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Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes to Close

Discussion in 'News & Rumours' started by Temleh, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Temleh

    Temleh Well-Known Member

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  2. ukthemeparkfan

    ukthemeparkfan Member

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    never been there but it is always sad news to here a park close
     
  3. davidm

    davidm Well-Known Member

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    This is a shame :-( if not necessarily a surprise though.

    OK the place wasn't great, but it wasn't awful - the vekoma junior was OK and scenic enough on the edge of the pond (struggle to call it a lake). The ghost train I recall being one of the better ones too.

    Boomerang will be for sale no doubt, perhaps Thorpe can put it next to their new flyer?
     
  4. Mushy999

    Mushy999 Active Member

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    Would it be wrong to be seriously worried about the future of the industry in the UK? There's been quite the number of park closures since around 2000 - eg Camelot, Southport, American Adventure etc. and quite a few parks like Lightwater Valley and Oakwood that just seem to be hanging on for dear life.

    I know I don't have anywhere near the insider knowledge that most CFers do but with Pleasure Island now going too, the Merlin parks feeling the strain of the Smiler incident and there seeming to be no chance in hell of getting a new theme park in the future 2018 seems to me like it could be make or break for the industry. Someone please reassure me otherwise...
     
  5. 10WaTT

    10WaTT Well-Known Member

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    Didn't this happen last year as well, or am I getting confused with something else?

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
     
  6. ukthemeparkfan

    ukthemeparkfan Member

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    I think it might have been fantasy island
     
  7. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    ^ It did happen a few years ago but they found the money to open.

    What Dave Morton said. Any park that closes is a shame, but it's no surprise. There was never enough there to make me want to return. If that's coming from somebody who love parks, what must "the general public" think? Ok, yeah, I do live miles away but I'm quite happy to travel the same distance to Blackpool on a yearly basis.

    You forgot Loundon Castle!

    On the whole, the established parks are doing ok and are doing it right. It's the ones suffering from unimaginative investments that I feel are struggling. I think there are two main factors that put people off theme parks in the UK;
    1. The Smiler accident. Unfortunately it does still have a hold in the media and in the minds of the uneducated minority who think "all coasters are unsafe".
    2. The incorrect perception that theme parks are expensive. Maybe they are if you're taking your family to Legoland for a once-a-year theme park trip, are paying full online price, staying in resort hotels and visiting in the summer holidays when its really busy.

    Parks could stop the "rot" if they did the following:
    1. Offer more obvious discounts.
    2. Scrap parking charges. Brits hate paying for parking and it is off putting. Forking out £5-8 at the end of the day does leave a bitter taste.
    3. Invest in the right rides for their audience. Buying any old crap to fill a spot doesn't work.
    4.Turn parks into a venue. By having regular big events with big names, the parks will be packed. It works so well in Scandinavia - Tivoli, Liseberg, Grona - so it can work here.
     
  8. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    It's sad considering it seemed that they'd been making a lot of investment over the past few years. Always a shame when a UK park closes.
     
  9. ukthemeparkfan

    ukthemeparkfan Member

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  10. nadroJ

    nadroJ Well-Known Member

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    This. It's enforced by local councils, nothing to do with the attraction themselves. What I do think they should do is have you pay on entry like at Disney. That way there's no faff leaving the car park and you don't leave having just forked more money out to leave the car park.
     
  11. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    It's been two years since I worked for my local council in Traffic Management but during my 12 years there, not once were my team instructed by the government to encourage public transport. Yes, the government invests in public transport because it has a duty to serve the public but it's never been policy to encourage more people to use it. They make far more money through private transport (fuel duty, MOT, car tax) than they do through public transport. The government actively encouraging people to use public transport is a myth.

    If that was the case, then every park would charge for parking. It is nothing more than a cash cow!
     
  12. Mushy999

    Mushy999 Active Member

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    I forgot Loudoun for a reason - to avoid thinking about poor Twist and Shout rotting away there haha.

    I definitely agree with the ways to stop the rot.

    Discounts do need to be more obvious but a problem with the Merlin parks in particular is that even with discounts they still feel like you're not getting your moneys worth with the opening hours. In my opinion most of our parks opening hours are poor compared with a lot of parks. In the summer we should be seeing our parks staying open till at least 20:00. Efteling was open 9:30 till 20:00 when I went in July and their tickets are a lot cheaper than the Merlin Parks, atmosphere on par with Alton's and with just as much to do there.

