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When will Colossus get 'cleaned up?'


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Hi there!It's something that I've been thinking long and hard about, and that is Colossus. Having never seen the glorious Colossus before this year, I don't know what it was like upon opening (apart from pictures), or what it had with fountains and water, and colours and all that. But I'm sure people would agree with me that, well, it's looking horrendous.So this is just for speculation and debate; does Colossus need cleaning? And when?Personally, I'd love to see the water bed underneath the Cobra-roll refreshed. Pull out the weeds and rubbish, and clean it. Black shallow water is really unattractive.I'd also like to see the small fountains I've seen in pictures used again. I believe (again in the Cobra-pit) there was small water features on the walls, that let out a small bit of water?Then there's the big element of painting it. I like the idea of a light turquoise colour; as seeing what it was like upon opening it was very striking, but it's gone too faint in my eyes.I will safely put my hands up and say whilst I'm not a big fan of the ride, it is a beautiful coaster (or has potential to be) and Tussauds really did do well fitting it in with the bridges and path / scenery interaction, in contrast to say Inferno (very well portrayed but doesn't have the same level of interaction as Colossus). Knowing clearly that given the factor of it's build, it isn't something that would be removed unless Thorpe had no choice. So would it be much to clean it up? I'd love to see Colossus as the loud, empowering 10-looper that boomed in its own tunnels, and dazzled the sun in its water beds again, just like I've seen it do in it's young-age photos. It's a gem of a ride, but in its current state it doesn't look attractive.You might all completely disagree with me, but I'd like to see your opinions?In my eyes, Colossus needs cleaning; and I mean in the 12/13 off-season, if they haven't secretly done it this year. It should have been done in time for SAW!

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I think the problerm with the water pit was that the land Colossus was on was sinking, so muddy water was coming up through it, but they put the saw alive area in to stop that, so thats easy enough.it definitely could do with a cleanup, and I've been fairly impressed by maintenance from 2011, so perhaps they might repaint it soon.lets hold out for 2013 season.

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It's something that the UK parks really lack in is maintaining the rides to the same standards, especially in comparison to everywhere else...No idea why repaints aren't done here so regularly... It makes a world of difference, especially when your lift hill is covered in oil...

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Here's a small clue.The best price CWoAR could get for a Vampire track and support repaint clocked in at £500,000.

But it isn't like they would need to keep repainting it. It would be a 1 in 10 year cost, not sure if I'm right in thinking it hasn't been re-painted since opening?I would much prefer them to spend money on Colossus for the small-investment year instead of installing a pointless 'water slide' thing.But I guess Merlin wouldn't see it as a way of bringing in more customers :D
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Benin's right about it only really being the UK that has this problem. Even Six Flags don't let their coasters get as gross as they are at the UK Merlin parks. It upsets me, because I feel like the relationship between the creative intention and the way the parks operate is very disjointed from the word go, but there's also no importance placed on maintaining the experience for years to come. It's not just paint jobs that are the issue, it's any non-essential maintenance. Anything outside of H&S concerns is of no concern. I think this issue isn't a theme park issue... It's just the way the UK is. Within days of a new restaurant opening, our tables are sticky. Union Jacks fly tattered and discoloured. There's a lack of respect in the UK for physical things. We're more concerned about respect of concepts.

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Well in terms of the water in the pit, when I worked there, this is what I was told:The water in the pit gets dirty/algae, and the only way to prevent this would be to put chlorine in it. They can't do this because the water in the pit drains out into the late, and obviously they can't have chlorine going into the lake!They would have to clean it regularly I guess as the only other way to prevent the dirt which requires people to stay on after normal working hours and go down there in wellies and brooms and squeegies (or whatever those water broom things are called!) etc. Something I guess they just don't want to or can't afford to do.

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^ This is what I mean by a disjointed approach to creative design and the management and maintenance at the park. Why wasn't this foreseen?It's a bit ridiculous to say this about 1 issue, but I feel like it's not 1 issue. Why is Colossus matt painted, for example? Dirt clings to matt. Why is the dead end island thing not seen as a problem? Why does Storm Surge... Well, exist. </3For a lot of parks, the question "will this last?" effects and hinders design. It seems that with Tussauds/Merlin it doesn't?

