In recent years, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of mothballed sites at Aton Towers. That is to say, sites that were formerly used for a ride, F&B or retail. When comparing the number of said sites at Alton Towers, it dwarfs the number of equivalents at any other UK Merlin Park and ultimately results in less choice for guests whether in terms of retail or food/beverage. It seems as though once an outlet is lost, Alton struggle to then re-open it. Let's take a look at the non-ride spaces (so, for example, no mention of Nemesis Sub Terra nor the temporary ride locations for 2021 as this appears to be something the resort are actively seeking to sort): Galactica Store - only opened recently and tastefully decorated within the theme of the ride. This outlet is now boarded up, bringing an end to any retail store in the entire Forbidden Valley area of the park [email protected] - this outlet has been mothballed for some years now, removing a former healthy food and beverage offer from the park Burger Kitchen (FV) - this outlet has opened although has been substantially downsized. Now offering hot dogs and fries rather than the more expansive Burger Kitchen menu UNIT-NST - OK, so this is less of an issue but, irrespective, this 'mini shop' barely lasted a few months before it was consigned to the past and now holds a few vending machines Gloomy Wood Kiosk - this is closed and had vinyl posters blocking off where guests would formerly have made a purchase Nitrogenie - currently closed and boarded up with vinyls/signs Caricature Stand - closed Katanga Cabin - this kiosk has been removed and replaced with drinks machines for capsules Towers Street Bar & Grill - this venue is now unused. The foyer area is now home to drinks machines Towers Street Photo Booth - now closed, boarded up Courtyard BBQ - although it has been used as a bar briefly, this outlet has been gone for some years. Rumours of a Smokehouse were rife a few years ago, but this has never seen the light of day Sepia Photography / Lego Store - this venue is now home to drinks machines Th13teen Store - this retail space remains closed off Rita Shop - this retail space remains unusued. It was briefly used as an information point but today stands mothballed X-Sell - the Oblivion store was tastefully themed and enhanced... but closed barely two years later. It's been mothballed since Spinball Noodles - the former [email protected] outlet has not seen any use for nearly ten years now Corkscrew / Cave Games - this outlet is out of use The Toy Store / Ice Age Shop - this venue is unused. There is a new, smaller shop in Walliams World on the site of the former café. Queue line shops - a significant number were added but closed almost immediately. Total waste of investments across rides including the Rapids, Th13teen, Smiler, Galactica and more. We can also count many removed venues such as Mexican Cantina, Wobble World Café, Pie & Mash, Pasties, Wraps and others that have been gone over the years. Others, have seen their menus reduced (such as Rehydrator Nachos becoming Donuts or Fish & Chips becoming a coffee lounge) or being offloaded to franchisees (such as Eastern Express in Dark Forest, which is always PACKED - why the hell Alton don't feel they can operate this outlet is insane). Even HB Leisure's presence in the park has diminished massively. The list, as you can see above, is vast in scale. Should the park now turn back to franchisees to run outlets again?