first big investment might not have a massive impact but rather a smaller one which proves to the public that Drayton Manor is back.

    In terms of the future direction of the park, I have no idea which course the Looping Group will take with Drayton. Most of there parks are family orientated but with some thrill rides. This is how I want Drayton to be handled. I don't think going full family or kiddie is really going to help them. Drayton can quite easily have something for the parents as well as something for the smaller and larger kids; they just need to do it in a way to explains to be people that thrill seekers and welcome but that families are welcome as well. The thing is to achieve this I think they will need to add a new thrill ride at some point. This is obviously much more risky, particularly for Drayton, than adding a safe family addition. Like I said above Drayton and Looping need to plan for the long term if they want a direction that includes everyone they might have to take some losses in the short term for long term gain.
     
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  2. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think that's a consideration but the market is already so lumpy, it's a fact of the business. With a number of attractions the profit margin is low, so there is little incentive to discount. The immediate response to Covid is to pause spending, but history suggests that in a cash intensive industry like this, that won't get you very far for very long.

    The proximity to Alton has been a bit of a pain for them for three decades. If I was them (I am not), I would be seeking to differentiate themselves from Alton by doing what they don't do well and not trying to provide a diluted version of it.

    I don't know the numbers, but on the face of it, if I was Looping I would be more concerned about what to do with Pleasurewood than Drayton, the latter is comparatively straightforward and your options/routes to success are far more broad and less risky.
     
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  3. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Been a annual pass holder with my kids I go on average 2-3 times a month so I noticed with Apocalypse it’s gone from a 3rd Tower ride ( 1 sit down and 1 stand up is now only used for parts to keep the others going) Then 2 weeks ago only 1 sit down and 1 floor less was open and then yesterday just the sit down side was open with the queue near the outside steps. Pandemonium Was just as bad with only 16 seats available per side with the middle 2 not in use and the queue was outside the main queue line.
     
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  4. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    This is a real shame but probably proves they are on the way out. Whatever they replace them with I hope it's a least somewhat thrilling. They are both old rides with high maintenance costs so I suppose getting rid of them doesn't necessarily mean they don't want thrill rides it just means they don't want to spend such high operating cost which makes sense for a company that is relatively small in the Looping group
     
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  5. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    Both are still listed on Interlink, but haven't been sold yet.
     
  6. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Removing the queue line and upper levels will still be cheaper than rebuilding 2 football pitches worth of heavily themed attraction, basically from scratch. Doesnt matter if its lower level or upper level when its being demolished..it all falls the same and costs similar.

    If this is true about an investment company or whatever Rick mentioned owning Drayton, which appears to be correct. They are certainly going to want a return on investment, this could pan out bad (look at Alton Towers circa 2005) or it could turn out good.

    One thing that is almost certain though, is they will want to sell for a profit. So that means bolstering park lineups to increase park value. Hopefully with a bit of care though rather than by any means
     
    Last edited: 17th Aug 2021
  7. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    The owners of Looping are worth billions...
    looks like they make smart long term investments too....

    On another note what’s going on with Apocalypse- it’s not on it’s way out is t
     
  8. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    It's worth noting that even with shareholders worth billions like Mubadala, that doesn't instantly translate to a fortune being pumped into the parks. They've had a share in the group since 2019, yet we haven't seen masses of investment in the other group's parks yet. They have a substantial portfolio, and their holding in Loopings is pocket change compared to their more direct investments.

    Heck, Blackstone is worth some £600bn+ of assets and owned shared Merlin at multiple points, yet Towers have still had to scrimp and scrape for fairground rides this year along with the years of decline it suffered before that.
     
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  9. kydog1299

    kydog1299 TowersStreet Member

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    The most sensible, and I think fairly obvious route the park should go down is offering experiences for older families/everyone to enjoy together. I'm talking more about the age group which sits as too old for CBeebies/Thomas Land, and too young for some of Alton's larger coasters. I personally think that's an age bracket which isn't currently reflected well in attractions across the Midlands/North, and with the closure of some of Alton's 'middle-ground' offerings (i.e. Twirling, Charlie, to an extent Sub Terra, etc), it feels like the perfect opportunity.

    I don't think going for thrills will work long-term. The park should be actively going after audiences which aren't reflected well enough at Alton, rather than trying to compete directly. I think the only target audience it can successfully compete directly with is young families with how extensive Thomas Land is.

    They’ve already made some ground in this target market with the re-opening of the Rapids and the Wave Swinger.
     
  10. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    100% agree with this. There's lots of rides they could add to suite this audience and its not really very well done in the UK at any of our parks. Alton has lost most of its middle ground rides and so it makes perfect sense. I do think they should add the occasional thrill ride to keep that aspect of the park going. I think Drayton should be for every age and to make sure that happens they need to add the odd thrill ride.
     
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  11. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Apocalypse queues were always so long guests were queuing in the outside queue and since that was removed there is a lot of wasted space so can understand they want to remove this and Pandemonium. Move Test Track to another area and you have a good space for a 1.2m-1.3m family coaster.
    Looking at all the coasters the looping group own
    https://rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=2&io=12512&ex
     
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  12. JAperson

    JAperson TowersStreet Member

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    I hope this is the route they go. There's plenty of models to choose for. Personally I'd be in favour of something like a family launch coaster.
     
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  13. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    No, but I think it’s a sensible assumption that they will want a return in investment, and will likely therefore look to return the park to profitability through investments in the short term.

    Longer term, who knows
     
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  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    They will want a return but the routes to a return are varied, depending on the period that you want the return over. When DIC bought Tussauds, their approach was based more on efficiency than it was on investing. They essentially managed to double their money in two years, as I recall.
     
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  15. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    Well cause they managed to buy the park for 15 million and spend maybe 5 million on adventure cove. The park been very busy since Adventure Cove opened so hopefully they had a very good 5 to 6 weeks with entry costs, parking and food/drink sales.
     
  16. Ciaran

    Ciaran TowersStreet Member

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    Don't worry, I'm sure they've made half of it back by now with the ridiculous amounts of money they're charging for food right now.
     
  17. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom TowersStreet Member

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    Adventure cove wouldn’t have cost £5m. Prob less than half that amount.
     
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  18. Ciaran

    Ciaran TowersStreet Member

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    It probably did cost close to £5 million in fairness. If you think, it has:
    • Brand new Zierer Wave Swinger
    • Existing Splash Canyon ride retrofitted by Intamin - 20x new Intamin boats, new lift, new operator cabin and panel, replaced wood everywhere, new pumps, replaced wiring etc etc
    • Tidal Towers
    • New theming everywhere - repainted Shockwave station, River Rapids repaint and ride theming etc
    • Chicken Diner retheme and repaint
    • New paving throughout the area
    • Area speakers and CCTV
    That’s all I could list off the top of my head, I’m sure there’s a lot more. All of this stuff adds up.
     
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  19. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    If everything was made out of paper.
     
  20. Themepark-newbie

    Themepark-newbie TowersStreet Member

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    £5 million? Has somebody been to the Flamingoland school of exaggeration.

    Just a reminder that 5 years ago Paultons opened Lost Kingdom for 8mil. Now, I know inflation, Brexit etc but that got them two vekomas, two flats a new restaurant, a new retail outlet, new play park, a ton of animatronic dinosaurs and a mountain of rockwork.

    If that did cost 5 mil then no wonder we don't get much new stuff in the UK.
     
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