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Long Term Development Plan
hex
post Jun 30 2009, 8:10 AM
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They could always have the Park and Ride car parks in an alternative location, like when you come out of the park you can either go left or right, they could have the car parks to the right towards leek, so that less people will be coming through Alton as they would be going the other way to get to the Park and Ride car parks? unsure.gif

Just an idea smile.gif

I would like to see the Towers return to their former glory, but it would take a massive amount of money to be able to do it, i'm not sure Merlin have the money to do it to a good standard anyway, and if it was "refurbished" what would it be used for?
I suppose that it could be turned into another Hotel? So that the guests staying there could easily get into the park?



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darkomangagirl
post Jun 30 2009, 8:45 AM
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Ooo all very exciting stuff going on. Do you think they might sell Air? Every time I've visited it has broken down at least twice, causing major delays. Sad news about selling/moving enterprise on, such a cool retro ride...couldn't they of sold submission instead?!

I think the idea of re-locating spinball to the black hole is a cracking idea, a bit like a mini euromir...maybe that's why there is no planned re-theme for this area. Here's hoping they will invest a bit more in the up keep of x sector then. With the removal of SW..will they extend Storybook Land? I hope so, I never got to see the Peter Rabbit ice show, but something like that combined with a new children's coaster would bring that area back to life. Not forgetting a lick of paint on the bookworm too!

Agree with others about the entrance, I don't think it will close though, With the monorail refurbished to go to that area, maybe the cabins would be situated near this entrance? Like EP have another entrance for their camps. That's where I see this going anyway. The cabins/camps will hopefully give families on a budget a way to stay at Alton, on site for a fraction of the cost. The hotels atm are far too expensive.

I've loving the idea of a CC extension. Perhaps they could extend the outside pools too? As it's lovely being outside, in the pool, when the weather is warm.

I think if they do relocate the main entrance that, Towers Street may become a 'downtown disney' sort of area. Sure they will build more shops, as to not lose out on people emptying their pockets before they go home. But if this was the case, then such night venues as Gary suggested could be put in place. Still on park but isolated from the major part of the park, so any disorderly drunks could be stopped and ejected without fuss/minimal effort.


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garyholc
post Jun 30 2009, 9:01 AM
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QUOTE (Crispy @ Jun 30 2009, 9:01 AM) *
I did ask about whether Park & Ride had been considered as part of the transport strategy and was told it was one of the many options on the list but a big problem with it (aside from finding enough land in a suitable location, etc.) was that it's coaches and buses that cause a big problem in terms of traffic as they need the full width of the road to navigate the tight corners and this causes snarl ups - so sending more of these through the villages isn't desirable.

Understandable. Hmm, ok in that case, if they move the park entrance, dismantle the monorail, lay it out flat in one long track, paint it green, paint the cars green and lay the track across a few fields to get to a park and ride station, and take people back and forth to the park this way!!! At least if they are all green they will blend into the surroundings!

See... going back to your response - thats what annoys me about the parking charge which is "to encourage the use of public transport", AT dont even want more busses and coaches going to the park because of the trouble they cause on the roads!!! So if we all used public transport to get there, basically the road system wouldnt cope and the transport links to AT would end in gridlock!

As for the hotel - I wouldnt want it to be a hotel, but perhaps spend a lot of money doing up one section at a time, clean up the stonework, put some proper information boards in there, maybe introduce guided tours of the ruins (i'd definately do one), its amazing how many people go to the park without realising they can go into the towers, or up onto the roof and get a good view of the park. The scaffolding has been up on the front section of the towers for years now and nothing has been done. Would just like to see some restoration taking place!
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davidf159
post Jun 30 2009, 1:24 PM
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Hi guys - first post so be gentle!

I think AT are missing a bit of a trick here to be honest. Looking at the plans and images, there is a large area of land to the north of the site that is effectively cut off from the rest of the park by the access roads and car parks. My memory is a little hazy of the area - don't get the chance to go to the park that often blush.gif - so what I'm about to type might be completely impossible!!

Obviously the tree preservation orders and proximity of Alton limit the type and scale of development in the southern areas of the park - so why not take advantage of this large area to the north. New access roads towards the northern boundary to get round to the existing hotels would be a must but that is relatively low cost - roughly 400 per metre of road.

The car parks could then be placed adjacent to this new road and made into basic multi-deck car parks (like you see in some ASDA stores, cinemas etc) to maximise parking while minimising the space required. I reckon you could easily get 2 levels and maybe even 3 before you get above any height restriction.

