Major Ride Closures 2016

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

  1. DanJB

    DanJB TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    59
    According to this article posted at the end of July, the park was still expecting to make £40+ million this year, and made £87 million last year. These closures (and the state of the park in general) are completely unjustifiable.
     
    Martin and DiogoJ42 like this.
  2. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    Be interesting to find out their expected profits for next year if this goes ahead. On spreadsheet, it probably looks a good idea -save money on staff and maintenance, but maybe if competent managers were hired, then they may realise that the losses of this far, far outweigh the profits.

    They need to stop relying on a brand made years ago, made by Tussauds, nemesis, oblivion, corkscrew. Merlin have more potential than Tussauds IMO, more money but don't use it.

    Wont be surprised if next years profits are worse, and there isn't an excuse this season
     
  3. Tyarith

    Tyarith TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    38
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    I would say one of the worst mistakes that Merlin could have made is becoming a public company. All profits are far too precious to shareholders and I feel like they make decisions like this to satisfy them. I think if they were still a private company, it would allow for more order among the business and allow profit to actually be of use compared to just going straight to the pockets of shareholders.
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,398
    Likes Received:
    10,539
    Location:
    Argleton
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    That's not what the article says, at all. Those figures relate to that entire area of the business which is split into five divisions. The largest of which is Gardaland.

    I guess we don't know for sure, but I'd bet all my shares on the fact that the Alton Towers loss for this year will be in seven figures.
     
    Tom likes this.
  5. DanJB

    DanJB TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    59
    Alright. But the point still stands that Merlin aren't short of cash. Even if Alton do lose a million, they could still use that profit to keep the park in a decent state, if they cared. Which they clearly don't.
     
  6. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Location:
    Sunderland
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    So is this suggesting that at least £37m of that was coming from Towers? How could the The Smiler crash have affected Merlin's other parks in such a big way?
     
  7. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    All that comes to mind is
    1) ride availibility - saw, rattlesnake and dragons fury being shut
    2) being put off by the media - all theme parks are death traps
    3) other reasons - bad weather and things that would put people off
     
  8. Ash84

    Ash84 -

    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    The house in the middle of the M62!
    Guys, please just take five and breath.

    I am as shocked as anyone about this, (and I'm even more shocked that its me who's saying this), but dont turn your back on your favourite park so quickly. Alton Towers doesn't hold many (though it does hold some) fond memories for me, its a place I have slatted publicly over the years, I have wound a lot of the fan base up for over a decade but its all been in the name of fun. This however is something else, just like the Smiler crash, its a time for straight talking and honesty. Alton Towers has been the place you guys have held meet ups and events for years, its a place you have grown up with, its where you go when you've had a week from hell at work, and it allows you to escape real life.

    Alton have not always got everything right, (I still think the clash of UG Land and Thunder Rock was weird, and the addition of Air to Forbidden Valley was laughable, as was the Fanta involvement with Oblivion) but generally speaking they do a bloody good job at getting people through the gates and providing you with rides, which while are not all to my taste, plenty of the public and the majority on here, enjoy.

    Now this news, should it be correct, reminds me of 2009, when BPB closed down 5 rides, some of which had huge historical importance to the park. We over on PBE were up in arms and vowed never to visit again and all the rest of it.

    For those who cant remember, 2009 saw the following close at BPB (and you think you have it bad now!)

    *RollerCoaster (1933) Vintage wooden out-n-back coaster which had been given a new lease of life due to the new heavier train causing it to run better than it ever had before.
    *Gold Mine (1969) Widely regarded as BPB's best indoor ride, some say the internal theme gave Disney a run for its money.
    *Noah's Ark (1923) One of the final examples of a Ark left in the world.
    *Trauma Towers (1999) A unique combination of a walk through combined with a ride, one of the parks best dark rides.
    *Space Invader (1984) BPB's dark coaster.

    All those bit the dust in 2009, and of course two of them are coasters, so you can imagine what kind of language I was using! Now fortunately, BPB had the sense to keep the RollerCoaster and Gold Mine ticking over so that if the park had a busy weekend, they could be re-opened. Of course these two rides have since re-opened under new names, with new paint jobs and both are in a worse state than they were 7 years ago (IMO) but for the public, the Nickelodeon Streak and Thrill-O-Matic is all new, and in the case of the Streak, worth an hour long wait on busy days!

    Its time like this when the parks need you most, these ride closures will rile the public, there is no question about that, but the public are quick to judge, and have short memories. They don't give a toss if Alton Towers stays or goes, if it goes they will drive up the road to Drayton Manor. You and I know the line up there is lame in comparison, but to the public its just another theme park. By all means stomp your feet, and if you get chance to, complain to those in charge and tell them you are far from happy about all this, but please, dont turn your back on the park you love, you may turn back round in 2018 and find a housing estate, supermarket, or a pile of rotting remains, which, no matter how angry you feel right now, you dont want.

