butlins plans

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butlins plans

Postby minehead forever » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:48 pm

with it being reported that skeg is inline for a new splash pool what else do you expect to happen at the camps over the next few years,and if you had influence at bourne what would your wishlist be?.
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Postby pushbutton » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:01 pm

Apart from the 3rd hotel at Bognor and the Skegness Splash upgrade I don't know what else they have planned at the moment and I can't even really make an educated guess, other than that they might do even more landscapi(yawn, I can't even finish typing it)!

If I had influence here's what I'd do this coming winter (January-February 2012) at Minehead. I haven't thought much about what I'd do at the other camps but since Bognor's already getting the third hotel and Skeggys already getting Splash upgraded it seems only fair to concentrate on Minehead!

Here's what I'd do at Minehead this winter if I could, without needing to spend massive money (I could do much more if I could spend massive money though).

    Internally refurbish the Crazy Horse and from next year have shows in there every evening after Bingo, and competitions or dancing every afternoon.

    Repaint the exterior walls of all the main entertainments buildings, simply painting over the parts that were painted last year in that awful khaki colour, replacing it with the same light, fresh shade of blue that's been used on BlueSkies.

    Remove the paint that is covering some of the windows on the Princes Building, and install automatic blackout blinds so that the interior of Centre Stage can still be darkened as required.

    Install attractive new illuminated signs on the entrances to the Crazy Horse, Laundrette, First Aid room, and Arts and Crafts room. All of these are currently lacking any decent signage and I don't know how guests are supposed to find them!

    I'd also put much better signage on the cinema entrance and a free-standing sign outside the skyline entrance nearest the cinemas directing people to the cinemas.

    Replace the now outdated "BUTLINS" sign at the main entrance with an attractive new one featuring the new logo.

    Revamp the outdoor pool. Keep it in the same place but just make it bigger (there's plenty of space around it) and deeper so it is suitable for adults and kids of all ages to actually swim in. Make it heated, put attractive new sunbeds around it, open a cafe next to it or inside Splash, and install some jumping fountains and perhaps a few other fun water features next to it for kids (and big kids) to play in.

    Move the laser skirmish centre to the old rehearsals room (and get the operator to fit it out to a much higher standard than the current laser skirmish if they want to continue operating it) and convert the existing laser skirmish back into Green Biase.

    Put canoes and pedalos on the old water-skiing lake.

    Have the road train do laps around the camp throughout most days (although on changeover days it would still go to reception and take campers to their chalets like it does now). The road train should no longer ever go out of the camp and it should be free for guests to use as a means of transport around the camp, stopping at designated (and signposted) points around the camp including the water-skiing lake, funfair, dining halls and near the Princes and Regency buildings.

    Make the jumping pillow, bouncy castle, Adventure Golf and Green Baise and the tables in Hotshots all free for guests to use.

    Have films start in the cinemas every day at 10am, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. 2 of these would be new release movies at a subsidised price, and the rest would be slightly older movies, free of charge.

    Have the funfair open 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, and 6pm-9pm every day and install a motion simulator, new dodgems that you can actually bump in, and a medium size rollercoaster to increase the range of rides.

    Put a small plaque on the wall of chalet A13 in Blue Camp stating that it was used by Sir Billy Butlin whenever he visited.

    Go back to calling the areas of accommodation Red, Yellow, Green and Blue camp and paint the end walls of each chalet line in the corresponding colour (bright, modern shades rather than simple primary colours).

    Have Splash open till at least 7pm, maybe 8pm every night.

    Have Green Biase open till 10pm every night.

    Convert the old BlueSkies sales office into a "shooting gallery" type arcade game stall (opening onto the Gaeity Green by means of a roller shutter at the front).

    Make the area where the Annexe was into a Segway track, and buy Segways to be used (free of charge) by guests. I know that area was only landscaped last year but whilst it currently looks quite nice it is totally useless, so dig it up and make it a segway track so people can actually enjoy it!

    Make it free to hire bikes and family bikes from the hire shop (just ask for photo ID, an activated chalet keycard, and a decent deposit to ensure bikes are not stolen or damaged).

    Make the high ropes free by terminating the contract with K2 and just training a few of Butlin's own staff to run it. It doesn't cost much to maintain and just needs 3 or 4 staff to operate it. No reason to charge guests to use it and it could be a major attraction if it was free.

