Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Spark, 8th Oct 2012.
But they've been at it for almost ten years now so why haven't we reached that stage?
Because how many people though are actively seeking out these articles and making the association that all are for the same park prior to clicking a link.
The headlines seldom make reference to it being the same park they’ve covered previously and to joe public it probably, at first glance, comes across as a fresh proposal each time the articles surface in their Facebook or Twitter feed every year or so. Chuck in the words “New” “Disneyland” and “UK” and you’ll get peoples attention without revealing it’s still London Resort.
Even if you do read through and then remember that you’ve seen this before you’ve already given the click and contributed to some ad exposure revenue.
We (enthusiasts) are not representative of the intended audience and pay much closer attention to this story than many other people will. For some people this latest article may well be the first they’ve seen of the London Resort (or at least in recent memory that they are likely to recall). They are not seeing every article as we are here, and each publication will have its own demographic and audience reach further reducing exposure (hence why you often see “local” papers in the same news group all firing out the same story at once, knowing it’s a slim chance that a reader sees it multiple times).
Our Matt is now only cautiously optimistic about the project.
It must be doomed.
I’ve always been cautiously optimistic with regard to this project, to be honest. When a project is at this early stage, I don’t think anything can really be guaranteed, although I personally think this will eventually end up materialising in some form or another! I’m certainly feeling more optimistic about its chances than I was a couple of years ago, for sure. I can sense that cautious optimism is a greater degree of optimism than most have for it, anyway…
I do have one question for you all, however; if the project was doomed and had no chance of happening, why would people still be investing resources into it? Why would the minds behind it not have just pulled the plug back at an earlier stage? There certainly have been plenty of very opportune moments to pull the plug along the project’s bumpy road, including (but not limited to) when COVID first struck (“project’s been cancelled due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID pandemic”), and also when Paramount withdrew from it in 2017 (“project’s been cancelled due to our key IP withdrawing”). The fact that they didn’t cancel it at any of the previous opportune moments for cancellation proves that somebody somewhere within the development clearly thinks that it has a fighting chance of going ahead; enough of a chance to justify continuing to put resources into it.
As much as it might not look like too much major progress has been made, there is still resource being put into the project. Whether it’s time, money or whatever, a not insignificant amount of resource is still being ploughed into this project. So far, the project has been going for 9 years, and at least £70m has been spent (I say “at least” because that amount seems to grow with every new press release; £70m is the most recent figure I could get hold of). No sane developer or financier would just waste 9 years and £70m for the hell of it; from my perspective, the fact that resources are still being put into the project after all this time and money have been spent with, let’s be honest here, not too much to show for it at the moment suggests that they’re clearly in it for the long game, and they think that there’s a decent enough chance of the project coming to fruition to keep putting resources towards it. Someone within the project clearly sees potential to make a profit off of the money and time being invested into the project now at some point further down the line; if they didn’t, wouldn’t they surely have pulled the plug by now?
There could be any number of reasons:
They might want the land for something else like a housing development but have an investor who is set on the theme park and need a big excuse like a planning application being denied. Might have tried COVID and they'd just put more money in.
High profile investor who only wants to be identified when the project gets permissions. Perhaps someone close to government or council minister who doesn't want to be seen as a failure. Maybe it's an investor at the top of a public company who doesn't want his other companies stock to fall due to his own failure
The still think they can develop some kind of small theme park or attraction or even some form of entertainment and shopping district.
There are loads of other possibilities @Matt N
Or maybe it actually gets built and I'll be eating my words as @Matt N gets the popcorn.
My personal take is; I think it'll materialise.
I guess we'll see what happens...
I hope your right! Don't think you should be going down the betting shop with it that though.
Let me just make clear my previous post was just possibilities not what I believe to be happening.
This topic is older than half of the members of this forum. I think the park was actually closer to opening in 2012 than it is now.
I’m not betting by any means; I was merely airing my personal prediction!
I was joking @Matt N
I wouldn’t worry - there’s more chance of me being part of the England squad than this park getting built, and I can’t play football.
We’d probably be better spending our time taking bets on when the plug is finally pulled on the scheme - and whether we will ever see a application deemed worthy of official consideration without it being sent back covered in red pen.
