Off Topic - Pleasureland Southport to close

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched by Joyland Books in January 2003 and is now supported by several thousand people. This is the place to discuss all aspects of saving Margate's famous amusement park and its iconic , Grade II listed Scenic Railway, Britain's oldest roller coaster.

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Postby Gary » 07 Sep 2006, 20:20

Please pass through the turnstiles if you are riding again.
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Postby Neil » 07 Sep 2006, 21:11

Normally when I go to an amusement park (eg Dreamland, Great Yarmouth Pleasurebeach etc) my brother and I get wristbands while my Mum and Dad have two rides on the biggest attractions and then go off to explore the town. Because Pleasureland Southport had a £2 admission charge they didn't bother coming in. As such the park lost money, even if they would have used the toilets which would require more cleaners.

Additionally you say that visitor numbers to the resort are declining, but you might like to state a source. That's not what I gather from the BBC website. Moreover next year a waterpark is suppossed to be opening which would presumably attract a lot more people to the resort. The fact remains that a skillful businessman/women will not just buck out when the going gets a little tough, but will be prepared to make radical changes in an attempt so as to keep the business a float.

The point remains that over the last two years the Pleasurebeach in Blackpool has been significantly downsized while Pleasureland has closed. Is this business likely to be around in 30 years time? Clearly adding big new attractions help, and visitor numbers did increase significantly after Traumatizer, however I do not believe that it requires big new rides to increase visitor numbers. I believe that Pleasureland can increase there visitor numbers simply by having a 'back to basics' drive similar to Pleasurewoodhills, albeit with some adjustments. Intead adding a chairoplanes is not very imaginitive or dynamic. This is not the fault of the staff, but the senior management. You can't expect staff to give a top performance when moral is low. And when you keep threatening to get rid of more staff how can moral be anything but low? I know that staff at Pleasurebach Blackpool are also a bit low at the moment and I wonder why.
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Postby Bob » 07 Sep 2006, 21:26

Gary wrote:
£2 is not going to put of anyone of.


Are you sure about that Bob?

http://www.southportforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36503&page=1&pp=30&highlight=SOUTHPORT+PLEASURELAND


Quite sure. The problem is it's a declining market. The cost of the modern rides run to millions yet the season is shorter & the number of visitors year on year is less. People nowadays want big Parks that are well located and have plenty of facilities and parking as well as the big mutimillion pound white knuckle rides. Only the very largest parks can compete in that market.

The seaside resorts stand no hope of competing in that market as can be seen by the large number of closures of the tradditional seaside amusement parks in recent years. This trend will continue. The seaside resorts need to scale back the facilities and reduce costs by concentrating on the younger childrens market. It is the only way they will survive.
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Postby Stephen » 07 Sep 2006, 21:54

As you fail to do the Forum members the courtesy of telling us who you are, your connections and what qualifications or experience you have to pronounce on such matters you can hardly expect us to take your comments seriously or give them credance.

Many of your posts are repetitive churning out the same old arguments, when they have been taken apart you wait a little and then do it again. This latest one is no exception apart from your assertion that you have priviliged information about the spending habits of the residents of the North West of England. Take it from me this charge would be a matter of principal, people will not pay for nothing and charging for non-riders who would often be Grandparents / Parents etc the very people who picked up the expenditure for the trip to Pleasureland was viewed as a step too far. It has been a topic on many forums and was clearly very unpopular.

It is ironical that they have made pronouncements about people using their toilet facilities when some of our more successful businesses now accept that they do provide this service to the public, not just customers, for example MacDonalds. They realise it endears them to the great British public and encourages them to stay/return as paying customers.
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Postby Jim Douglas Jr. » 07 Sep 2006, 22:36

Bob = Boring ol' blabbermouth.
Just ignore him.
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Postby furie » 08 Sep 2006, 09:46

Bob wrote:£2 is not going to put of anyone of.


It clearly put off around 1.5 million visitors. Out of those, it put off my parents and grandparents who refused to pay £2 (each remember, so for 4 of them going in, it's £8 ), just to sit and drink overpriced, and under tasty coffee while my son went on rides with me. There are still some people who understand that the way to combat being ripped off is to object to it and not pay.

Bob wrote:It is certainly not going to put many off.

1.5 million people clearly isn't many.

Bob wrote:Entrance fees are quite common.

Though not in any of the parks in the UK where you can buy ride tickets and chose if you want a full day riding everything, or just to pay for specific rides. These places include Blackpool, Fantasy Island, Brighton Pier and Williams at Tir Prince. These places seem to be doing pretty well. The palces that have free entry and aren't doing well are those that offer only tokens, and no wristbands.

