After several years of financial struggles and question marks over its long-term future, the Camelot Theme Park in Lancashire, England has confirmed that it will not reopen for the 2013 season.
The park's Managing Director, Roy Page, blamed a combination of the impact of the unusually wet summer weather, the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee for another year of weak revenues. The Camelot site has previously been earmarked for a new residential development, although it not yet clear if this will proceed immediately given the ongoing downturn in the UK housing market.
Describing the decision to close the park, Page said: "Following a number of years of declining visitor numbers, the 2012 season proved particularly challenging. Whilst we have become used to inclement summer weather in the UK during the past few years, a combination of the wettest summer for 100 years, the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations followed by the spectacular television coverage of the Olympic Games during our busiest months of the summer and the school holidays had a major impact on visitors to Camelot."
"I would like to thank all the staff who have helped to make Camelot Theme Park one of the region’s most entertaining visitor attractions and our many loyal visitors for their continued support over the past 29 wonderful years."
The shuttered park is located close to the village of Charnock Richard in Lancashire, England. Despite its long-running issues, it is still home to some popular attractions, including the dizzying Whirlwind roller coaster and Excalibur 2 spinning inverter thrill ride. It is likely that several of these will be procured by other theme parks in the UK and beyond following the park's closure.
Camelot first opened back in 1983, on the site of the former "Lake of Sir Lancelot". This inspired the park's theme, which saw a number of King Arthur-themed attractions installed. For a long period, the park was twinned with the American Adventure in Derbyshire, which closed in 2007. Camelot has long been expected to meet the same fate, having suffered from declining attendances from 2006 onwards.
The park was acquired by housing developer Story Group in 2009. The credit crunch, which led to a slowdown in construction, may actually have offered the park a stay of execution, and it was subsequently leased to the Knights Leisure group which operated its rides and attractions.