Alton Towers' 10-year development plan

Got an idea of how the Alton Towers Resort may develop over the coming seasons? Discuss it here.
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AstroDan

The Sentinal (North Staffordshire daily paper) has today printed the following article regarding the 10-year future of Alton Towers:
MILLIONS of pounds is to be invested in Alton Towers – despite the axe falling on plans for a £15 million relief road.

The cash, from parent company Merlin Entertainments Group, has made it possible for the Moorlands attraction to draft a 10-year plan shaping the future of the theme park for the first time for years.

The blueprint includes the creation of more accommodation and further attractions and the extension of the season.

Although a privately funded relief road was ruled out earlier this week, options will also be explored to ease congestion on the surrounding lanes.
The first major investment is expected to be a new £12 million ride to replace the Corkscrew.

The plan is part of the theme park's strategy to encourage visitors to stay longer.

This is expected to have spin-off benefits for bed-and-breakfasts and other tourist attractions in the area.

The announcement has been welcomed by community leaders as good news for jobs and prosperity at a time of economic gloom.

Mark Kerrigan, head of development at Alton Towers, said: "This is the first time in many years that we have been able to plan so far ahead. We are now part of the Merlin Entertainments Group which has made a long-term commitment to us.

"Alton Towers plays a very significant role in the local economy – as is clear from our most recent economic impact report – and as such having a long-term vision is very good news for the whole area.

"Without investment, we would very quickly lose market share and the potential consequences could be nothing short of catastrophic for this region.
"Since the acquisition by Merlin two years ago, we have begun to reposition the resort as a family destination rather than a day trip."

Councillor John Wakefield, county cabinet member for economic regeneration and sustainable communities, said Alton Towers was an essential part of the local and regional tourism economy.

He said: "The 10 -year plan is good news, with a strong commitment to deliver extra investment which will have significant benefits to the local and regional economy and jobs."

Tony Moult, chairman of Alton Parish Council, said he was disappointed the relief road would not be going ahead after years of campaigning.

He added: "£15 million is a lot to have spent on a road. They could probably build another ride with that amount to replace The Corkscrew.

"People do come into Alton and visit pubs. Alton Towers does help trade in the village."
The key points:

- Longer Open Season (to include Christmas?)
- More accommodation (new hotels? Budget accommodation?)
- Major new attractions

:)
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Jase
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Hmmmmm, Are Alton Towers confident that these proposals will be given planning permission?
I think there's going to be alot of people making objections due to the disbandment of the relief road...
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billyrae
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They all now seem to of been on the whacky baccy,,maybe they should of snuck in them 2003 woodie plans.They would probably of said yes now.
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Wes
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A 10 year plan is awesome - Although what has been said about it doesn't seem that large.

Could this be 2010-2020 concidering they mention SW6?
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Tom M
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[quote=""AstroDan""]The key points:

- Longer Open Season (to include Christmas?)
- More accommodation (new hotels? Budget accommodation?)
- Major new attractions

:)[/quote]
I heard they were on about building on-site staff accomodation so this may be refering to it?
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billyrae
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Tony Moult saying about the campaigning,well thats crap the money was there for a relief road but the residents on either side of both proposed routes said 'not in our back garden.also JCB said they would never give up land for it to be built on.
Nice to see Alton Towers giving the Council and residents the finger.

---- Post Info Added ----

Whats on the 10 year plan that i find interesting,,zilch
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Joe Koopa
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This is great news! :D
I really hope it will for once and for all concide with Alton Towers being a world-class resort! :D
I really hope there's a new hotel included in the plan and Christmas openings! :D It's gonna be one heck of a decade! :D
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Wes
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Not even .... The first major investment is expected to be a new £12 million ride to replace the Corkscrew.??
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billyrae
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The 10 yr plans called 'Project Dolphin',,,.Mmmmm well as long as we dont see flipper and his bloody mates splashing around in a pool
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Khanage
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[quote=""billyrae""]Whats on the 10 year plan that i find interesting,,zilch[/quote]

The fact that Alton Towers have basically said that over the next ten years millions of pounds are going to be spent on major new attractions and improving the park does interest me! I think more is going to happen in the next ten years than what we have seen in the last ten years.
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aru
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Although Alton Towers haven't detailed what the 10 year plan is, we should be grateful that they've got one!!

