UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Pennywise
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Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:11 pm

A fairly simple yet potentially interesting thread (hopefully) here. :) Quite simply, where can you see certain British theme parks in a decade’s time? Not the British theme park industry as a whole... but the individual parks. I expect we'll have a real mixture of opinions here! :)

My views:-
Alton Towers - Will see a slight fall in visitor figures overall over the next ten years, but will improve as a theme park. SW7 will probably be a hit, and start attracting teenagers back to the park; and a new ride will be installed in the Black Hole tent and there will also be some smaller changes... perhaps an extension of Cloud Cuckoo Land into Coaster Corner?

Thorpe Park - Will continue in the direction in which it is currently headed, and will see a rise in visitor figures. However, the 2015 coaster will be panned by enthusiasts for being a lazy ride with little theming. Several flat rides will also be installed across the park.

Chessington - Will receive some much required attention, receiving a new coaster or two as well as some new family rides (one on the Rodeo site) and Tomb Blaster will be overhauled, replaced by a new ghost train. Rameses Revenge will be moved elsewhere (probably Thorpe) and replaced with another family flat.

Legoland - Will start to lose visitors to Chessington after Merlin fail to continue their investment in the park, but will eventually wake up and install a family mine train and a new dark ride.

Lightwater Valley - Will see the largest percentage rise in gate figures, with two new coasters and a permanent rapids ride being installed. The Ultimate will get new trains to satisfy H&S.

Flamingo Land - Will suffer from Lightwater Valley's rise in popularity and start to struggle; they may build a new coaster or two in an attempt to bring guests back.

Drayton Manor - Will start to become more like Chessington, with an emphasis on well themed family attractions, rather than attempting to compete with Alton Towers. G-Force will close, and be replaced with a Vekoma Mine Train. The Haunting and Wild West Shoot Out will close and a Haunted House will open on that site.

Pleasure Beach Blackpool - Will continue to see a fall in visitor numbers, and either invest heavily in a 'The Bigger One' or possibly go bust.

Camelot - Will go bust. Probably in the next couple of years.


Obviously this is all very vague, and just my opinion, so, what do you think? :)
Last edited by Pennywise on Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:21 pm

Image

I see... I see...

Alton Towers will get a big new rollercoaster and more projects will be built. A few much needed refurbishments perhaps! (They will happen eventually, I think, just not for a while.) I don't think their gate figures will fall, there isn't really anything to suggest that as far as I can see. Theme parks are going up in the world, it seems, and Alton Towers will be on top.

Also I can imagine X Sector, Dark Forest, Cloud Cuckoo Land and Gloomy Wood being modified a fair bit. Duel can only last so long, and I see attractions like the Driving School and Enterprise/Submission being removed altogether. Whatever happens, I hope it is exciting.

Chessington will get much needed investments, no idea what though. I disagree when you suggest Rameses Revenge will move, as there is absolutely no need. It is an old fashioned ride as well, so Thorpe Park certainly will not want it. It will always belong where it is. I am sure Chessington themselves know that.

Perhaps... perhaps Chessington will become king of the UK's dark rides again? That is a big wish for just ten years, but we can all dream. I predict big alterations to Transylvania, Forbidden Kingdom, Toytown (pretty coon) and Land of Dragons, as well. Currently I trust Chessington, so hopefully all changes will be for the best. I think gate figures will rise, as will prices.

Thorpe Park will expand. They might make a mess of it or do things really well, I have no idea. I do think, however, that they're marketing will completely change again by ten years. It will no necessarily become less insane and stupid, but it will probably get re branded anyway.

The management people will get shifted around quite a bit, too, I believe. We may also see quite a lot of ride removals, such as X No Way Out and the Railway saying goodbye at last. Quite a few changes for the flat rides too. I predict that Thorpe Park will be the most different after ten years, judging by the rate at which they are currently developing.

Legoland Windsor will get their new rollercoaster to make up for the loss of Jungle Coaster. I think its gate figures will rise, because it is such a well known brand. They will probably re brand the place and finally get ride of that cheesy marketing style. Other than that I haven't a clue! Not much of a Legoland freak, I am afraid...

