Major Ride Closures 2016

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 20th Nov 2015.

  1. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    You know, that idea I had a while back of Merlin selling the park doesn't seem all that far fetched now...

    I know it's the flagship park of Merlin and all, but after the Smiler crash and the woeful season we had and even worse one next year, it looks like a sinking ship more than ever and Merlin, with all the bad press they've gotten from this, will probably jump ship and try and focus on Thorpe and Chessie, if they even care about them.

    And many will say, 'but Alton is worth £££ and it's too darn expensive!' Well, seeing how much the park has been run into the ground, I'm sure it's value with thanks to the current state, not helped by the crash, his sort of lowered it's value. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    This has been mentioned before, and one of the arguments was something along the lines of whoever buys it, without backing from a big company, will make the park awful.

    But to be brutally honest, I don't see how an independent purchase would make it any worse than it is, or how it is likely to be after 1 or 2 more seasons of Merlin running the place.
     
  3. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    R.I.P Alton towers
     
  4. Sku

    Sku TowersStreet Member

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    If the rumors are true...

    Really the only surprise is Hex, the others are not really that much of a shock.

    -Charlies agreement has run out, so no surprise there.
    -Ripsaw is a future development location, and next door to the new Air developments, so no surprise there.
    -The Flume is a future development location, so no surprise there.
    -Driving School is the only major attraction left in Cloud Cuckoo Land with Charlie closed, so no surprise there if they want to close down the whole section (an area made a little pointless now with Cbeebies land being much more popular)
    -Sub Terra has been closed for months anyway, and no one really seems to care that much, so no surprise there.

    Really the only surprise is Hex, but maybe the entire Towers will be closed off next season, so you will have to walk around to Dark Forest.

    Next season is most likely a write off already, so the park might be taking the opportunity of low visitation to get a lot of the work done preparing the resort for the future. And maybe do some major work on the Towers themselves? And they get to save money to boot of course.

    When you think of the locations, and reasons, none of the rides listed are that surprising.

    Or maybe they are just cutting back and giving up. Who knows.
     
  5. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    The only potential buyer I can think of would be Parques Reunidos. Alton is a huge, unusual property. Unfortunately it's probably easier for Merlin to hold on to the place and weather out the storm.
     
  6. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    I'm pretty sure the Towers have to be open for x amount of days per year according to English Heritage?
    Oh how it is to be optimistic. :p
     
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  7. Tyarith

    Tyarith TowersStreet Member

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    If these claims are true, is it only me getting a little Deja Vu?

    If I remember correctly, didn't Merlin say that they would ensure Alton Towers has staggered open time from behind the towers at the start of 2015. As I am sure you can remember; it did not go down well with the GP - I doubt this proposal of these closures will not either saying that they soon reversed the changes. You would think that they would learn from their mistakes. Maybe this whole situation is a bit of karma for them being a little too greedy.

    I agree that the resort needs a whole refresh. However, the way they are doing it is not going to help them at all. If they really want to get people back, they need to invest as much as they can even if it would result in a short time loss, it would allow for bigger profits in the future if they did it right. If I owned Merlin, I would ensure that ride availability was the best it could be in order to promote new guests to visit and ensure that guests from the 2015 season still would return. This way, with the redevelopment of Air it would allow them to re-market the ride as a new experience in which will possibly attract large volumes of guests and then if they had high ride availability, it would allow the guests to have more faith in them and promote a return visit or the purchase of Merlin Annual Pass compared to having guest dissatisfaction on open day and put people off and criticize it with negativity. Therefore, I believe that they should most certainly reduce entry cost to promote guests back. I think Merlin need to start thinking with a cheap margin with high volumes of people if they are actually going to get people back. Whenever I speak to someone about Merlin or Alton Towers, they always say that it is expensive - it does not exactly sound like a great PR from word of mouth. If they did do this, I believe that they would make more profit this way throughout the whole year compared to SBNO attractions. After this, they just need the launch of a new major attraction that is not rushed and marketed well in order to revive the park to what it was before the incident. Quite simple business.

    To summarize; they should invest into the park and raise guest satisfaction on a PR front; redevelop air to promote guests back; reduce entry cost and promote MAPS's; make ride availability as best as it can be; develop the next SW that is a exclusive experience to the park by making it a quality attraction; bring back the magic and large volumes of guests!
     
  8. Sku

    Sku TowersStreet Member

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    Definitely the optimist in me coming out, but it's hard to see why the park would intentionally stunt itself in this way without reason. If they were just giving up why not just close down now. They clearly aren't going to make much money next year and they know it already. To stand a chance they know they have to invest, so maybe they will, that's all I'm saying.

    Their big investment ride, which was a major draw is tarnished. Parks in this country struggle without major new headline attractions. Why not a big refresh, ready for the next SW. Launch as the all new Alton Towers in a year or two.
     
  9. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think a ride should be replaced until a replacement is ready. I think the flume should go, but not yet (unless that's where a new ride is going there soon). Same with ripsaw.

    No offence to anyone, but I wont fully belive this until I hear it from towers. I really don't want to believe it
     
  10. Stubpb

    Stubpb TowersStreet Member

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    I am fuming. for more ways than one and i,ll tell you why. Sorry if my post is a bit long lol.

    Ripsaw - Ok i can live with that going.

