The Sinking Ship: (Un)Love Letters to Merlin

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AstroDan, 20th Nov 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    Essex
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    The only major problem with 2010 was the mixed response to Th13teen, caused by the ridiculously inaccurate marketing the ride received. Overall, I wouldn't class Th13teen as a truly successful SW m. Other than that, the park was truly great that year.
     
  2. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    6,196
    Likes Received:
    8,540
    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
    In terms of the marketing, sure. Th13teen has also suffered poor build quality and was generally not great.

    HOWEVER... the park achieved figures over 3million 2010 - very, very successful indeed. This was through a combination of events, new rides and more!
     
  3. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    Essex
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    True. The ride certainly attracted people to the park. But a lot of people were disappointed by the experience which is what I'd base its lack of success on.
     
  4. CoasterCrazyChris

    CoasterCrazyChris TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    395
    Location:
    Manchester
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    During the late 2000's before Thirteen opened was the period when it seemed Alton Towers was really losing youth credibility to Thorpe Park. At that time it had recently built both Stealth and SAW: The Ride in a period when AT had invested nothing for thrill seekers.

    Thirteen inevitably didn't live up to the marketing hype and was unfavourably compared to SAW and I think this put off a lot of teenagers from returning to the park in 2011/12. I think in many ways the relative failure of The Swarm followed by the opening of The Smiler led to a reversal effect especially with all the rubbish Thorpe have built in recent years.

    Yet both parks have suffered from neglect and cuts in the last five years and the incident last year has damaged the entire UK industry to one degree or another.
     
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,057
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    I would argue it's not the incident itself that's screwed the UK industry over, but rather the fact the papers keep bringing it back up.
     
    Ted, jon81uk, James and 3 others like this.
  6. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    292
    Favourite Ride:
    Icon
    I think one thing that puts teens of returning is a lack of public transport. It isn't easy to get lifts as for myself it works out at a 1hour 15minutes round trip.

    If there was a bus service with convenient times myself and friends (14years old) would be willing to return this year after Scarefest this year (great trip) but with working parents we can't get there cost effectively.
     
  7. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,800
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    No offence to you personally of course, but some people,would argue that the ease of getting there by public transport without parents in attendance is what makes Thorpe Park so bad.
     
    Matt.GC and Towerslover like this.
  8. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    3,841
    Likes Received:
    6,292
    Location:
    Lancashire
    As a 14 year old, I used to ride my pushbike the modest 30 miles to Blackpool on a regular basis to indulge in my hobby/obsession.
    That's why I still can't get my firkin thighs in my (old man's) jeans.
     
    jon81uk and AstroDan like this.
  9. Croftybaby

    Croftybaby TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    1,922
    Location:
    Newport
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    It's laughable really that a company has such a disregard for it's own product. They deserve to go bust, they clearly couldn't give a toss and luckily they now have they 'Smiler incident' to cover up any decisions they make for years to come.
    I've not had a full day on park since 2014 and I've not been inclined to visit since.
     
    Ted, MaxPower, CGM and 4 others like this.
  10. PeteB

    PeteB TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    1,804
    Location:
    Sunderland
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    What was the year they hit 3.5m? Was it 1994 with Nemesis and Toyland Tours?

    It does make me wonder why the park have never hit near this number again in over 20 years, with more onsite accomodation, also now we have the internet where marketing has further reach and should theorectically be easier and cheaper.

    Perhaps another contributing factor to Towers downward spiral is their target market now don't remember how grand the park used to be. I recall back when Merlin first took over, everyone was quite excited because the past few years the park had taken a dip. It seemed universally accepted that the park was surviving on the reputation it had built in the 90's and early 00's. Now, 10 years later those people don't visit the park any more (or at least a very small percentage of them) and because Merlin never invested in the park the way we all hoped, it's been neglected and I actually dont see many young people ever rave about the place like people would back in the day.

    Towers can't survive on it's history of being one of the best theme parks any more. Families and 15-24 year olds these days know that the park doesn't compare to what else is out there, around Europe and the rest of the world. It's amazing to think Towers was considered one of the top 5 parks in Europe back in the 90's, and now it doesn't even come close.