So, erm, those are my thoughts. I am sure that, if I put my mind to it, I could come up with much better predictions, but nobody is ever going to be anywhere near correct so there is not much point. Especially for places that are constantly changing like theme parks.

Oh, yes, and TTF will be renamed "LightwaterValleyTimes Forum".
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:45 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
Perhaps... perhaps Chessington will become king of the UK's dark rides again?
I would love that. However I can't see Chessington becoming a dark ride capital unless they experiment. What Chessi needs is its own Hex. Something that's bizarre and different to give them a world class attraction. The Dark rides they do have are quite similar which is why Alton’s contrast between Hex and Duel allows them to keep the dark ride title.
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Sam
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:05 pm

I look into my crystal ball. We are all suddenly transported into the year 2021! The UK industry has come on a long way hasn't it?

Alton Towers
SW7 has been well-recieved as Alton Tower's best coaster since Oblivion, and has brought international acclaim. A smaller family coaster similar to Spinball has been built in the Black Hole tent, though it is criticized for a low capacity. Th13teen has been upgraded slightly, with more effects and a randomized drop sequence. The Flume, The Blade, Submission and Enterprise are no longer with us. X-Sector has been rethemed, as has the farm with a new family flat and a show. There are two new thrill flats in Dark Forest. The resort has been expanded with a small water park (indoors and outdoors) expansion with a few new slides. A new complex of log cabin and wig-wam accommodation has been built. The car park between Air and ATH has been turned into a nighttime entertainment complex. The park has broken the 4 million visitor barrier.

Thorpe Park
Becomes the biggest park in Britain, with a steady 5 million visitors. A large hotel has been built, and a waterpark. The park's infrastructure has been completely overhauled, with multiple boats taking visitors straight from the hotel to the park. LC12 and LC15 are both well recieved. SAW's sponsorship runs out, and is rethemed to generic horror. We have said goodbye to No Way Out, SAW: Alive, Quantum and Zodiac. In place of No Way Out, a new multi-million pound dark ride similar to Spiderman and DarKastle is built. We say goodbye to Ranger County and Neptune's Kingdom.

Chessington
Chessington's visitor numbers remain stable. A new rapids ride, similar to River Quest, is built to acclaim. We say goodbye to the Runaway Train, Tomb Blaster and ToyTown. A new shooting dark ride is built on the Tomb Blaster site, similar to the dark ride at LDC.

Lightwater Valley
Lightwater Valley is now the second most popular non-Merlin park in the UK, behind Drayton. A mid-sized GCI woodie opposite Eagle's Claw starts to get them noticed on the international stage. Visitor numbers climb steadily, as they begin to build up a collection of permanent flat-rides, a mix of thrill and family. We say goodbye to the Rapids, the Ladybird and the Twister. A family spinning coaster is built. The Ultimate is overhauled with new trains and a more coherent theme. A small holiday village is opened.

Drayton Manor
By far the biggest winner in the last 10 years. The new hotel and coaster begins a turnaround in the park's fortunes. The park adds a mine train with Th13teen style drop, themed to a popular IP. The park also adds a thrill coaster, a launched shuttle from MACK. We say goodbye to G-Force and Pirate Adventure. A new IP-based dark-ride opens on Pirate Adventure's site, and a few new thrill flats are built.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Visitor numbers slightly decline over 10 years, but profit margins increase. A second hotel, or an extension to the Big Blue is opened. We say goodbye to Steeplechase, Revolution, the Chinese Puzzle Maze, the park railway, Grand Prix, and the Eddie Stobart Convoy. A new launched Eurofighter coaster opens on the Steeplechase site to lukewarm reviews for lack of theming. Goldmine and possibly Alice is rethemed to IP. The trains on the Dipper and the Nash are replaced, and the Mouse is refurbished.

Camelot, Oakwood and Fantasy Island
Closed.

Flamingoland
Visitor numbers increase slightly, but visitors are lost to a resurgent Lightwater Valley. We say goodbye to Corkscrew, Navigator and the Wild Mouse. A new thrill coaster is built, and a small hotel opens. Several new family flats open, as well as a small new dark ride.