Do all that and all of a sudden you have a massive space where the car parks are just now in which to build some lovely new toys for us all to go play on smile.gif

Move the entrance to near the hotels (there's still loads of room to expand this side of the park near the existing hotels) so it's close to the car parks, create a bigger, better Towers Street type area to reflect the existing entrance and keep the monorail in place to connect the two extreme ends of the park.

Might take a bit longer than 10 years to complete, but............
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AdamPanic
post Jun 30 2009, 1:28 PM
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QUOTE (garyholc @ Jun 29 2009, 5:23 PM) *
Out of interest, why the long thin narrow area of land to the bottom right of the map within the park boundaries, what is down here?

This is were the Eastern Access Road would enter the park.
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garyholc
post Jun 30 2009, 1:57 PM
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Hi DavidF welcome to ATA

Reaidng through the future plans it appears AT are going to be using this land to the North to make new landscaped car parks. A multi storey style parking system like you mention would not work in AT. Firstly it would look ugly and not get planning permission, and secondly these types of car parks are a hot spot for car crime. Add to this the queues to get in and out and its a receipe for disaster.

I believe AT are going to make use of the "overflow" car parks which are basically just fields. What the landscaping will be who knows, but I cant see AT digging up all the fields, if anything I think they will lay those concrete blocks with holes in them which allows the grass to still grow through while adding borders, trees etc to seperate the parking areas.

They are also suggesting moving the entrance closer to the hotels, near Gloomy Wood if you look at the diagram which has been posted in this thread. Our concern as enthusiasts is that (1) walking into Towers Street is enjoyable, especially the view of the towers as you enter, and (2) it would spell the end of the monorail and the enjoyable journey through the park to get to the entrance.
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andy talocanham
post Jun 30 2009, 3:39 PM
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Being honest, i very much doubt if they are opening another entrance they would close the other. Towers Street has the infrastructure etc to cope with the volume of people. If they are going to put in another entrance i think it should be specifically for ERT (So Hotel Guests and Annual Pass and people who booked through AT Online). This would prevent staff getting grief over letting others through and Gloomy Wood is quite a good place for ERT depending on what rides they put on (Nemesis, Air etc and RMT).

Also it could be used as an exit at the end of the day........


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davidf159
post Jun 30 2009, 3:48 PM
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Thanks for the reply gary smile.gif

I wasn't suggesting that AT should rip up their plans and start again - I just think they haven't gone far enough with them! To me it looks more like a medium term plan rather than long term - cos if the park grows as AT are hoping over the next 10 years I can see them having to go back and play around with car parks again in the future. Why not go the extra step now is all I'm saying and move at least some of the car parks as close to the north boundary as the planners will allow and create future development space inside the park itself.

A car park is going to attract crime whether it is open or multi storey - what counts is how you monitor and police it. Again spend a few quid here and the long term benefits could be much bigger. With proper planning enough exits can be provided to at least match, if not improve on, the number of exits as they stand today. As for multis being ugly, there is plenty that can be done to combat that.

The grasscrete solution you mention is a maintenance nightmare and only really meant for low use areas - be much simpler and cheaper in the long run to put in a permanent surface. The rain run off can then be used to create landscaped ponds to promote biodiversity around the edges of the site and keep the Environment Agency happy.

I'm happy to go back on my move the entrance statement - although I reckon if you asked most people going through the gates they probably don't notice the Towers!! Too excited about the rest of their day smile.gif If any new car parks are positioned well then the monorail could easily be retained in its current role - or maybe even extended. And if the land on which the current car parks are on could be used for new rides just think how much more fun the view would be if there was something to see on both sides for a large chunk of the journey!!

At the end of the day, lets hope that whatever the future brings it brings an even better AT for us all to enjoy!
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Adz
post Jun 30 2009, 4:09 PM
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I would like to see a shuttle like idea, similar to the disney parks that pick you up from the car park but still have the monorail running.


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cookiee_munster
post Jun 30 2009, 6:25 PM
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ooh, thats exciting! smile.gif i haven't taken a proper look at everything that's being proposed. i picked up on a few though.

