UK theme parks from another point of view!

Are you looking forward to the ‘Stargazing Pods’ accommodation development?

Yes
4 (8%)
No
8 (15%)
More accommodation?!
11 (21%)
They need to sort the theme park out first!
30 (57%)
 
Total votes: 53
 
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Kraken
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:09 pm

It does seem odd that Alton Towers are looking to build more accommodation when they cannot fill what they already have, i.e. Splash Landings becoming a seasonal operation hotel.  

I can only assume that the latest plans for Enchanted Village expansion will be aimed very much at the budget end of the market as they are have no en-suite facilities (communal toilet & shower blocks in the plans).  They could be onto a winner here - particularly with budget-conscious groups of late teens-upwards aged groups.  I can't see the pods appealing to families with smaller children as if a child needs the toilet in the night it will mean a walk to the communal facilities, possibly in inclement weather.  

These new pods would have to be very competitively priced though - as what Merlin gives with one hand (cheap accommodation) it will take back with the other via food & beverage spend in the Crooked Spoon / hotel restaurants / bars.  

Of course, just because they are applying for planning permission does not mean the development will necessarily happen even if permission is granted.  
 
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lewis97
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Fri May 04, 2018 1:00 pm

As reported on TowersTimes Facebook, revised plans have been added to the accommodation pods planning application.

Although the number of pods remains unchanged at 102, their layout has been significantly altered to form one circular arrangement with a central green space. Of note, is the addition of several clusters of star-shaped planters throughout the site, along with the inclusion of three telescopes for the use of guests, suggesting that the accommodation may seek to offer a sort of stargazing experience.

Other changes include the removal of the proposed reception building, arcade, and buildings for some of the supporting facilities, which have now been concentrated into a single block at the site’s southern edge.

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Robert.W
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Fri May 04, 2018 3:38 pm

Alton Towers need to scrap this atrocious development. I didn't like the original plans, and I like these plans even less. Funny thing is, I wouldn't actually be opposed to an anctual expansion of the Enchanted Village, like the first plans for the site were. But these accommodation pods seem quick and cheap. And that's not even taking into consideration that fact that Alton Towers don't even need new accommodation.  
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DerpyQuark
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Fri May 04, 2018 3:47 pm

I agree. I personally prefer the original plans for more lodges, so if these 'pods' ever existed, I would lose all faith in humanity.
When I was little, there was a shipping container at the end of our playground. When none of the teachers were looking, I used to go into it. In it, Nick Varney used to talk to me, brainwashing me into loving anything Merlin ever made or ever will. Even if it was the worst.

And that's why I like the Stargazing Pods.
 
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ROYJESS
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Fri May 04, 2018 4:24 pm

I too agree, 

Why do me need more accommodation when Splash landings is closed for most of the year and they don't have the money to run the theme park properly?????
 
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Fri May 04, 2018 4:39 pm

ROYJESS wrote:
I too agree, 

Why do me need more accommodation when Splash landings is closed for most of the year and they don't have the money to run the theme park properly?????

This is the current Merlin strategy - hotels for all. In 2017 they reported they were making £324 a night from each occupied hotel room across the group.

But I agree, it feels like hotels at Alton are going to become a little saturated at this rate, unless they start adding more meaningful evening entertainment to further encourage overnight stays.
 
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Dom
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Sat May 05, 2018 8:26 pm

Oh joy. More accommodation. I literally give zero cares about this. They are throwing their money at something they do not need. If they want to waste money, just give it to me. I'm sure I could spend it :lol
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Bert2theSpark
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Sat May 05, 2018 9:58 pm

People seem to forget Merlin are a business. Building more and more accommodation is part of their strategy to bring in more revenue, From a business prospective why spend £20mill plus on a new ride when you can spend £10mill on accommodation and bring in higher returns. 

