TBC: SW9 Speculation

Discussion in 'Future Discussion' started by Matt N, 2nd Nov 2017.

  1. blackholes crow

    blackholes crow TowersStreet Member

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    I think for the time being towers needs its star line up to help recover from this headache,
    So to shut,change,or anything else would be suicidal at this moment in time.
    thay need as much pay coming through the doors as possable to get a stable foundation so in me eyes were not seeing any changes till atleast 2024
     
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  2. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    If we get a submission and Blade replacement soon then that would be enough for now. Maybe some other small rides/experiences too, CBeebies needs a few bits replaced or added too. Would be nice to see five or six new rides/shows/experiences over the next few two years across the whole park.

    Then a bigger new ride in 2024, doesn’t have to be a coaster, something indoors would be great, maybe an indoor coaster.
     
  3. TheAverageNerd

    TheAverageNerd TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah, a focus on tidying the park up and brining back more family oriented experiences would be the best route for the park to take I think. More shows, street entertainment and events would be a great way to offer more to park guests without forking out hundreds of thousands/millions for new rides. I'd love to see the TLC program be brought back as a yearly thing as opposed to just a three year project. After a few years of sprucing the park up and bringing back some more shows and entertainment, then I'd be interested in seeing something big.

    What I'm concerned about is that the park will try and install something cheap to bring guests in ASAP and then we're left with a cheap looking eyesore in a part of the park that makes no sense (Dungeons anyone?). I guess we'll just have to see.
     
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  4. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

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    I think we will see the plans go in next year for a 2024 release.

    Before then I fully expect to see spinball be moved or removed to make space for a Cbeebies land expansion and the TLC program to come back, maybe a new flat ride but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't
     
  5. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Plans will likely depend on how successful this season is able to be, but I cannot see SW9 happening in the immediate future. Even before Covid, Merlin's major investments seem to have been drying up and getting smaller. I just cannot see them wanting to invest a huge amount in a single new project right now.

    2024 at the earliest I reckon.
     
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  6. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    It never went away, it just isnt advertised as TLC anymore. Regular 'TLC' type maintenance works have been going on since the dawn of time. If anything that kind of thing slowed down many years ago but it still happens all the time behind the scenes.
     
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  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Yes, but the three year project headed by Wayne Burton went a lot further than the stuff that was being done every closed season. There were noticeable improvements in many areas, particularly Mutiny Bay, some of which have got worse again since the program ended. Wayne moved on up to become Head of Product Excellence across the whole of Merlin RTPs, which although is a great loss to Alton Towers, might help improve the condition of the other parks, but I'm not sure we've seen that yet.
    As mentioned in this interview with Wayne, he identified gaps in the product where it wasn't up to standard and went to work fixing them, rather than just the regular clean ups. Imagine if every year someone who really cared about the park actually made that "to do" list of things that are no longer up to the right standard.

    I don't think they do anywhere near enough regular maintenance on scenic elements around the park.
     
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  8. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    It really didn't it, it was for the most part things that needed to be done anyway. See the Cloud Cuckoo Land facades that had to be re-rendered and then had a 'TLC' cover up that was much cheaper than the original.

    There was the odd big, less regular project like the Nemesis repaint (which should never have been left so long in the first place). The difference there was the quality was higher standard than previous repaints, I really commended that. The Duel project not so much unfortunately.

    If it was a true revitalisation of the park, all the projects done under the TLC banner should at least been as good as how things were before the declining maintenance, or better

    Because that's the job every product manager at every park, only you don't see other parks calling their maintenance TLC. It hasn't stopped at Alton and it was happening before too. I'm not criticising whoever did it or saying TLC was bad, Im just trying to add a sense of reality
     
    Last edited: 1st Mar 2021
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  9. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    TLC was nothing but hype over work that should have been done regardless as routine.
    They then celebrated the fact that they started to do such work properly.
    Then they stopped doing routine work properly again.
     
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  10. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Its debatable that things were always done properly too. In-house small projects are great for some things and people put much work into mainteannce, but bigger projects need doing with a proper budget.

    But routine work went on before TLC and still happens after.

    In an ideal world it wouldnt be noticed because things wouldnt get so bad in the first place. Unfortunately UK parks dont often get those kinds of budgets I guess
     
  11. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    If it was/is routine work then why did those things get into such disrepair? It is obvious that the additional TLC work was badly needed. The "routine" work is getting done, but the "things that really need doing but nobody is pointing them out" aren't getting done. It is wrong that it took one person to find those issues and it is bad that now he has moved on to a more senior role they are back to not doing enough of them again.

