Stargazing Pods

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Matt N, 7th Nov 2017.

  1. evilcod

    evilcod TowersStreet Member

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    If they were genuinely budget priced then I think they are a great idea.

    They get people staying on resort, spending money on food drinks and merch, so it shouldn't matter if they don't make as much per room on the actual room cost. At a budget price point they will draw a young adult crowd, upgrade the bar for that audience (I'm obviously talking cocktail bar not Popworld) and they could make a fortune for the park.

    But they are too stubborn for that and if they are to remain close in cost to Splash then to the scrap heap with them.
     
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  2. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Maybe we should send a group letter to every Sunday league side in the country, telling them to pack it all in because Manchester Utd are better than them.
     
  3. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    To elaborate a little more, I am not saying there is no market for them. There is. That's fine. I have used the Camp Resort at Europa-Park myself as recently as 2019.

    But do folk honestly look at the way the product was delivered, the theming and experience behind it and think: Yes. This is the quality level we should be seeing from this kind of accommodation at Alton? Really? I think the Pods could be so much better - starting with theming, pathways, better planting and better F&B facilities.

    As Cod says, the price point is actually far from budget. It often comes within £50 of Splash.

    I agree that the TripAdvisor is 4 stars, which frankly I find baffling given what people are paying... but maybe people's expectations really are so low that they don't care.
     
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  4. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    It is true to say there is a market for the pods. But is it a market Alton Towers should be tapping into? In my opinion no.

    There is a market for fair grounds but it doesn’t mean Alton Towers should build one (ok, sore subject but you get the idea).

    The concept and execution just aren’t at the level I want to see from Alton Towers. I want them to aim for much higher quality.
     
  5. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The key difference is that you can go and watch a Sunday League team for free, rather than pay £70 to see United.

    In this case, on August 2nd you could pay £219.00 for a room at Splash or £168.00 for a Pod. It's hardly a massive difference given the gulf in quality.

    It would be less offensive if the pods were pulled together with lots of atmosphere: camp fires, food stands, drinks stands, little entertainment offerings... it ain't got any of it.
     
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  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Yet folks are still paying for it .... To offer the above would likely bring the price in line with Splash and then you'd take issue with that.
     
  7. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I wasn't here to engage in some sort of diatribe against the concept - regrettably my inferences from your replies have levelled me to sense you think I am against the pods on a "class" basis.

    That is not the case.

    I just think ATR is better than basic sheds with no theming and no entertainment.

    This is a theme park resort not a race to the bottom.
     
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  8. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    If you wanted to, you could read that you were saying "These aren't good enough for @AstroDan, people shouldn't like them, they are AWFUL" - but I don't think that is actually your angle, at all.

    It's similar to the dark ride debate I've had too many times with @OilyWater - there are debates we have as a community that are interesting, but it doesn't really matter, in the grand scheme of things.

    I've used the analogy of the film critic, so forgive the repeat but I think it's a good analogy:

    "Another lazy super hero film hits the cinemas. Critics are outraged, they hate it, there's no plot, it borrows from all the previous super hero films and you can see Superman's phone in his pocket at 24:43, in a clumsily assembled wide shot" ... then, it's released and the general public flock to it and it takes $800m. The critics might be right, but with that result, it doesn't matter".
     
  9. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    How do we even know the pods are doing well though? Clearly some people are paying for them, but what is their occupancy rate across the season? I have no doubt they'll be making some money off it as the investment was clearly on the cheap anyway and the offering as a whole is pretty poor from a themed experience point of view. I've wandered through there a few times and the place has never felt anywhere near fully occupied. That's the annoyance, that the potential is there for something great, it's just not been exploited by the park as the focus was on getting their bed numbers up for the lowest cost possible.

    As others have suggested surely putting a bit more thought into the whole experience would encourage higher occupancy rates. There should be more to a theme park experience than just having a place to kip for the night. Have some proper entertainment and things to do around the area to create an atmosphere, and encourage people to spend a bit more while they're staying too. A fire pit, some work on theming the bar a little better are relatively low cost investments but would make such a difference to the attractiveness of the place.