The public expect two types of "riding" from the UK park industry- Pay on entry and all rides are free (where the park must offer something a little more like shows, etc), or free entry and a choice of tokens or all day wristband. Pay for entry and then pay for tokens isn't wanted, and neither is free entry and just pay for tokens.

Two parks that have proven that free entry and pay for tokens don't make profits are Dreamland and Rhyl. All those offering free entry and wristbands are doing quite well. Of course, you will ignore these points completely, as you always ignore anyone that puts forward an argument that is backed up and accurate ;)

bob wrote: There were certainly discounts available for people who had not bought wristbands


There certainly weren't. Oh, sorry, I forgot, you went regularly to the park and experienced this, whereas the time I spent at the park (and the once or twice my parents paid for entrance) is irrelevent.

All I have to say is:
Image ;) :lol:
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£ 2 Fee

Postby cliffc » 08 Sep 2006, 14:47

I think the charge of £2 would put off many people from going into a park, I would not pay to enter a park to look around or watch my kids go on rides, If BPB were to introduce this policy I would not go in there as I tend to only want to ride one or 2 rides, so i prefer to pay as i go which at this time you can still do there. I would think a lot of people would do the same, so it no wonder people stopped going to Southports park when thay put a £2 charge for admission in place, I visited there a few years ago and it was a very busy park then, and it was still free admission.

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Postby furie » 08 Sep 2006, 15:27

On that point cliffc, in 2004, the rides at Southport all had decent queues on (bad for waiting, but good for the park as it meant lots of riders).

Funnily enough, if most of those 1.5 million visitors were just "Toilet hogs", why did the queues for the rides drop massively in 2005 and 2006?

I'd suggest that the queues were made up of a lot of riders like yourself, just popped in to go on a couple of rides. These riders make more money per ride than a wristband sale, so without them, you're losing money again. This is all easy stuff though and park management GCSE level (post dumbing down ;) :lol: )
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More from me

Postby cliffc » 08 Sep 2006, 15:46

furie wrote:On that point cliffc, in 2004, the rides at Southport all had decent queues on (bad for waiting, but good for the park as it meant lots of riders).

Funnily enough, if most of those 1.5 million visitors were just "Toilet hogs", why did the queues for the rides drop massively in 2005 and 2006?

I'd suggest that the queues were made up of a lot of riders like yourself, just popped in to go on a couple of rides. These riders make more money per ride than a wristband sale, so without them, you're losing money again. This is all easy stuff though and park management GCSE level (post dumbing down ;) :lol: )


Hi Furie

I agree and dont forget those people who were there might not have gone on any rides, but still may have spent money on food, side stalls, and the video and gaming machines, plus the other non ride related activities, all of wich brings in the cash, you need to get people in through the gates, yes you need wirstbands for the rider who wants to ride everything, many times over, but you also need the casual rider or evan the people who just poped in for a look arround but then see a ride or 2 thay fancy a go on to keep the cash flowing in.

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Postby Jim Douglas Jr. » 09 Sep 2006, 18:46

Someone has to help pay for the upkeep of nice parks. I don't mind paying a nominal cover to go to things. It's like leaving an appropriate tip at a restaurant or bar. You can either afford to go out or you can't.

Is there some kind of stuff cut-off age where a proper gent' no longer rides? My father is well into his 60's and goes on stuff when they take my nephews to Cedar Point. My mom goes on far fewer rides, but pays the admission $26. It's part of the overall day out and being together. Cedar Point is quite large and has plenty to do for non riders, though, I have to admit. There are like 9 or 10 live shows every day... music revues and such.
Last edited by Jim Douglas Jr. on 10 Sep 2006, 16:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 09 Sep 2006, 19:08

I can understand the attraction of charging an admission fee as a way to keep out loiterers but I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

The fact that it caused such a massive drop in visitor numbers says it all to me.
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Postby Neil » 09 Sep 2006, 20:48

I guess either we are reading more into these statements that we should or the whole thing really is daft. The park introduces an admission fee to deture local yobs. The admission fee drives people away. The park closes. By this you are effectivley saying that the countries second biggest amusement park closed because of about 10 local teenagers. Who here believes that?

