Major Ride Closures 2016

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

  1. Ash84

    Ash84 -

    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    The house in the middle of the M62!
    If this turns out to be true this is a sad time indeed. The combined throughput of these rides add up, and coupled with breakdowns on the remaining rides, this could lead to a much worse year in 2016. BPB did an almost identical thing in 2009, but they at least kept two of the five rides they closed in an operational state so that when busy days or prolonged breakdows happened, these two rides were able to open. I would advise Alton to consider this.

    As for Hex, is will be one of the easiest rides to disguise, you lock the door and take away the signs and people who dont know any different will think its part of the Towers building. Charlie and the Driving School can be hidden easily enough, but Ripsaw and the Flume are likely to rot. The fact no news has come in about the Smiler is a concern, and the future of Loggers Leap is also something I fear for.

    Ash
     
  2. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,207
    being a total Towers fan boy with over 235 hours spent on park this year. I would never have a bad word said against the park, they can do no wrong.
    Was really looking forward to the start of next season, however if this news is correct, I'm very disappointed.
    Merlin are just having a laugh.

    Its not just cost cutting and ride closing at AT its across most of their UK parks.
    Merlin if you are reading these forums, get a grip, man up! stop blubbing that you have no money, you are the second biggest theme park operator in the world! why not show it!
    Building all these new parks and attractions in China, Dubai and across America just remember you have an amazing thing here in the heart of the UK.


    fudge
     
    Last edited: 20th Nov 2015
    kris3012, MattyH and DiogoJ42 like this.
  3. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    11,118
    Likes Received:
    15,551
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    I know this is a very heated issue but can I just remind everyone to watch your language! Don't forget this is a public forum open to all ages. Please avoid swearing, that includes with the use of asterisks.

    Thanks!

    :)
     
    Burbs likes this.
  4. James

    James TS Founding Member

    Messages:
    3,983
    Likes Received:
    2,794
    Location:
    S.Wales
    Even though apart from Hex I go on none of those attractions, this really puts me off visiting next year. What's the point in even going there when half the park is closed? It's not like the place is easily affordable for people like myself who live no where near the park either.

    I understand money is tight but if you can't operate the rides and attractions you have then there's a severe problem going on. There's no way general guests are going to let this pass.
     
    Leah, DiogoJ42 and Burbs like this.
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,072
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    So this is how the park ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper.
     
    JB1985 likes this.
  6. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    1,910
    What a dreadful decision.

    After a bad season this year they should be doing everything they can to get guests back through the gates, not closing 6 rides! Do they seriously think this is going to get people back and restore faith in the park?
    I can see this being the start of a downward spiral of the park, and all down to Merlin's incompetence. Why not run the park properly making slightly less money for the next 1/2 years in order to restore faith in it and get people back in?
    It seems that shareholders and profit margins are more important than the future of the park these days. Sure, this might keep profit higher in the short term, but in the long term it will only damage the park's reputation further and discourage guests from visiting.

    I will not be visiting the park next year if this is all true, Hex is one of the best attractions and with five others also closed I wish I hadn't bothered renewing my MAP.
     
  7. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,072
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    The public - and indeed, the press - will no doubt see this as "the rides have been shut down because they are not safe".
     
    Jonathan, James and Coaster like this.
  8. Coaster

    Coaster TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    1,910
    Exactly. That, combined with people not wanting to visit simply because there are six rides closed is not going to do the park any good next year IMO.
     
  9. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    I don't ride CATCF, flume, driving school (obviously), but it still annoys me. The rides at very least soak up queues and belive it or not, some people actually like them. I have no words for hex, I feel I shouldn't try to explain something I don't understand at all. NST is a good ride, a good filler attraction (would have been great at scarefest when I had 10 minutes to kill before the mazes), if the number of staff is an issue, just cut the staff who just shout at you. I agree with some on here that ripsaw has been on its last legs for some time, a disappoint as I love the ride, but I wouldn't object if it was to be replaced with an equal or better atraction. The truth is that non of these rides will be replaced soon. Were looking at 7 SBNO rides next season (the smiler may not open in march). 3 major attractons (not including smiler) and 2 support rides in an area that is being focused upon next season.

    So basically, towers intend to increase their profits by making less people want to visit *slow claps*
     
  10. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,072
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    I'm calling it now: The Smiler will never reopen.
     
    JB1985 likes this.
  11. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    395
    Location:
    Manchester
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    Oh FFS.

    The place is a lost cause, not that it wasn't already.
     
  12. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    London
    I seriously hope this isn't the tip of the iceberg, but I fear it may be.

    If these planned ride closures go ahead, I can see the park closing remaining rides earlier and running them at reduced capacities.

    I'd hate to see Hex close for good. Its by far the best dark ride the park has ever had, and ever likely to have. Hopefully it will just remain SBNO until visitor numbers recover, although I fail to see how closing any rides will help the place draw people back.

    The theme park now needs major investment throughout the park, in every area and has done for years.

