Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Ted, 11th Jun 2012.
Quite right too, with that price. Bargain basement.
This very adequately demonstrates just how warped the Merlin pricing model is and also how many people actually pay “full” price.
So we know what all merlin parks are getting this season, except once again Thorpe. Which I can only assume will be getting another £12.47 budget again.
It’s a shame that they’ve not really had anything new for years now, and it’s 8 years since their last coaster! I can only assume it will be another year like last, with bouncezilla returning “bigger and better than ever”.
I'm starting to think Thorpe are just attempting to follow Dreamland down the events route.
The only difference being is that Dreamland actually have a jam-packed calendar with a huge variety of events (that happened to include a bouncy castle for adults last year; yet wasn't glorified).
It seems clear to me Merlin have lost their appetite for Thorpe. Perhaps having three parks in a relatively close proximity is the reason for this? And the relative commercial failures of their last two large scale investments
For the time being, I think Thorpe Park is just evaluating its options for where to go in the future. There was reportedly a massive shake up in the park's upper management during the 2018/19 off-season, so that will naturally throw things into limbo a little for the first couple of years that the management is there. I think within time, the park will make a really good investment that will set them back on their feet and give them a clearer direction. At a TTSP event last year, the Thorpe representative who talked to them reportedly said that they want to make the park "unrecognisable" in 10 years' time, and that they want to make more minor improvements to the product before investing in something big or something along those lines. I could personally see Thorpe potentially getting a major investment in 2021/2022, though; that would give the management some time to think about what sort of ride they want and how they want it to improve the park.
So what I'm basically saying is that I don't think Merlin is done with Thorpe by any means; I think they're just considering their options a little. Merlin wouldn't just abandon Thorpe; I think they are identifying exactly what the park needs and will apply this over the next few years.
seems a fair assessment but any new management would sell the dream. I hope they are right though.
Merlin wouldn’t abandon the park, but make the bare minimum investment until a buyer is found
Now Merlin is under private ownership, I think we may see a different course of action taken at all of the parks, and do bear in mind that KIRKBI have said that they don't want to sell any part of the portfolio. I'm optimistic that Thorpe will improve over the next 5-10 years; investment is what will ultimately bring guests in.
I'm not convinced investment will increase because of the change in the ownership. What was said that they want to make longer term decision's that might not immediately lead to profit. (Wildly paraphrasing)
What I think that means (or rather what I hope that means) is that someone is going to ask a question about what Thorpe park is, and what it's going to be in 10 years. Thorpe's lack of direction has done harm to the park and brand. They need the investments to have some clear idea of what the park is to become.
So they just need to hurry up and buy a humongous air time machine from b&m.
Heck I would be happy for a Verkoma hyper or Mac Rides. No need for it to be a B&M
Interestingly, I read a Twitter post from Attraction Images in early 2018 that suggested that a B&M hyper was originally planned to be built at Thorpe in 2020 before the new management came in and scrapped those plans. Attraction Images does seem to be a pretty reliable source; this was also the person who broke news of Valhalla's refurbishment before it was officially announced, so they are definitely trustworthy, in my opinion.
This is also backed up by a teaser image from the TTSP event at Thorpe in summer 2017 that teased Project 2020 using the Meydan Bridge in Dubai, which rather resembles a series of parabolic airtime hills in its design! And in general, a number of rumours pointed to this before Project 2020 was allegedly scrapped, so a B&M hyper is definitely something that Thorpe have looked into in the past, it would seem!
You are optimistic about everything though, so it just becomes meaningless.
Thorpe / Merlin investment decision tree:
Is it making money?
Yes - do nothing.
No - buy some paint.
Review in one year.
You mean review in 3-6 weeks, depending on public opinion of last decision?
While it's never going to happen, I'd love to see a sprawling, trackless dark ride, that's thrilling and adventurous without relying on a scary/dark theme. Something akin to Rise of the Resistance in scale.
If Merlin fancied a change of pace they could use Thorpe as the cutting-edge, futuristic prototype park, with Alton becoming a place for mature technology. So Thorpe gets the Air-style water tester, Alton gets the Flying Dinosaur-style cannonball.
Apparrently Merlin will be looking at the cheapest options when building attractions going forward, so the chances of them building anything like a B&M are pretty slim at this point.
With how strong Verkomas recent coasters have been I wouldn't mind Merlin getting one of their coasters at all... The days of the SLC are long gone
Is this strategy just for Thorpe or all Merlin parks?
nobody now knows the future strategy
It's just for Thorpe. I can't see Chessington getting a new Vekoma coaster. I think their management team's working on plans to repaint a bench.
if it’s a bench they need they better get in touch with Towers
I think merlin as a whole are saving money across all their theme parks, you only have to look what’s being installed across the world at the Merlin parks, compared to a few years back.
I think it's too early to understand if the shrinkage of capital expenditure in RTP has been impacted by Merlin going private. It could well have been retained, scrapped or hardened, but it's too early to understand that yet.
Most of what we are seeing (or not seeing) open in 2020 has been in train for over two years. The Walliams hook up was reported in April 2018 - that's nearly two years before it will open. I think 2021 is the year where we'll get an inkling of what the future of expansion in RTP looks like and 2022/2023 will be when projects come to fruition that have been devised and delivered entirely under the new ownership.
It's not just Merlin who have taken a good hard look at the cash they have been spending, Six Flags have fundamentally changed the way they spend money and Cedar Fair haven't been entirely secret about themselves following suit.
Then, you have SeaWorld going nuts with expansion, arguably as part of the realignment of the company and catching up after some troubled years. I think the industry will be looking hard at how that works out for them.
Separate names with a comma.