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Lightwater Valley - Future?

CrashCoaster

CF Legend
I was thinking, what will happen to Lightwater Valley in the future? Will it close down? Will it get a new roller coaster or new flat rides? What are your opinions?
 
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gavin

Administrator
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It'll stumble on as it has been for a good few years I reckon, but it'll be a very long time before there's major addition again, if at all.
 

ukthemeparkfan

Roller Poster
Hi new member I think a small spinning coaster like twistosaurs at flamingo land could go in and maybe a flat ride brought from a travelling fair. But I don't think they can afford much more.
 

lachlan

Mega Poster
I went to Lightwater Valley earlier this year, and it was busy. I don't think they will close anytime soon.

I hope they can get something big in the future. There are lots of fun rides, but the only thing I wanted to re-ride was Ultimate. I hope they can get the other train back again, the queue was by far the longest in the park.
 

Mushroom

Goon of the Year
ukthemeparkfan said:
Hi new member I think a small spinning coaster like twistosaurs at flamingo land could go in and maybe a flat ride brought from a travelling fair. But I don't think they can afford much more.
What's the point when they already have twister
 

CrashCoaster

CF Legend

Rupert

Mega Poster
Fantastic news, good on them. Key thing for us of course will be whether they can get The Ultimate back up and running - it’ll be absolutely gutting if they don’t.

This is good though:
For its last full year of uninterrupted trading, being the 12 months ended 28 February 2019, Lightwater Valley recorded sales of £5.1m, EBITDA of £1.1m, and pre tax profits of £0.6m.

Obviously Covid was a disaster for the park, but good to see they were still turning a profit the year before, even if not huge - I’d been worried they were operating at a loss (and I’m sure they were last year of course).

Good to see the new owners plan growth - feels like the park has stagnated for so long:
Its board said it believed the “extensive space” at Lightwater Valley provided a “long-term growth opportunity” for the group to develop and expand the park.

That acquisition executed on the company's stated strategy to create a growth group, operating across a wide variety of leisure and entertainment assets in the UK.

It was the company’s intention to position itself as a consolidator in the sector.

“I believe that we can develop Lightwater Valley into the premier amusement destination across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas,” said chief executive officer Anne Ackord.

Glad to see the park saved from closure, that’s the main thing. Hopefully there is some money left over to invest and improve the offering - even the small things like food and toilets needs an improvement.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
You never know… I’m not suggesting that Brighton Pier Company will be able to immediately turn the park around, but I agree with @Coaster Chall YouTube in thinking that this is positive news for the park. They clearly intend to do things with it, and if they can at very least get The Ultimate back open and put some new ride hardware in, then I reckon the park could be on the road to success!
 

Ian

From CoasterForce
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Not a bad move for Brighton Pier Company. Let’s face it, LWV has become a fairground type attraction in recent years, so it’s a good fit. It’ll be interesting to see if LWV continues along that vein or will BPC see it an opportunity to expand into the “themed” industry.
 
Seems like good news to me! I really hope the ultimate can get up and running again, if at all possible doing so this season would be a huge boost as we're all forced to take staycations and it's a headline attraction. it's a shame they couldn't of saved it before raptor attack left though.
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
Obviously Covid was a disaster for the park, but good to see they were still turning a profit the year before, even if not huge - I’d been worried they were operating at a loss (and I’m sure they were last year of course).
I think this has been the case for a while. The park has generally been profitable, just not profitable enough for any of the previous owners to take the plunge and invest to keep it that way.

Here's hoping they do something worthwhile with the place. Given that the park has already got rid of most of its flagship attractions, I suppose the question becomes whether they'll add worthwhile new attractions to bring back the family market, or whether they'll just sit back and make a small income on the children's rides that remain. The park definitely won't feel the same with Raptor Attack or the Eagle's Claw gone, but if the new owners are willing to make a proper effort, this could be good news.

It can't exactly get any worse for the place, at least.
 
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Pokemaniac

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Good to hear these news while The Ultimate is still standing. Given a few more years, it would possibly be beyond saving.

