31 January 2007

Blackpool's Las Vegas Dreams 2006-2007

Don't expect to see Grissom and his CSIs hereThe people of Blackpool are today jumping up and down on their "Kiss Me Quick" hats and snapping their little sticks of Blackpool rock in two as they remember their dreams of building a new Las Vegas on the shores of the Irish Sea, dreams which were brought to an untimely end on Tuesday with the decision to award the government's new "supercasino" to Manchester.

Blackpool's Las Vegas Dreams were born in May 2006, the offspring of a government desperate to grab itself a nice slice of the gambling profit pie and a council desperate to regenerate a seaside town haunted by an unhjoly mixture of the vomiting remnants of the last few stag and hen parties unable to afford the low-cost airfare to Dublin or Prague and bewildered gangs of nostalgic pensioners wandering the streets in the mistaken belief that the thriving resort of their youth hadn't turned into a place with all the charm of a Glaswegian proctologist.

Soon Blackpool was dreaming of transforming itself into a new Las Vegas - its badly-suited doormen and surly one-armed bandit attendants transformed into uniformed bellhops and unctuous one-armed bandit attendants, its low-grade lapdancing clubs transformed into high-class lapdancing clubs and its "world-famous" Tower, Illuminations and Pleasure Beach transformed into attractions that might stand a chance of being famous outside the North of England let alone around the world. Up and down the sea front, attraction owners fell into reveries as they contemplated the possibility of swapping the daily grind of separating bored teens, problem gamblers and lonely pensioners from their pennies for the pleasant task of separating bored rich people, problem gamblers and lonely pensioners from their life-savings.

Blackpool's Las Vegas Dreams were not to be fulfilled. Their death was announced by The Casino Advisory Panel, who decided on Tuesday to award the rights to build the new supercasino in Manchester rather than the seaside resort, presumably on the basis that the north-west's leading city was the only location with a high enough murder rate to justify Grissom and the gang jetting over from the original Las Vegas to launch yet another extension to the CSI franchise.

Blackpool's Las Vegas Dreams will be buried under the floor of the Tower Ballroom on Friday. They are survived by an ever-declining number of tourists and a massive increase in problem gambling in Manchester.


Ian Grey said...

Ripley Holden will be turning in his Grave...

Phoenix said...

Wonder what the odds were against that happening


james higham said...

Definitive post about Blackpool. I've been there, of course but didn't know as much before as after your piece. Thank you.

Colin Campbell said...

Blackpools' problem is the weather. It is crap. Having been to Las Vegas a few times, I can confirm that the best thing about it is the road out.

Colin Campbell said...

I came back and read this again. Even better than the first time. CSI Blackpool has such a ring to it.