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Well in terms of the water in the pit, when I worked there, this is what I was told:The water in the pit gets dirty/algae, and the only way to prevent this would be to put chlorine in it. They can't do this because the water in the pit drains out into the late, and obviously they can't have chlorine going into the lake!They would have to clean it regularly I guess as the only other way to prevent the dirt which requires people to stay on after normal working hours and go down there in wellies and brooms and squeegies (or whatever those water broom things are called!) etc. Something I guess they just don't want to or can't afford to do.

If that is seriously why the water is dirty, then I'd actually volunteer my time once and month to go and clean it because it's such a horrid appearance for it. I mean, like HAJiME said, why wasn't it foreseen? And with Merlin Studio's team behind the entirety of every Merlin attraction, why have they not made the small move of replacing it with something different?I could happily ignore the repaint, and oversee it, if the rest of the ride was glamorous once again to take the attention away.
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You guys got to be a bit more realistic. In hard economic times is Merlin really gonna wanna spend a load of money on repainting an attraction or are they going to be thinking they'll put that money towards a new attraction. A new attraction brings visitors / returning custom. Repainting won't have a fifth of the effect and it may need doing for cosmetic reasons but as an engineer myself if the track NEEDED to be repainted / cleaned for operational / serviceability reasons then then it would have.

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Track doesn't NEED to be repainted for engineering reasons, it IS entirely cosmetic...BUT, let's look at Oblivion, it is currently grey, it's meant to be black... Colossus, is seemingly always covered in oil on the lift hill... And the less said about Vampire the better...Thing is, maintaining APPEARANCES is just as important to a theme park as maintaining the rides from a technical standpoint, the difference between a freshly painted ride and one that hasn't been touched for 10 years is massive, and people will notice... Sure it won't bring in new people, BUT it could easily entice the customers to either come back, or tell their friends about the brilliant, clean, and fun experience they had... Cosmetics are a huge part of a theme park, as people more readily notice something that looks shoddy, preventing this means that guests will feel a better atmosphere and follow the escapism (cue blah blah Thorpe is a thrill park it doesn't need to do this)... If that is the case then why do Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks repaint their rides every so often?I don't see how it's not realistic to imagine that a company that constantly bleats on about being second to Disney (a company which does ensure constant appearance upkeep in its parks) won't do it... HAJiME hits the nail on the head really... And if smaller parks can afford to repaint their rides in these 'hard economic times', then why can't Merlin?

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There really comes a point and I think everyone's more or less made the thoughts I have. I stand by what I said; if they had the lake and a few other bits cleaned up around Colossus it'd make a difference. Period.But on the flip side of that, would it really do harm to paint some bits a year? I mean, Pleasure Beach Blackpool have currently painted everything on the prom-side of the Big One so it looks good from the outside. Why can't Merlin (if they wanted to be lazy) pain the barrel rolls, maybe the loop, and cobra. You know, the major bits you stare at on the bridges.*sigh* The less said about Oblivion the better. I mean, Oblivion's just shocking. It's like the RITA argument, wasn't RITA meant to be green by now?

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You guys got to be a bit more realistic. In hard economic times is Merlin really gonna wanna spend a load of money on repainting an attraction or are they going to be thinking they'll put that money towards a new attraction. A new attraction brings visitors / returning custom. Repainting won't have a fifth of the effect and it may need doing for cosmetic reasons but as an engineer myself if the track NEEDED to be repainted / cleaned for operational / serviceability reasons then then it would have.

The short answer is yes.The longer answer has been basically covered by all bases except for one point. Everytime you add a new attraction to your park you are basically inviting thousands more people around your house. When you have guests over you like to make sure that everything in your house is tidy and neat, you vacum your floor, you dust things off, you make it presentable and show it at its best. It is illogical for this to happen every day at a theme park but at least every season some kind of work needs to be done otherwise the new attraction will show up the old and make them look shoddy and unkept as a result.It's ridiculous that rides like Vampire, Colossus and Oblivion have not seen one iota of a paintbrush since their first season of operation. Last year, even Inferno was starting to look a little grubby with parts of it with very faded red track. I think sometimes cost comes above actual realistic first impressions. Maybe guests don't look at that point of view I don't know. All I know is rides like Big Thunder Mountain at WDW look like they were built yesterday (even before its current refurbishment). And that was built over thirty years ago whereas Vampire looks like its from the dark ages (pun sort of half intended)
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How long ago did the Colossus waterfall stop working? I'd imagine it wasn't for at least four or five seasons. If they payed for a group of people to give the feature a proper good clean out then wouldn't it be a good few years until Thorpe are faced with the same issue? I think Mark hit the nail on the head with his post and the park really should go the extra mile to make things look nice. Guests are not going to come back if it's a shoddy, dirty environment, well I defiantly wouldn't anyway!As for the repaint, look at this:

Surely nobody can say this coaster actually looks good? If anything the rust will give the impression that the ride is not maintained and is unsafe, the same could go for Colossus. Kumba is also a prime example. Look at the top comment on this video!
Just to show the difference there's also a video of Kumba's repaint:
The paint job will not only make the ride look more aesthetically pleasing, but safer and give the park a better reputation. There's no reason why it shouldn't be done. If Thorpe can afford a new multi-million pound rollercoaster, then why can't they afford a repaint for one of their most iconic attractions?
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As far as I'm aware there isn't actually a drainage system hooked up to the pit. The walls of the pit are made of a porous material which leaks so the water slowly leaks out into the soil which feeds into the lake. The only way around it which still cannot 100% guarantee leak free occurances would be to dig out the walls, put liner around it then build the walls again.Although in saying that it would be very impractical to do.

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Wish they did repaint their rides. The parks never seem to really care about repeat custom other than bounceback tickets (and even those aren't well marketed, purely because.. well.. god knows why).A fresh clean park is far more inviting and will improve your day. It's like going through east croydon station, then going through the shard end of london bridge station. Both are stations, but one is well maintained and looks gorgeous. I know which one I prefer travelling through..I think Drayton only painted because they realised they had a problem image with their park and they need to turn it around. Everything in the UK is so reactive instead of proactive.Nemesis used to be painted every closed season when it first opened.. So its more a 2000s attitude to maintenance than old tussauds.

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If that is seriously why the water is dirty, then I'd actually volunteer my time once and month to go and clean it because it's such a horrid appearance for it. I mean, like HAJiME said, why wasn't it foreseen? And with Merlin Studio's team behind the entirety of every Merlin attraction, why have they not made the small move of replacing it with something different?I could happily ignore the repaint, and oversee it, if the rest of the ride was glamorous once again to take the attention away.

With something like that pit, I don't think it's reasonable to expect it to be sorted by rerouting a drainage problem (though someone said it's simply that the bricks are just porous, which scares me a little.... Isn't there a build up of rot underneath, then?). A yearly clean isn't too much to ask for, just to stop the buildup of muck from becoming a joke. Regardless, Studios wouldn't be in charge of something like this. I don't think. I'm pretty sure on park teams deal with maintenance issues and small details. Things like signage, gardening, cleaning, painting... Even ride logos. I think anyway. I've tried to find out several times. I'm going to throw a wild guess and say that they are given a budget every year and by the time major things, H&S and marketing has been dealt with, there isn't the money left to deal with things like repainting a ride. My guess isn't really based on any facts about Thorpe or Merlin, but rather just the way many companies in the UK are run. We don't place such high importance on aesthetic first impressions as is placed in the USA, for example. I see it everywhere. One example that comes to mind is museums in the UK and how they never seem to get a good dust.

Track doesn't NEED to be repainted for engineering reasons, it IS entirely cosmetic...

Doesn't painting help to protect from rusting? And couldn't rust eventually become a problem? I mean, it's definitely MORE cosmetic, but I thought it was at least in part technical?
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^Depends how the metal for the track has been created, I'm not sure on what the track manufacturers actually do, but oxidising the metal after forming it for example would prevent rust without the need for painting...Of course painting will help to a degree, but it's not that important when there are several methods to treat the metal components pre-painting to prevent rust...

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With something like that pit, I don't think it's reasonable to expect it to be sorted by rerouting a drainage problem (though someone said it's simply that the bricks are just porous, which scares me a little.... Isn't there a build up of rot underneath, then?). A yearly clean isn't too much to ask for, just to stop the buildup of muck from becoming a joke.

I believe it is cleaned far more regularly then yearly, it's just the build up happens very quickly. Goes from unsightly to a massive clean up operation and when time equals money, the park won't push to have the pit looking it's best all the time. Considering how rarely the majority of guests look down into the pit (And considering the train travels to fast through that section to really take in the Medusa fountain and pit) it's probably fallen down the priority list.When Nemesis had its broken pipes for all it's blood fountains, the park came up with a novel solution to solve that issue. Maybe Thorpe need to do that kind of thing here.
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