Dreamland enters trading administration.

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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Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 29 May 2016, 16:55

Dreamland operators enter trading administration
By KathyBailes | Posted: May 29, 2016

Dreamland has entered trading administration

The operators of Dreamland in Margate have entered administration.

The amusement park, which reopened in June last year after more than a decade of campaigning and work, is run by Sands Heritage Ltd.


The firm entered trading administration on Friday.

Benjamin Wiles and Paul Williams, Managing Directors of Duff & Phelps, global valuation and corporate finance advisor, have been appointed Joint Administrators of Sands Heritage Ltd, trading as Dreamland.

The 16 acre park remains open and will continue to operate as normal while the Joint Administrators work alongside the existing management team to conduct an operational turnaround. The Joint Administrators will evaluate the prospects of the business before engaging with any parties interested buying it, although registrations of interest are welcome.



Read more: http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Dreamlan ... z4A44iozSy
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby smilerbaker » 30 May 2016, 08:07

all those poor sod creditors who agreed to the debt deals have been royally screwed over. seriously, questions need to be asked here at the top level, how the hell did sands get the gig??? why the hell was that incompetent woman employed (her track record spoke for itself) and the biggest question of all, where the hell did all the money go??????
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Vince, Charlie and Sam » 30 May 2016, 17:59

The campaign to save Dreamland was heroic, but ever since the rebuild began there is no way I would have traded with the management company without insisting on cash in advance.

There is something very wrong going on here.
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 30 May 2016, 18:24

Vince, Charlie and Sam wrote:The campaign to save Dreamland was heroic, but ever since the rebuild began there is no way I would have traded with the management company without insisting on cash in advance.

There is something very wrong going on here.



The creditors had little option but to go with the CVA. The company had no assets and was bust. If they got a penny in the pound back they would have been lucky. I just hope that during the CVA no one was trading with them other than cash up front. Anyone that has forked out for a season ticket is likely to be out of pocket

If you looked at the CVA figures the turnover for each month they plugged in was optimistic in then extreme. The only surprise for me is that it has gone under so soon. I expected to limp on until the end of the summer season. The fact that it has failed so early means it cannot meet its outgoing ie staff wages, taxes, rent lease etc

Dreamland went wrong from day one, a bunch of well intentioned people with no experience and no business plan or strategy . They went off buying all sorts or rides most of which were incomplete and worthless. Then Sands came on the scene and they were just as clueless. The pricing strategy was all wrong. Dreamland is not destination like Thorpe Park is it would have to rely on casual trade and charging a fortune to just go in would just stop them going in

Dreamland had no core strategy and just dabbled in everything and anything and failed to control its cost. They should have looked at places such as Clacton Pier & Southend to see how they make it work. Operating a small seaside fairground is a very tough market. The summer season is really only the School holiday period

Will anyone take Dreamland on> I doubt it. Can the site be redeveloped to extract more cash from it.? Possibly. If high class flats were built along the site frontage they would bring in cash .You can then look at a smaller and more viable fairground and other facilities to bring in locals outside of the short summer season


y
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Phillerz » 30 May 2016, 20:34

I am local, been on this forum for longer than ive been registered. Followed everything on a daily basis.

I have not visited dreamland.

I heard great things about the halloween event. But i dont know what has not drawn me in. I think im still waiting for the second attraction, another larger scale ride.

It should have been directly ran by the council or the dreamland trust. thats the first problem.

Second problem is it was branded as a 'historic museum' before it opened. Then 'retro' and then it had an identity crisis with everyone expecting all the rides from the bembom era aswell as water shutes and wooden wild mouse rides, whips, mary rose and the looping star etc.

The branding in my opinion looks cheap, awful website and online booking. Inside the park looks great from what ive seen.

But i believe Dreamland will work. If i won the lottery id invest all my money in Margate because i know i would get returns. I dont understand that despite all that it lacks, how it can fail before its even had one full season.

Should be £1 entry - £15 wristbands. Would be enough to keep unwanted chavs out, food stalls etc would pay for the park from day trippers to the beach. If that was the case id have been multiple times and would most likely have paid to go on the rides.
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 30 May 2016, 20:56

If Dreamland is bought out of administration whoever buys is picks up Sands £3M odd debt. That will make it non viable for certain. The charging £18 for entrance was simply crazy. Dreamland is not a destination it needs to rely on casual trade. If you charge an £18 entrance fee then you are not even going to get people through the door.

For DReamlands CVA to fail so quickly indicated they are badly missing the figures plugged into the CVA most of which for the first half of the year were for dreamland to make a lose so they must have been making a much bigger lose than those figures.


