Dreamland Margate: General Discussion

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Sam, 29th Jul 2012.

  1. Danny

    Danny Leicester Melvin Rong

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    Dreamland have found their feet now and it also serves as a USP over most UK parks. It's almost laughable how many challenges they've faced in the four years since re-opening yet they kick Merlin to the wall when it comes to putting an event on.
     
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  2. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    @Stuie I don't disagree with your sentiments but attendance doesn't always equal profitability, especially if you have a membership / cheap means to enter the park. The switch to free entry would suggest that model wasn't working as hoped.

    Who funded that ride package and Scenic restoration? I would be hugely surprised if that was a cash purchase.
     
  3. Stuie

    Stuie TowersStreet Member

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    All the events are ticketed, not free or membership entry. And all of those people are buying food and drinks at park prices all night long.

    The Scenic was restored with public funds from grants, which also paid for several of the restored rides. The Zamperla rides were apparently all purchased outright by the company as part of the rescue package which saw the whole park re-landscaped and planted. I've heard that the spinning coaster, Pinball X was thrown in free as the other Zamperla rides were purchased as a package but that might just be hearsay.

    Prior to the free entry this year, they had charged a minimal £5 entry fee that could be exchanged for a ride or a drink and this was only to deter troublemakers who were causing a nuisance and not spending any money. This year, it's free but with extra security which seems to have worked.
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I shall read up further. Perhaps there is more than meets the eye, depends how the business is structured as much as anything.

    On the surface I guess it’s interesting that the small amusement parks that have survived are not thriving and at the same time a number of independent musical festivals have also found themselves struggling, to combine the two concepts is interesting.

    Regardless, I do wish them luck, genuinely.
     
  5. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    If that is true it is utterly mental. Helter Skelters opperate all over the place and this issue is surely entierly resolved with a sign?

    I remain a little sad that the park seems to have come so far away from its heretage ambitions. While that ws not working and new rides were probably the right way to go for a short term fix, the heratige aspect seems to have been pretty much abandoned. Helter Skelter and Cattapiller were integral to this, other vintage rides which were understood to be being refurbished have never materialised and are never mentioned now, and the vintage rides they do still have are not exactly rare or unusual, just standard fairground fodder.
     
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  6. Themeparksandy1981

    Themeparksandy1981 TowersStreet Member

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    OMG just came back from a weekend away with my m8s to Margate/Ramsgate. Before we left to come home we decided to go to Dreamland and to ride the wooden coaster. The car park price is shocking £2.50 per hour when there was travellers just parked at the other end of the car park. It didn’t feel safe anyway we all thought we just go in and ride the coaster and go. Got to the pay booths to be told the coaster will be closed all day so had a look round the site had our photo taken by the dreamland big sign and left. The place was a ghost town and I doubt I will ever go back again.
     
  7. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More stuff here.
     
  8. Stuie

    Stuie TowersStreet Member

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    Dreamland have decided not to open the park this summer. Having already lost Easter trade, the current lockdown and the social distancing that will follow it, it’s not worth the financial risk.

    I expect many more parks will follow... it’s just not worth recruiting, preparing and opening parks just to lose money with hardly anyone attending!

    Basically, UK theme parks, along with my other favourite activity, festivals, are dead this year!

    https://theisleofthanetnews.com/202...tices-and-decision-not-to-reopen-this-summer/
     
  9. Danny

    Danny Leicester Melvin Rong

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    A really big shame given it's the 100th anniversary and how well they've been doing with guest figures; they've finally found how to position the park and now this bites them on the arse.

    They just can't have it easy can they?
     
  10. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    They've got a great product but it's seemingly still not profitable, even without a pandemic.

    The 52 redundancies is the real tragedy.
     
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  11. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    As @Rick said, I think the business' low profitability pre-pandemic may well have led to their premature decision to cancel the 2020 season. A more profitable park may well decide to take the plunge if government restrictions allow.
     
  12. Mr Pearse

    Mr Pearse TowersStreet Member

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    That’s one (two if you count m&ds) down wonder who will follow suit and not open this year.
     
  13. Funcone

    Funcone TowersStreet Member

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    A lot of people will be affected by this. Obviously, there’s the 52 people who’ve been made redundant.

    Then you’ve got all the frontline staff. You might imagine that people on seasonal, zero hour contracts, who only get work at weekends and school holidays, wouldn’t be so bothered. However, quite a few of them had been there since 2015 when it re-opened. The zero-hour contract staff were all local. Some of them had worked at Dreamland before it closed in the early 2000s. Some of them had grown up visiting the park. They all knew what the town was like before the park re-opened. They now face the prospect of being unemployed in a town with high unemployment.

    Then there are the food concessions. Some of those had been there since 2015. These are independent businesses built up through passion and hard work.

    Then there are all the other businesses in Margate that make money from Dreamland’s customers; caravan parks, B&Bs, cafes, restaurants, arcades etc.

    Then we need to remember that this is a public private partnership. Since 2010 about £60 million of public money has been inject into regenerating Margate as a tourist resort. Some of the money has come from specialist pots, for example Arts Council funding for the Turner Contemporary and Heritage Lottery Funding for Dreamland. Some money has come from pots for regenerating very deprived areas, such as the Coastal Communities Fund. Although people often think of the South East as being wealthy, Margate has unusually high child poverty, unusually high unemployment, high crime and a low life expectancy that’s falling.

    Thanet District Council and Kent County Council have both put quite a bit of money into these projects. Thanet District Council put up a large chunk of the funding for re-opening Dreamland. Local politics isn’t awash with money, particularly since austerity kicked in a decade ago. They’ve had to cut back on other areas of spending to put money into projects like Dreamland. If Dreamland fails a lot of people stand to lose out in one of the UK’s most deprived communities.
     
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  14. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    Forgive me for being a bit ignorant, but isn't this sort of thing what the furlough scheme is for? If Dreamland already hired the staff, what's stopping them keeping them furloughed for as long as possible?
     
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  15. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The furlough scheme currently runs until the end of June, and there are reports that it will be wound down one way or another in July. If Dreamland have decided that they are not going to open at all this summer then it's not really an option for them unless they were able to start paying staff again once the scheme ends, despite zero income.

    I guess that is there thinking, but only they really know!
     
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  16. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    If I were a business owner I'd keep using the furlough scheme as long as possible. Clearly the Government haven't thought through how to support seasonal attractions
     
  17. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    While it's undeniably terrible for those losing their jobs, it's probably a very sensible move to protect the long term survival of the business. If they did nothing and sat there haemorrhaging cash to wages all year while taking little to no income they would clearly have been no business to reopen.

    It won't be a popular move I'm sure, but they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
     
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  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    It's in the press release

    “We are making use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme up to June 30. However, 52 members of staff have been given notice of redundancy from July 1 onwards as the amusement park will not reopen until it is safe and practical to do so."
     
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  19. Stuie

    Stuie TowersStreet Member

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    Sadly, when the furlough scheme finishes, social distancing will still be a thing and public confidence to go to these places will be low.

    If Dreamland was to open for a few weeks with a couple of hundred people on park, it would lose millions this year. They wouldn't be able to run any of the festivals, outdoor stage gigs, markets, shows etc - the things that bring in thousands of people and have turned the business round over the last couple of years.
     
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  20. Themepark-newbie

    Themepark-newbie TowersStreet Member

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    Once the furlough scheme ends I can see a lot of redundancies occuring throughout the UK, not just the leisure industry.

    We won't see a magic switch effect any everything return to normal.
     

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