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 Jim Douglas Jr. » 10 Sep 2006, 16:21

He has a point. There are scores of variables we can't know about.

I think the economy there, as here, isn't waht it was 5 years ago and I know park attendance is down on this side of the pond, too.

I'm sure that beautiful park won't be locked up and left to rot for long.
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Postby Neil » 10 Sep 2006, 16:58

He has a point. There are scores of variables we can't know about.

I think the economy there, as here, isn't what it was 5 years ago and I know park attendance is down on this side of the pond, too.

I'm sure that beautiful park won't be locked up and left to rot for long.

I hope your right about it not being left to rot for long, but experience of Dreamland and Frontierland will leave people worried. In terms of there being other variables that's true, but members of staff have spoken on various forums and certain things are pretty clear. Whether or not the park was destined to close cannot be used as an excuse for getting rid of staff without a moments notice. We also know that the companys finances are very healthy, Amanda Thompson said so herself and is apparently hoping to spend a large sum of money building a casino.

We must also bear in mind that in the case of Southport a water park is suppossed to be opening soon which would no doubt have a positive effect on Pleasureland's visitors

Apart from anything else Bob's past record is not perfect. According to Bob you can't get a big ride for under £10 million and that the only park's which can afford to cater for people over the age of 7 are Thorpe park, Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasurebeach. Experience tells me that our sources are likely to be more reliable than Bob's.

Clearly this does not mean we should quickly sweep Bob's views aside, however at the same time in return it would be appreciated if he didn't sweep all our views aside. Other factors are reduced advertising (especially advertising which could have been done very cheaply both through the 235 club, Blackpool Pleasurebeach and with adverts on the park's exterior), making staff feel undervalued which leads to a poorer atmosphere and the fact that in the past couple of years the promising redevelopment has stalled. Amanda Thompson hasn't exactly pulled out the stops to encourage more visitors.
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Postby spaceace » 10 Sep 2006, 19:02

You guys have hit the nail on the head - it's nice to see that people who understand the industry aren't fooled by the Pleasure Beach's press statements.

Pleasureland was as successful/unsuccessful as the Pleasure Beach wanted it to be, depending on how it suited them. However, it was clear Amanda wasn't interested in the place, and the decision to close it was will have been made not long after Mr Thompson passed away.

The mind-boggling lack of investment following a successful 2004 season, insanely high wristband prices (which had steadily risen as the ride complement shrank) and the introduction of the £2 admission charge the year Pleasureland assumed total control of the site. The park's fate was decided long before that charge was introduced, but it did allow the Pleasure Beach to get as much money out of the park as possible in those last 2 years. It didn't really affect the amount of money we took too badly, but it destroyed secondary spend as all the money was going through ticket sales. Having said that, if you're looking to close it makes sense to make as much money for as little outlay as possible. All those £2 with no associated cost of sales, and wages accounted for by ticket sales staff who'd have been there anyway, will have been a quick earner.

It was known that the Pleasure Beach were looking to sell this year, but nobody in their right mind would have taken the park on when the Pleasure Beach were making such a song and dance about it doing badly. It's akin to selling a house...you start telling people about the noisy neighbours and dodgy sewers if you don't like the look of them. I can't believe the Pleasure Beach will have tried particularly hard to encourage a competitor to open - there's a severe conflict of interest there and they've obviously acted in the best interest of Blackpool with little or no though for Southport.

If they'd wanted to make money at Pleasureland they could have - it has/had the luxury of a thriving town alongside to provide cstomers, and a pro-active tourism department who worked closely with the park and were mindful of it's value to the town. I understand the problems destination parks have when attracting visitors, but often the simple sight of Pleasureland was enough to tempt tourists to walk a few minutes up the road and visit the park. If Southport was on the wane I'd accept it, simple fact of it is the town's and the up and there's no way a succesful operator like Blackpool would get left behind unless they wanted to.
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Postby Bob » 11 Sep 2006, 05:26

Neil wrote:
He has a point. There are scores of variables we can't know about.

I think the economy there, as here, isn't what it was 5 years ago and I know park attendance is down on this side of the pond, too.

I'm sure that beautiful park won't be locked up and left to rot for long.

