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We know there were significant changes in the upper management at Thorpe last season, would it be likely the new guy has come in and pulled whatever plans his predecessor had in the works so they can make their own mark taking the park in their chosen direction?

 

Would make sense if things appear to have ground to a halt. If that is what's happened I hope it doesn't result in any replacement development being rushed to hit the same opening season with a delayed starting point.

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On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 12:23 PM, pluk said:

We know there were significant changes in the upper management at Thorpe last season, would it be likely the new guy has come in and pulled whatever plans his predecessor had in the works so they can make their own mark taking the park in their chosen direction?

 

Would make sense if things appear to have ground to a halt. If that is what's happened I hope it doesn't result in any replacement development being rushed to hit the same opening season with a delayed starting point.

It's a woman I believe. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd expect there would be an element of holding back while they take stock of everything and decide a way forward. It seems that this year there is a focus on what they have now rather than something new and shiny - as evident in the Winter updates where they make a big deal about uncovering the old theming on Colossus, the new grass and some changes to Nemesis Inferno. Ultimately though, I expect that Magic Making would be involved in the process of any planned new attraction. Would be interesting to see whether Magic Making would press on regardless or whether they'd wait to see where the land lay first. Either way, I think this may be a quiet season for developments as much as I'd love to see surprise planning permission for a major investment..

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I like that way of thinking, sort the park out properly and then invest in something big once its ready - if that's what they're doing then fair enough.  Should've happened years ago, mind.

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I don't think sprucing up the park would come at the expense of a major attraction. Small years, sure, but big years? Especially when they haven't had a coaster since 2012.

 

Feels like a shot in the foot, and too little too late.

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18 hours ago, JoshC. said:

I don't think sprucing up the park would come at the expense of a major attraction. Small years, sure, but big years? Especially when they haven't had a coaster since 2012.

 

Feels like a shot in the foot, and too little too late.

The issue that Thorpe have is that they had their fingers burnt with DBGT.. Spent a LOT of money on something that didn't return investment. The same argument could be said about The Swarm - a lot of money for little return in business terms. (Swarm is my fav coaster at Thorpe by the way). So, launching a big attraction off the back of these before getting the park in a state that it's ready for it is a bad move and wouldn't secure the capital for it. This isn't a Field Of Dreams "Build it and they will come" situation - They have to make people want to stay by focusing on their offering. No point attracting people to the park if the offering when they are there isn't good. Thorpe have a lot of work to do to discover who they are again, reassess their strategy, decide new plans etc. That's why I think this year will be the year of stripping out the dead wood and ramping up preparations for their next investment. I'd also expect Alton to be ramping up SW9 for a potential 2021 launch, so they'll probably want to work around that.. In other words, I wouldn't hold out much hope for anything coaster related at Thorpe until 2022 - allowing for this year to be a write-off (in new attraction terms), not enough time to plan for next year while analysing this year's success and Alton taking the light in 2021..

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16 minutes ago, Benin said:

If they strip the deadwood out of Thorpe there won't be much park left though?

Probably why they should take stock of what they have already... IAC was always on its way out, Loggers won't return regardless to what theory can be put forward and so they now need to focus on what they have that works well to fix that, rather than concentrating on upkeep of outgoing end-of-life attractions.

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19 hours ago, daboywunda said:

So, launching a big attraction off the back of these before getting the park in a state that it's ready for it is a bad move and wouldn't secure the capital for it. This isn't a Field Of Dreams "Build it and they will come" situation - They have to make people want to stay by focusing on their offering. No point attracting people to the park if the offering when they are there isn't good.

But there's the other side of the coin - why will people come in the first place? They've introduced big new attractions which haven't had the instant impact for different reasons.

 

Swarm was coming off the back of two of the busiest and most successful years of the park, and in a year where there was more interesting things happening outside of theme parks (Olympics for example). It would have been incredible for the park not to suffer a drop off in 2012. To this day Swarm remains one the most popular rides on park (in terms of guest feedback), so it's had the lasting success. It just failed short-term. DBGT is of course a whole story in itself.

