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RobF

Merlin Entertainments

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43 minutes ago, Ringo said:

@ChiapasC.I’ve not named him, but you have despite saying you aren’t sure how appropriate it is to comment on it.

 

It hasn’t been denied and the fact TowersStreet posted that Ian Crabbe is currently acting as interim director at Thorpe whilst maintaining his Towers commitment confirms he is no longer the parks director.

 

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His name is hardly a secret - as I said, any Divisional Director's name appears in basically any piece of marketing. A link to an article with his name was posted in a different thread too.

 

I stand by my comment that I don't know how appropriate it is to discuss this, but if the discussion is going to carry on, it's only fair to have more balanced facts than just guessing and going on hearsay.

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I agree that it is probably not appropriate to discuss individuals and I do normally try not to comment negatively on individuals working at the park. However I feel that the last 1 and a half years the park has taken a serious dive. The concerns I had when it was announced the Midway's guy was taking charge pretty much all manifested themselves. While it might be a misinterpretation and lack of information I feel that ultimately the blame for the parks decline ends up on the directors shoulders.

As for my comments on Varney I have great respect for him to turnaround the mess that was the parks and turn it into the giant that is Merlin Entertainments from his branding background. However with recent performance and the direction the company is going in I have doubts if he is still the best person for the Job and shareholders will certainly be asking the same thing. End of the day the company is hardly making any money and the time to keep blaming market conditions and weather is running out. 

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23 minutes ago, ChiapasC. said:

His name is hardly a secret - as I said, any Divisional Director's name appears in basically any piece of marketing. A link to an article with his name was posted in a different thread too.

 

I stand by my comment that I don't know how appropriate it is to discuss this, but if the discussion is going to carry on, it's only fair to have more balanced facts than just guessing and going on hearsay.

Apologies I misread that as in he’s not exactly known to the public so shouldn’t be identified. 

 

It is fact he’s no longer in that job position though?

 

The direction the park has headed in has been questionable though. Thorpe has a history of a cycle of attracting family guests and then undoing all that effort by alienating them, we’ve seen that again this year with Year of the Walking Dead, Walking Dead the ride & love island to name a few.

 

Fright Nights has gone for quantity instead of quality. Behaviour of some staff has been questionable and wouldn’t be tolerated at say Towers. 

 

But on the flip he did oversee the entrance area improvements and driven home the brand of the Island and managed to bring the theme back into theme park with parkwide audio changes and improvements. 

 

Time will tell what other changes the interim director makes.

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AT management taking over? Og goodie. Can we expect stargazing sheds slung in the carpark over closed season? Maybe some nice staggered openings for next season? Or perhaps the mazes will be upcharge by next frightnights?

 

I'm not a fan of how Thorpe has been run these last few seasons, but considering how bad it has been elsewhere I wouldn't hold out too much hope of a sudden massive improvement. The rot comes from higher up than divisional. AT have 'succeeded' in the eyes of Merlin by making huge cuts which have been detrimental to most visitors and the long term health of the park, but good for the bottom line right now. It looks like Thorpe tried a different path of investing and promoting, but some poor choices mean it didn't work as well on the balance sheet. The alternative is probably not better...

 

 

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Well we already have staggered openings, rotational operations and seasonal attractions at Thorpe.

up-charge on parts of Fright Nights wouldn’t be a bad thing, it manages queues and could improve the experience.

 

Ironically despite the cuts at Towers, although taken with a pinch of salt at the start of the year in an interview with Blooloop

Quote

Although I can’t reveal numbers, Alton is already up there among the best in the Merlin KPI  league tables.” 

Blooloop

 

And today another bit of info of what’s gone wrong at Thorpe came to light with the info the park now being right at the bottom Merlin’s leaderboard for guest surveys- 192 out of 200! Attendance has fallen & profits fallen. It’s not hard to see why such drastic action is needed to drag the park back up. 

 

(Credit to @HermanTheGerman who posted over at TowersStreet)

 

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