Legoland
Visitor numbers decrease slightly, due to lack of investment, but upturn towards the end of the decade. Atlantis is the last investment until a mid-sized replacement for the Jungle Coaster opens, a poorly-themed mine train.
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:12 pm

"electricBlll" wrote:
Image



Thorpe Park will expand. They might make a mess of it or do things really well, I have no idea. I do think, however, that they're marketing will completely change again by ten years. It will no necessarily become less insane and stupid, but it will probably get re branded anyway.


What...to Alton towers: South :lol:

Cracking thread, will get round to posting shortly...
 
Blaze

Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:27 pm

I don't think Thorpe will overtake Alton, at least not in the next 10 years, they have far too long to go, and Merlin probably want to keep Alton as the biggest, for both business and sentimental reasons. It will however close the gap considerably, and will become more of a theme park.

Alton will continue to grow, developing an entertainment complex and an extended water park and more accomodation, probably log cabins/smaller hotel/franchise budget hotel (Travelodge et al.). On park, all the major flats will be replaced, as well as the Flume, Black Hole's site will be used for a new coaster, SW7 and 8 will use any land left open to them, a new large water ride will be built and lots of smaller attractions and changes, with probably one or two major rides closing.
"D4n" wrote:
A fairly simple yet potentially interesting thread (hopefully) here. :) Quite simply, where can you see certain British theme parks in a decade’s time? Not the British theme park industry as a whole... but the individual parks. I expect we'll have a real mixture of opinions here! :)

My views:-Thorpe Park - Will continue in the direction in which it is currently headed, and will see a rise in visitor figures. However, the 2015 coaster will be panned by enthusiasts for being a lazy ride with little theming. Several flat rides will also be installed across the park.


Well if LC12 is anything to go by, LC15 will also be heavily themed, so that wont happen. Merlin have said they don't want another Rita on their hands. Also, what suggests Altons visitor fiqures will drop? Everything suggests otherwise. :?

"Sam" wrote:
I look into my crystal ball. We are all suddenly transported into the year 2021! The UK industry has come on a long way hasn't it?

Alton Towers
SW7 has been well-recieved as Alton Tower's best coaster since Oblivion, and has brought international acclaim. A smaller family coaster similar to Spinball has been built in the Black Hole tent, though it is criticized for a low capacity. Th13teen has been upgraded slightly, with more effects and a randomized drop sequence. The Flume, The Blade, Submission and Enterprise are no longer with us. X-Sector has been rethemed, as has the farm with a new family flat and a show. There are two new thrill flats in Dark Forest. The resort has been expanded with a small water park (indoors and outdoors) expansion with a few new slides. A new complex of log cabin and wig-wam accommodation has been built. The car park between Air and ATH has been turned into a nighttime entertainment complex. The park has broken the 4 million visitor barrier.

Thorpe Park
Becomes the biggest park in Britain, with a steady 5 million visitors. A large hotel has been built, and a waterpark. The park's infrastructure has been completely overhauled, with multiple boats taking visitors straight from the hotel to the park. LC12 and LC15 are both well recieved. SAW's sponsorship runs out, and is rethemed to generic horror. We have said goodbye to No Way Out, SAW: Alive, Quantum and Zodiac. In place of No Way Out, a new multi-million pound dark ride similar to Spiderman and DarKastle is built. We say goodbye to Ranger County and Neptune's Kingdom.

Chessington
Chessington's visitor numbers remain stable. A new rapids ride, similar to River Quest, is built to acclaim. We say goodbye to the Runaway Train, Tomb Blaster and ToyTown. A new shooting dark ride is built on the Tomb Blaster site, similar to the dark ride at LDC.

Lightwater Valley
Lightwater Valley is now the second most popular non-Merlin park in the UK, behind Drayton. A mid-sized GCI woodie opposite Eagle's Claw starts to get them noticed on the international stage. Visitor numbers climb steadily, as they begin to build up a collection of permanent flat-rides, a mix of thrill and family. We say goodbye to the Rapids, the Ladybird and the Twister. A family spinning coaster is built. The Ultimate is overhauled with new trains and a more coherent theme. A small holiday village is opened.

