'I genuinely love Pleasurewood Hills': New boss buoyant about theme park's future
PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:18 16 February 2019
A new manager has been unveiled ahead of "an exciting" new season at a popular tourist attraction.
And dreams have become reality for Lowestoft-born Ricky Lark after he was appointed as the new general manager of Pleasurewood Hills theme park.
Having told his parents that it was his goal to “run a theme park one day,” the 34-year-old has realised his ambitions – and he is intent on further developing the park in the future.
Passionate about entertainments and leisure, Mr Lark previously worked with one of the world’s largest resort operators in Merlin Entertainments.
Now he is looking forward to the new season at Pleasurewood Hills as the park reopens on April 6.
Admitting he was “thrilled” to be back home, Mr Lark said: “I genuinely love Pleasurewood Hills and I am really excited by the challenges ahead.”
Currently work is being carried out to the landscaping and facilities with a new ticketing express lane set to be introduced this year to minimise queuing times.
The theme park will also be introducing a new ride, with details being kept under wraps at the moment, although the marketing team Tweeted that “a classic ride is coming back.”
A former Meadow Primary, Kirkley Middle and Kirkley High School student, Mr Lark left a full time job behind in Lowestoft for seasonal work as a ride operator at Alton Towers with Merlin Entertainments – and he has never looked back.
“When I left I said to my dad that ‘One day I will run a theme park - that’s my goal,” Mr Lark recalled. “I have always been a theme park nerd, and have visited theme parks all my life.
“I love the rides and am always intrigued by how they operate within the park as a whole – it is like a little community.”
After working for Merlin in a range of roles at Alton Towers, Blackpool and Thorpe Park in 2016 he returned to the area and was the operations manager at the Sealife Centre in Great Yarmouth.
He said: “Merlin is a great company to work for, and I loved my job, but when this position became available it was so appealing to me.
“I’ve visited the park with my family so many times over the years and it holds such a special place in my heart.
“I honestly believe this park could be amazing and I jumped at the chance to join.”
After returning to Lowestoft in December, the hard work in the winter season has already begun.
With the much loved sealion, parrot and high dive shows returning to Pleasurewood Hills as well as many exciting events throughout the year, Mr Lark added: “We are very proud to be a beacon for Lowestoft and the wider region.
“It is wonderful to bring so much joy to people and be an active part of the community, it’s a truly rewarding experience.
“The overall mesaage is that we have an exciting year ahead.
“Its important for me that people in the local area fall in love with Pleasurewood Hills again.”
Season passes are now available and you can book online via pleasurewoodhills.com