Incident on The Smiler 02/06/2015

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spinba11, 2nd Jun 2015.

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  1. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    My bet is on it reopening when SW8 is launched. That way all the media hype and public focus will be on SW8 and they can quietly reopen The Smiler without too much attention, if any.

    They can't scrap £18m. It would be different if the ride was 20 years old or more but for a very recent investment they just can't do that.
     
  2. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    If I was a betting man, I would put money on it opening at the start of next season. I just can't see it still standing there unused throughout next year.
     
  3. James

    James TS Founding Member

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    When it reopens is largely down to how long it takes for the investigation to come to a conclusion, how long it takes for any changes to be implemented and depends on how complex any changes are. If the investigation is sorted this season and it's human error it will easily reopen at the end of this year/start of next year. If it's something more complex to do with the rides system then a 2016 to mid-2016 opening seems likely.

    Any media attention won't affect the ride really. People will still ride it, some people will avoid it like the plague, although it won't have any huge impact on Alton Towers because it is Alton Towers. As tragic as this incident is, Towers is still the UKs biggest theme park and one of the most popular ones around, they've come across very professional throughout this and have had a huge amount of public support, so they really haven't got anything to lose. Luckily being such a big brand they won't suffer like a small park probably would over something like this.

    I hate to sound picky already although I hope they give the whole concrete pit a good power wash before opening it back up. It looks a mess!
     
  4. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Is there another variable here which hasnt been mentioned with regards how soon it could open, and that is the public. If they open it too soon it could be seen as disrespectful to those injured.
     
  5. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

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    As long as they dont open it on 02/06/2016
     
  6. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The event is having some effect on guest numbers, this weekend has been very quiet.
     
  7. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    And that's bad? Nearly evey ride was virtually walk on today. :)
    I doubt it will last tho :(
     
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  8. Burbs

    Burbs TS Site Team Team Member

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    It's bad for the park. If less people are visiting then that means the park is making less of a profit. In the long term this will result in more budget cuts, which is not what we want to see. :)
     
  9. Dar

    Dar TowersStreet Member

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    I imagine they'll claim this loss of earnings on the same insurance claim as all the compensation. Or Merlin will write it off as an exceptional event and not include these figures in budget allocations
     
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  10. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    I would definitely say next season for opening and I wouldn't worry about it affecting visitor numbers. by scarefest numbers will be back to normal if not before. Statistics show that when there is a rollercoaster incident that results in fatalities, that ride actually gets MORE people on it.

    Whenever it opens, there will be media focus. It won't matter if they change the name, the theme, the track. The stories will basically be the same.
    Death-trap reopens after nothing done to it/retheme/under different name delete as appropriate.
     
  11. AliceHL91

    AliceHL91 TowersStreet Member

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    I imagine some people that weren't aware of the ride before the news footage will say "that looks awesome" and visit the park when the smiler reopens just to ride it.
     
  12. MichelinMan

    MichelinMan TowersStreet Member

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    Anybody got a feel how it might be affecting the school parties in terms of numbers? That's my biggest worry about crowds when I'm there in a couple of weeks.

    As for when is Smiler going to re-open - it won't be dependent upon the HSE investigation needing to be completed. That could take a year (or even longer sometimes - I was involved in a big one which took 18 months). But that won't stop the ride re-opening as long as all evidence has been collected (which by now I'm sure it must have), and also any necessary improvements have been made to the ride.

    Interestingly, I haven't seen any mention of any improvement notices being issued by the HSE yet. Normally a Prohibition Notice gets issued pretty quickly, before full facts are known. Then further improvement notices get issued, which are more specific with detailed requirements of what needs to be improved.

    I'm surprised we haven't heard about any further notices being issued. One explanation could be that Merlin have already made the necessary improvements - a notice can only be issued if a breach of regulations still exists, and if Merlin have already done the work, further notices may not get issued. If that is the case, then there may be no reason at all for the ride not to be opened straight away.

    But my own gut feeling is that Smiler will stay shut for the rest of the season - re-opening on its own is likely to attract more media attention. Furthermore, whilst people are still in hospital, re-opening may appear insensitive. I certainly don't think it will re-open until everybody has left hospital at a minimum. But I personally think re-opening at the start of next year, with the rest of the park, will get a lot less media attention, and that is what I reckon will happen.

    However, as pointed out in a previous post, notorious rides often see a spike in visitors when they re-open - so more PR might actually suit Merlin (even though they wouldn't say so - what is the old saying - no such thing as bad PR?).
     
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  13. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Yes it is bad if you don't want the park to close.

    That won't happen, as said people will forget in time. It's just a shame at the moment.
     
  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    I think attendance will take a bit of a hammering over the new few months, I don't think that's in doubt. However, I don't think the scale of the change will be clear until later in the season when we will see for certain if people have cancelled their 2015 visit, or just opted to visit later in the season.

    It may be that the overall number doesn't change that much but the pattern in which people visit shifts considerably. That's certainly the vibe you get when reading the comments on the Alton FB.
     
  15. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I think since the incident, Merlin and AT have written off this season and would hope to start afresh for 2016.
     
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  16. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    How so? That would be a very strange approach for a public company.
     
  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Given the main marketing campaign this summer was the Big Six challenge and that has been ended, yes I think they have written off the summer season at least. Marketing will refocus for ScareFest and Fireworks and I expect these events will get crowds back, but the summer will be a little quieter than normal.
     
  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    They've written off the Big Six thing, because they had to - there wasn't really an option a far as that is concerned.

    I am sure they'll do a bunch of generic marketing over the Summer.
     
  19. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    There's no way they will have 'written off' the summer season. I'm sure we will see some other marketing come out soon enticing people to visit over the summer. Clearly there won't be another big promotion like the Big 6 challenge but they will want as many people through the gates as possible.

    They'll know that guest numbers will be down but that will be more short term than long term.

    :)
     
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  20. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    ^ Exactly, the economics of the business don't really allow for that to happen.
     
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