First an indoor farmyard, then an erect nipple contest.. Now the next gimic.. Avalanche.. Is Avalanche at Chillfactore (Manchester, Uk) the worst thought out attraction idea around?
As a regular visitor to the Chillfactore in Manchester, all the snowboarders and skiers have been hit with the monstrosity waste of space that is “Avalanche”. Supposedly the huge thrill that it is, the idea is simple. You roll, in a ball, in the dark, down a little hill, and one ride will only set you back around £28 (on offer) and nearer £40 normal price. Yes you read that right, up to £40 to roll down a little hill in a dark ball. Supposedly something ‘new’, they actually used to do this in ski resorts, but instead of a little hill, would chuck you down an entire mountain (snow-sphereing/ zorbing) and were doing it in the 1980′s, I remember seeing it on a ski video from way back. Back then, the ‘balls’ were usually transparent so at least you could see out of it as the mountain rolls on by – unlike Avalanche which is a few seconds of rolling about in the dark.
Here’s the thing. Everyone’s skint. The supposed thrill ride that is Avalanche would barely be worth it if it was a fiver, let alone £40. Bare in mind that if you want a PROPER thrill you can go for a tandem skydive from 14,000 foot for not much more than double the cost of a single Avalanche ride or pop to Airkix next door for a virtual skydiving experience if heights bother you. As an ex-skydiver I assure you your money would be better spent on that than Avalanche at Chillfactore. Furthermore, Avalanche takes up half of the indoor ski slope, this results in the usuable part of the slope ending up as sheet ice very quickly, making it very dangerous and quite frankly totally crap for everyone who wants to use the Chillfactore for what it was meant for (skiing and snowboarding) .
Having sat here for an afternoon, only 2 people went on Avalanche, not surprising because of the ridiculousness of it, not to mention the expense. As I sat there today I saw snowboarders and skiers arriving at the main desk and I admit the look on their faces was pretty much ‘wtf’ in all cases as they looked onward through the window to the slope so see this big blue inflatable thing taking up half the potential snow space. I’m quite sure as I looked at their faces that many were thinking “should have gone to Castleford”. I really feel for people who had perhaps driven for a few hours to get there only to find their skiing or snowboarding session would effectively be navigating a thin passageway of sheet ice (not to mention them paying to effectively subsidise the non-functioning part of the slope).
Avalanche at the Chillfactore Manchester must surely be the worst thought out ‘attraction’ I’ve ever come across, not to mention the cost of the number of staff needed to run it for such few customers. I can understand trying to bring new revenue in to such a facility, but at the expense of the core users, that simply makes no business sense to me, particularly since there is a similar facility not far away (Castleford). I really feel for the excellent staff at Chillfactore who must be getting constant grief from people commenting about Avalanche, it must be making their jobs rather unpleasant right now. All the ‘locals’ (at the slope) I’ve spoken to wish it had never arrived, a Facebook user I read a comment from recently is wishing it would ‘pop’ as soon as possible. Perhaps management should rethink what the core (and loyal) customers of this excellent facility really want, before people start jumping in their cars to go to Castleford where skiers and snowboarders can actually ski and snowboard. The answers quite simple, we want to ski and snowboard. What do you think? Personally, as a snowboarder, I think it’s BALLS! 🙂