UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Redcoat Jase
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Thu May 24, 2007 10:43 pm

I just had a browse of Merlin's website again, and came across this..

Clickster!

I dunno if they're just doing a usual Tussauds thing and pretending to give a damn, but their working ethos seems alot less 'make our business better' and alot more passionate about what they do.
It would seem alot of change would be in order for them to make the recently acquired attractions fit in with this though?

I hope they sort out Chessington Zoo, using the expertise from other companies!
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Ash
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Thu May 24, 2007 11:04 pm

Hummm, I would like it if you could pick 6 different destinations, as now you have more choice, people could cater to there own needs and it would become more appealing perhaps?
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Javs
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Fri May 25, 2007 9:40 am

Do you think that this is why we have not seen any developments for next year yet? From a business point of view all projects forthcoming would have to be revised by the new management.
 
Dara
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Fri May 25, 2007 6:20 pm

Well not really I dont think.
Tussauds and Merlin are (for now) still going to operate as seperate companies. I really really hope that this is how it will continue. One effect of Merlin and Tussauds merging could be that Legoland and the Dungeons and Sealife Centres are included on the annual pass, and this will subsequently jack up the price.

Or, in an even worse scenario Merlin may decide it's not worth doing annual passes and get rid of what we now know as a Tussauds annual pass, and make everyone buy day tickets.
 
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Green.Wing
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:06 pm

I can see merlin having different areas and different groupings for its attractions,

City attractions - Sea lifes,Maddam tussauds,Dungeons

Family Attractions - Legolands, Chessington

Theme parks - Alton,Thorpe,Heide etc.

This would make more sense for the business and its structure.

Chessington would more towards the family areas with legoland where alton and the other parks would move more for a thrill experience. This way hitting as much target audience as possible with many attractions.
 
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leejay
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:17 pm

I do think a pick and mix would have more appeal. Doesn't cost the company any difference if your choices don't follow an 'attraction genre' shall we say. Plus it's more appealig to people "well little Jonny likes animals so sea life and Chessington for him, Our Bob and the big lad James like thirlls so Alton and Thorpe, Myself and my little girl however like to relax with some history and sightseing so Warwick castle and the dungeons for us."

Includes the whole family on one card. Phenominal :)
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Adam
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:22 pm

"Dara" wrote:
Well not really I dont think.
Tussauds and Merlin are (for now) still going to operate as seperate companies. I really really hope that this is how it will continue. One effect of Merlin and Tussauds merging could be that Legoland and the Dungeons and Sealife Centres are included on the annual pass, and this will subsequently jack up the price.


No, they are not separate company's. That is what was confirmed by this topic. Tussauds is no more. Tussauds IS Merlin now!

*Adäm x
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Chris1
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:25 pm

"*Adäm""][quote=""Dara" wrote:
Well not really I dont think.
Tussauds and Merlin are (for now) still going to operate as seperate companies. I really really hope that this is how it will continue. One effect of Merlin and Tussauds merging could be that Legoland and the Dungeons and Sealife Centres are included on the annual pass, and this will subsequently jack up the price.


No, they are not separate company's. That is what was confirmed by this topic. Tussauds is no more. Tussauds IS Merlin now!

*Adäm x[/quote]

Except Madame Tussauds i'm guessing........

Or is that changing to Madame Merlin?

:P
 
Scary
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:26 pm

Hi guys!

So to let you know what I have learnt this week.
Just to also reiterate to some of you the Tussauds Group no longer exsits.
Merlin as whole are merging and rebranding pretty quickly, all the websites have now been updated to reflect the new ownership as I'm sure you've noticed. I also believe that new signage is being made for the attractions.
As of tomorrow the Melin London Big Ticket goes on sale which gives entryhe London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.
I've heard lots of rumours about the annual pass and one of them was a pick and mix type deal where you pick the attractions you want, but nothing has been decided about this yet.
The Group now has 3 divisons,

Midway Attractions - Sea Life, Dungeons, Earth Explorer, Legoland Discovery , Madame Tusauds and the London Eye

Theme Park Resorts - Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Heide Park, Chessington WOA, Gardaland

LEGOLAND Parks - all 4 sites
 
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Chris1
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:29 pm

I also believe that new signage is being made for the attractions.


Ok, not liking the sounds of that very much....

I like Thorpe's, Chessington's and Alton's just as they are.

I hope they don't change too much.......

:|
 
Adam
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:33 pm

"Chrïs""][quote=""*Adäm""][quote=""Dara" wrote:
Well not really I dont think.
Tussauds and Merlin are (for now) still going to operate as seperate companies. I really really hope that this is how it will continue. One effect of Merlin and Tussauds merging could be that Legoland and the Dungeons and Sealife Centres are included on the annual pass, and this will subsequently jack up the price.


No, they are not separate company's. That is what was confirmed by this topic. Tussauds is no more. Tussauds IS Merlin now!