    The Flume - its a bloody great ride. sad to see it go tbh. (just to note Thorpe have the log flume SBNO in 2016) could there be a link here somewhere.?????

    Hex - Why whats wrong with it - its a great ride - (oh hang on too many staff)

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - ok its crap but still its ok to sit down for 5mins - (one lift broke running on limited cap most of 2015 season. Could this be a reason to close it)

    Driving School - great for kids.

    Nemesis Sub-Terra - To many staff needed.

    The point being here is ok if we lose ripsaw and the flume AS LONG as we get something new here it will ease the blow a bit. But the chances are unless they press a head with SW8 we aint gonna. Come on last year they said they was movin ripsaw to submission site it never happened.

    I think if it was just these two rides only and not 6 rides it would be ok.
    The issues they will have now with people is how do you get people in the park with the fact that 6 rides are out of action or closed. People aint gonna pay £50 per person with 6 rides out of action. And we are saying 6 if the smiler remains shut for 2016 thats 7 rides. Who knows.

    Look at it another way there are 37 rides at Alton Towers - 6 or 7 of these are going down the pan that leaves us with a wow factor of 30 rides.

    it may not sound much but that works out at £1.66 per ride if you get on all 30 at a gate price of £50. If you get on 15 rides at £50 that works out at £3.33 per ride. If you get on 10 rides which most people will get 10 - 15 rides - that works out at £5 a ride.

    On top of this add your food and drink. Then add your spending money in the shops. Then add petrol to get there. Oh and dont forget the £6 for the car park.

    And yep its just not worth a visit. £50 to enter a themepark where the rides are closed.

    i,ve sent 4 tweets to alton towers and asked about the closed rides and removal of the two and as yet they have no comment to make. just sums merlin up really. money grabbing (and i cant use the next word)

    its all just a massive joke one big massive mistake and i for one am not happy at all.
     
  11. LordOfDarkness

    LordOfDarkness TowersStreet Member

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    Ripsaw is heavy maintenance over closed season, so they'd save big bucks not doing that and saving on operating costs

    Flume was going to be removed soon anyway so they're probably just bringing forward plans

    Charlie has lost its IP, save money on theming and replacing existing charlie materials

    Sub-Terra is plagued, not been missed this season, might aswell keep it closed.

    Hex... well that is weird.

    Driving school... that is also weird.

    But to be honest, all these are logical, it would have been much better to gradually phase out and replace, but I suppose they see it as 'well it's already **** so lets get this out the way now'.

    It would be good if they explained these decisions though, so let's just wait it out for now.
     
  12. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

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    TBF with the supposing plan, if it does mean the real end of Charlie then that can't be all that bad as one of the worst rides in the park's history finally kicks the (Charlie) bucket:p
     
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  13. Sku

    Sku TowersStreet Member

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    That's exactly what I think it is. Get the pain of the closures out of the way now, while the parks fortunes are already pretty bad. None of the rides are that surprising other than Hex, but with the actual show building being almost adjacent to Driving School, maybe a plan is afoot...
     
  14. Stelios

    Stelios TowersStreet Member

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    Sad thing is, with 190 job losses I'd assume management teams are fewer too with less people taking on more department tasks, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was a first job for a new manager or was done by an old manager who is probably now fired. Gutted.
     
    Last edited: 20th Nov 2015
  15. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    I've got a slight feeling, and a hope, that they're actually planning a U-turn with this one.

    1) Announce an extensive list of ride closures for the following year, including a firm enthusiast favourite.
    2) Announce that Hex will actually re-open for the 2016 season.
    3) Overwhelming feeling is relief; other, less controversial, ride closures are forgiven. The only missing ride I can imagine the general public really noticing is The Flume... and I'd assume that will be the area for the next major development so they will be forgiven for that.

    Then again I might be overthinking this; Merlin certainly tend to under-think a lot.
     
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  16. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    this will prob be some no-neck idiot sat in an office behind a computer looking at their excel spreadsheet,
    all the boxes are red
    lets close some rides.. some boxes turn green
    lets close more rides.. now they are all green, we are making more money again
    sorted.
     
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  17. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Flume (and Loggers and Falls) are pretty much all on the closure list this season... That's all linked together for... some reason...

    Charlie is buggered, as is Sub Terra for different reasons...

    Driving School, no idea, does it get any form of popularity?

    Ripsaw, probably buggered, like Ramses is...

    Hex is the real surprise, especially as it was broken ages ago and remained open... It's not exactly a drain on staff resources either...

    This is only the start as always, the lost hours at Thorpe and Chessie have shown that the answer to everything is cut things, irrespective of guest satisfaction... Presumably because people still visit the parks these days...
     
  18. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

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    Hex is actually buggered, like all the other rides, as it still doesn't park properly despite being supposedly refurbed by Vekoma some time ago. Speakers in the vault are hit and miss too, mostly not working right.
     
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  19. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

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    Some lighting was also knackered in the vault on the last day of the season, as well as it not parking properly. Some members on the meet commented that the ride should not be open like that, but it still was.
     
  20. Martin

    Martin TowersStreet Member

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    If they were closing in advance of redevelopment or replacement, they would announce that first. And it's not going to be for maintenance/repair, it doesn't take two closed seasons and a full open season. It's clearly just more cost cutting and/or no longer having the staff with all these staff cuts that are coming.
     

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