    Upgrade Ocean Druce internally in a similar style to that recently used at Coral Beach in Skegness. However keep it open-plan as it is rather than divide it up into smaller sections like they did in Coral Beach Skegness. Also keep plenty of food serveries too.
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Postby pushbutton » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:21 pm

I'd make the "skybar" at Skegness free entry, and I'd make the following changes to dining at all camps.

In ALL dining halls at all camps I would introduce a little more variety at Breakfast time, so for example it might be pork sausages one day and beef or chicken sausages the next. One day you might get hash browns the next it could be sliced potatoes. Sometimes there might be mushrooms, other days cooked tomatoes etc. At the moment breakfast is just far too repetitive. The overall quality of breakfast cooked food would be improved a little if possible (I know it's hard when they're cooking for so many people though) and I'd introduce a better choice of cereals, again with different varieties available each day. One cereal I'd love to see in the premium dining halls would be Granola (basically oat clusters with saltanas, like Quaker Granola, or Harvest Crunch as they used to call it when I was a kid!)

In premium dining you would be guaranteed FRESHLY MADE omelettes AND pancakes EVERY DAY, without fail, no excuses! Contrary to what the so-called chef in the Minehead Yacht Club thinks, "Freshly made" does not mean a pile of cold pancakes on a tray covered in cling film and left on a shelf in a cupboard under the counter! It means only made when a customer orders it. Omelettes and pancakes are the quickest and easiest foods to prepare and make a big difference to the quality and choice of breakfast foods. Oh, and I thought this went without saying, but where there are pancakes there should always be lemon wedges and maple syrup. Seems obvous to me but apparently it's not to whoever buys the jams and spreads etc for the Yacht Club.

In standard dining I'd install automatic pancake machines where you just press a button and it makes a pancake by plopping some mixture onto the conveyor belt that slowly travels along under a heating element then drops the cooked pancake onto your plate. I've seen these in Sea World Resort in the Gold Coast and they work well. Not as good as a freshly made pancake cooked by a chef, but perfectly good enough for standard.

I'd also ensure croissants were available for breakfast in all dining halls.

I'd introduce a bit more variety at dinner to ensure the same foods are never, ever repeated on consecutive days no matter what (deserts included).
Last edited by pushbutton on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Joker » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:06 pm

I was told about the Splash upgrade a couple of years or should I say I was told if they didn't get a Hotel they were in line for an upgrade to Splash having said the same person also said that what remains of the Ingoldmells hotel would be removed owing to the roof needing thousands spent on it.

It would be interesting to find out what the plans are for the land that Bourne have acquired at Minehead.

As for a wish list how about a 76th anniversary break :D

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Postby minehead forever » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:14 pm

alex you say the land minehead HAS aquired,do you know this as fact and if so what piece of land,because i can't get my head around this rumour,as i can't see were the land is coming from.
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Postby minehead forever » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:38 pm

since bourne took on butlins,for me minehead is the main camp which seems to of been overlooked the most in terms of investment.
apart from planting shrubs everywere nothing major seems to of changed.
whatever they have planned for minehead,and as yet we don't even know if anything is planned,i truly hope the main layout is kept as it is,
the princess will stay no matter what,the regency is screaming for investment,minehead can in know way afford to let this building go.
the gaiety green is untouchable as well.any attempts to remove this will totally ruin the the look of the camp as the green makes a nice gap between the accom lines and the entertainment area.the green is full of happy summer memories and minehead just wouldn't be the same without it.its an original feature and unlike skeggy,it wasn't made by demolishing chalets.hopefully we should know more when its gala dinner time.
theres plenty of room at minehead for some great free activities,but as i've said before i won't book again until bourne changes its attitude towards the brand.
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Postby pushbutton » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:30 am

minehead forever wrote:since bourne took on butlins,for me minehead is the main camp which seems to of been overlooked the most in terms of investment.
apart from planting shrubs everywere nothing major seems to of changed.


Which is why it's my favourite camp!

I'm not necessarily against change if it was change for the better, but most of Bournes investment has resulted in change for the worse, so I'm glad they've at least left Minehead largely intact (although they have demolished several buildings lately).

I totally agree they need to change their attitude and start listening to what their most loyal guests keep telling them they want.