Alternatively it may have been closed to
-save effort (At Blackpool Pleasurebeach things that take a lot of effort compared to the income they generate such as merchandise have been dropped)
-To get new rides for Blackpool Pleasurebeach on the cheap
-To sell off rides and make a quick buck
-To encourage more visitors to Blackpool Pleasurebeach
-To release funds that can later be invested on the casino
-It's a political move to increase Blackpool's chance of getting a casino and her chance of having a hand if it does.
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Postby Bob » 10 Sep 2006, 05:54

Neil wrote:I guess either we are reading more into these statements that we should or the whole thing really is daft. The park introduces an admission fee to deture local yobs. The admission fee drives people away. The park closes. By this you are effectivley saying that the countries second biggest amusement park closed because of about 10 local teenagers. Who here believes that?

Alternatively it may have been closed to
-save effort (At Blackpool Pleasurebeach things that take a lot of effort compared to the income they generate such as merchandise have been dropped)
-To get new rides for Blackpool Pleasurebeach on the cheap
-To sell off rides and make a quick buck
-To encourage more visitors to Blackpool Pleasurebeach
-To release funds that can later be invested on the casino
-It's a political move to increase Blackpool's chance of getting a casino and her chance of having a hand if it does.



You are reading more into them. The attendence figures stopped but not anywhere near the figure stated. It would be expected to see some drop mainly as the people that came in just to hang around or look around would not come. That perhaps amounted to 10% of the figures but would cause little to no loss of revenues. The entrance charge for those that did not buy wristbands was in any case a norminal charge. The charge also entitiled them some to some small discounts. Contrary to some of the wild claims being made there was no charge for children under 7. There were also discounted familly tickets which meant in effect if one member of the familly did not want to ride they effectively paid nothing.
Introducing a charge is an effective way of who comes onto the park and helps to keep out trouble makers.
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Postby Neil » 10 Sep 2006, 10:43

Sorry Bob but I do not follow.
The attendence figures stopped but not anywhere near the figure stated.
Either I'm having a blonde moment or I just don't understand. What to you by 'the attendance figure stopped'? Surely if they are saying that attendance was about 500,000 the attendance figure has not stopped being recorded or did you mean something else?

Blackpool Pleasurebeach reportedly gets almost thrice as many visitors as Alton Towers, whereas in reality they is probably not that much in it. This suggests that the increase from being free admission is far in excess of 10%.

At the end of the days it's also about the principal. In Italy restaraunts tend to have a service charge so it's generally accepted, whereas if a British restraunt introduces even a very small service charge it will put people off because it goes against the grain.

I'll tell you what Bob, we'll do the maths, you do the pizza.
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Closure

Postby cliffc » 10 Sep 2006, 11:41

Neil wrote:I guess either we are reading more into these statements that we should or the whole thing really is daft. The park introduces an admission fee to deture local yobs. The admission fee drives people away. The park closes. By this you are effectivley saying that the countries second biggest amusement park closed because of about 10 local teenagers. Who here believes that?

Alternatively it may have been closed to
-save effort (At Blackpool Pleasurebeach things that take a lot of effort compared to the income they generate such as merchandise have been dropped)
-To get new rides for Blackpool Pleasurebeach on the cheap
-To sell off rides and make a quick buck
-To encourage more visitors to Blackpool Pleasurebeach
-To release funds that can later be invested on the casino
-It's a political move to increase Blackpool's chance of getting a casino and her chance of having a hand if it does.


Hi All

From what i have been reading on here and at other forums this closure has been engeneered for what ever reason by BPB ltd and its directors, thay put on a £2 admission charge and also increased the cost of wristbands to £18, now with the best will in the world Pleasureland is not an theme park like Alton Towers, its a seaside amusement park with only a small number of rides in a small space, its not a place you could spend all day like AT, people expect to pay an admission fee to enter a theme park but its an all day visit and thay have attractions for non riders as well as riders, at a seaside amusement park people expect to be able to enter for free if thay wish and walk round, and may pay to go on what rides thay want to as wll as spend cash on the side stalls and food, I know i would not pay an admission fee to enter BPB, but when i am in there I may not go on a ride but i will go on video and fruit machines, and play on some of the stalls, as well as buy a drink, so by doing that i am still adding to profit in the park, Pleauseland was killed off by the £2 admisson fee and the cost of the wristbands for what was on offer, this was down to the management at BPB, the figures show this a large drop when it was free admission to when it was payed admission.
Now some of those who went in for free maybe just looked around and did not spend but the majority of those that did go in would have gone on a ride or 2, and may be spent in the shops, arcades ect, so bringing in more cash. This whole closure stinks, yet thay are keeping the fun house open to becuse thay have bookings, if i had a booking there i would be canciling it right away, due to the way thay have handled this and treat the staff, and local management, as well as the people and the town of Southport, all that can be hoped is that some one will step in and open up again to prove that it can make a profit, May one Mr P Miller wants to open up a buisness in the sunny North West.

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