UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Rory
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Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:15 pm

Evening Chaps,

I visited Alton Towers on Tuesday for the first time in over a year and must say I had a great day but I noticed it was remarkably busy. While I appreciate it was a really nice day and school holidays, when Ive been in previous years its not been anywhere near as packed.

What am I trying to get at? Well, reading on this board and what a few of the ride op's said on the day and even Mr Burton who I saw hosting the RITA queue line because it was so busy is that they've had lots more visitors than expected and in comparison with estimations.

Is the credit crunch meaning more families this year with have numerous day trips/short breaks to UK attractions rather than a summer holiday abroad? I think this is a real possibility. There is all this news about the gloomy economy, but I think this could be a really good year for visitor numbers at Merlin attractions, as families watch there budget and save on expensive summer holidays abroad, spending instead on a short resort break at alton towers and a day trip to thorpe park.

Food for thought, whats everyone elses thoughts?
 
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Rob L
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:26 pm

Well it obviously cost more to go on a theme park holiday to say Florida, so due to the current economic climate less people are going on these holidays. However people still want to visit theme parks to get their thrill, and are going to parks in the UK rather than abroad. This is good for Alton as it means more people are visiting and there are probably more people stayed over at the resort to make say a weekend of their trip. So funnily enough the credit crunch may well help UK theme parks!
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Chris W
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:20 pm

Its a strange one.
A day-out at Alton Towers isn't cheap.
A weekend away at Alton Towers is anything but cheap.

The park should do well as another aggressive marketing campaign will bring lots more people in, but could Alton Towers be sacrificing gate receipts by getting more people in on vouchers but getting less money from them.

WDW last week has its busiest week ever, yet Disney have lost a lot of money in hotel promotions, so it won't have been the best week ever for profits.

I would think the smaller parks will see the benefit more than Alton Towers.
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FallingStar
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:48 pm

Could more visitors mean a bigger budget for SW6? If so the credit crunch isn't totally awful :P
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:20 pm

"The annual Attractions Attendance Report has revealed that large destination parks have been hit harder by the recession than smaller, regional parks.

The report for 2008, compiled jointly by Economic Research Associates (ERA) and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), attributes the fall in attendances at resort parks to consumers' reluctance to spend money on travel.

John Robinett, senior vice president at ERA, said that parks that are reliant on people taking longer holidays to visit their sites were hit hardest.

"It is typical of destination parks to be impacted more by a recession than regional parks, because they are located farther away form their markets, and cost more to visit," he said."

[url=http://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/LOemail/wider_newsdetail1.cfm?codeID=120713&CFID=9226336&CFTOKEN=36115844" target="_blank]http://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/L ... N=36115844[/url]

Although the evidence for Alton Towers suggests otherwise, the report also states that the US and Europe are expecting big falls in 2009. Perhaps people craving theme parks are going to be hitting more local attractions,with a reluctance to stay over at the resort hotels offered by, say, Chessington, Blackpool and Alton Towers?

If this is true, perhaps a 'resort' tactic could spell disaster!
 
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Jon
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:03 pm

It also helps that Alton seems well marketed these past two years.

I think the fact that this year and last has seen more vouchers than ever also hits the nail on the credit crunch's head.
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xEmmax
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:54 pm

"Disco Ball" wrote:
Its a strange one.
A day-out at Alton Towers isn't cheap.
A weekend away at Alton Towers is anything but cheap.

The park should do well as another aggressive marketing campaign will bring lots more people in, but could Alton Towers be sacrificing gate receipts by getting more people in on vouchers but getting less money from them.

WDW last week has its busiest week ever, yet Disney have lost a lot of money in hotel promotions, so it won't have been the best week ever for profits.

I would think the smaller parks will see the benefit more than Alton Towers.


You can do Alton Towers on the cheap very well actually - using Tes co vouchers a park ticket can cost you just £8.50
There are numerous 50% off deals on the hotels.
I'd think they're profits however will still be up, they run the same 50% offers for a few years now so in the short term I think they'll definitley see an increase in profits this way- and of course once your in the park you're paying for food, drinks, ice creams, cuddly bears etc. Again the same with Disney, costs a fortune to eat on Disney property, then theres food in parks, drinks, and souvenirs.

Our family can't afford a big holiday very often so we often go to AT for 2 nights, and it works out as around £150 at most for rooms and tickets for a family of 6 (so 2 rooms)
Considering our recent trip to Orlando cost £800 in park tickets alone (and we didn't even do Disney in the end which would have more than doubled the cost,just the others) add on £3000+ for flights, then car hire, villa etc and the holiday cost well in excess of 5grand, now you see just how cheap Alton Towers is looking.

Also I wouldn't be so quick to say the smaller parks will grab so much more trade than AT - as we use Tesco vouchers for our tickets it's cheaper for us to go to a Merlin park such as AT or Thorpe. And although we live 2 1/2 hours aware AT is the closest park to our house!
 
Jigsaw
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:36 pm

Yeah I can't see the credit crunch affecting Merlin attractions. I was talking to someone the other day about the crunch and how busy the parks were, and their response was....theres always money to have fun....which I think sums it up! Its not expensive for a day out to the theme parks if you plan well and use vouchers and most days out are planned and not a spur of the moment idea so you can do it on the cheap!
 
CoasterCrazyChris
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:10 pm

"xEmmax" wrote:
...as we use Lidl round the back of Hotel Colosseo vouchers for our tickets...


Sorry to sound ridiculous but what on earth does this mean?
 
Chris W
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:12 pm

"CoasterCrazyChris""][quote=""xEmmax" wrote:
...as we use Lidl round the back of Hotel Colosseo vouchers for our tickets...


Sorry to sound ridiculous but what on earth does this mean?[/quote]

There is a filter on Te sco.
So basically she used T£sco vouchers.
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Altonator
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:10 pm

Do Merlin think more people will invest in annual passes this year?
I ask this because I have seen the annual pass advert on tv quite a
few times this year and I don't renember seeing
it as much previous years :)
Whatever the weather outside it\'s always tropical at Cariba Creek
 
Dan84
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Re: Alton Towers Visitors & The Credit Crunch

Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:08 pm

This is the first time Merlin/Tussauds have had an Annual Pass TV advert, it is a cross brand (Towers, Castle, Thorpe, Chessy, Dungeons, Sealife, Legoland) promotion advert.

Edit: It is played straight after the Towers advert.

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