The theme park at the hub of Manchester's favourite seaside resort is enduring a roller-coaster ride towards restoring its profitability. Blackpool Pleasure Beach's indomitable boss Amanda Thompson gives the low-down. You can try asking the odd question but ultimately the only option is to sit back and enjoy the monologue. A sunny art deco office in the grounds of the amusement park, complete with original wooden-panelling and striking red leather chair, is where the force of nature surveys her empire. She travelled the world working on various productions but her heart always lay in Blackpool and the lure of working for the family business eventually proved too much. The fourth generation of her family to run Blackpool Pleasure Beach — her great-grandfather bought the land on the seafront and opened the park in — the year old took over in
I hope to serve as a role model for the increasing number of young women leaders in the attractions industry — Amanda Thompson. Thompson was elected second vice chair of IAAPA at a meeting on 25 September, a position she will hold through , before becoming first vice chair in and then chair in The Thompson family has been involved with Blackpool Pleasure Beach for more than a century, with the attraction first established by her great-grandfather, WG Bean, in Her grandfather, Leonard Thompson, assumed leadership in , and her father Geoffrey oversaw the business from until In addition to becoming only the third woman in a century to chair the global trade association, the appointment represents a series of firsts for IAAPA. On top of her work at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, in Thompson founded Stageworks Worldwide Productions, an entertainment company that produces shows around the world.
Blooloop talked to Thompson about the challenges she faces and her vision for the future. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is still very much a family affair. There is something in Blackpool for everyone. You have to educate the public.
Eventually we repair to the wood-panelled office with its beautiful art deco sideboards all original which has been occupied by three generations of her forebears. From here she presides over 42 acres of seafront and successful years in the amusement park business. The year-old took over in when her father Geoffrey Thompson died of an aneurism at a party to celebrate her wedding.