Great post Spike! You make some good points which I agree with, and some other points which I do not. Just a few little things I want to pick up on.
Yes, I agree it can be tiring without the Skyride, but there wasn't this outcry when the Skyride was down for a combined season with the fires was there?
There wasn't an outcry after the fires mainly due to that fact that both fires were out of Alton Towers' hands. It's not like they deliberately set the stations on fire. In this case it's purely a decision made by management, it's not something out of their control, you could argue it is, however they have many other ways of going around it. I understand that closing the Skyride is easy though, in terms of it will save more money than closing, say, several attractions.
I for one think a happy medium would be to keep the Skyride open and close Submission & Enterprise blocking it off as part of the reconstruction and build of SW&.
I was thinking about this last night, and I agree with this. I'm slightly miffed myself at the closure of the Skyride on off-peak days. Submission and Enterprise staying SBNO all year and using SW7 as an excuse would have been an easier thing to do, and Alton could have easily gotten away with it. I remember a few months back some members were certain that Sub and Ents would be closed due to SW7 construction. So it's something that could have been easily done. In this case though, at the present time, it still would be a good idea. Although I somehow doubt Alton will go back to that decision, mainly to save themselves from looking like idiots for going back on decisions... and I'm sure the forum would light up with anger again if that did happen.
It just seems these days that once one person jumps on the band-wagon the rest follow and it turns into one big headache, many people are not posting their concerns with any real thought and are just jumping on said band wagon to push Towers around again, it's sickening. I'm not saying that peoples concerns are unjust, but it's the way in which these situations are turning up and the anti-Alton campaign starts again.
I agree with you partly here. There are some top quality posters on here, who make very valid and constructive posts with regards to Alton Towers. However I know it's sad to say, now and again the 'anti-Alton' brigade comes into action. Generally some will follow the bandwagon for the sakes of it, as a way of feeling a part of the majority. Although other members, such as yourself Spike, I respect more - mainly due to the fact you go against the majority, which I like, it's what makes a forum more exciting for me.
In my own summary Alton Towers have had yet another hard season. Cost cutting has now hit ride operations, which I'm certain the manager at Alton have tried to avoid at all costs, although sadly it's gotten to the point where they have to take these risky decisions in order to comply with the budget cuts ordered by Merlin. It does directly affect guests, it will cause complaints, although what can they do? Alton Towers is stuck now, whatever rides they close, however many different cuts they make this forum and the public will continue in uproar against Alton's decisions.
At the end of the day, this is it, we have to accept that Alton Towers can no longer afford to operate at full capacity. We may not like it, it may affect our visits - but until they find a way of cutting operations that do not directly affect guests, or until the park/Merlin gets sold off we have to, just like the Tussauds dark years, accept it and carry on as usual. This decision is not something that would have been taken lightly, the managers at Alton would have carefully thought about this, how it will affect guests, how the park will be presented... I think we need to remember that the Skyride is one of the more expensive attractions to operate, so it's a big money saver in the long run. They have clearly opted for this as opposed to closing several attractions or cutting hours (as we have seen already done and reverted back to in both cases).
Moan all you like, send emails/letters to Merlin. All I will say is, if/when the closure of the Skyride is a decision that is reverted, just expect in a few weeks time to hear the closure of another ride/attraction. It's a vicious circle, Alton Towers have no choice but to do this.