Alton Towers Rollercoaster Accident Set to Cost Owners Big Money

By James O Malley on at

Merlin Entertainments, which owns Alton Towers, has said that it is expecting a huge drop in profits following the accident on the park's Smiler rollercoaster on 2nd June.

The BBC reports that the collision could cost the company up to £47m. This brings expected profits down to around £40-50m from £80m last year.

Sixteen people were on the ride when the roller coaster car collided with an empty one. In the end, two people ended up having legs amputated and several other passengers broke bones in the accident.

The expected loss is presumably a combination of factors: not just compensation payouts and the fact that Alton Towers was closed for several days after the accident, but also the knock-on effects of potential visitors being scared off. The BBC reports that visitors numbers to both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park (which is also owned by Merlin) are down.

Since the accident, safety procedures have apparently been tightened on all rides and Smiler itself has remained closed. Merlin is apparently expecting the disruption to continue into 2016. So hey, if you're not phased by it, now could be a great time to visit Alton Towers and not experience long queues.

Has the Smiler accident made you more reticent to visit theme parks? Or would you still have a go? Let us know in the comments. [BBC]