*Adäm x[/quote]

Except Madame Tussauds i'm guessing........

Or is that changing to Madame Merlin?

:P[/quote]

No, it will be keeping the name. Madame Tussauds is named after the person who founded and invented the idea. The Tussauds Group was named after this person, not the other way around, therefore Madame Tussauds will remain the same.

*Adäm x
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leejay
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:36 pm

"Chrïs" wrote:
I also believe that new signage is being made for the attractions.


Ok, not liking the sounds of that very much....

I like Thorpe's, Chessington's and Alton's just as they are.

I hope they don't change too much.......

:|


I think that means they are making new signs without tussauds on the top of each attraction name. Not the logo themselves! No need to panic :lol:
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TenZero
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:37 pm

"Scary" wrote:
I've heard lots of rumours about the annual pass and one of them was a pick and mix type deal where you pick the attractions you want, but nothing has been decided about this yet.


I really hope this happens, it would be awesome!
 
Scary
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:49 pm

Sorry, yeah I meant new signs without the Tussaud's name, Merlin aren't changing the parks logos.
 
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Chris1
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Fri May 25, 2007 7:55 pm

"leejay""][quote=""Chrïs" wrote:
I also believe that new signage is being made for the attractions.


Ok, not liking the sounds of that very much....

I like Thorpe's, Chessington's and Alton's just as they are.

I hope they don't change too much.......

:|


I think that means they are making new signs without tussauds on the top of each attraction name. Not the logo themselves! No need to panic :lol:[/quote]

I flippin hope so..... :)

To be honest I really doubt things are going to improve with Merlin, they've not bought Alton Towers and the other parks just to make us fanboys happy again, they've seen the financial opportunities within the parks and probably intend to squeeze every penny out of them......
 
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Dr Pop Rocket
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Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:03 am

Just been picking up today some news that Merlin have negociated a Sale and Leaseback plan for the Tussauds parks. Basically in a nutshell they will receive a payment from a land investment company for the land the parks sit on and then will pay a regular 'lease' payment for the use of the land.

No news yet as to whether this is just the land or some of the buildings/attractions as well.

Word is that it has been arranged to wipe out the historic Tussauds debts once and for all. Now that on the surface can be seen as a positive as the repayment of the debts has often been cited as the reson behind the incessant profiteering and dissapointing developments but now the parks will have an 'additional operating cost' which they will have to absorb.

Will it be good news.....only time will tell but most big retail and service industries in the UK have already gone down this path with comprehensive Sale and Leaseback agreements for its valuable land and buildings.


That was quoted off another forum, who had quoted it from another forum, so it's a very hand me down source, but certainly interesting, I'm not quite sure what to make of this...
 
Leonardofury
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Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:19 am

Tha only question is can the land owners refuse to renew the lease if this happens. Lets say the landleasing company decided they could make more money by demolishing Alton and selling the land for houses, could they potentially decide not to allow Merlin to renew the lease, and order them to remove the rides from their property?
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Green.Wing
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Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:14 pm

Well its will be very much like your home. The bank lend you money and they own your house. So you make payments and pay back what you need to. However as long as you make your payments the bank cannot sell or get you out of the house.

SO in other words as long as the payments are made. Melin still own the land and the park. If they dont pay the company CAN take control.
 
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haydn!
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Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:33 pm

"Green.Wing" wrote:
Well its will be very much like your home. The bank lend you money and they own your house. So you make payments and pay back what you need to. However as long as you make your payments the bank cannot sell or get you out of the house.

SO in other words as long as the payments are made. Melin still own the land and the park. If they dont pay the company CAN take control.


I think that is pretty much how it would work and no doubt there are a couple of clauses in the contracts which say the landowners must keep the land in its current form for the first 100 years, and Merlin must be given the opportunity at regular intevals to buy back the land at full value every 10 years or something.

Though they've cited the Tussauds debts as the swaying hand behind this decision surely they're no better off? They're swapping debt repayments for land rent - where is the difference?
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Craig

Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:16 am

Major companies often do this to clear debts. For example, the company I work for did a leaseback on the whole site which they occupy (6 buildings) a while ago. The contracts are very complex, including minimum lease periods and preference when the lease is up for renewal. The lease periods differ, sometimes only 6 years, then renewing after that, others anything up to 100 years plus.

It's also an ideal time to do it. With land and property prices being so high lately, Merlin would no doubt make a tidy sum out of it too. It definitely makes business sense to do it if they feel they're unable to shift the debts in a reasonable timeframe, it probably has more pros than cons with Merlin being in the position they're in, having to take of Tussaud's debts.

As others have mentioned, it's similar to remortgaging a house. You sell the property/land and the company who bought it become your landlords. No doubt people will have seen the explosion of adverts recently stating "we'll buy your house and you can live in it as long as you like". It's been around for ages, just more focussed on businesses, but now home owners are also been targetted as it's becoming the new "in" thing to do for extra cash to pay off debts.

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