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Blackpool: the Las Vegas of Lancashire?

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Sheffield Hallam University School of Environment and Development Course: MSc Urban Regeneration Module: ECONOMIC REGENERATION Tutors: Paul Cormack and Andy Cropper Blackpool: the Las Vegas of Lancashire? A Marketing Strategy Produced by Musmirah Fatima-Shahzada November 2003 INTRODUCTION Blackpool is the original seaside destination and a model for other hotspots like Coney Island and Atlantic City (Jerde Partnership, 2003). Blackpool still remains the largest seaside resort in the UK but since the 1990s Blackpool has experienced a 30% drop in tourism (Jerde Partnership, 2003). Blackpool Borough Council commissioned EDAW together with experienced architects The Jerde Partnership to prepare a masterplan for central Blackpool. The need for the masterplan was clear, to transform the seaside resort from slow and steady decline to a future of achievable and sustained growth (EDAW, 2003). This report looks at where Blackpool has come from, where it is now and where it hopes to be. It will evaluate the effectiveness of Blackpool's strategy, examining the expectations and demands of the stakeholders. If will also examine the support of the proposed actions plans by the stakeholders and the local community. History Blackpool takes its name from 'le pull', a stream which drains Marton Mere and Marton Moss into the sea. The stream runs through peat lands which discolour the water hence the name Black Poole (Blackpool Borough Council, 2003). In the late 1700s Blackpool was frequented by the landed gentry following a national craze for sea bathing and the drinking of seawater (Blackpool Borough Council, 2003). ...read more.


and those which will constitute the demand for the Blackpool product. However, market competitors will also be less direct stakeholders in Blackpool - these could include competitor resort casino operators (Las Vegas, Australia's Gold Coast, Sun City) and other 'mini-break' destinations (Center Parcs, Euro Disney, Amsterdam, Dublin etc.) and UK weekend-break destinations (Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, London etc.) Since achieving the new Blackpool product will require huge and comprehensive changes to the physical and economic make-up of the borough, the process will require both a clear vision and a robust business plan, supported by the many stakeholders. Moreover, it will require a credible leader with the necessary skills, experience drive and determination to realise the vision. There are likely to be significant obstacles to achieving the new Blackpool, therefore a strong leader will essential in order to retain the support and enthusiasm of all the projects varied stakeholders. In order to gain extensive stakeholder support for the new Blackpool, their (probably) disparate expectations must be recognised and subsequently acted upon. Once stakeholders have been identified, a process of consultation should take place to discover what they want Blackpool to be. This will inform the visioning exercise and if stakeholder views are acted on, assist in building consensus. With a large range of stakeholders, it would be appropriate to adopt a flexible and multi-faceted approach to consultation; different methods (exhibitions, 'listening' events, newspaper articles, focus groups, public meetings, questionnaires) ...read more.


* Timescale issues * Funding issues * No casino operator secured * New gambling bill not enacted until 2006 at the earliest * Planning issues * Old Blackpool image might remain; will new market sectors want to come to Blackpool? What happens if the gaming laws don't change? Blackpool Council leader Roy Fisher has stated that ' We believe the relaxation of the gaming laws will happen, which is why we're trying to harness the positive potential of that development now. However, casinos are just one facet of the wide ranging draft masterplan that includes building a host of other new attractions and facilities. Rest assured, the council is absolutely committed to a major programme of regeneration for Blackpool. With or without casinos, we are determined that Blackpool will be transformed once again into a destination of truly national and international calibre.' (Blackpool Today, 2003). In addition to this the Jerde Partnership (2003) acknowledge that the gaming reforms are an important ingredient in Blackpool's strategy but they are not required for success COMPETITORS U.K. * Seaside resorts (e.g. Southport, Lytham, Brighton, Scarborough) * City-break destinations (e.g. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, London) * Mini-break destinations (e.g. Centre Parcs) * Conference centres (e.g. Harrogate, Brighton, Bournemouth) * Theme Parks (e.g. Alton Towers, Lightwater Valley, Legoland, Chessington) * 'Hen & Stag' destinations (e.g. Nottingham, Chester, York, Newcastle) Abroad. * Casino resorts (e.g. Las Vegas, Sun City, Gold Coast) * Theme Parks (Euro Disney, Disneyworld Orlando, Disneyland Los Angeles) * Package holiday destinations (e.g. Spain, Greece, Tenerife, Florida) * Conference destinations in other European cities * 'Hen & Stag' destinations (e.g. ...read more.

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