Grand Pier introduces £5 membership offer
PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 May 2014
A MEMBERSHIP pass for Weston's Grand Pier has been introduced, a month after the attraction began charging £1 entry.
The seasonal pass is valid until May 2015, irrespective of the date purchased, and will be priced at £5 per person.
The new scheme has been introduced just weeks after Grand Pier bosses installed turnstiles at the entrance of the pier, with adults and children charged £1 to enter.
They pressed ahead with the plan despite protests from customers who began petitioning against the idea, while others contacted the Mercury to describe the decision as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘extortionate’.
The landmark’s owners Kerry and Michelle Michael bought the pier in 2008, and say it costs them £20,000 a week just to open the gates.
Mr Michael told the Mercury £1 was a ‘modest admission fee’ and would ensure the maintenance of the pier for years to come.
The pier has now introduced the £5 membership scheme for locals and regular customers.
General manager Paul Charalambous said: “They are a season pass valid until May 2015 irrespective of when they are purchased.
“They are aimed at our regular customers and they were always planned to be introduced.”
Memberships can be purchased from the gift shop where a camera has been set up to take a picture of the person buying the card.
It will then be checked at the turnstiles before someone enters.
The £1 entry fee does not apply to any pre-booked events, functions and children’s parties.
Mr Charalambous said that despite the new charges, the attraction enjoyed a busier Easter weekend than the previous year, with visitors coming from as far as South Wales and Gloucestershire to enjoy a day out on the pier.