    If it is routine then it should be scheduled, so every four years, replace the Mutiny Bay banner, every two years clear the ivy from the Haunted House façade, make it into a scheduled routine. But it is obvious it isn't routine work and it isn't being done. This stuff should be routine "TLC" and there should also be the "large scale" refurbs such as were done on Hex and Duel (I'm not getting into the debate as to whether the budget was good enough for them to actually be done to a high enough standard)

    Back to the topic of new investments, the park should have a low year where things are completly rebuilt, same as you can see that Disney and other large parks do, they have routine maintance every year, but every 5-10 years the ride closes for a full strip down and re-do.
     
  12. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Because it isn't being done routinely enough!

    This kind maintenance gets done, just there's only so much without higher funding. It should be done more routinely, we agree the same thing, but not pretending its part of a special programme.

    A '3 year TLC programme' to do stuff that needs to be done routinely (ie longer than 3 years) is such a misrepresentation anyway. It's not improving the product, it's just maintaining to the right standard. Maintenance is on going by its nature. Nemesis will need repainting again in a few years for example.

    It's not really because nobody is pointing things out, it's because the budget isn't granted. Someone wanting things to happen without the budget for it ends up with Tomb Blaster's many revamps at Chessington, or Duel TLC.
     
    Last edited: 1st Mar 2021
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  13. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, Nemesis was repainted before and will be again that is a routine task that will get done again.

    But there are countless other things that wouldn't have been done without the TLC budget. I agree budgets are likely the issue, but that just proves those things are not routine as the budget isn't scheduled in. If someone actually thought, the scenic stuff (monster heads, sets etc) need fixing/replacing/painting in the Haunted House every five years and put a budget line in to do a fifth of the ride every year then that is routine maintenance.

    Or when it is someone specifically having to get the budget and make a project out of finding those things that have fallen though the gap it shows that routine maintance of theming elements is not done.
     
  14. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Absolutely, but at most big parks that sort of maintenance is regularly done so guests don't realise.

    Duel had relighting several times in the 90s and 2000s. Much improved in 2010 I remember including on the audio. It's had work a few times since TLC Ive noticed (geek alert), but of course they only advertised the 2018 one so that's what people think about.

    It's so called "routine" maintenance, just not funded enough to be routine enough and the TLC did nothing to change that.

    Then you get this odd in-between thing where stuff is changed on a budget, like repainting the Towers Street exteriors because it's cheaper than redesigning them. In the 90s they were faced with the same problem that the street looked dated, and they transformed the whole thing.

    I do think a real redevelopment scheme would benefit the park well, like redesigning Dark Forest, X Sector and other areas, before they start thinking about SW9. As well as better maintenance of the existing rides
     
  15. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Also Twitter wasn't a huge thing back then so even if a manager at the time did want to show off their programme of enhancements there wasn't really an easy way to put the content out.

    Which is my point really, it should be properly routine and funded as such, rather than one person having to argue to get a large budget for a three year programme. The routine stuff should be properly planned and budgeted for as part of the original ride (for example LED screens in the Wickerman, if it is known they have a five year lifespan, then as soon as its built they should add that budget so that there is the money to maintain the effect).

    The bigger stuff (back on topic) could be done as larger investments as part of an overall investment into the park on a year when there isn't an SW installation. Even if it isn't publicised and advertised.
     
  16. Tibble

    Tibble TowersStreet Member

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    I think they will invest in the events and advertisements around that for a few years to disguise the lack of new rides.
     
  17. MakoMania

    MakoMania TowersStreet Member

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    A major new incentive for investment announced today (despite a hike in business rates overall.) Pulled this from Sky News:

    “The chancellor follows the corporation tax hike with a sweetener, announcing a "super-deduction" that will allow companies to offset 130% of the value of any investment again tax for two years.”

    This means that if a company were to make a capital investment in the UK of £10m, it would reduce their payable tax by £13m.
    It will be interesting to see how Merlin respond to this, it is the first time anything like it has been trialled in the UK.
     
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  18. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I would like to think it would work on tourism developments, but from what I read it's more plant-heavy machinery and so on. Unless I am mistaken?

    :expressionless:
     
  19. DistortAMG

    DistortAMG TowersStreet Member

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    Roller coasters and the like are technically heavy machinery with alot of plant equipment to make them work. But yeah, like you said, because its not typical industry. They might have a hard time pushing that through.
     
  20. Heidi

    Heidi TowersStreet Member

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    Personally I think the ideal SW9 would be a water coaster in place of the rapids, with some kind of world first element and heavy theming to fit in with Katanga Canyon. While making this a 1.2 coaster would be nice for kids slightly too old for cbeebies land, I think that the recent investment into The World of David Walliams and less recently cbeebies land would mean catering to younger audience is unlikely. Plus, as people have said, the rapids is currently in an awkward point in its history since its been toned down due to the DM incident, either it needs to be returned to its former intensity or be removed. A new thrill coaster in its place would work well in the area as RMT is aimed at slightly younger kids.
    However I do agree that before SW9 comes to the park it needs some serious improvement in terms of maintenance, entertainment and updates.
     
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