Drayton Manor
By far the biggest winner in the last 10 years. The new hotel and coaster begins a turnaround in the park's fortunes. The park adds a mine train with Th13teen style drop, themed to a popular IP. The park also adds a thrill coaster, a launched shuttle from MACK. We say goodbye to G-Force and Pirate Adventure. A new IP-based dark-ride opens on Pirate Adventure's site, and a few new thrill flats are built.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Visitor numbers slightly decline over 10 years, but profit margins increase. A second hotel, or an extension to the Big Blue is opened. We say goodbye to Steeplechase, Revolution, the Chinese Puzzle Maze, the park railway, Grand Prix, and the Eddie Stobart Convoy. A new launched Eurofighter coaster opens on the Steeplechase site to lukewarm reviews for lack of theming. Goldmine and possibly Alice is rethemed to IP. The trains on the Dipper and the Nash are replaced, and the Mouse is refurbished.

Camelot, Oakwood and Fantasy Island
Closed.


Now Alton I agree with, but as I said, there's no way Thrope will get ahead of it, there's too much work that needs doing and probably not enough room, they can't fill in that lake forever. I can't see Drayton doing much, I really can't see them getting that Blue Fire-type-thingy. I hope the new hotel isn't as big a mistake as I think it will be. If it works, they'll improve a fair bit, and probably get half way to where Thorpe is now, they'll be the biggest none-Merlin park after BPP.

I have a horrible feeling one of the classics goes from Blackpool, probably Dipper. Irn Bru's fate is probably sealed, unfortunately, and Steeplechase is on borrowed time. Irn Bru won't be replaced but there'll be somethingg like a Eurofighter on it's site, and hopefully something going in the Space Invader building, a museum or something. I expect the visitor numbers to go down.

LWV will struggle at first, and then start to grow, hopeully with a woodie and some new flats. I don't know what you mean about 'more coherent theme' as it has zero theme, and that is the best thing for it in my view. Hopefully they'll leave it alone and just get new trains that wear better. Flamingoland will keep getting bigger, and possibly begin to challenge Drayton.

Sadly, I agree, Camelot, Fantasy Island and Oakwood will all close. :(
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:50 pm

^With regards to Thorpe Park, I don't get why they can't just drain the lake as much as they want? They got the water in there in the first place - surely they can get it back out again?

:)
 
AstroDan

Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:02 pm

Thorpe having Europa Park level attendance within 10 years?

Perleaze!

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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:07 pm

"CoasterCrazyChris" wrote:
^With regards to Thorpe Park, I don't get why they can't just drain the lake as much as they want? They got the water in there in the first place - surely they can get it back out again

There is a planning restriction saying that the amount of water in the lake must always stay the same. So whenever they fill in some land, they have to deepen the lake somewhere. Presumably because it forms part of Slough's drainage system.

---- Post Info Added ----

"AstroDan" wrote:
Thorpe having Europa Park level attendance within 10 years?

Perleaze!

I don't see why not. It's in a PERFECT location, near one of the world's biggest cities, unlike Europa, and has no competition. I think it will easily break 3.5 million within the decade, maybe 4.
 
AstroDan

Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:08 pm

Given the parks investments in the past eleven years, how many extra guests has it acquired? It reaches around 1.85m at the moment! I doubt Thorpe Park will achieve anything over 2.5m for the forseeable future.

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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:12 pm

Just in regards to Alton and Thorpe:

Alton is in the middle of nowhere, with poor transport links - a small road system that can barely cope and infrequent buses that take an hour from somewhat nearby towns. Alton have no plans to add the much needed relief road. Thorpe is next to both the M3 and the M25, has easy access from London (and Reading, Bristol) via public transport. An infrastructure that can easily cope with a vast increase in gate figures.

Alton is limited to building rides below tree-height. It frequently encounters fierce opposition from residents regarding new developments and frankly there are very few places where a new coaster can be built. Thorpe can build much higher (albeit still limited), can expand outwards much easier, can replace parts of the park with much fewer requirements to meet (eg X:NWO) and has next to no residents nearby.

