VIDEO: First visitors get glimpse of new attractions at Skegness Pier
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It's only a few weeks since the owners of Fantasy Island, the Mellors Group, took over the town's iconic, landmark - but they have lost no time in adding exciting attractions and starting renovations as part of a £2million investment at both venues.
First to try out the Clip ‘n Climb climbing walls was a family from Doncaster. Preparing himself for the Leap of Faith, Scott Simpson said: "This has been a great experience. I'm a steal erector so I'm used to harnesses but I've never been on a climbing wall before.
"It's two years since we were last in Skegness and it's fantastic to be back - I think Skegness Pier will be really popular."
The Skegness Standard caught up with managing director Edward Mellors as work continued for the official opening to the public of Skegness Pier on Saturday.
It was inevitable having seen the improvements to Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells since the Mellors Group acquired it in 2016 they would not just open without putting their stamp on it.
Out went the old carpets and windows that had been covered have been opened up to add more light.
What started as tearing out the low ceilings at the entrance to open the building up turned into a major project throughout the entire three decks of the pier - and that work is ongoing.
However, in a short time a lot has been achieved, including the painting or the original ironwork ceilings - with the toast of the pleasure pier, without doubt, the new Playa at the Pier family bar.
The new beach themed bar soaks up the historic charm of the pier, with views across the beach and the decking which is now strung with lighting for added atmosphere at night.
"It's all about providing all-weather attractions for all of the family - and today is perfect example of the need for this," said Edward. "Here we are for the soft launch and we have people testing out the Click ' Climb which I think is going to be one of the best attractions in Skegness.
"There is a fully revamped pier and all through deck two we have further new attractions in the Hero Zone - kids' shooting arena - out on the pier deck we have built the Playa at the Pier bar with amazing views of the beach. It's going to be an amazing space out there.
"I think you'll agree that in the eight weeks that we have owned the pier there is an amazing difference.
"We've pulled out mezzanines, we've pulled out ceilings, we've illuminated the ceilings and we've carpeted. We got carried away but we are very happy with the result."
Locals were amongst the first visitors on Saturday. Darren and Caroline King of the Aldor Guest House in Scarbrough Avenue, Skegness, were taking time out in the new Playa at the Pier bar.
"We like to check things out so we can recommend places for our guests to go," said Darren. "We thought the new bar was very nice and will certainly be sending people there."
Seven-year-old twins William and Sophia Roberts were testing out the Click 'n Climb with their friends. Mum Gwen said: "Before now we've had to travel to climbing walls in Lincoln so it's really good to have this here.
"They had two sessions and had a great time - it was really nice having somewhere to take them because the weather has been so bad."
Skegness Pier originally opened June 1881 when it was at the time the fourth longest in England, originally stretching a length of 562m.
The north east corner of the pierhead suffered damage during the North Sea flood of 1953, which was rebuilt at a cost of £3000.
In the early 1970s, the pier entrance archway was demolished to make way for a new construction of shops and amusement arcades.
Since then there has been much interest in whether it would ever be returned to its former glory.
"Extending the pier is absolutely on our agenda - we already looking at feasibility studies looking at what the ground conditions are like out there - we've never extended a pier in our lives and this is a whole new project but one that we are willing to take on.
"We are in a good place and hopefully one day we will be able to extend it."
The three new experiences, including the Hero Zone which is currently under construction, join a multitude of pre-existing attractions, from bowling, to laser quest, to escape rooms and bar areas.
Guests can purchase tickets for Clip ‘n Climb on arrival and wristbands. For more information and to book tickets, visit the new Skegness Pier website at skegnesspier.co.uk.
For more pictures see Wednesday's Skegness Standard.