“It’s time for the parks to up their game”

Your recent article on Pleasure Island’s supposed ‘Now or Never’ moment was an interesting insight on the temperamental nature of the industry as a whole.

It seems all UK attractions, regardless of size and past success, are heading in a downwards direction.

As visitor numbers decrease, innovation and scope for improvement do too, meaning the slope the attractions industry is slipping down is getting steeper and steeper, and perhaps is nearing its inevitable slip off.

It highlights the importance of risk taking for theme parks in this financial situation. In my opinion, it’s difficult to determine if The Smiler was a risk that paid off, while the guest numbers soar, the park is giving more compensation out then ever and maintenance costs must be well above average.

Plus negative publicity can’t be doing Alton Towers any good. Though, it has been said, all publicity is good publicity, the massively exaggerated story that hundreds of riders were minutes away from tumbling down an ever growing gap between track probably didn’t do anything to boost park turnout.

The message to the parks is simple: this is when a good park and a bad park become distinguishable. Taking risks is the safest thing to do.

Michael Mander

One comment

  1. Editor says:

    The ‘speculate to accumulate’ argument always carries benefits, but when the risk is the very existence of a business, some people are always prudent. However, certainly in Merlin’s case, they are not at risk of going out of business. They may frequently make the claim of being second to Disney, but in reality they are a lightyear away from them in terms of having guests leaving their parks and memories lasting a lifetime.