Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Mr Guinness, Nov 12, 2010.
Oh dear Pontins......
BBC news..... here
Be interesting to see how this develops.
Pontins gone into administration
Holiday camp company Pontin's has been placed into administration, the accountancy firm KPMG has said.
The company, famous for its Bluecoats entertainers, currently runs five parks, all of which will continue to trade as normal, KPMG added. No redundancies have been made.
In 2009, Pontin's announced a £50m plan to redevelop its centres but was forced to close Blackpool Park.
Pontin's was established in 1946 and employs 850 people.
It was bought by Oceans Park for £46m in 2008.
KPMG said it was in the process of appointing an experienced leisure operator to the company in order that it can "continue trading and ensure that guests' holiday expectations are met."
It added that it intended to honour all reservations.
"Pontin's is an iconic British brand which forms the backdrop to thousands of treasured family holiday memories," said Jane Moriarty, joint administrator at KPMG.
"It has unfortunately struggled in the current economic environment but, with some support from new management, we are optimistic that it will be part of thousands of family memories in the years to come."
I gather that this has been brewing for some time. Staff have been laid off at their holiday camps.
Threads merged . . . but will continue trading for the present time
Interesting to see that Pontins has gone into administration. Where does the Championship go from here?
Does this mean we will never see the Chalets refurbished? No more sticky carpets? Shame.
Beat me to it..although it could of course mean that EVERYTHING gets refurbished. I suppose the continuation of the Championship would depend on how profitable it is when the new owners (should any be found of course) look at the books. Having said that, for the sake of everyone who works for them I hope the situation is sorted soon.
All that prime seafront land. Expect it to be snapped up by a developer who'll sit tight waiting on the recession to ease.
Suppose all the knockers from last month will be happy now Dave. Another nail in the brass band coffin. what a great shame, sticky carpets, smelly chalets, **** beer, **** weather, **** catering, **** judges, **** pieces....**** everything!!!!..all for 14 quid a night!!... but i've enjoyed every weekend since 1974!! i only hope Butlins doesn't start to smell!!!..that'll be **** then too eh!!
To be honest I was surprised to see this years championships go ahead after being told about the state of the company by one of the (redundant) managers from the (now non existant) Blackpool site.
Dont talk tripe! Noone will be glad its gone bust but lets face it, their lack of investment over the years has left it in the 60's. People have simply voted with their feet.
Pontins haven't gone bust simply because a few bands have decided that butlins is better.
Their investment levels and business sense have been flawed for years.
Hopefully someone will buy the business and invest a decent amount of money. If not it will be a serious shame for banding but we certainly wont be to blame for their demise.
The administrators sound optimistic about finding a buyer but I honestly don't see what grounds they have for this. Look at the competition. Butlins are a far slicker outfit and Center Parcs offer much better facilities. There are even caravan park operators like Haven and smaller private concerns who offered more than Pontins. Sad to say but that may be it for the Pontins contest, which is a real pity as I always enjoyed my weekends in Prestatyn.
This is sad news, as another very 'British' institution suffers the consequences of the present recession.
As a previous poster says, Pontins has been a part of the banding calendar since 1974 and has contributed greatly to our movement.
Faciliies aside, we will miss this contest if it does die.
I have many happy memories of band weekends at Brean Sands and Prestatyn, very social - and very competitive!
We too often throw away tradition in this country. I just hope that someone with the money will step in and save the company and return it to something resembling a modern, British, family holiday destination (and keep the contest going!).
About time too. A company with such a bad attitude to customer service deserves to go bust. When my kids were young I once bought a weekend break out of one of the tabloid papers. 3 nights for £9.50 and you know what - I felt ripped off. The standard of accommodation and facilities were diabolical. I have boarded a cat in better places.
If the brass band movement feels it needs another weekend away competition then it should approach Haven or Hoseasons who have well maintained parks with good quality chalets and static caravans and at least make an attempt to satisfy the customer.
Good riddance to Pontins I say.
I think if the right investors are found Pontins might bounce back but would they still want to run the band contest is the question?
I would say that depends on whether or not it makes a profit when everything is taken into consideration (receipts, repeat trade, advertising via word of mouth etc)
Harsh! The Haven/Hoseasons suggestion is good though. :clap:
So very true as well, it would be nice to see how Pontins as done over the last 2/3 years with profit on the contest as no company are going to run a contest with not making a profit etc.
How is it a nail in the brass band coffin? And what, precisely, has Pontins contributed to brass banding? Apart from a high level of illegitimacy...
Pontins started running the band contests so they could fill their horrible chalets at a quiet time of year, and to replace revenue lost when people realised they would rather fly to Marbella than drive to Prestatyn. Those of us of a more, erm, mature persuasion will remember that they used to run 3 qualifying contests at Easter, which were stopped as soon as falling numbers made them unprofitable. When has the Pontins contest ever commissioned a test-piece? Or tried a new adjudication process? Or in fact contributed anything to banding apart from a few seedy venues? As soon as the bar takings for a brass band weekend drop below an acceptable threshhold it would have been dropped anyway, and replaced by Ballroom Dancing, or a 70s weekend, or something.
This idea that Pontins has somehow been a philanthropic benefactor to banding is so laughable that I don't know where to start. I very much doubt it will be missed by many. Attendances have been noticeably falling for years. Butlins raised the bar, unfortunately for Pontins. And yes, woe betide Butlins if they fall below the standard they've set for themselves. Bands, and families in particular, just won't put up with it any more, and why should we?
I've been going to Pontins for 22 years on and off. It has never improved, and bands have voted with their feet. By the look of the figures, that's an approach mirrored by the wider public. Its time had passed, decades ago. The true "nail in banding's coffin" is this apparently widely held idea that everything in banding should stay as it was in 1974 - venues, music, adjudicators(!), adjudication process, concert programmes, uniforms - and that represents some sort of strategic approach that will keep bands going for another century. I fail to see how the passing of an outdated and largely unpleasant contest after 36 years is "throwing away tradition". Good riddance to it.
My one regret is that there are now many more people whose jobs are in jeopardy in the run-up to Christmas.
Once again Anno, you highlight the very point that I was making.
I am not supporting the facilities - or their business practices, purely stating a fact that we are becoming a cold, throw-away society, that soon forgets contributions to the many 'cultures' that enhance the quality of our lives.
It might not be a 'modern' contest, the facilities for accommodation are indeed poor when considering the average expectations of the word 'comfort' - but... once we lose these established contests, the chances of a similar/better event being established, is practically nil.
Butlins is indeed established and thriving, but a January contest is not an ideal time of the year for most bands to be near their peak. (The Christmas break is also an established tradition - or should we cancel Christmas too?!)
I totally agree that profit is the driving force behind any company, we should however give the company, and the organising contest committee, some recognition for maintaining and financially supporting, a major, annual event on the Brass Band calendar, for all these years.
Were the Pontins contest to fall by the wayside then I would hope that the Butlins organisers may give some thought to filling that gap in the calendar by moving their contest back closer to the traditional date of the mineworkers when it was held in Blackpool. My own band supported the mineworkers for many years but now find that a January date doesn't fit in with the bands schedule around the christmas and new year period.
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