But what are you basing this on? The fact that someone won't let this project officially die because they've got money tied up in it. That's it, there's nothing else. Outside of that, this park is little more than some planning applications (which businesses do regularly and not end up building anything, usually to sell a part of a company or a plot of land on), some pretty artist impression pictures and some click bait articles that have absolutely no substance to them.
I could dream up a theme park in my back garden, pay someone to paint some pictures of what it would look like and put in an application to my local council next week if I wanted to. But it doesn't mean @Matt.GC Land is going to be built.
What you’ve said is very true, but my belief is that they’ve spent £70m, which is no insignificant sum, so somebody within the project must clearly still think it’s viable to press ahead and has a fighting chance of happening. Whoever is funding this must do all kinds of viability studies to see whether investing into the project will actually amount to anything and be worth their while investing in, because no financier would want to waste £70m and 9 years of their time on a project that’s going nowhere.
Also, other projects with a similarly chequered and long history have pulled through in the past. Look at HS2, for instance (admittedly not a theme park); announced in 2003, didn’t get the confirmed go-ahead until 2020, and phase 1 isn’t opening until 2029. Or the American Dream entertainment complex in New Jersey; that was in planning from the 80s or 90s, but didn’t open until 2019 and had many similar bumps in the road along the way. I believe many of the recently opened projects in Dubai had also been in planning for years and years (at least since the mid-2000s, easily) and had a similarly bumpy road to opening.
My point is; no benefactor would invest into this if they didn’t think they could bring it to life, because investing £70m and 9 years into a project that’s known to be going nowhere is surely about as useful to them as throwing £70m into a river. Someone is clearly investing substantial amounts of money into it for it to have gotten as far as it has (£70m doesn’t grow on trees), and the company themselves have said that they have an investor. And no investor would get into a project without having done viability studies; they will likely have done some algorithm or something to calculate their potential profit margins and whether the project has a chance of happening.
That’s just my take on it, though; I can sense few will agree, so in hindsight, I apologise for wasting all of your time with my opinion.
Matt, please please stop with this apologising for having your own opinion! If people didn't have differing views then we wouldn't have a forum!
Anyway, I've laid out my views numerous times but to sum it up - there is value in the land, £70m (which I've not seen all that much proof of being spent mind) is relatively small change in relation to the value that could be got from it. It's why I've said in the past that there's a possibility there'll be something there, just that something will not bare any resemblance to the flashy press releases and concept art. However, in a world of investment banks wanting quick returns, is there value to be returned in good time based on the current plans? I highly, highly doubt it, which is why I think financing the thing in its current form is nigh on impossible.
My worry about them saying they've "secured" an investor is that we still don't know who it is. We don't know how much they're fronting up, or what sort of experience they have with brand new investments of this kind. Until we see some actual, solid movement on financing and planning then I'm not considering this project to be going anywhere in its current form.
There's sunk cost fallacy too. If someone has actually pumped in £70 million they're not likely to stop pumping more money in until they either see a return (whether that be actually theme park or building houses on it) or they get hard-stopped by being refused planning permission for anything because of the SSSI designation.
It's not time wasting. I asked the question because I was interested and you've answered it very well so no need to apologise Matt. This is what this forum is for, debating back and forth, sharing opinions. I wouldn't take the time to read and post back if I wasn't interested.
Anyway, regarding what you just said, I think we need to remember that it's entirely possible that someone is just bad at business. We also don't know much about this claimed "£70m". My money's on this being a giant smokescreen and the land will be flogged off for housing and useless office blocks that will remain empty forever.
Regarding the £70m; the amount seems to grow with every press release they do, so someone somewhere is still clearly inputting resources into it. Last year, that amount was £60m, and I remember it was only £30m at one stage!
Or someone is moving money somewhere to avoid tax?
I believe if it was going to happen, construction would be well underway by now.
I think it will eventually be turned into some sort of leisure complex (hotel, spa etc...) and luxury flats.
On a side note, @Matt N, I personally love your positivity on this forum and it's wonderful that you look at everything with such optimism.
Unfortunately, many of us have become quite jaded over the years (myself included) and it's always interesting to read your opinions as someone who hasn't turned into a grumpy old git yet!
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