"Lowestoft Journal" wrote:PLEASUREWOOD Hills is investing £180,000 in its facilities for the summer season.
The money is being spent upgrading soundproofing and the park's layout, and on new computer systems and conferencing facilities, along with a number of cosmetic improvements.
The attraction at Gunton in Lowestoft won 'Best Visitor Experience' award in the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk Awards, but its managers say they are keen to keep 'making progress' and developing its facilities.
One change will see the park's popular train re-routed to reduce noise and a new train station built to serve as access to a brand new nature trail, which will be launched next season.
A new till and computer system will be installed soon in an effort to make entering the park a more straightforward and streamlined process for visitors and park management.
New 'non-slip' flooring will be fitted at the park's fish restaurant, The Merry Mariner, and padding will be installed to help reduce noise from extreme thrill rides such as Wipeout and Enigma.
Meanwhile, The Palladium Theatre will be transformed into a new conference centre and be stripped to allow for improvments including a new suspended ceiling, a drop-down screen and the addition of brand new furniture. A marquee and barbecue area will also be developed at the rear of the park for special events such as birthday parties or large corporate team-building 'away-days'.
The Castle Theatre which is home to a number of popular entertainment shows, will also be improved with new ladies, gents and disabled toilets and another new suspended ceiling above.
The changes follow the arrival in March this year of Alexis Camelin, the park's general manager, who has already overseen the building of a new £55,000 children's play park
He said: “Pleasurewood Hills has long been a family favourite, coupled with the fact that it's the largest theme park in East Anglia. However, we are making progress in updating and enhancing the rides, attractions and eateries we already have in a bid to put the park on par with larger, family friendly parks such as Flamingo Land in Yorkshire. Pleasurewood Hills will continue to maintain its unique charm and friendliness, so we hope that people notice and enjoy the enhancements”
Press Release from Compagnie Des Alpes:
Plan to dispose of seven leisure parks: In keeping with the strategic plans announced at the end of 2008, Compagnie des Alpes intends to cede control of a group of leisure parks whose characteristics of size, activity, and geographic location no longer makes them a good fit within the Group's strategic objectives.
The envisaged deal would be for Compagnie des Alpes to sell its controlling stake in the following parks: Bagatelle park, the Aquarium at Saint Malo, the Mini Chateaux parks and Val de Loire Aquarium, the Bouveret waterpark in Switzerland, Avonturenpark Hellendoorn in the Netherlands and Pleasurewood Hills in the United Kingdom. These parks welcomed 1.55 million visitors in fiscal year 2009-2010.
They made €28.3 million in sales and €4.9 million of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the same period. Even though they have a strong regional presence and a loyal local clientèle, these parks offer few synergies with the rest of CDA's parks, nor do they offer the opportunity to further the Group's strategic objectives, which aim firstly to develop its main brands and to integrate the parks more closely around shared ways to create value.
The planned disposal thus meets a dual objective of strategic clarification and optimizing the Group's use of capital. Compagnie des Alpes' preferred objective was to find a buyer having a significant expertise in this business sector, a serious and durable business plan, and the financial means needed to make the capital investments that will allow the parks in question to continue to grow vigorously, even though such expenditures were not a priority for CDA group.
Thus, Compagnie des Alpes has begun exclusive negotiations with the H.I.G. Capital France mutual fund which involves Laurent Bruloy, a well known professional in the industry and former manager of Aqualud du Touquet. Mr. Bruloy presented a strong business plan of high quality that ensures that these parks will remain open and provides for their stepped-up expansion, mainly due to a planned investment program of nearly €20 million over five years.
The parties have now reached an advanced stage in their discussions based on a plan that would entail the acquisition by H.I.G. Capital France in partnership with Laurent Bruloy of control of these parks. At the current stage of the discussions, CDA plans to retain a minority stake in the new entity for a time yet to be set so in particular to facilitate the transition and to help the project to get started. This plan will be consulted by the personnel's representative bodies of the companies concerned. The parties decided to conduct their exclusive negotiations until January 31, 2011 at the latest. Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks if these discussions bear fruit.
"Khanage" wrote:Plan to dispose of seven leisure parks: In keeping with the strategic plans announced at the end of 2008, Compagnie des Alpes intends to cede control of a group of leisure parks whose characteristics of size, activity, and geographic location no longer makes them a good fit within the Group's strategic objectives.
"Screamscape" wrote:PLEASUREWOOD HILLS (UK)
Park News - (2/1/11) Pleasurewood Hills has been sold to a new private investment firm, H.I.G. Capital France. You can read more details here.
The park near Lowestoft has been bought by global private investment firm H.I.G Capital France.
The acquisition of the park was completed today after previous owner Compagnie des Alpes announced it would be relinquishing control of seven leisure parks, including Pleasurewood Hills, at the end of last year.
H.I.G Capital France in partnership with industry expert Laurent Bruloy is taking control of all seven of the parks and between them they will benefit from a joint investment of 20 million Euros over five years.
For Pleasurewood Hills it will mean the park will launch a host of new attractions over the coming months including a £65,000 indoor Laser Labyrinth game, an educational nature trail and a new train station.
The car park and queuing facilities will also be re-designed to improve access and speed up entry for visitors especially in peak times.
Alexis Camelin, Pleasurewood Hills’ general manager who was appointed in March last year, said: “This is extremely exciting news for Pleasurewood Hills!
“The investment will enable us to build on ongoing developments from the past year and further establish our reputation as one of the leading family theme parks in the country.”
The news of the takeover comes as Pleasurewood Hills completes development of a new conference centre in The Palladium Theatre plus the launch of the Carousel Community Art Project which sees art students from across the region restore 30 carousel horses from one of the park’s rides.
Pleasurewood Hills has been a popular attraction for more than 25 years and after a period of some uncertainty in the late 1990s, the 59 acre site was purchased by French leisure group Compagnie des Alpes in 2004.
Pleasurewood Hills won Best Visitor Experience award in the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk Awards, and more than 200,000 thrill-seeking visitors a year enjoy the park’s attractions.
The park opens for the new season on Saturday, April 2.