Monorail Refurbishment

Discussion in 'Future Discussion' started by WallisDan, 13th Oct 2017.

  1. WallisDan

    WallisDan TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    99
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    When do you think we see a refurb to the Monorail?
    What do you want to be done to it?

    I want monorails themed to rides (Smiler, Nemesis, SW8 etc)
    Windows to be made so you can see out
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 16th Oct 2017
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #1
  2. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    12,721
    Likes Received:
    18,716
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    The only thing they need to do is get rid of those awful window coverings.
     
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #2
  3. John

    John TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,095
    Likes Received:
    2,344
    Location:
    Im Turm von Mystery Castle
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    I can't see the monorail ever getting a proper full refurb. When it gets to the point that they can no longer run it it'll just be removed abandoned, hopefully that'll come with a new entrance.
     
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #3
  4. Britford

    Britford TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    493
    Well they need something, I walked it last scarefest and WOW, what a trek!

    Personally I hope they build a new station by treetop quest, anything past SLH is unreasonably far away from the station.

    since they will never use all of them at once,
    I hope they (after removing the "theming" from the windows) theme 2-3 of them to scarefest permanently (for use at scarefest obviously)

    Other than that, as long as they take that awful cladding off the windows, I will be happy with that refurb!
     
    WallisDan likes this.
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #4
  5. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    293
    Location:
    Derby
    Favourite Ride:
    Icon
    There was an article in park world magazine this month about a company designing a people mover for one of the top uk parks. I wonder if long term Towers are thinking of a replacement?
     
    skyscraper and ParkBoi like this.
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #5
  6. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    449
    Its maintenance costs are fairly high, it is the medium-to-long term plan to get rid of it, unfortunately.
     
    MaxPower likes this.
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #6
  7. Bert2theSpark

    Bert2theSpark TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    746
    Likes Received:
    1,216
    Location:
    Alton Towers
    Favourite Ride:
    Octonauts
    How could you remove the monorail and not replace it with another monorail? Much of the park has been designed around the monorail, Nemesis, Galactica, Duel, The Rapids, TowersStreet. Not to menton the amount of people who use it every single day. I can't imagine Alton Towers without it's monorail. I don't think it would be removed without replacement of a newer model. Even if Towers does see a new entrance.
     
    danni87 and MaxPower like this.
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #7
  8. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    449
    ^ The planned new entrance is designed to facilitate the retirement of the monorail. Its costs have been identified as being undesirable in the long term.
     
    Posted 13th Oct 2017
    #8
  9. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,844
    Likes Received:
    2,942
    Location:
    Cardiff
    I dont see how they could remove the monorail. Its essential. While the walk from the car to the entrance is nice (sometimes) , for those with walking difficulties or families with push chairs, it would be very difficult without the monorail,

    I dont really have a problem with the trains as such except for the window coverings, which are now tatty, dirty and you cannot see out of them. The pirate train we were in last weekend was also very dirty inside, not the best of impressions if you are visiting the park for the first time.

    In terms of something new, I think the tracks would have to stay, and all they would need are some new trains to use the existing tracks and power supply.
     
    MaxPower and Bert2theSpark like this.
    Posted 14th Oct 2017
    #9
  10. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    774
    Location:
    London
    I think what I would miss most about the planned new entrance is that first view of the towers you get from the current one.

    We always walk instead of catching the Monorail due to the queues, but I can't imagine it not ever being there.
     
    jon81uk and Bert2theSpark like this.
  11. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Merlin need to get the gate numbers up by creating a unique and memorable day that makes people want to come back. Deliver a great experience, which increases gate numbers and revenue, so that you don't have cut costs such as removing the sorely needed monorail.

    Though transport links and the council will always be an issue, it will never be possible to deliver regular investments on the scale of Europa Park or Cedar Point. (yes I know about the height limit), until the guest numbers are comparable. The UK parks in general and AT in particular have so much potential, but it seems to me that local authorities do not want them to succeed.