Still, as others have pointed out, the park is already quite gutted. Lightwater Valley isn't standing on the edge of the cliff, it has been tumbling for a while. Many of its staple attractions are well beyond saving, as they have been sold off years ago. Getting back to where they were at the turn of the previous decade - and that wasn't a very good spot either - will take a lot of effort.

So as @MouseAT said, I think the owners will have to make a choice. Go back to being a thrill attractions park, or continue as a scaled-down operation? The former involves an expensive effort to claw back what was lost, and yet more if they actually want to improve from that point (and remember, they'll be fighting the effects of wear and tear the entire time). The latter may be more manageable. Salvage what's left, and secure a steadily profitable small-scale operation.

Still, there's a bit hope for The Ultimate now, at least.
 

Jamss

Roller Poster
Ride Rater has had an interview with the new owners, discussing the future of the park and The Ultimate.

“[The Ultimate] is not dead in the water. It needs some work doing on it, [but] we are more than conscious of its iconic status. “If we can do something with it, then we will. Obviously safety has got to be the priority, so in due course we will have a look at it and make sure it complies with modern standards. Ms Ackord described the Ultimate as “quite fascinating” and “quite a feature”. She said: “It is quite unique. There are options to shorten it a little bit [or] to change its track.” “You wouldn’t want something that large in your back garden and not be able to use it, would you?”

Full Article: https://riderater.co.uk/9058/lightwater-valley-owners-to-look-at-ultimate/
 

Fleetwood_Mack

Roller Poster
They've done a really good job sprucing up Brighton Palace Pier which was similarly in a precarious position (structurally, not financially) under the previous owners so this could be a promising new start for LWV! Palace Pier makes an absolute mountain of money each summer so I should imagine they've definitely got the means to knock LWV into shape!
 

MouseAT

Hyper Poster
I think the owners will have to make a choice. Go back to being a thrill attractions park, or continue as a scaled-down operation?
The problem is, there's now a big gap between the thrill tier of The Ultimate, and what the park decided to retain prior to the sale. They've not been a proper thrill park in a very long time, but were doing OK in the "something for all the family" market until last year.

If they're looking to bring back The Ultimate, they're going to need to somehow bridge the gap between the young kids and those brave enough to ride the flagship ride. They're down a spinning mouse, a wildcat, and a water ride now, all of which sat firmly in that accessible middle tier, and whilst they might not necessarily need to replace all of them in order to recapture a broader audience, they desparately need to add something along those lines if they want to make the park sustainable with a wider audience.

Ride Rater said:
[The Ultimate] is not dead in the water. It needs some work doing on it, [but] we are more than conscious of its iconic status. “If we can do something with it, then we will. Obviously safety has got to be the priority, so in due course we will have a look at it and make sure it complies with modern standards. Ms Ackord described the Ultimate as “quite fascinating” and “quite a feature”. She said: “It is quite unique. There are options to shorten it a little bit [or] to change its track.”
That has a me a bit concerned, to be honest. I want to hope, but can't help feel like my hopes are about to be crushed. They seem to be implying they want to make more extensive changes to the ride than simple repair and maintenance. That implies that they're wanting to re-work the ride in order to reduce maintenance burden, which in turn suggests that they'd be looking to make changes to profiling, and reduce the insanity of the ride. There's a few places where you could probably smooth out the ride without impacting on it too much, like the turns into the tunnels at the end, but if they plan on trying to tame some of the other sections, it'll lose everything that makes the ride special. It's only the insanity of the ride that makes it stand out compared with its more sane competition; Take that away, and you're left with a dull, low level meander through some woodland. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.

I suppose maybe that'd be one strategy to narrow the gap between The Ultimate and the rest of the park, though. If they don't want to bring the rest of the park up to the level of the flagship, bring the flaghsip down closer to the level of everything else in the park.
 

Steely Dan

Roller Poster
Wonderful to hear that the Ultimate may just yet live to roll another day again!

Regardless of where things "ultimately" fall, this news is certainly still a development in the positive direction for the time being.
 
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