The chances of Dreamland surviving in my view are close to zero
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 31 May 2016, 08:05

I think this blog sums up the situation quite nicely:

EDIT: Blog entry has been temporarily removed by the author.
Last edited by SuburbanHomeboy on 31 May 2016, 18:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby smilerbaker » 31 May 2016, 14:55

well I think its more a case of TDC strike again, back handers and dodgy deals and once again thanet lose out. save dreamland is needed now more then ever, but I fear its all too late

I'll wager one of the major creditors will be sands / sands owners and they will block any meaningful bids, so many questions, the biggie being can the council wrestle the lease back now
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 31 May 2016, 19:58

[quote="smilerbaker"]well I think its more a case of TDC strike again, back handers and dodgy deals and once again thanet lose out. save dreamland is needed now more then ever, but I fear its all too late

I'll wager one of the major creditors will be sands / sands owners and they will block any meaningful bids, so many questions, the biggie being can the council wrestle the lease back now[/quote


The situation now is the CVA is no more and Sands Leisure is in Administration. Sands have no say in it. The administrators make all the decisions. Normal practice is first they keep it open and try to sell it as a going concern and the administrators make all sort of optimistic noises. They don't inject any money into the business so can only work with the assets the business has. Normally they will give it a couple of weeks to try to sell it as a going concern. If this fails and I suspect it well then they try to realize what money they can from the business which will probably not be much. Most of the rides were sold during the CVA and are now probably leased. The only asset of any real value is probably the lease and the value of that will be on what planning consent as leisure it will probably not worth much but change of use I suspect is likely to be granteed
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 31 May 2016, 21:19

I have done some more digging around and it appears Dreamland (aka Sands Heritage Ltd does not even own the lease) The lease and any other property assets appear to owned by SANDS HERITAGE PROPERTIES LTD. If this is correct then Dreamland is even less attractive to anyone
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby mtcrc » 31 May 2016, 22:37

Bob - as ever you are close to the money. Who are you?

So Conningotn ( The big Con ) has set up a seperate property owning company so he can let go of all those poor creditors to beg for their money. Meanwhile Laister ( Jabba the Hutt ) presides over his success of bringing Dreamland back.... But strangely has no money in the project or no time now committed to really saving ....Dreamland.

Oops will have offended a few stalwarts here with the Star Wars reference..but think about it? What has he achieved other than rebuilding the Scenic, which was the effort of the previous landowner and Thanet ( who you all hate! ) and Dreamland campaign ( you guys (and gals)).

So no OBE for poor old Hutt nor a fat bank balance for Nick the White Knight Conners. Maybe a Reggie moment for either of them would be a good idea.

Susan you veritable Chairlady of great repute and (an MBE) may save the day...if only she wasn't busy with her bunions.
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 01 Jun 2016, 07:11

In my view the Dreamland Trust does not come out of this. The Trust still seems to be officially still operating but appears to be for all intents and purposes dormant. It web site is not being maintained and I am not aware of any activity. Its last set of accounts showed it employed 7 people at a costs of £202,000 . Doing what I am not clear. The claimed function of the trust was claimed to be promoting Dreamland and Margate a fairly vague function and surely promoting Dreamland was down to Sands & promoting Margate down to TDC. No mention on the Dreamland Trust sight about the CVA or the Administration given their claimed role I would have expected at least a statement from them. If Dreamland folds after all it leaves the Dreamland Trust with no meaningful purpose. No real statement from TDC neither who were going to sink more money into the venture. If they have already put cash in that could be more money down the drain. It was not clear if this money would go to Sands or would be a TDC arms length venture a lot appeared to revolve around the old cinema. I am not even clear as to who own the Cinena
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby kevinashe » 01 Jun 2016, 08:30

short term the park needs to trade as a pay per ride or token system.There are not enough rides there to justify a wristband and as we all knew it is going to take decades to bring the park back to what it was in the 80s.Possibility is to lease a few rides from the defunct loudoun castle,couple of coasters,crows nest and space shot tower would fill a massive gap and bring people in
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Bob » 01 Jun 2016, 14:23

Pay per ride would be expensive as you need a cashier for each ride. In my view the wristband system is better. You cannot though justify £18. I would charge a nominal £1 entrance fee. That keeps trouble makers out and gives you information on how many people are coming in. The tickets should also have a date and time stamp so you can see what the visitor pattern is. You could also offer a £2 discount if they purchase a wrists band They should also offer a tiny tots wristband at a lower price
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Re: Dreamland enters trading administration.

Postby Pete McFeet » 01 Jun 2016, 21:19

This is such disappointing news. Hopefully the administrators will be able to successfully find a buyer, just like the same company did with Fantasy Island when Mellors acquired the site.

As for the wristband price and their use. Well I do think £18 is a tad high with the amount of attractions the park has. Dreamland could offer a pay per ride system, I mean they did it well at the Christmas event.

Its not over and hopefully this is just a small blip.
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