Business GCSE / National 5: The challenge of running a theme park

Declan Curry investigates strategies used by a family owned theme park in Cleethorpes to increase customer numbers.

This short film is in two parts with Declan visiting on opening and closing days of the season.

The owner gives Declan financial data on running costs and the number of extra customers needed to break even.

Revenue is earned from ticket sales and additional spending on drinks and food. Losses are met by the owner using their personal savings.

The impact of the new £500,000 family farm is explained. The theme park hires staff in the summer, making it a significant source of seasonal employment and income for the local economy.

The number of visitors is largely determined by the quality of rides and the weather.

Visitor numbers on opening day are disappointing, implying the business can expect another loss-making year.

However, four weeks of fine weather in August means the business attracts sufficient customers to meet its revenue targets.

The owner does not pay herself a wage, but is repaid £100,000 of money previously lent, following a successful year. A fair reward for risk taking?

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 4

Introduce the idea that more than one factor affects demand for a product. What is the most important factor affecting demand for theme park visits: price, quality of rides or external factors like the state of the economy and the weather? There are opportunities to discuss the balance of risk and reward and the benefits and drawbacks of being an entrepreneur.

Key Stage 5

Introduce the idea that forecasts are least useful when factors affecting demand are uncertain and so unpredictable. How useful is business planning such as a cash flow forecast to businesses like Pleasure Island? How useful are investment decision techniques such as payback or accounting rate of return for this business?

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching GCSE (KS4) / National 5 business.

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Kaizen - new ideas to improve productivity
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The rise and fall of Sunny Delight
How to market a new cereal
The challenge of launching a new café