Families rage at ‘half-finished’ festive experience as venue considers legal action

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Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire is instructing its lawyers following repeated delays in opening of the North Pole Experience, which has left some punters concerned they’ll be out of pocket

The Christmas experience was left
The Christmas experience was left “half-finished”

Furious families fear they’ll lose hundreds of pounds after a Christmas experience failed to open.

The North Pole Experience at Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire, failed to open as planned at the start of November and still hasn’t swung open its doors.

According to its hosts the event is ‘half-completed’, leading the estate to seek legal advice, Nottingham Post reported.

While the North Pole Experience still has a contract with Thoresby Park, it is no longer possible to buy tickets online.

Customers who bought tickets for their friends and families have been left angry and concerned about what will happen next.

John Clark, 29, who had planned a festive day out for his family including three kids, aged nine, eight and six, set up a Facebook page for concerned customers.

He had bought tickets to attend on December 11.

The illustrious Thoresby Park

John said: “We have no idea what’s going on, we’ve tried to contact the company but haven’t heard anything back from them on any format.

“It’s so frustrating, especially as I paid £31.99 a ticket for five tickets, two for my wife and I and three for my kids, with no option to buy cheaper tickets for them.

“The biggest thing for us isn’t about the money, and others are of the same opinion, in that everywhere else is fully booked at this time of year, we were looking forward to it as our main Christmas event for our kids to see Santa.

“But now that’s going to be almost impossible.”

Sarah Spencer, 37, a police officer who lives in Duffield in Derbyshire, had bought eight tickets at a discounted price for her and her extended family.

She had forked out just under £200 to visit on December 12.

She said: “We’d cancelled a holiday to Centre Parcs this year because of Covid as my two-year-old is vulnerable with severe asthma, so this was going to be their North Pole for the year.”

Rod Nipper, events manager at Thoresby Park, described the course of events as a “great shame”.

Gregor Matheson Pierrepont, director of the estate management company at Thoresby Park, said: “The continued failure by The North Pole Experience to open, despite half completing their set up has disappointed us as much as anyone else.

“The estate does not believe this is due to malice however the outcome is the same. North Pole Experience have failed to meet their obligations to us and to the public.

“We encourage members of the public to obtain redress from The North Pole Experience Ltd.

“As such we are instructing our legal advisors and therefore will be unable to make further statements.

“While responsibility for this situation rests with the event operator, the Estate would like to apologise for any disappointment.”

In response to not opening over the weekend, a statement from The North Pole Experience said that the failure to open was due to “circumstances beyond our control”.

“Supplier delays, that are being experienced across the wider economy resulted in an initial deferral of the event opening as we felt that we could not guarantee these interruptions being resolved in order for us to provide the standard we would expect,” it continued.

“We have worked hard to resolve these issues which has enabled us to proceed with the experience build up.

“In order to give as much notice to our customers, the decision was reluctantly made to not open this weekend due to three principle factors; the safety and well-being of our customers, ensuring as much prior notice as possible and advice from our own insurance and health and safety advisers.

“Every customer that was directly affected has been emailed via the email address that was given at the time of booking.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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