The spinball/BH tent relocation sounds ideal. i think ive been to the park once since it opened, and remember seeing it from a distance and thinking it was ugly. it just seemed to dominate the landscape around it. If youve ever seen the submission ads they kind of went with that whole Newton's Cradle theme with the ad. Well, i guess the whole ball/gravity theme can be extended to spinball in the tent smile.gif your already supposed to be a marble on that ride anyway. so...

The entrance idea i don't really like, i guess its feasible seeing as it then becomes easier to get to, But Jeez, its not like your having to hike to get to the park... The street, its a really good place to enter, it gives you a beautiful view of the lake and the towers, it should stay that way. lets not forget that, that crumbly old building was what made it what it is today. The shops REALLY could do with a major refurb. well... when i say shopS, isnt it just one shop? i think this is where the park should look into more merchandise opportunities. They did the right thing releasing those cuddly bears. lets see some more exclusive stuff.

For years ive always been saying about building a log cabin/camping type area for guests that dont have money flowing through their veins. plus the fact that its just 'nice', considering the location of where the park is.

What id also love for them to do (and this ive also been saying for years) is for the park to invest and build a proper show/amphitheatre just near air. its the carpark just next to it. it would be a little like Fantasmic at Disney World. not really having to use loads of fire works, but more of an alternative to cut down on noise. When this isnt being used for the Halloween/closing period it can be then used for corporate events. possibly other parties wishing to use it during the summer. possibly for live music events etc. anyway, just an idea.


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darkomangagirl
post Jun 30 2009, 7:22 PM
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QUOTE (davidf159 @ Jun 30 2009, 4:48 PM) *
A car park is going to attract crime whether it is open or multi storey - what counts is how you monitor and police it. Again spend a few quid here and the long term benefits could be much bigger. With proper planning enough exits can be provided to at least match, if not improve on, the number of exits as they stand today. As for multis being ugly, there is plenty that can be done to combat that.

The grasscrete solution you mention is a maintenance nightmare and only really meant for low use areas - be much simpler and cheaper in the long run to put in a permanent surface. The rain run off can then be used to create landscaped ponds to promote biodiversity around the edges of the site and keep the Environment Agency happy.

I'm happy to go back on my move the entrance statement - although I reckon if you asked most people going through the gates they probably don't notice the Towers!! Too excited about the rest of their day smile.gif

I have to disagree. A spaced out but overall flat car park is much easier to patrol. The one in use atm leaves not that many spaces for crims to hide in, whereas a multi storey would have lots of nooks and crannies they could hide if rumbled.

Also, might just be us geeks, but seeing the Towers before you as you run down the hill/enter the park is a big thing. A sense of wonderment is created, you've arrived, to somewhere where you can forget everything and have a great day filled with magic and adrenaline.


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AdamPanic
post Jun 30 2009, 9:18 PM
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10 Year Development Plan (Combined with Survey)

I will probalbly get told off again.

By overlaying the plan onto the survey you can know see that the 2nd enterance is between the rightside of the Monorail sheds and to the left of Nemesis.
In terms of location it is about perfect for vistors from the coach park and the car parks.

The towers enterance and extended monorail (is that the activated link,a switch track?) for hotel guests.

Let imagine that the Eastern Access Road is in use. (The current access in no longer used.)
As you drive up the road you'll first see the hotels / entertainment complex on left and In front of you the new grand enterance.
Plus moving MagicHQ elsewhere, say current VIP car park or outside the 90degree bend, would open up a large area for develepent around Mutiny Bay.

This post has been edited by AdamPanic: Jun 30 2009, 9:25 PM
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Crispy
post Jul 4 2009, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE (hex @ Jun 27 2009, 12:07 PM) *
This is in todays Sentinel, with a nice quote from something Chris said smile.gif

My quote beared very little resemblance to what I actually said, journalists seem to have a good knack for doing that!
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cookiee_munster
post Jul 10 2009, 11:13 AM
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Where is everyone??? has people lost interest or something sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif


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Airtime Addict
post Jul 16 2009, 6:06 PM
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QUOTE (cookiee_munster @ Jul 10 2009, 12:13 PM) *
Where is everyone??? has people lost interest or something sad.gif sad.gif sad.gif


I think the vagueness of it all has left people a little disinterested. It's all about this might happen and that might happen, but then again might not.

It's like AT themselves have been publicly speculating much like we do, happy.gif

If we'd had more specifics (and I don't think anybody here genuinely thought we would), the projection would have sparked off more debate, I think. As it stands though, much like SW6, it'll get far more exciting once something more concrete starts to appear.