    Personally, I think the neglect has gone too far and there is no chance of recovery with their current strategy, especially after The Smiler incident. That LTDP? Might as well scrap it come up with a new plan. Not that the LTDP was going to plan anyway, but it would take a decade of mamoth investment (and determination to be the best in all areas) much like what happened when Tussauds took over from Broome in 89/90. Although you could argue that while the park took a little dip during Broome's last years it wasn't anywhere near as bad as things are now. Tussauds had a head start with the park already having a good reputation in terms of rides, experiences, and entertainment.
     
  11. AirFAN

    AirFAN TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    85
    I'm pretty much over the UK theme park scene to be honest.

    My last few visits to Thorpe Park have been a shambles.

    You get the feeling guest happiness is the last thing on their minds - the main focus being economising the experience to save as much money as possible to the detriment of guest enjoyment (reduced capacity on rides, dishevelled theming, uninterested staff).

    As for Alton Towers, my last few visits have left me walking away feeling underwhelmed - there's no magic anymore.

    Yes, the average consumer may have a good time when they visit the park, but I don't understand why the park wouldn't want them to have a phenomenal time.

    Gone are the days where parks would invest heavily in areas where a return on investment is difficult to be measured.

    I don't have any plans to visit any Merlin parks any time soon.
     
    Matt.GC likes this.
  12. Towerslover

    Towerslover TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    292
    Favourite Ride:
    Icon
    Remeber the days when there was new investments every season...
     
    MaxPower and PeteB like this.
  13. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,800
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    It is debatable as to if their ever was and there still is to some extent. In 2017 we get a CBeebies flat ride!! Wooo!

    Yes the low season investments used to be better (proper flat rides, Ug Land, etc) but don't forget there were also years when all that was new was haunted hollow or Ice Age or just another small addition.

    https://towersstreet.com/history/past-rides/
     
  14. andeyhart

    andeyhart TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    Essex
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis
    2011 is the only year I can recall when there was literally nothing.
     
  15. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    10,394
    Likes Received:
    13,730
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    I've said to before and I'll say it again, things went downhill after Morwenna was forced out of the park. A pity as she was largely responsible for the brilliant 2010 season.
    I think you are forgetting the spider crabs in 2011! :p

    :)
     
    Croftybaby and andeyhart like this.
  16. Spike

    Spike TS Contributor

    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    670
    Location:
    Bolton-Towers
    Favourite Ride:
    Taron
    I personally cannot warrant the cost of visiting Thorpe and Chessington anymore due to the terrible state the parks are in. Traveling to London for hit-and-miss ride availability at Thorpe and witnessing the run down state of Chessington.

    My visits to Alton have also severely declined the past few years as well due to the poor state the park is in. I went earlier this year with a friend and we travelled on the train and got a taxi from Stoke and back - we left at 2pm due to so many rides being unavailable and the place was like a morgue.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  17. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,800
    Likes Received:
    1,828
    Yes, I thought there were more low years in the 90s, but looking at the TS history page every year got something, even if 95/96/97 were all reasonably small investments, they had several small things, with 1996 appearing to be the lower year as the farm was re-done in 1995 and then Ripsaw in 1997. Other than 2011, the only other recently poor year was 2007 with dung heap & haunted hollow in the park and extraordinary golf being the bigger investment.

    I think the main recent issue is that things get built and then forgotten and left to rot. In smaller investment years they need to also rebuild other parts of the park.
     
    Towerslover likes this.
  18. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    3,212
    With regards to Alton, I would like to add one thing though. If and when they ever come up with an idea for a decent ride these days, Staffs Moorlands council just tell Alton to go and kill themselves and build something a bit more crappy instead. This doesn't help at all. Oh no, you can't build the other half of that ride because it's next to a path in the middle of the theme park where there's already noise. Wow, so magical. Must protect the gardens from a tiny bit of noise, think about the lasting damage a bit of noise is going to do. All those thousands of visitors who don't visit for the gardens each day as it's just too expensive to be able to do so anyway. Get a life Staffs Moorlands. Do you want a theme park on your doorstep which provides all of the advantages it does to the local economy, or not? Get a life and rein it in a bit you bell-ends.
     
    PuddoBearBoy, pj, alee298 and 5 others like this.
  19. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    10,394
    Likes Received:
    13,730
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    It also doesn't help when Alton Towers want to build a big new coaster, another new coaster goes wrong, guest numbers fall, new coaster budget gets slashed and we end up with a small GCI woodie.

    :)
     
  20. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    1,904
    Likes Received:
    3,212
    Yes, I see the issue here :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page