2011 has proven a very important year for Airgates, as we started what we hope will be an engaging and relevant information and news site regarding both the theme park and visitor attraction industries.
Taking off from the basic idea of Thrillmaster, Airgates began on 1st April 2011 with little fanfare, but with a bold future with which there is still much to do. Park Guides and Industry News will always be at the forefront of what we’re trying tp improve on, however we have noticed that enthusiasts would like that ‘extra special’ bit to make Airgates more interesting.
After listening to your feedback and results from our questionnaire we laid out in the Summer, we’ll be hoping to add a new section looking at the heritage of British theme parks and fairgrounds in the new year. Be sure to keep your eyes out for our next exciting project!
For a relatively new website, Airgates has done extremely well. We were one of the first groups of guests to visit the Blackpool Tower Dungeon when it opened for the press launch, we have been to numerous special events and also visited the IAAPA Euro Attractions Show in London to see the latest concepts in the trade. We hope to continue bringing up-to-date news and updates much like we have done this year, and hopefully we can provide a better visitor experience relying on feedback.
Over the last year, we’ve made some great friends with ‘competing’ news sites such as G-Force, Rethemed and Ride Rater, with whom we’ve had the privilege of visiting different theme parks with this season. We hope these strong bonds will continue into the next year, as we think that coaster enthusiasts and industry insiders should work together where possible for everyone to benefit.
Airgates wouldn’t be possible without quite a number of people, whom personally I would like to thank.
Firstly, I’d like to thank both Lee Knowles, Rick Woolham and Tom Green for being fantastic website partners and friends of Airgates in the last year, with moral support and new ideas relating to their own experience in website design being very helpful. Although at moments I realise my Dodgems fascination may have got the better of you, I’m sure you’ll agree what our trips to parks this year have been great, almost like a rollercoaster at points! Cheers guys.
Also, I’d like to give a worthy shout of praise to Dan Lees and Alex Dunne, who have done a marvellous job in helping to set up Thrillmaster last year and help it develop into what Airgates is today. They are a great pair of people who like to have fun everywhere they go (take this video for instance..) , assisting with media and updates where they can – and it is very much appreciated by myself, so thankyou. Furthermore, Dominique Wilson was absolutely fab at helping with our Facebook page recruitment drive earlier this year to help us reach our 100 follower target, so many thanks on that front!
Finally, to Jack Gordon – who has been doing very much more than simply being an administrator for the website since it launched. Along with the other Aloud Group sites (Tramways Monthly being notable!), he has ensured that the website has very minimal downtime and ensures that any bugs or faults are sorted swiftly so that Airgates is looking it’s best, along with making sure the server is working correctly. Many thanks!
One last thanks must however go to our readers, followers, tweeters, viewers and supporters – for without you Airgates simply wouldn’t be existent. We hope to expand and develop the website into a one-stop information resource for the past, present and future of the Tourism industry, in particular the theme parks that act as the backbone to the UK’s domestic tourism. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to email us in order to help us enhance the Airgates experience further – every opinion really does help us.
I guess that only leaves me with one thing to say, and that is to let me wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading,
Airgates Lead Editor