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Pleasure Beach Resort, Blackpool

Pleasure Beach Resort, formerly known as Blackpool Pleasure Beach, is an amusement park situated on Blackpool’s South Shore, in the county of Lancashire, North West England. The park was founded in 1896 by A. W. G. Bean and his partner John Outhwaite, is run today by the Thompson family who are direct decedents of the founder John Outhwaite.

Pleasure Beach Resort is situated on a 42-acre (170,000 m2) site along the South Promenade (Ocean Boulevard) area of Blackpool, the park is host to many records, including the largest collection of wooden roller coasters of any park in the United Kingdom with four: The Big Dipper, Blue Flyer, Grand National and Nickelodeon Streak Many of the roller coasters in the park are record-breaking attractions. When it opened in 1994, The Big One was the tallest roller coaster in the world. It was also the steepest, with an incline angle of 65° and the second fastest with a top speed of 74 miles per hour. The ride holds the record as the second tallest roller coaster in the United Kingdom, standing at 213 ft. (65 m), with a first drop of 205 ft. (62 m) and the longest roller coaster in Europe, with a track length of 5,497 ft. (1,675 m). 

The park was the first in Europe to introduce a fully inverting steel coaster, Revolution and is the last remaining park in the world to still operate a Steeplechase roller coaster.

The Grand National is one of only three Mobius loop coasters in existence, where a singular track “loops” around itself, offering a duplicate out-and-back layout and creating a “racing” effect on two parallel tracks. Sir Hiram Maxims Captive Flying Machine is the oldest amusement park ride in Europe having opened in August 1904.

At the cost of £15 million, Valhalla was one of the largest and most expensive indoor dark rides in the world. Valhalla won “Best Water Ride” at the 2018 Golden Ticket awards, an accolade it has held over a consecutive number of years. The park also operates a Nickelodeon Land and the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride, the Thrill-O-Matic. In 2015 the park introduced Red Arrows Sky Force, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly thrill ride which is the first ride of its kind in the United Kingdom. The latest record is taken by Icon, a multi-launch coaster manufactured by Mack Rides in Germany.

project details

location Blackpool duration 5 months value £250,000 size 42 Acre

the brief

With ticket sales moving to on line purchasing and the need for a robust large venue wireless network for public use we were tasked to design and implement a future proofed wireless network.

This would allow fast and easy wireless access for public consumption together with staff access for maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities.

the solution

The chosen product set was Ruckus wireless as the resorts IT Department had some limited experience with Ruckus indoor AP’s in the past and were impressed with the ease of programming, deployment and maintaining.  As Digitech are an approved Ruckus installer we called upon the extensive experience of the Ruckus Professional Services Department together with our distribution partner Purdicom, to assist us in the design of such a large scale venue system. The PS team in conjunction with Digitech carried out a thorough site survey of the required areas of coverage and produced a design detailing the quantity and model/type of wireless access points, whether they be indoor or outdoor units, locations, mounting heights, azimuth and compass heading.

This design then enabled us to pull together a scope of works with regard to the data cabling of each AP location. The park had an existing cabling infrastructure of fibre optic backbone, local copper Cat 5e/Cat 6 cabling and communications cabinets in the required locations around the site. We settled on a product set from Mayflex’s Excel range which included outdoor rated Category 6A  F/UTP, field terminated Cat 6A RJ45 plugs, chrome patch frames and low profile Cat 6A modules to complete the connections.

The final stage of the project was to mount the, predominantly outdoor, access points around the park. This entailed sourcing and installing all types of bracketry, poles, Unistrut etc. to correctly mount the units in some quite tricky places on the rides and surrounding areas that would experience the most footfall. Care had to be taken not to interfere with the aesthetic appearance of the rides or some of the buildings, paying particular attention to the Art Deco Casino Building at the entrance to the Resort.

The project comprised of the supply, installation and commissioning of the Category 6A F/UTP cabling of 147 Ruckus wireless access points.

The mounting of 80 Ruckus T350SE outdoor wireless access points, 17 Ruckus T350C outdoor wireless access points, 17 Ruckus R750 indoor wireless access points, 18 Ruckus R650 indoor wireless access points and 15 Ruckus R550 indoor wireless access points. 

“We have been using Digitech for all our network installation and maintenance needs for over 30 years. They are a reliable, professional, and friendly company that always delivers high-quality service and products. Over the years, the network has been upgraded several times, and Digitech has always been there to help. They have installed new routers, switches, cables, and access points, and ensured that the network is secure and up to date. I would highly recommend them to anyone who requires network solutions for their business.”

Carole Sampson, Systems Analyst, Lipton Teas and Infusions