I hope your right about it not being left to rot for long, but experience of Dreamland and Frontierland will leave people worried. In terms of there being other variables that's true, but members of staff have spoken on various forums and certain things are pretty clear. Whether or not the park was destined to close cannot be used as an excuse for getting rid of staff without a moments notice. We also know that the companys finances are very healthy, Amanda Thompson said so herself and is apparently hoping to spend a large sum of money building a casino.

We must also bear in mind that in the case of Southport a water park is suppossed to be opening soon which would no doubt have a positive effect on Pleasureland's visitors

Apart from anything else Bob's past record is not perfect. According to Bob you can't get a big ride for under £10 million and that the only park's which can afford to cater for people over the age of 7 are Thorpe park, Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasurebeach. Experience tells me that our sources are likely to be more reliable than Bob's.

Clearly this does not mean we should quickly sweep Bob's views aside, however at the same time in return it would be appreciated if he didn't sweep all our views aside. Other factors are reduced advertising (especially advertising which could have been done very cheaply both through the 235 club, Blackpool Pleasurebeach and with adverts on the park's exterior), making staff feel undervalued which leads to a poorer atmosphere and the fact that in the past couple of years the promising redevelopment has stalled. Amanda Thompson hasn't exactly pulled out the stops to encourage more visitors.


Unfortunatly the facts do not stack up with your argument. Small Seaside amusement parks have been closing in rapid succession as you are well aware. To date none of the major theme parks have closed. It's these major theme parks with their multimillion pound rides that people want to visit. Even in this market competition is fierce and probably attendence figures have peaked and we are likely to see a small year on year fall over the next 5 years. That sort of loss in visitor number although making things difficult is probably managable
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Postby vince69619 » 11 Sep 2006, 09:40

Same old reply from Bob.

No facts just opinion. Does not back up his statements. Won't confirm who he is or what his connection is to Dreamland.

Waterbridge publically state that he's nothing to do with them.

Same bad english.

What a waster.
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Postby furie » 11 Sep 2006, 10:16

vince69619 wrote:Same old reply from Bob.

No facts just opinion. Does not back up his statements. Won't confirm who he is or what his connection is to Dreamland.

Waterbridge publically state that he's nothing to do with them.

Same bad english.

What a waster.


And also a complete ignorance of any well made arguments or ideas that go against his narrow-minded, repeat ad infinitum, views.

Spaceace is worth listening to, believe me, he knows his onions about Southport Pleasurleand. It was killed as Blackpool couldn't increase investment, as it might detract from Blackpool visitors. To realign the business model to compete against Gullivers and Camelot would have required more effort than Amanda Thompson was willing to put in. So she closed it (from what I can gather, as much for personal reasons than anything business).

Amanda now has a lovely nest egg to go off and try and sell her live shows, while Blackpool slowly decends the same way Southport has. She'll have sold Pleasurebeach to a large corporation before the decade is out, I'll bet.

The Waterpark at Southport is currently well into construction and is directly opposite Pleasureland's front gates. Obviously, with bob's "the end of the seaside resort is nigh" malarky, the business pulled out of building that one pretty quickly as there wouldn't be a market :P

In reality, now Pleasureland has gone, it's probably right. I'll warrant that the visitor numbers to Southport as a whole drop marginally, but the prospective visitors to the waterpark will be well down, as a lot of trade will have come from visitors from Pleasureland.

It's fingers crossed that the council pull something together to save the park. There's not a lot of hope, but it's there anyway...

(and bob... Seaside resorts with no investment going under = Rhyl, Dreamland and Southport. Seaside resorts with investment going from strength to strength = Brighton, Southend and Towyn. The visitors are there, if there's somethnig to go for, and the place is well kept.)
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Pleasureland

