Alton Towers Resort and their consultant team have produced a number of technical studies that appraise the resort's development aspirations for the next ten years.
The exhibition describes the resort's long term plan and seeks your views on the future of Alton Towers Resort. Once finalised the plan will be issued to the council to inform the review process for the production of a new supplementary planning document (SDP) for Alton Towers Resort.
Alton Towers Resort is part of a very competitive leisure and visitor attraction market and constantly reviews what it is offering in response to customer expectations. The purpose of the Long Term Plan is to provide a strategy for investment at Alton Towers Resort to ensure it remains competitive and popular.
The following is proposed between 2010 - 2014
Parking and Access
Advanced planting and landscaping on the fields to the North of the main car park to create new landscaped parking areas.
New Rides and Entertainment Areas
Four new or replacement rides of medium to large scale.
Aim to encourage multi-day stays through increased use of Alton Towers Hotels. Further on-site accommodation will be considered.
Proposed development programme enables investment in several key aspects of the site's heritage. The objectives are set out in a Conservation Management and Action Plan (CMAP) prepared in consultation with SMDC officers and English Heritage.
Woodland and Ecological Management
Alton Towers Resort invested £80,000 in woodland management over the last four years and a further £100,000 is proposed in connection with the 2010 coaster development. Further woodland management will be funded by the long term plan with even wider ecological benefits.
The following is proposed between 2015 - 2019
Parking and Access Issues
Phased implementation of new landscaped parking areas on the fields to the North of the main car park. Relocate parking from existing southern car park into the new areas. Additional landscaping to existing areas.
New Rides and Entertainment Areas
There is a desire to form a connection between the existing hotel area and the theme park through a number of indoor and outdoor attractions. The plan also allows for six new or replacement medium to large sized attractions.
Further on-site accommodation will be considered at the Resort.
Heritage and Woodland
Further progress of heritage investments is proposed along with further investment into woodland and ecological management.
Technical studies performed by Atkins Transport Consultants to assess the traffic effects arising from the Long Term Plan indicate that there is no requirement for a relief road to be constructed.
Annual admissions reached a peak of around 3.2m in 1994. The average number of admissions over the last ten years was 2.3m.
The 2008 season was the busiest since 1995 yet there were only 5 days where admission numbers exceeded 20,000.
Following promotion and advertising Alton Towers Resort has increased the proportion of families visiting from 35% to 50%. Family visitors reduce trip generation as they are more likely to stay overnight and travel in high occupancy vehicles.
The increasing Resort short break market has successfully reduced vehicle trips per admission and also had the effect of reducing the numbers of trips made by coaches (which cause traffic problems when navigating tight corners around the villages).
Manage peak periods by adjusting opening hours and promoting quiet periods. Use advanced ticket sales and seasonal pricing measures to smooth out attendance (and hence the number of vehicle trips) across the season. There is consideration of extending the park season to further spread attendance.
To improve traffic flows in local villages a new traffic liaison group will be created to monitor and review the success of the transport strategy. A routing and signage strategy will be employed on local roads and use of the website to promote all modes of transport (especially public transport) will be improved. Small scale engineering projects may be considered within the surrounding villages and the vicinity of the Main Resort Access Gates.
An outline development map was on display including the following items:
Spinball Whizzer was indicated on the map as possibly being relocated in future (no indication of whether this was on Resort or to another Merlin attraction).
2x additional accommodation sites to the East of the existing hotels plus a further lodge/camp development to the North East of the Alton Towers Hotel.
Illustration of the activated link area between the hotels and Forbidden Valley area of the park, this area would contain entertainment with a further entertainment area suggested to the North of the Alton Towers Hotel.
Several areas were highlighted as retheming and regeneration opportunity areas:
Chris Bennett, live from Alton Towers Resort