    Looking to the future, BPB is (apparently) on the up again, however it lacks the backing of a parent company with money to throw at it to allow that growth to be accelerated with the addition of a new attraction. Alton Towers will pull through this, and when it does it will be in a stronger position than that. Stick with them.

    Ash

    Edit: In answer to the post above, the public saw theme parks as a death trap, not just Alton Towers. The crash had an effect on the whole UK industry.
     
    alee298, Pixie-Ro, Alastair and 3 others like this.
  9. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,432
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    Location:
    Just to the left of over there!!!
    All large companies know things can go tits up quickly. Lets be honest we don't know the full truth of the Alton towers balance sheet. Merlin could be making millions. But towers could be bleeding money. Best thing to do stop the bleeding or amputate.

    Merlin is investing in the new. That makes the company v unstable. Think of Leeds united invested heavily but could not perform to get its money back. If these new investments fail, they need to be able to rely on the old guard. So they can sell, nobody will buy/invest in a failing park.
     
    Stelios likes this.
  10. Lukas

    Lukas TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    7
    I was shocked when I first read the news, and now I've had a few hours to think about it, I'm still a little surprised and disappointed.

    I remember back in 2004 when the park implemented a similar cost-cutting scheme, with Cred Street being boarded off including Vintage Car Ride, and the Spooktacular event, including Terror of the Towers (which was extremely popular in the previous two years) getting cancelled.

    The park managed to pull through that, and they will pull through this, although it is a bigger challenge. The brand and sub-brands are too big - it would take another serious incident for Towers to fail, IMO.

    However, going back to these six possible closures - I'm disappointed that Alton didn't release this information before the end of the season, even if it were only to the community so that we could have ridden Hex and Ripsaw for (potentially) the last time. I sometimes think they take their support and loyalty from communities such as this for granted (clearly some of the staff don't as the enthusiast behind-the-scenes tours a few years ago were a lovely idea from the park).

    Charlie I can understand if as others have suggested the ISP has now expired. Driving School - I always liked this idea and reckon it's a ride I would have loved as a kid but I couldn't comment on its popularity. I always feel that Cloud Cuckoo Land, as a kids area, suffers being stuffed right at the back in the corner (although I understand it's important to distribute attractions to cater for the younger generation). The Flume and Ripsaw are disappointing because they're both reasonably popular rides with the GP, the former in particular. The Flume's a pretty decent ride IMO and if they are planning to put something new there, then don't close The Flume until work starts! Sub-Terra is a decent queue soaker, as are most of them so it will have an impact on busier days.

    The one that I'm most shocked about, and I hope it gets overturned is Hex. It's such an iconic ride, and despite its issues, should be saved IMO. Whilst on that point, I'm sure Duel would have been on their list if it were not for the fact that it would've meant a whole area had no operating ride - the state of Duel on the last weekend of the season was ridiculous - Alton / Merlin, please look after your rides!

    I reckon a couple of these will get overturned, I hope they do anyway! Sometimes, coming out fighting is the best comeback, and I reckon that's the way Alton should approach it. Closing 6 rides is showing to the public that something is wrong which doesn't exactly fill people with confidence, but then again, we're not privy to the information that the decision-makers have.
     
    Last edited: 21st Nov 2015
    Alastair likes this.
  11. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    London
    I'm sorry but these are multimillion pound businesses, we don't owe them anything. It is up to them to entice visitors like ourselves back to the parks and instead, what they'll end up doing is keeping people away if they proceed with these plans.
     
    PeteB, Stevie, DiogoJ42 and 3 others like this.
  12. James

    James TS Founding Member

    Messages:
    3,983
    Likes Received:
    2,794
    Location:
    S.Wales
    ^ Exactly. Why bother supporting a business that's overcharging you, offering you a substandard product and pushing you away as a customer. If they want to do silly moves like this then this is the time we should stop giving them custom. They need to know this is NOT how you run the UK's (supposedly) largest, biggest and best theme park, owned by a company "second to Disney".

    I'm sure if the park was family owned or owned by a very small company we'd be a little more sympathetic. But they're not. If this is how they want to lead the place then honestly I hope things get worse and Merlin either have to change how things work, or sell their parks up. It's really beyond a joke now. There's only so long you can support a place you love (or used to), that's been facing cuts year upon year and is crumbling away.
     