    Just look at how much hassle Legoland have undergone to try and install a simple haunted house.

    If local authoritys and NIMBYS.put every possible barrier in the way of creating a world class experience (when they themselves, can't even empty the bins without charging a fortune and messing it up), then hugely successful worldwide companies including Merlin will invest ever increasing proportions of their budget in areas of the world where such barriers are lesser or do not exist.

    This is exactly what is happening with huge investments in China, Japan and the USA.

    Something needs to be done before it is too late.
     
    Last edited: 14th Oct 2017
  12. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Likes Received:
    1,551
    I think the case at Alton is different to Legoland, for example. Alton Towers is insurmountably important to the local economy, and the park have a good relationship with the local community. When Tussauds wanted to invest heavily throughout the nineties and early noughties, they didn't come up against much, given the sensitive and scenic nature of the area. I'm afraid it's Merlin holding the park back, ahead of any council.

    I have no real insight into Merlin's long-term plans, but I can't help but feel that the rather half-baked nature of various investments, the bread-and-butter of coasters aside, suggest that they would be in a position to cut the park off and sell at another stage. Accomodation such as the Enchanted Village is built on the cheap, as is Thorpe Shark, whereas similar investments at Efteling and Europa Park are built to last and sustain the long-term infrastructure in each resort.
     
  13. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    Merlin would love it if everyone thought this way. It's the wrong way round, gate numbers won't increase until they increase regular investments in the place. But they'll carry on blaming local authority planning restrictions and the crash for the underperfomance of the park when it's their management and lacklustre investment in the park that's to blame.

    The removal of the monorail (which I don't think is as imminent as has been made out) and unceremoniously dumping some turnstiles behind Galactica would epitomise the way the park has been run this past decade.
     
    Olivus Prime, Ted, danni87 and 5 others like this.
  14. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    I agree that Merlin need to take a fare share of the responsibility and that there have been some extremely poor decisions relating to money wasted on relative!y poor and short term attractions... However...

    I recall the local authority capping the number of visitors that AT could aim to deliver a few years ago, siting the NIMBYS, the environmental impact and the capacity of the road network ( which is slightly easier to justify).

    They wouldn't dare attempt to cap the number of visitors that Blue water or Meadowhall, or major airports receive, but AT and Legoland amongst others are fair game.

    Build a 910 metre sky scraper in Central London (fine). Whilst limiting the ability to build a rollercoaster above a quarter of that a Thorpe park.

    Build huge stadiums around the country for the Olympics (at a cost running to billions not millions), many of which will be never be used to their capacity again (fine). But Legoland can't build a Haunted House.

    Build a huge China Factory in Stoke on Trent near existing housing occupied by people who cannot afford exhorbitant legal costs (fine) But don't build a rollercoaster 5 feet above the treeline at AT because it will spoil the view of NIMBYS who can provide the legal! Costs, despite owning multiple homes around the country.

    Hell, if this attitude pervaded a couple of century's ago , AT in any form would not exist...

    Oh don't build those artificial gardens spoiling the natural beauty of the area.

    Don't build those towers - they will be a carbuncle on the landscape..

    Fast forward a couple of century's... Don't build tacky theme park attractions... It will spoil the towers and gardens.

    Nobody wants to see AT concreted over ( I know... Merlin... The Smiler), but it was investment and risk taking that made AT what it is... All over the world their are sites of great beauty and majesty, where theme parks can build amazing attractions without having to worry about going 2 feet above the treeline, and where the aforementioned investments look amazing,, complimenting what is already there (just as the gardens and the towers complimented a beautiful part of Staffordshire several century's ago).

    But forget the jobs, the opportunities, the amazing talents that exists to make what is great, still greater. Let's just impose huge restrictions far greater than they have anywhere else... Let's make it more expensive to create something than anywhere else... Got to keep those Rich and powerful NIMBYS and jobsworths at the council happy.

