Resort needs to reinvent itself claim
FELIXSTOWE needs to "reinvent" itself if it is to carry on attracting visitors for leisure, shopping and entertainment.That's the view of a businessman Stan Threadwell, who is backing plans for a casino to be opened at the resort.
FELIXSTOWE needs to "reinvent" itself if it is to carry on attracting visitors for leisure, shopping and entertainment.
That's the view of a businessman Stan Threadwell, who is backing plans for a casino to be opened at the resort.
Mr Threadwell, of Family Amusements, which runs arcades and other seaside entertainment businesses in the town, believes the resort needs 52-week a year attractions and has to adapt if it is to survive.
"Change is inevitable – in Felixstowe just like everywhere else, there is no two ways about that," said Mr Threadwell.
"The majority of people come to Felixstowe for the sea and the beach, which is why we must maintain our beaches. But we do need to look at other things to keep people coming here.
"It is difficult and people say why doesn't Felixstowe do more. You don't get people unless you build new attractions, but to develop something to bring people in you need investment.
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"And it takes a brave man to invest money in an idea in case it all goes wrong."
He feels to town needs to "reinvent itself" to provide more choice for modern society in terms of shopping, leisure and entertainment and abandon its Edwardian and Victorian image if it is to compete with other towns.
It needs to look at the future of its town centre and seafront as an overall project, rather than separate, unlinked places.
Mr Threadwell, who was chairman of the Felixstowe Pier Trust which proposed a new pier featuring the world's biggest revolving restaurant and a casino among its attractions, is fully behind Palatial Leisure's plans for a casino.
He believes it could bring more business or all traders in the town, as visitors are likely to stop overnight and visit shops and other attractions.
"Everyone has a right to object, but I cannot believe some of the comments made by objectors about the casino proposal," he said.
"It is sad that there is still such a stigma attached to casinos. The idea that they attract crime, drugs and prostitution is just not the case.
"Anyone who has been to a casino will know what they are like – and that they are for over 18s only, high class, well run and subject to strict rules and conditions, and do not attract the same people as other nightlife."
Palatial Leisure has submitted plans to transform the cinema and bingo hall in Crescent Road into a single-screen cinema, conference centre, bingo hall and casino, restaurant, gym and 57-bed hotel.
The plans are currently with the planning officers, who have been carrying out a public consultation exercise. Councillors are expected to make a decision in November or December.