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garyholc
post Jul 22 2009, 1:45 PM
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Found this in the Sentinel, its a follow on from the 700 jobs article posted a while back:

"700 new jobs and all-year opening in Towers' sights
Monday, July 06, 2009, 08:00

ALTON Towers is set to create more than 700 jobs as it develops entertainment to cater for families all year round.

Theme park bosses have unveiled a 10-year plan to build new rides or entertainment, increase accommodation and improve infrastructure as it repositions itself as a family-orientated venue.

Building new under-cover facilities similar to the recently-opened Sea Life aquarium will help create about 735 additional on-site jobs.

And as management plans to increase admissions to 2.9 million each year from its present average of 2.3 million, it is expected a further 245 spin-off jobs will be available in the local area.

Although the park currently has 2,500 positions during the summer, the number falls to around 800 out of season.
The Post & Times revealed last week that 11,000 people had applied for a job at Alton Towers so far this year. Alton Towers divisional director Ian Crabbe said the provision of family entertainment would create an unspecified number of vacancies to fill throughout the winter.

He said: "Providing job security is especially important to Alton Towers at a time when a lot of businesses are struggling. We feel a responsibility to the area. Twelve months ago, nobody would have thought a huge company such as JCB would need to make many redundancies. But with the commitment demonstrated by our parent company Merlin through this plan, we are able to show Alton Towers will be here for a long time to come."

The plan shows Merlin Entertainments led by chief executive Nick Varney, a former marketing director at Alton Towers is ready to make a "substantial" investment in the resort. In the next five years, four new or replacement rides or entertainment areas are expected to be built.

In six to 10 years' time, six new attractions are earmarked. However, the only scheme guaranteed at the moment is the replacement of the Corkscrew with a 12 million world-first roller-coaster in 2010. It is hoped many visitors will prolong their stay in the Staffordshire Moorlands and, as revealed by the Post & Times in March, the plan outlines the need for further accommodation.

Mr Crabbe said: "We want to create a product available for 365 days a year, although the rides themselves will not be open for the full year. We look towards innovations such as Shark Bay Reef and the water park, which can attract people whatever the elements. When we come to build on the site of the former Black Hole in two years' time, it may be the case we look to create something undercover, such as a 4D cinema."

Communications manager Liz Greenwood said: "We will only look at the options available for further on-site accommodation when we can ensure our existing hotels and those in the local area have a very high occupancy level." Guest admission peaked at 3.2 million in 1994 but last summer was the busiest since 1995 and accounted for half of all visitor trips to the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The resort currently generates more than 38 million for the local economy, including businesses which rely on guests for their income, such as bed and breakfasts and restaurants. This is expected to increase by 12 million. Mr Crabbe said: "The aim of this strategy is to increase the number of multi-night stays. We want to encourage people to not only spend one day on the park but take time in the surrounding area to enjoy everything else there is to offer.
"


Interesting bit in here is the first reference to something in the Black Hole tent at long last. The 4D cinema I can see being something like the RoboArm concept we looked at a while back, there is a 4D cinema demonstration in the website video.

Seriously though, 38 million being brought to the area is an amazing sum of money, as is 11,000 people applying for 2,000 or so jobs!!! There is also another article on the site about the locals complaining that AT should once again look at building a relief road to the park.

As for the visitor numbers, I think this year is going to be a record breaker from what I have heard. From my own personal experience going there this year I have never seen the park so busy.

This post has been edited by garyholc: Jul 22 2009, 1:47 PM
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Spark
post Jul 23 2009, 9:13 PM
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Its helped with the sun running 2 4 1 all week.

Interesting to that the locals should be complaining, however i believe it will be a few which are calling for this, surely its for the council to fund?


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JCD
post Sep 23 2009, 4:33 PM
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Oh god. I really hope Enterprise doesn't go. I'd sooner get rid of Submission. Enterprise is a lot faster / better and the queue goes alot faster. Submission is very slow and only runs on one side, so I don't know why they'd choose that to go instead of Submission. :S

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cookiee_munster
post May 13 2010, 12:42 PM
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so, what exactly is on the cards next for the park?

new flat ride?

spinball can't possibly be re-located currently to the black hole tent, seeing as its just had its make-over. or could it? can it even fit in the tent?


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WillPS
post May 13 2010, 5:33 PM
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Not quite, the top of the lift and Immelman elements would have to be exposed.


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