    The world is full of examples of great theme parks in beautifully locations that do not detract from the natural beauty of the area... Shortsightedness and preferential treatment offered to those with money prevent the same creative energies here.

    Merlin are the beginning of the problem, but the other issues are far greater.

    Oh and the Monorail... It is definitely needed.

    When I'm Prime Minster things are going to be different!
     
    Last edited: 14th Oct 2017
  15. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Location:
    Cell 2749
    Favourite Ride:
    Smiler
    I don't know how many times it needs to be said before people understand, but Merlin will never sell Alton, because it isn't theirs to sell.
     
    The theme park geek likes this.
  16. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    449
    They can't sell it but they can cease to operate it.

    The monorail's days are numbered in the long term.
     
    The theme park geek and IanSR like this.
  17. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    3,060
    Merlin can sell the park, the land is owned by someone else but it is on a long lease with contractual obligation that the park can renew the lease before anyone else is offered it. The contract will have clauses in that allow the operating company to change without the contract expiring. The whole land sale was really nothing more than a massive loan guaranteed against the value of the land.

    No one would lock themselves in to not being able to sell an assett.
     
  18. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,363
    Likes Received:
    3,390
    Location:
    Cell 2749
    Favourite Ride:
    Smiler
    No, Merlin cannot sell the land, Alton is not Merlin's asset to sell, it is a very simple concept. They (Merlin) could conceivably terminate the lease they hold and hand back the land to Leslau, or stop operating the theme park as Tom said, but those are completely different things to 'selling the park', what you are suggesting is me being able to sell the flat I live in even though I only have a lease on it, that can't happen. Nor was it a 'massive loan guaranteed on the land' as that would mean they still owned the land, which they don't.

    The only 'asset' Merlin own in the UK is the land Chessington sits on and an empty field next to Thorpe, all the other theme park attractions are operated by Merlin, but not owned, there is a difference between owning something and leasing/operating it, a very big difference in fact. Granted they own the brand 'Alton Towers Resort' but that's not the same thing.

    As for the last sentence, I'm sure a few years ago we would have the same level of confidence that engineering staff would know how many cars were on a ride, but alas we know how that turned out. All I'm saying is any talk of Merlin selling Alton is moot because they can't sell land they don't own, and I wouldn't assume they aren't locked into any agreements without seriously huge termination terms or restrictions on what they can do because in fairy tail land people do what they want, that's not how these deals are setup.
     
    Last edited: 15th Oct 2017
    Tom and delta79 like this.
  19. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,073
    Likes Received:
    3,954
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis, Air
    The only thing merlin can do is sell the user rights to alton towers resort

    Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk
     
  20. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,266
    Likes Received:
    2,446
    I'm not sure about the details of the Towers lease back deal, but if it's similar to the way these things work in the retail world it would be structured in a way that Merlin could sell the BUSINESS (as in Alton Towers Resort) and don't have to sell the land itself.

    Sainsburys for example own very little land and very few of their stores. Years ago to raise funds for various things they sold their stores and leased them back. However, they own all assets in these stores such as equipment, permanent refrigeration etc. Some supermarkets don't even own that and even lease equipment even the stock they sell can sometimes be tied in the complex supplier deals based on volume movement.

    Now, no one would possibly say that J Sainsbury PLC couldn't be sold because they don't own their stores? Or that they couldn't sell a portion of their stores to a different operator with the lease agreements included? In fact, these kind of things happen all the time with various parts of businesses being sold all the time.

    Long story short, THE Alton Towers, as in the park grounds can't be sold by Merlin. However an Alton Towers Resort LTD with all its associated assets, intellectual properties and various agreements etc can be sold as a trading business as a going concern. Businesses no longer have to be asset rich to be worth anything in the modern world.

    I own my house for example, but as it's a leasehold, I don't actually own the land it sits on.
     

Share This Page