  13. CGM

    CGM TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    818
    Location:
    York
    Well, it's getting to the stage where it's just not worth going isn't it?

    Broadly speaking, the park is basically unchanged from its state 10 years ago only now, all the theming is rotting away and everything's covered in moss. There have been new rides but for the most part, these have been no more than a vehicle to justify their marketing campaigns. The rides themselves have been pretty half-baked and lacking. Meanwhile, old rides have been allowed to deteriorate. Then there's been the theming which in the world of Merlin means paint everything grey and neglect.

    Now they want to close a significant chunk of the park's ride line up without replacement. This includes a number of family staples, a fan favourite dark ride, one of the park's few remaining flat rides and crucially, 3 of the park's 4 indoor attractions.

    If this goes ahead, Alton will barely be a theme park. It will just be an overpriced ruined country house that happens to have some tatty rollercoasters scattered throughout its grounds.

    The enthusiast community has long been condemning of Merlin's tactic of ploughing its resources into marketing while the park is neglected and cut down to a minimal viable product. But I think this year has shown that not only was this approach hurting the quality of the visitor experience, it was also very risky.

    No matter how many safety provisions are put in place, an incident at the park is never impossible. And this year it happened, a high profile accident on the park's newest major ride. The country's media which was such a key part of the park's marketing strategy instantly turned on the park and Alton's marketing juggernaut was stopped in its tracks. Now, due to years of neglect, there was no high quality product to fall back on and pull the park through the rough times.

    Obviously, what they should be doing now is investing heavily, cleaning up the park, giving rides overhauls, maybe even making some small ride additions. Generally just improving the quality of the product on offer and rebuilding trust with the British public. Instead, they respond to the adversity with cuts. It's like they don't know any other way (and they probably don't). The old metaphor of trying to dig yourself out of a hole has never been more appropriate.
     
    Last edited: 21st Nov 2015
    altongeek, PeteB, Scott and 4 others like this.
  14. Slugjc

    Slugjc TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,432
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    Location:
    Just to the left of over there!!!
    Ive slept on this, ive come to the conclusion this could be alot worse. Nemmy,blivvy,air,thirteen,Rita,cbeebies,sky ride,monorail,duel,rubber dingy rapids (couldn't help myself), mine train, smiler (if its coming back) hotel, splash landing, hobbit village thing, pointless golf course, tree top whatsit, towers street, the gardens, the whole pirate area (guessing finding new homes for the fish would be hard. There is no Battersea fish home. And some ive missed all could have gone. Having done that list there is still a hell of alot at towers (hands up here not for the price)

    Flume. Sorry to say never rode it. Always go to towers in winter and never needed to be cold and wet. It looks tired, out of date. And the speculation about it closing have been around since I joined this site. Not shocked hope they replace.

    Catcf. This ride is due a reboot. Complaints on site is things dont work, and needs regeneration. Now they have the chance.

    Peugeot driving school. Never used it. I'm not a child and hold a full licence.

    Hex is the shock. I hope they uturn this one.

    What

    Iwhat I don't understand is why they haven't closed sonic all this could have been worse, alot worse. Yes we can say multi million, no investment blah blah blah. But this could he the start. (or the end). Here's hoping. Chins up people, group hug we can get through this. Stiff upper lip all that.
     
  15. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    Apparently, cloud cuckoo land is open at Christmas. I know it wouldn't affect Charlie, as the IP runs out in March, but driving school. If it is actually open, then it is clear that its just cost cutting. I may be looking too deeply into this, but if it's just cost cutting (rather than a technical issue) then even mid next season they can reverse the decision.
     
  16. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,207
  17. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

    Messages:
    4,467
    Likes Received:
    9,836
    Location:
    Manchester
    Favourite Ride:
    Unknown - Parque dos Elefantes
    The majority of the social media team won't have been made aware providing the decision hasn't yet gone past senior management.
     
  18. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,207
    looking at the AT twitter feed this morning its all about this and every response is the same copy and paste.
    if they dont know, they do now and surely news will filter up to management .
    hope they take heed we are not happy bunnies
     
  19. Skyscraper

    Skyscraper TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    6,228
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    i really hope that none of this is true, especially hex!
     
  20. JoshW91

    JoshW91 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Why does everyone have so much love for Hex? It's rubbish nothing exciting about it. It's old and dated and I never go on it so I won't miss it.

    This was my reply from them on Twitter
    @AltonTowers: @JoshJowo91 Watch this space for announcements about fantastic new experiences and exciting new developments planned for the near future!

    Tbh for me if they reopen the smiler next season then I'll definitely return. Whether they close these six rides or not, I just want the smiler back!!!
     
    MilesK likes this.

Share This Page