Postby cliffc » 11 Sep 2006, 11:37

Hi

From what I read this closure has been entirely brought about by Amanda Thompson and the BPB co wantitng to close the site down for what ever reasons, in this instance you cannot blame the local Councl as thay have invested in the town and are attracting visitors, unlike the TDC, the people behind the waterpark obviously beleve the numbers are there to re-coop there investment, if the park is taken over by some one with more commtiment than BPB who also removes the stupid £2 charge for admission, add some rides, and reduce the cost of a wristbands and also allow people to pay as you ride, either by selling tokens or taking cash this will allow the site to the numbers that are needed to get the site in profit again. The good news is that the land has covernants on it that says it can only be used for leisure use, and it belongs to the council not BPB who only had the site on lease, and thay cannot sub lease without the express permission of the council, as thay have a 150 year lease on the site thay could just sit on it, however under the terms of the lease thay would be responcerble for all securt of the land and also for the maintanance of the area also until such times as thay give the lease back to the council or sell it on. I would think the local council will be doing there best to get the site up and running for next season as thay seem to see the value in haveing an amusement park in the town, and as the BPB only told the council thay were closing at 5pm on the day of closuer thay did not have a chance to react either, obviously the rides will be a problem as thay belong to BPB and i cannot see them wanting to leave any of them for a new operator as I would guess part of the reason for closeing the place was because of its proximity to blackpool.

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Postby Neil » 11 Sep 2006, 16:02

Unfortunatly the facts do not stack up with your argument. Small Seaside amusement parks have been closing in rapid succession as you are well aware. To date none of the major theme parks have closed. It's these major theme parks with their multimillion pound rides that people want to visit.


There is so much to be said in response to this. The fact you have been blatantly wrong in the past (see examples in my previous post), the fact that Pleasureland did have several multimillion pound rides, the fact you have failed to address any of the arguments in the topic (reread the topic).

For referece I will give a definition of the word 'arrogant' courtesy of the dictionary:
making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud

Hope that helps.
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Postby Bob » 11 Sep 2006, 17:32

Neil wrote:
Unfortunatly the facts do not stack up with your argument. Small Seaside amusement parks have been closing in rapid succession as you are well aware. To date none of the major theme parks have closed. It's these major theme parks with their multimillion pound rides that people want to visit.


There is so much to be said in response to this. The fact you have been blatantly wrong in the past (see examples in my previous post), the fact that Pleasureland did have several multimillion pound rides, the fact you have failed to address any of the arguments in the topic (reread the topic).

For referece I will give a definition of the word 'arrogant' courtesy of the dictionary:
making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud

Hope that helps.



Are your in self denial ? It is very clear and backed by facts that quite a number of seaside amusument parks have closed. I am not aware of any that are in a strong financial position. Most are struggling to survive.

If these Parks are the money spinner you think they are there is nothing to stop some of the save Dreamland Campaigners from putting a Business Plan together and buying one.

Companies do not just close Parks down. They are in Business to make money. If its a PLC they have a legal duty to their shareholders. The Parks are closing because they loose money. You may never accept that view but thats whats happening.
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Postby uvegotmale2000 » 12 Sep 2006, 02:18

this is for bob and bob only

why not actually tell people who you are and what your interests are in dreamland

lets see if you can answer that question (bet you wont)
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Postby Neil » 12 Sep 2006, 07:58

lets see if you can answer that question (bet you wont)

Oh well, if you'd said 'bet you will' I could have made my self some big money by betting everything I have, but fair enough.

Are your in self denial?

About the fact Pleasureland has multimillion pound rides?

If these Parks are the money spinner you think they are there is nothing to stop some of the save Dreamland Campaigners from putting a Business Plan together and buying one.

You mean "put your money where you mouth is?". And where is a 17 year old going to get that money from? I'm not sure you've thought that one through.

Companies do not just close Parks down. They are in Business to make money. If its a PLC they have a legal duty to their shareholders. The Parks are closing because they loose money. You may never accept that view but thats whats happening.

Don't tell me, this has nothing whatsoever to do with a certain Super Casino. And don't tell, me you know the ins and outs of all the amusement park's financial situation. And don't tell me, all that matters is the money. Not the staff who lose their jobs without any notice..........

You still haven't responded to our arguments. I fully understand though, maybe something to do with how inferior we all are? Fair enough.
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Postby furie » 12 Sep 2006, 08:40

Bob wrote:Are your in self denial ? It is very clear and backed by facts that quite a number of seaside amusument parks have closed. I am not aware of any that are in a strong financial position. Most are struggling to survive.


And we have produced facts of a number of seaside resorts that are going from strength to strength. It's amazing, that we're the close minded minority, yet we are willing to accept that you are right, and in some circumstances, and cases, seaside resorts aren't doing well. Yet you're not then willnig to accept any point that we have which proves that the one properly looked after and invested in are. I said in an above post and I'll say it again, you will not respond to anythnig laid out which provenly contradicts your staid and narrow-minded views.