But it seems a bit silly that they are building more accommodation when they can just refit Splash, It'll probably be cheaper as well to do. 
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Robert.W
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Sat May 05, 2018 10:06 pm

Well, it's because that strategy, while it brings in immediate revenue, it is not a sustainable strategy. That's why we're all unhappy about it. Towers already have an excess of accommodation. So after the initial immediate revenue increase, Towers will be left with yet another hotel, which at the end of the day they don't even need, and may not even be able to afford to keep open. That in my book, makes building more accommodation, in the long term, a bad business decision.
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ROYJESS
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Sun May 06, 2018 4:29 pm

I agree, there is no point in building more accommodation if they can't fill the old ones, however on paper it looks great as it will increase the value of the resort in capital value and will sure please the Merlin share holders.
 
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:02 pm

As posted on TowersTimes Facebook, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have, this evening, deferred a decision on Alton Towers’ accommodation pods application. Although recommended for approval, and councillors accepting the development in principle, concerns were cited in relation to the proposed site layout and appearance of the facilities building.

It seems they would have perhaps have been better off sticking with the layout they initially proposed, rather than repositioning all the pods in one big circle and merging the facilities into one building at the bottom of the site.
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Robert.W
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:16 pm

I'm glad they've cut it back so much that it's now having some difficulty getting approved. Serves them right. Absolutely rubbish development that Towers don't need. Fingers crossed it's not approved. 
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Dan
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Having watched part of the council committee meeting, the general consensus was that while the plans themselves don't actually have any red flags which would mean a straight-up refusal, they were generally disappointed with the plan. Some of the councillors described it as "bland, boring and could do better", which I totally agree with.

All Towers will have to do to get planning permission for the pods is go back and rectify the points raised by the committee. Despite the fact that we think this isn't the best thing the resort needs right now, it isn't a factor in the council's decision.

I fully expect to see the pods given the go ahead, once the plans are reworked.
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:40 pm

Yes, it was certainly a close one and it could have gone either way to be honest. I do agree with the councillors comments, as Dan mentioned above, and I am pleased they took the decision to refer instead of improving and trusting Merlin to make adjustments.
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:44 pm

Along with the Dungeon trademark application, Merlin also put an application in for Stargazing Pods.

Given that these plans have thematic star-shaped planters and telescope positions, it seems there's a reasonable chance that this is what this expansion will be called, or at least what part of it will be called.
 
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Dan
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Re: Enchanted Village Expansion 2018 - 2021

Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:15 pm

As reported by TowersTimes Facebook; Alton Towers have submitted revised plans for the addition of 102 accommodation pods in the area to the north of the Enchanted Village, following the deferral of a decision by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council last month.

Key changes include; an increase in the space between the pods, with a corresponding reduction in the central open green area, the introduction of more trees and planting, and a redesign of the facilities building to include a pitched roof, open projecting gabled entrance and faux windows.

Alongside this, Merlin Attractions Operations Limited have also recently submitted a UK trademark for ‘Stargazing Pods’ - a seemingly likely name for the development.

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TEAM NOTE: Topic name changed to reflect the updated plans.
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Robert.W
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Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:35 pm

Can a moderator add a poll to this topic? I'm curious to see if there is actually even a single member here who wants this terrible project to go ahead.. to be honest, I get the impression that even Towers themselves aren't particularly enthusiastic either. 
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Dan
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Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:16 pm

Robert.W wrote:
Can a moderator add a poll to this topic? I'm curious to see if there is actually even a single member here who wants this terrible project to go ahead.. to be honest, I get the impression that even Towers themselves aren't particularly enthusiastic either. 


Done :)
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DerpyQuark
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Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:41 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Towers abandoned this "Stargazing Pods" project and either put in more lodges or not put in any new accommodation at all.

It isn't like they need more accomo at the park.
Also 10th post for me yay
When I was little, there was a shipping container at the end of our playground. When none of the teachers were looking, I used to go into it. In it, Nick Varney used to talk to me, brainwashing me into loving anything Merlin ever made or ever will. Even if it was the worst.

And that's why I like the Stargazing Pods.
 
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lewis97
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Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:06 pm

DerpyQuark wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if Towers abandoned this "Stargazing Pods" project and either put in more lodges or not put in any new accommodation at all.

The original plans to expand the Enchanted Village with more lodges were abandoned in favour of these pods, so, provided it’s approved (which is almost certain), this looks likely to go ahead.
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