If you were a business, which would you put more effort into expanding?
"Blaze" wrote:
Merlin probably want to keep Alton as the biggest, for both business and sentimental reasons.
Whoah. Sentimental reasons were never invited to the business meeting, let alone put on the table. And business reasons? While it makes sense to keep Alton growing and increasing guest numbers, it doesn't matter to the company which of its parks is the biggest, as long as both are profitable. I'd say it makes sense though, for the reasons above, for Thorpe to take the dominant role in the UK market over Alton.

Personally I'd be surprised if Oakwood closed. Instead I'd see it having a period similar to LWV over the last decade; stagnation with little investment due to lack of capital. Maybe a decline in numbers, but not enough to close.

BPB I agree will face a decline, and it'll take a fairly hefty investment (eg new B&M or Intamin I'd guess) and gutting of large amounts of the park (Steeplechase primarily, but not the woodies) to reverse it's fall. I'd imagine Nic land will restore it to close to the figures it used to have, but not actually do enough to vastly increase numbers. Looking at Twitter I'd say a change of management is needed.

Drayton look to be on the up. 2014 or 2015 I'd guess will bring a major thrill coaster (Intamin?), which will maintain the park's position at close to the top. Their current work seems to be laying groundwork for mid-long-term growth.

LWV. Hmmmmm. Everything they are doing (and have been doing for the last couple of years) is excellent, and shows the park is in good hands. However, the problem they have always had is lack of capital, and this isn't going to dramatically increase quickly. However, with the safe, fairly small investments they've been making, plus the excellent in-house theming, hopefully they will be able to save up and buy a GCI or perhaps an Intamin Megalite.

If Fantasy Island's pledge to have their coasters running in all weather conditions throughout the year following the refurbishment work is successful, then I see no reason why they should close. Indeed, seeing as they allegedly had the budget to build an SLC nearly double the height of Odyssey then they should be pretty OK for cash. It's space that's at a premium for them.
 
AstroDan

Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:17 pm

This Thorpe and Alton debate has been rife for years. People were hitting nails into Alton in 2006 saying Thorpe will overtake within 5 years.

Which park just had its record year of attendance? Some 1.3m more guests than Thorpe?

For all of Thorpe Parks investments 2000-2010, why have they not already overtaken? With Saw, Stealth, Inferno and Colossus plus a shed load of flat rides, it shows that massive gate figure rises of the 1-2m you reckon is possible, take a lot more than just a load of rides.

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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:32 pm

As far as i am aware Alton makes lots more money for merlin than Thorpe park does, if Thorpe want to get to anywhere near the levels that Alton attract currently they will need to not just be focused on thrill rides and become an all round style park (which while merlin own them, legoland and chessington it isnt going to happen). As Dan has just said in the last 11 years the park have invested massivly in new rides and attendance has increasedf by around 800,000 ish and since stealt was added havent seen massive jumps (dropped off slighter after 2006 and then went back up with saw openning).

I would imagine thrope will probably get around 2.5m over the next 5-10 years but cant see it going much higher than this. Merlins plans for Alton are to increase guest numbers to 3m+. Alton Towers is one of merlin biggest revenue amd profit earners so big investment over the next 10 years will continue to ensure it remains that way.
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:56 am

After ME winning a mega mega mega roll over on the euro lottery, Camelott will be saved and bought back from the dead! [-o<
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:48 am

I love people who say thorpe could beat alton, or even europa..

It just doesn't have the space. Sure, it has the transport abilities.. but thorpe is about a third of the size of towers, and its MTDP shows every part of space it can expand to - it literally cannot get any bigger than that.

Plus, it just doesn't have the branding of towers. It hasn't had that oompf and amazement that towers had whilst it was being built up - it'll never be able to beat towers in well known. Plus, its reputation is dire.. its known as a teenage park, and its got the worst customer experience/service KPIs out of every merlin brand. Teenagers aren't the biggest spenders, nor are there vast numbers of them ;).

As for where I can see british theme parks, I'd go with this:

They will still be a big part of the UK leisure industry - merlin parks will survive well, apart from I'm unsure about Chessington.

Lightwater, Drayton, Flamingoland will do well - two of them have direct competition, and Drayton competes rather well with towers (particularly now - I doubt that'll change!).