They seem to be relying mainly on attracting new guests but I fear many of them won't necessarily end up becoming lifelong fans like us because there just isn't enough about modern Butlin's to make them lifelong fans. I think most newer guests are either just going to try it once or twice because it's not a bad place to take the kids, or in some cases they're going because it's a slightly cheaper or less hassle alternative to going abroad at the moment.

I don't think Butlin's can rely on them long term because they won't necessarily keep on coming back.

On the other hand they have many thousands of lifelong fans who don't just think Butlin's is an ok place for an ok break once or twice, but who actually have a deep passion for Butlin's and always will.

That passion is mainly driven by the memories lifelong Butlin's fans have of how Butlin's USED TO BE, not by how it is now.

I am certain that many of these lifelong fans have already been totally alienated from Butlin's and don't go anymore because they believe (quite rightly) that it's not very good anymore.

What Bourne should be doing is forming a strategy to re-engage their loyal fans with Butlin's so they'll keep on going back for more, or start going again in the case of those who currently don't. Bringing back the original logo and redcoat uniform is an excellent start to such a strategy, but I fear it's all they're planning on doing in that regard and by itself it's nowhere near enough!

By all means they should try to attract new guests too, but not at the expense of lifelong fans. That's just a slow method of brand suicide!
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Postby minehead forever » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:12 am

well said push,your summary of bournes management at the moment is perfect,changing the brand too much will alienate old regular guests who have grown up with the real butlins and its the memories as you say that keep them coming back year after year not the shrubs or x factor rejects.
if i've given up on butlins i'm sure theres others who have as well.
bourne are to blinkered on investment.i think the idea was to upgrade all the accom to a point that they could shake off all the bad reviews about accom then charge the bloody earth,as now adays most are happy if there chalet is clean and modern.
this has meant that everything else has suffered.i have said before that i'm not convinced that butlins have the right ownership,because as far as i can see the path butlins is on with bourne is one to a place were butlins is a brand in name only.
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Postby pushbutton » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:15 pm

Yes Bourne have done some good things (like bring back the logo and uniform) and they have made Butlin's a lot more profitable than it was. However I don't like the overall direction they're taking it which is basically to become little more than a glorified caravan park with one or two hotels and a couple of basic amenities you have to pay for, and some very poor quality entertainment you have to pay for.

I suppose that's just the kind of business Bourne is. Ideally it would probably be much better if Butlin's were taken over by a major high-quality theme park operator such as Merlin entertainments or Disney. Perhaps not Disney though on second thoughts because they'd probably want to rebrand Butlin's as Disneyland, and that certainly wouldn't work!

However I could see Merlin entertainments doing a fantastic job of overhauling Butln's (in a GOOD way) and really investing in making it exciting and fun again.

Who knows. I doubt Bourne have any plans to sell Butlin's at the moment but it could happen.
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Postby minehead forever » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:42 pm

minehead forever wrote:since bourne took on butlins,for me minehead is the main camp which seems to of been overlooked the most in terms of investment.
apart from planting shrubs everywere nothing major seems to of changed.
whatever they have planned for minehead,and as yet we don't even know if anything is planned,i truly hope the main layout is kept as it is,
the princess will stay no matter what,the regency is screaming for investment,minehead can in know way afford to let this building go.
the gaiety green is untouchable as well.any attempts to remove this will totally ruin the the look of the camp as the green makes a nice gap between the accom lines and the entertainment area.the green is full of happy summer memories and minehead just wouldn't be the same without it.its an original feature and unlike skeggy,it wasn't made by demolishing chalets.hopefully we should know more when its gala dinner time.


well since i wrote this a lot has come to light,and it was only a few months ago,spooky that i'm writing about the things that i don't want touched and now we know they're planning to take the whole damn lot away.
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Postby pushbutton » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:40 pm

Hmm, well we know now!

Let's just hope we can somehow convince them to keep at least some of what's most important to us. I very much doubt they'll let us keep all of it though.

I agree the Gaeity Green is absolutely sacred and the overall layout of the camp is too.
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Postby minehead forever » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:24 pm

just found this information,which is basically planning permission for the new archery centre,which has just been passed,but in the planning report is referred to as butlins holiday park,is there anything to read into that phrase.
its the first time under bourne i've heard it phrased like that,obviously at the moment its butlins resort.
http://www.westsomerset.gov.uk/online-a ... -12793.pdf
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