If it wasn't so fun watching you repeat the same old drivel time and again, I'd not bother responding to you, but I quite enjoy this game of Bob-baiting.

Bob wrote:If these Parks are the money spinner you think they are there is nothing to stop some of the save Dreamland Campaigners from putting a Business Plan together and buying one.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't a certain Phillip Miller, working with Nick, put together a business proposal to renovate dreamland? Oh, they did? And was there a multi-million pound investment plan? There was? And was it stopped by a bunch of arrogant goits determined that it would fail by over-valuing the land? It was? I think the case is rested there really Bob. In reality, you're just peeved because you never managed to pull a quick one quite as successfully as Amanda Thompson, and get the place closed before somebody could put a stop to it.

I'll tell you now too, if I thought for a minute that I could put together abusiness plan and take over Pleasureland, I would. I know for a fact that Amanda Thompson would fight tooth and nail to stop it. Then the park as a going concern is worth millions, even with the "white Knuckle" rides gone. The isn't a single bank or investor in the country that would touch a 33 year old IT manager after 10 million pounds plus to run a theme park. I don't have any real money to invest myself, so it's just never going to happen.

Unlike you Bob, we live in a real world, where we are real people, with real lives. We may talk on the internet to each other, but we actually do exist as real people beyond these hallowed pages.
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Postby spaceace » 12 Sep 2006, 09:19

I reckon if anybody offered £8 million they'd bite their hands off. Whilst what they leave on site will technically be assets, realistically they're worthless to the company if they aren't intending to trade. There's a lot of the stuff that either isn't worth selling or simply can't be sold. Once they've stripped the site there'll be a 30+acre site with a ready-made buldings, a few rides in situ and an excellent infrastructure (albeit slightly dodgy drainage).

They'll try to sell as much as possible piecemeal but it's going to be a tedious process. The biggest question is how Sefton Council see the future of the site, and I think they'll look at this as an opportunity to attract something new to the town. If somebody came in with a park proposal quickly then they might have a chance, however the longer BPB sit on the site the longer they've got to make a mess.
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Postby cliffc » 12 Sep 2006, 11:48

spaceace wrote:I reckon if anybody offered £8 million they'd bite their hands off. Whilst what they leave on site will technically be assets, realistically they're worthless to the company if they aren't intending to trade. There's a lot of the stuff that either isn't worth selling or simply can't be sold. Once they've stripped the site there'll be a 30+acre site with a ready-made buldings, a few rides in situ and an excellent infrastructure (albeit slightly dodgy drainage).

They'll try to sell as much as possible piecemeal but it's going to be a tedious process. The biggest question is how Sefton Council see the future of the site, and I think they'll look at this as an opportunity to attract something new to the town. If somebody came in with a park proposal quickly then they might have a chance, however the longer BPB sit on the site the longer they've got to make a mess.


Hi All

Well if its to do with Super Casino I dont know why thay have closed it because the chances of Blackpool getting the Super Casino are about as much as my chances of finding a lump of DO-DO turd, I still beleve that the place was pushed into the position where it was not viable by Amanda and her team at BPB, for what ever reasons, the visitor numbers to the town are on the up and Sefton Council seem to be doing all thay can to attract more visitors to the town, unlike Thanett, I think the council were as shocked as every one else at the decision, I beleve that this decision was made at the least many months ago if not a year ago, I think one of the reasons is BPB need new rides and thay dont want to lay out cash for them, and no matter what thay say the new ride for 2007 is going to be the tramatizer, the land has covernenats on it that say it can only be used for lesure, and unlike Dreamland the site is owned by Sefton Council its only under leases to BPB and that cannot sub let without the full approveal of sefton council, but thay have to keep the site secure and in good repair, I cannot see them wanting to pay for all of that and council tax for the next 150 years so i can see the lease being handed back to the council, who do seem to want to have the site open in 2007. and who do seem to still beleve in tourisam, and are spending much cash on improveing the town to atract visitors, again un like thanet. This whole closure thing, stinks worse than a fish market, but I dont ever think that we will find out the actual reasons for this happening as the only people who actually know are the Thompsons.

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Postby spaceace » 14 Sep 2006, 13:35

Just to update you, work has apparently already started on demolishing the Cyclone.

http://www.southportforums.com/forums/s ... post578680
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