 

But yes, neither of those worked as hoped. And they've done improvements to them the year after they opened, again with little success. So the current offering isn't working on getting people into the park. Solely focusing on the current offering will of course help improve satisfaction and return visits of those who do go, but if that number dwindles, it doesn't help surely?

 

19 hours ago, daboywunda said:

Thorpe have a lot of work to do to discover who they are again, reassess their strategy, decide new plans etc. That's why I think this year will be the year of stripping out the dead wood and ramping up preparations for their next investment. I'd also expect Alton to be ramping up SW9 for a potential 2021 launch, so they'll probably want to work around that.. In other words, I wouldn't hold out much hope for anything coaster related at Thorpe until 2022 - allowing for this year to be a write-off (in new attraction terms), not enough time to plan for next year while analysing this year's success and Alton taking the light in 2021..

It'd be interesting if Towers went for SW9 for 2021. Following Merlin's 4 year investment strategy, 2021 would be Chessington's big thing, and Towers would be 2022 in theory. Though of course Towers is thrown off by Wicker Man being a year later... Personally I think it's better not having Towers and Chessington share a major investment year, but maybe Merlin want to get the shift back to how it was.

 

I don't hold out hope for anything major any time soon either tbh. Which is a shame and a worry. Thorpe aren't in a position where they can go years and years without investing in new things. Rethemes can help, but they'll only take the park so far. 

 

I'm all for the park taking stock and improving what they have, making the park look nicer, improving reliability, etc. But it has to be balanced with new additions. They shouldn't do one without the other. The park went through the phase of adding new additions left right and centre without really taking care of the park. They're now bordering on the other extreme, and it's really no better for the park.

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2020: A Mack Wild Mouse themed to Operation Yewtree 

2021: A children's playground with year round live scare actors 

2022: "The Thorpe Park Dungeon" 

2023: The Octopus Garden rides return in the Saw area 

2024: The whole "resort" falls apart from neglect, Merlin assure everyone that they are looking into options and that despite nothing being open, there are tons of events to look forward to on the beach this summer, including The Cannibal Holocaust Experience and the return of Love Island (which got cancelled in 2022) 

2025: The Thorpe Housing Estate 

 

The worrying thing is that whilst I'm exaggerating, it's not by much. Merlin really do need to go. 

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1 hour ago, Lewis. said:

Merlin really do need to go.

*Invest more. I'm sure without the backing of a large company like Merlin Thorpe would be much more afraid to invest in new coasters or rides for fear of going bankrupt in case one of them doesn't work.

We've already seen in BPB the effects of financial strain on a single park after a large investment that wasn't an immediate hit (or maybe they just weren't ready yet, who knows? I'm only speculating).

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If Thorpe were owned by another company though they'd probably be able to invest in the things they NEED; rather than some nonsense USP that doesn't actually work or make sense in terms of the park's goals... 

 

Might be too early to judge the effect Icon has on Blackpool, especially when it's not helped by their own operating practices... But how come all these independent parks (or parks with general smaller budgets in group owned places) can afford to construct half decent attractions with relatively unique and strong themes without reverting to IPs?

 

Wickerman PROVES Merlin can do it... They just don't know what to do with those middling additions between the big stuff... 

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I find it funny how, generally speaking, people criticise Merlin's approach of needing major attractions to be instant success to be viewed as good or not, yet moan when they feel other parks' major attractions aren't an instant success. I know there's different things to consider and stuff, but you can't have it both ways surely?

 

If Thorpe were to be taken over by a new company, they would have a lot of money. And they would understand they'd need to invest heavily to compete against the Merlin parks, as well as Paultons, and keep the likes of Blackpool and Flamingo Land in mind as well. 

 

Just look at the Netherlands over the past few years. 3 parks (Efteling, Walibi Holland and Toverland) have been competing against each other with offering huge new attractions, even though Efteling is miles ahead in attendance, and Walibi and Toverland aren't even in the 3 most visited Dutch theme parks.. It's one of the most exciting markets to watch right now. Imagine if Thorpe, Towers and Chessington were owned individually - you can have some amazing competition!

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