    I was in two minds whether to visit next year before this news, but now, I'm really struggling to justify it.
     
  13. Grand_Nash

    Grand_Nash TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    Absolute joke.

    I am a absolute pleasure beach fan. I visited alton towers once in 2011 when alton towers live was on for my girlfriend and I vowed never to visit the place ever again. It was crowded, no personal feeling i think I rode 5 rides all day.

    Compared to blackpool you get a bit of banter with ride ops which I love. Fast forward to this year me and my mates wanted to visit alton and I was not too sure so I gave in. The smiler crash happened and we had our tickets opened for another visit. Since then I have visited 8 times and towers employees have generally been great, we got annual passes and it's all been great and supporting the people who work there.

    Firstly making redundancies is frankly after one bad year a disgrace and shows not much confidence in the park and now closing attractions is again a disgrace and no way to attract visitors. They may as well only open the weekend. How long until major rides only open for a few hours a day 12-3 off peak days. BPB tried and failed and now is only returning to profit after analysing what people want.

    Will keep renew my annual pass? Probably not the way I feel I was thinking about a VIP pass but little point in merlin. They may be 2nd biggest ents company but they are no disney and never will be. Disney would never sacrifice any major ride other than essential maintainable IMO.
     
  14. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    I'm sure some people will know more about management than me, but isn't investing in new rides going to increase visitor numbers more than closing rides? They can recover from the crash if they invest in a big new ride, and I hate to say it, but a gimmicky new ride.

    Wonder if next years maps will have loads of rides missing, even if they open (that is, if the budget cuts allow us to have maps)
     
  15. QTXAdsy

    QTXAdsy TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    390
    Location:
    Kingdom of Fife
    Favourite Ride:
    Black Hole
    It does make me wonder if Merlin are fit to run a theme park? Sure they can run other attractions like Sea life and Dungeons ok, albeit the price part...but with all the cuts, lack of TLC and price raising, it has made me doubt if the guys running the place have any idea what it takes to operate a park in a responsible manner.

    It does bring up the fearful thought that maybe it isn't that Merlin are simply lazy, but really haven't a clue what they're doing and are riding on the seat of the pants and that eventually, they'll get their almighty comeuppance, which might sadly be the fate of Alton Towers...
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
  16. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,072
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    I'm not one to say "I told you so", buuuut..... I did. Years ago.
     
    PeteB likes this.
  17. Burbs

    Burbs TowersStreet Team Team Member

    Messages:
    4,800
    Likes Received:
    4,972
    Location:
    London
    Favourite Ride:
    Untamed, Walibi Holland
    I'm now at the point where Merlin is not deserving of my cash, yet if I don't renew I will not get to see anyone nearly as much. No idea what to do. :(
     
  18. Jables

    Jables TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    England
    Favourite Ride:
    Stormforce 10
    Hello darkness my old friend.
     
    DiogoJ42 likes this.
  19. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    1,924
    Location:
    Newport
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    The smiler was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Years of under investment and taking their customers for granted, believing dodgy guest satisfaction surveys and spending craploads on IP's that they couldn't sustain. Cheap one trick rides that have just been left to rot.
    Any of us could have told them that they couldn't sustain the staff levels on Sub-Terra with Merlin hatcheting the budget left right and centre, just like the Dark Forest characters that lasted all of a couple of weeks.

    This highlights the problem with shareholders, any slight problem and it has to be the bottom line that is protected at all costs.

    I understand that there is rent to be paid and that the property company who owns the land made a massive profit last year. Maybe Merlin should be negotiating with them to agree lower rents, after all if the park isn't open then the company won't be getting any rent.

    Regarding the ride closures, I think Hex is the big one that disappoints for me. I can live with Ripsaw and Sub-Terra. I think The flume could be closed for future development, its a prime location and big enough for a substantial modern water ride. I'd take that over the cross valley in the present climate.

    I'd like next year to see a £15/£20 Entrance on the gate. Get rid of the dodgy bogof offers and bring in some honest pricing. Slash the car parking price too! Offer a lower entrance price and i'm pretty sure that guest spends on park with rise considerably also.
     
    Last edited: 21st Nov 2015
    IanB, Stelios, Leah and 2 others like this.
  20. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Location:
    Sunderland
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    This is all down to greed. Money IS NOT tight at the park. I remember reading somewhere (and granted this was a long time ago but it did stick in my mind) that wayyyy back in the years of 1997 era, the park's turnover was in excess of £50m per year. That was before the days of paid fastrack, upsells everywhere, multiple hotels, hiked car parking, and when the food outlets were not done in house.

    So compensate for inflation (that's about £85m nowadays) and take the above on board to add to it. Do you really think they're in danger of making serious losses? No. It comes down to the fact they need to keep the park looking profitable with a healthy margin on paper (I suppose it'll be a percentage number) - and that's all it is - "on paper".

    This isn't the beginning of the end, that happened ages ago, we're well into the parks final few years.
     
    Martin, Stelios, Leah and 1 other person like this.

Share This Page