    Parking charges won't change but allowing people to pay for them before leaving like the European parks would help.

    Some parks investments are a bit confusing, like Oakwood getting the second hand Pinfari, although outside of the Merlin parks could any parks afford to get a big thrill ride? Though I guess most of our parks are now aimed at the family market but even then some of them still get investments for that wrong. A Maus Au Chocolat style ride would go down really well at one of the family parks but I doubt they could afford one.

    I think that Tivoli, Liseberg and Grona Lund are helped by the fact they're inside cities so are easy to get to for those events, most parks in the UK you have to drive or get public transport to. Blackpool already have their own shows although maybe they could try and get in bands etc.
     
  13. cjbrandy

    cjbrandy Active Member

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    I'm going to add a number 5 to Ian's 4 ideas to stop the 'rot'. Save up for a good IP! Paultons Park has been incredibly successful lately because of Peppa Pig World and Thomas Land does pretty well at Drayton.
     
  14. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, it's a dump.
     
  15. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Glad I got there last year then.

    Flamingoland have started doing this. Well, they've always had entertainment because of the holiday park, but that was just for holiday park guests and all very "Butlins".

    They've now started doing evening concerts - Party in the Park - over the summer, which are free to any park guest after the rides have closed, or available for about a tenner if people just want to come to the show in the evening. It's pretty much a slew of X-Factor rubbish, but seems to have been doing really well.
     
  16. Ireeb

    Ireeb Well-Known Member

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    I think Tripsdrill in Germany is a good example that small parks can compete with the bigger parks. It is just 3 hours away from Europa-Park, the most famous theme park in Germany. Tripsdrill is older than the Europa-Park, and it is still doing fine. They do many things right, like Ian described. Free parking, being an event location, and investing in good rides with the right target audience. They have no huge or extremely thrilling rides, but all of them were new (not relocated) and they manage to serve everyone from child to thrillseeker, without doing investions as big as the Europa-Park can do. My gp-friend compared Karacho, the launched infinity coaster, with Blue Fire, which has probably cost twice as much. It shows to me that you don't need a huge budget to be a good park and attract different audiences (though the focus is still on families with children, but this is a very important group anyways).
    If the small parks can't compete with Merlin, it's because they are doing it wrong, not because they have no chance. If it works in Germany for Tripsdrill, why shouldn't it work in the UK?
     
  17. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    ^While Karacho was cheaper than Blue Fire, and could be seen as comparable, it's still WAY over the budgets of most UK parks, who have been dealing in second-hand, filler crap for years.

    Outside of Merlin, Blackpool, Flamingoland and Paultons - who, let's face it, really lucked out by grabbing the Peppa Pig IP - I can't think of anywhere that has added anything substantial for a very long time. Even Flamingoland, who are doing much better than the vast majority of UK parks, wouldn't go for something like Karacho.
     
  18. Ireeb

    Ireeb Well-Known Member

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    The question is, why do the UK theme parks so much worse than Tripsdrill? It doesn't belong to a bigger company (actually it is owned by the same family since it beginnings), the entrance fee isn't that high, and the attendance isn't very good apart from the main season (I was at Tripsdrill this Monday, the longest queue line was 10 people or something. You could have counted the number of people at the park. We started to recognize people we saw a few hours ago.
     
  19. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Pleasure Island suffers from 3 main issues imo. The first being location, It's based in the north, where Alton, Lightwater, Flamingoland and the two Skegness parks are all within around an hour.
    That, combined with the lack of pulling power with their ride lineup would generally mean the typical family would choose one of the other parks as they all have something better than a boomerang.
    Lastly, they have no identity, they don't seem to have a target market. They have a few rides intended for young adults, including a couple of very vom inducing flats, but no large coaster or well branded ride to pull people back. Their family ride lineup isn't great, so they are a jack of all trades, but not specialising anywhere.

    I imagine that if the park was located in the south west or midlands area, competing with Crealy/Gullivers MK they would have had more visitors, but ultimately the ride lineup leaves much to be desired.
     
  20. Ireeb

    Ireeb Well-Known Member

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    Of course the parks around them make it harder, but not impossible. The reasons you listed show that they did many things wrong, perhaps if they actually had an identity and a target group, they could exist next to the big parks.
     

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