Our very own winter wonderland writes Andy Mitchell
The clocks have gone back, the darker evenings with us, half term is over, and usually, Blackpool would be planning to put its feet up for a well deserved break… but not this year.
Ever since the resort bounced back in a record breaking way from one of its darkest years, with recorded figures topping 11m Promenade visitors during the height of the summer holidays, tourism chiefs have been planning for a spot of extra special icing on the cake.
This Monday morning won’t see the shutters down along the Golden Mile. The carriages on the Central Pier wheel will stay attached for while longer, and Blackpool’s red carpet will be rolled out yet again for an extended season through until New Year.
Already we have been given a glimpse of what’s going to be on offer this autumn as we fight to get those valuable tourists enjoying, and spending their way through Christmas.
The little huts on the Comedy Carpet have proved to be a big draw as part of the Half Term Lightpool Festival, serving fabulous food to accompany an exciting evening out on the Prom.
Now the Winter Wonderland attractions are set to ramp up with Christmas Markets on offer and even festive Heritage tram rides from North Pole (sorry Pier!)
This is a terrific example of what joined up thinking across town can mean for an excited audience wanting extra entertainment long after the other resorts really have put up the “closed” signs.
The Pleasure Beach has announced its staying open for winter weekends and the fun is set to roll for many weeks to come.
Hotels in town are already reporting full houses for the run up to Christmas.
This really is a chance to see if a 52 week resort is possible. Early indications suggest the demand is there. Those who’ve discovered Blackpool for the first time this year because they couldn’t go abroad, could still make a welcome return for short breaks.
Holiday bosses say, whilst they don’t expect a repeat of this year when millions opted to stay at home for holidays, they could well choose Blackpool again alongside an international break next summer.
In the meantime I look forward to seeing the autumn figures for what promises to be an exciting few weeks.
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