Camelot, Fantasty Island.. probably disappear. The small parks don't do too well for some reason.

Oakwood.. depends whether they bloody keep their awful money-sucking parent company! They probably are coming off worse than the tussauds parks did with DIC! If their parent company sold it, I expect they'd actually have a chance and be able to do much better.

I dislike the whole what they'll do, where they'll go for 10yrs thing. Not into fantasy, into realism! sorry!
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:06 pm

Ah the doe-eyed optimism of the young British enthusiast :wink:

Here's my forecasting:

The bloated Merlin behemoth will continue its unstoppable goose-step towards world domination, and I frankly couldn't give a monkey's rectum which precise combination of cheerful overpricing, peurile and misleading marketing, underwhelming and gimmicky roller coasters, botched IPs and ruined dark rides they use to achieve this.

Despite increased gate figures from the use of IP, Blackpool will sadly decline. Mostly due to being run by this massive moron who would do well to realise that there's actually a popular, historical amusement park to be looked after, when she's quite finished pratting around with her band of anorexic skaters.

The ones I'm really interested in over the next 10 years are Drayton Manor, Lightwater Valley and Flamingo Land. In the last few years, these parks have all shown impressive investment relative to their gate figures and turnover. I think these 3 represent our best chance of ever seeing the likes of a Mack launcher, Vekoma Mine Train, GCI Woodie or heaven forbid, an Intamin Mega Lite (they surely can't cost that much, can they?)
[size=90]For some things there is no rational explanation. There is no way out. There is no happy ending to this story. Welcome to the unknown. Welcome to eternal darkness.

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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:35 pm

I reckon Merlin will own DMP, Flamingoland, and the Gullivers chain... a standard Merlin pass will cost £300, but you can only use it if you pre book your arrival at park. No discounts in shops. Premium passes cost £400 and are basically the same as a standard pass last year. New Platinum pass which includes parking, and limited fastracks... £600 :no:

Chessy will not get any new rides. The best we can hope for is an area retheme.

Thorpe will become the new Blackpool... Endless good rides piled on top of each other.

Alton... well, I dread to think. Maybe the crabs will take over? :?

BPB will still be going, but only just. I expect all woodies to be gone within ten years, with the possible exception of Nash.
Any amusement park with the word "Island" in it's name will go the way of American Adventure :(

Oakwood will have crumbled into dust, with nothing left but an empty Hydro lake full of sheep droppings, and a few wooden stumps sticking out of the ground, where enthusiasts have chopped off bits of Megaphobia as a souvenir.

Legoland will still be :censored: (sorry Mark!)
 
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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:10 pm

Diogo... have I ever told you how much I admire your sunny, optimistic outlook. :P
[size=90]For some things there is no rational explanation. There is no way out. There is no happy ending to this story. Welcome to the unknown. Welcome to eternal darkness.

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Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:10 pm

I'd just like to go on record as saying that when I started this thread I didn't want, nor expect, it to turn into another LETS ALL BAAAASH MERLIN thread.

:roll:
 
Blaze

Re: Where can you see British theme parks in 2021?

Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:23 pm

I'm sure it's "Where can you see British parks in 2021", not "Where can you see the prices and extortion of British parks in 2021" :roll:

"captain"&quot;][quote=&quot;"Blaze" wrote:
Merlin probably want to keep Alton as the biggest, for both business and sentimental reasons.
Whoah. Sentimental reasons were never invited to the business meeting, let alone put on the table. And business reasons? While it makes sense to keep Alton growing and increasing guest numbers, it doesn't matter to the company which of its parks is the biggest, as long as both are profitable. I'd say it makes sense though, for the reasons above, for Thorpe to take the dominant role in the UK market over Alton.[/quote]
Business reasons are simple. Alton is currently the biggest, so to keep them the biggest would cost less than making Thorpe the biggest. As for sentimental reasons, it has nothing to do with the world of business. Most Merlin higher-ups cut their teeth at Alton, and they recognise how significant and important it has been and still is, both for the industry and culturaly. They realise that it would be better for it to stay number 1, and the sentimental reasons will actually help the purely business ones.

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