    In an ideal world, I'd prefer them to reimagine the place a little bit to make the pods a little less "cut and paste". Leave some as they are, but add some larger pods possibly with an ensuite ones too. Just something to make the place a little more interesting and open it up to a wider market. Much like the park's focus has moved into ensuring a better experience for guests with events, I'd love to see the same on the accommodation side of things.
     
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  10. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    If you really aren't fussed about this debate, then why are you posting in it? Forgive me for posting to spur on some conversation about the pods and for sharing my opinion. With your film critic analogy, you may be right - but it doesn't lessen the permit to discuss the matter here. We are the critics, after all. Alton Towers gets 4/5 on TripAdvisor. Does that mean there's no need for any shows? Any events? Any enhancements? Or is it done?

    I would like to see the resort improve the pods. If that's OK? Let's aim for 5/5 shall we?
     
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  11. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    *Exits*
     
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    They don’t seem to be budget priced is my biggest issue. If you can get an en suite room at a Premier Inn for £50 a night, what’s the incentive to “camp” for £100 a night?

    If there was a BBQ and a fire pit to toast marshmallows with some entertainment or even just outdoor movies it would feel more like there was a reason to be there.

    reading the website it feels like Warwick Castle offers a far better Glamping experience?
     
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  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I could forgive the Pods if they were genuinely budget accommodation, but they are not. They are a budget offering at a premium price.

    I still find it odd that anybody would pay for them when they could get a proper room and a buffet breakfast for just a little bit more. I'm not sure if they're seen as a novelty or if people don't know what they're getting, but reviews generally seem favourable so it's a mystery to me.

    In any case they aren't likely to be removed, replaced or improved all the time they are getting filled and getting good reviews. Perhaps people's expectations in this country are just low.
     
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  14. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Despite my personal view that they shouldn’t haven’t built the pods, they are done now. So I would like them to focus on improving what is there.

    I wish they would start with that Tipi. It looks awful.

    [​IMG]

    There are so many nice examples of the same thing that are easily within the parks ability to create. Something like this would be such an improvement.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    The worst thing about them is the deceptive name. I wonder how many children have been disappointed after a visit to them.
     
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  16. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The main issue with the pods is the price, I think part of that is Merlin, but I also think the UK holiday accommodation pricing is very high in general. For a start in the UK everything is surge priced and has been for years, yet in most of continental Europe the price is seasonally fixed.

    I would have merged the pods in with the rest of the village so it didn’t have that “pig farm” look about it and had smaller but more shower blocks but it’s a debate. I find it curious that it’s occupancy seems pretty low for a lot of the season.
     
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  17. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Except Im usually right on that hehe

    Only joking, but I suppose it's different when you're not paying extra for a dark ride. So coming out a dark ride non plussed having gone in with no expectations (as opposed to coming out entertained like Id prefer) is acceptable by most. Whereas the pods thing here is extra money. I mean yeah if some people happy to pay for it, then that's their own fault, it's the people who expected better that's sad.
     
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  18. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Surely price is determined by a demand-driven algorithm?
     
  19. GaryH

    GaryH TowersStreet Member

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    Im looking as we speak at going up to Towers in May and looking for accommodation. I could pay £301 to stay in a shed , £427 to stay in Splash, £512 for ATH or £542 for Enchanted Village (based on 2 nights Fri & Sat in May)

    -or-

    I could stay in a Premier Inn down the road for £30 a night......

    Thing is - its not just the stupid prices that put me off Alton at the moment. The cleanliness in the rooms has been poor each time ive visited recently, the rooms look tired and tatty, the noise inside the hotels is crazy but its also the poor standard of food and entertainment which also puts me off. So its not just the price of staying - its the lack of quality for the whole package which really puts me off for the price you are paying.

    And no, I would never stay in a shed.
     
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  20. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I would much rather they did the original extension of the enchanted village, or even if they did a more budget version of the enchanted village (say the pods, but themed to the village), with a proper reception building, bar, restaurant, etc. That’s the main issue, it’s the lack of things for guests to do in terms of food and drink. They’ve added a lot of extra rooms, but no extra food or drink at all (the tipi hardly counts).

    It just feels a bit odd as it is, themed to star gazing (without any theming) next to the enchanted village, using the tree top quest building as a reception, which isn’t partially near to the actual pods. And using one of the theme park overflow car parks, again not themed in any way.
     
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