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Project LC

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  1. Project LC

    Thorpe Park Hotel

    It's not so much about attracting business customers but encouraging visitors to spend more per head. If they are staying the night then not only will the park get the room revenue but those guests will be spending more on food as they will be there for at least one meal. It's a good way to increase revenue and a sound business model. Merlin's approach to balancing the offering within the group is to diversify between different attractions rather than within the attractions themselves. The hotels are just there it increase the revenue of the attractions rather than diversify the portfolios offering. In my opinion to increase revenue more effectively and protect the group from economic conditions they should be adding more indoor attractions to the "resort's" as well as the more traditional big ticket attractions. Doing so would enable the parks to extend the peak season and reduce the influence caused by the weather.
  2. Project LC

    2018 General Discussion

    Well done Thorpe. I never thought we would see 10-10 in the summer and them open all the time in September and October but here we are. Hopefully they can keep the good hours next year or make them even better.
  3. Project LC


    Thanks that was really starting to annoy me. Shame they didn't sell anything. I would have liked some incredibly nerdy and niche stealth/Edge stuff.
  4. Project LC


    My mind has gone blank and I can't remember what stealth was originally going to be called. Anyone able to help me out? Also did they ever sell any merch with the original name on it?
  5. Project LC

    Favourite Coaster Launches

    At night when the tower lights up as the countdown building the suspense. Then when it launches it just keeps going and going. No launch ive been on can compete with its magnificence.
  6. Thorpe did recently get a new director from the midway attractions. He seems to have completely changed the direction of the park but it's hard to tell how much of that was him and not someone else pulling the strings. A factor to consider is Merlin seem to pay staff quite poorly, the graduate scheme salary is about £5000 less than the average equivalent for example. I suspect it's resulting high staff turnover and young inexperienced teams. It is no mystery that the parks are falling into the state they are with the way Varney is currently leading the group. He is so focused with diversification of the business and international expansion that he seems to be loosing track of the core business.
  7. Merlins corporate structure means all investments need to pretty much have an instant return. They need to have a strong brand which is easy to market and can be used to draw people in so that the marketing within the park can sell you a ticket to return to another Merlin attraction. Updating a ride for a third time 3 years after its launch isn't going to get a good return on the investment so Merlin have no financial incentive to update the attraction. Worryingly Merlin have also identified that staff costs are the largest overhead to the company and are trying to reduce them. Seeing as every "experience" they build now seems to have actors I only see the attraction getting worse over time.
  8. Project LC

    Thorpe Park Hotel

    The Merlin financial reports show a strong interest in developing all of the theme parks into resorts through the addition of hotel accommodation. The latest 2018 one highlights increasing accomodation as a key point of growth to increase profits. So to press on with the hotel expansion makes sense with the direction Varney is taking the company.
  9. Project LC

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    In park advertising should be very heavy on encouraging guests to return. Some general promotion on return for fright nights by buying something on leaving seems to be a source of revenue the park is missing out on. Sometimes it's just a matter of not being able to see the obvious thing right in front of them. That being said any return advertising would need to be done in the right way as word of mouth could end up with people discouraging friends and family and telling them to visit at fright nights.
  10. Project LC

    Fright Nights 2018 - General Discussion

    If you ever read the financial annual reports from Merlin you'll find that Merlin only aim to have 90% guest satisfaction so providing 9 other people aren't dissapointed Merlin won't mind. I suspect they haven't started fright nights advertising because they are trying to maximise the investment they have made on Love island lates. It doesn't make much financial sense to start advertising an event in a few weeks time when you still have an event going on. It would just result in a loss of potential revenue for the summer period.
  11. Project LC

    Alton Towers General Discussion

    The only insight I took away from it was that Alton seems to have rather young teams. The documentary itself was poorly edited especially with the break down during filming the advert. I also felt like it was being padded out to fill the hour slot. Shame really as I was hoping it would focus more on the construction and development of the ride rather than mentioning the smiler every 2 minutes.
  12. Project LC

    SAW: The Ride

    The ground settlement would have been accounted for in the detailed design. Most structures are designed to a 1mm tolerance so I doubt it would have been a mistake in the design especially as it would have been checked atleast 4 times before being approved.
  13. Project LC

    Merlin Entertainments

    It's that sort of thinking which management is following but is my single biggest issue with Merlin. You don't need the latest technology to have a good attraction. At the end of the day a rollercoaster is a rollercoaster. The public don't know the difference between manufacturers and they don't care how the experience is achieved. They just want a fun experience. Varneys brand/marketing background is showing its colours. New technology is easy to sell initially but nearly impossible to sell later on.
  14. Project LC

    Merlin Entertainments

    Rather interesting article. I've been looking into Merlin's business structure lately and this article gave some good insight. It does give me a bit of concern though with Merlin in the UK. With so much focus on China and development into North America coupled with him just expecting the UK to bounce back the near future, in my opinion, doesn't seem too great.
  15. Project LC

    Merlin Entertainments

    Another bad few weeks for Merlin with pre-tax profits down 13.7% leaving it with just £43m profit between Jan 1st and 30 June 2018. They are continuing to blame terrorism and weather for the drop. Some good news is for the theme park division as revenue grew 9.7% like for like in the same period last year. That profit for the size of the company is worrying especially when revenue grew by 10% in the theme parks. If it wasn't for the heatwave I suspect the fall in profit would have been significantly worse. Merlin aren't investing in the parks because they simply can't afford to.