The reason the park was in such a mess a few seasons ago was because of poor planning. With so many changes of ownership the park was not looked at as a whole, and poor haphazard decisions were made for a quick buck (eg Spinball and Rita). We now know the park will have one owner (hopefully) into the future, this means financial and managerial security; something which AT has lacked for at least 10 years.

Good move Merlin - showing commitment at last!
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Rob L
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[quote=""billyrae""]The 10 yr plans called 'Project Dolphin',,,.Mmmmm well as long as we dont see flipper and his bloody mates splashing around in a pool[/quote]

I don't know where you've got that from, Project Dolphin was scrapped a few years ago, and if you've seen the plans you'll know that it look like it would have been a great addition.

I think the news of a 10 year plan is great, it's always good to have long-term plans and this can only help Alton. It's nice to see Merlin committing to Alton as well. If there is going to be more guest accommodation then I think it will be something like log cabins, this would mean that there is a cheaper alternative to staying in the hotels which should encourage more people to stay at the resort for longer. Major new attractions is obviously a good thing to hear, and in 10 years time I think Alton Towers will look very different to what it does today.

:D
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NickT04
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A very exciting development, although it's gonna be some time before we see it out! I'd imagine any budget accomodation would be for staff though - ATH and SL would have no guests otherwise!
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Matt
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I think that cheaper and more places to stay is a great idea.
But I hope that quite alot of the plan is to make the park bigger and better with more attractions, to give people a reason to stay longer.

Matt
:)
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And.
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It's great news.

The problem that Towers have had for the last 10 years is the change of ownership so many times. All of the investors wanted to make a quick buck and none really cared about the resort very much. (DIC - I'm looking at YOU!!!)

Merlin Entertainments have started to prove themselves now - they can look after and nurture the park, and show real investment.

:clap:
oldgitBEN

nothing we didnt already expect or out of the obvious, just nice to see it confirmed.
AstroDan

As far as I was aware, the longer open season and accommodation hadn't really been suggested by Alton - so these are new things on the table which are all essential if Alton are to cement themselves as the UK's leading theme park resort.

Regarding the Corkscrew replacement, well that's obvious already, but a 10-year strategy is excellent news for all concerned. It shows that they are visualising the Alton Towers of 2018 and beyond - that they are setting out development across the resort. This is much better than since 2002, when everything has appeared a little rushed. With the exception of Mutiny Bay and Extraordinary Golf, most recent projects have been somewhat dissapointing in one aspect.
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rightbackgranty
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Quite glad to see some facts confirmed. I'm excited about the prospect of an extended season. If Christmas was incorporated into the season It would be briliant - a great money spinner for the park, but more importantly, I feel it would cement a "real resort" feel.

I'm also excited about this new accomodation. I'm hoping for some some low budget style - Self catering log cabins would be really nice if done properly. Something along the lines of Centre Parcs would be cool.

I'm also pleased about the decision of the relief road. Not that I want to see Alton subjected to so much traffic, but because It means that local businesses will still be involved. If Alton are helping small businesses out, as the article suggests, it might make them happy with the compromise.

Good move from the management I think!
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CoasterCrazyChris
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[quote=""rightbackgranty""]I'm also excited about this new accomodation. I'm hoping for some some low budget style - Self catering log cabins would be really nice if done properly. Something along the lines of Centre Parcs would be cool.[/quote]

Can't quite see it at AT myself, but could work.

A decade development plan is great news, i've got nothing much else to say that hasn't already been said, but I think scrapping (or putting off) the relief road was a mistake. If they plan on making themselves a really major resort in the future with all the facilities (more hotels, leisure complex) they cant rely on access thru small villages.
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Rob L
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[quote=""CoasterCrazyChris""]

A decade development plan is great news, i've got nothing much else to say that hasn't already been said, but I think scrapping (or putting off) the relief road was a mistake. If they plan on making themselves a really major resort in the future with all the facilities (more hotels, leisure complex) they cant rely on access thru small villages.[/quote]

That is true, but I think people will still go regardless of whether the bypass is built, and that's the most important thing fot Alton. Just a thought, we know there's a 10 year plan, and it's been said that nothing will be done regarding the bypass for at least 10 years, so maybe the plan is to carry out these developments and then build the bypass. That would make sense anyway.
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