Frontierland Western Theme Park was a theme park at Morecambe, Lancashire, England, situated on Marine Road West, which operated from 1909 to 7 November 1999, with a final year consisting of only traveling rides in 2000. Frontierland originally operated as West End Amusement Park, Fun City and Morecambe Pleasure Park from 1909 to 1986 before being transformed into Frontierland for the 1987 season in an attempt to defeat dwindling visitor numbers. In 2000, Frontierland was officially closed down by Geoffrey Thompson, managing director of Pleasure Beach Blackpool. All of the rides, excluding the Polo Tower and Log Flume were demolished or dismantled and sold on. The Rattler was moved to the Pleasure Beach whilst “The Wild Mouse” (later called “Runaway Mine Train” for the new-look Frontierland) and the Chair-O-Planes were moved to Pleasureland Southport, which later closed down in 2006. Unlike Pleasureland, Frontierland was never resurrected and the site remained wasteland until 2007, when three outlets were built. These large outlets were positioned at the back of the park, an area that previously featured the Stampede, Tea Cups and Parrots ride.
Opening in 2008, the three outlets consisted of a Homebase, JJB Sports and Next. Further plans are in the pipeline however, the retail park project isn’t a fast moving project. As a result of lack of interest, the retail park, previously proposed in 2001, didn’t make it off the drawing board until six years later. Early 2009, work began at the front of the site to remove the Log Flume which leaves the Polo Tower as the last remaining ride.
The Thompson family, owners of Pleasure Beach Blackpool purchased the park in 1909, when it was called West End Amusement Park. The owners, who also owned Pleasureland Southport, which closed in 2006, introduced new rides each year until visitor numbers began to dwindle. A number of tactics were used to save the park, however most failed eventually. Rides such as a 150-foot (46 m) Big Wheel were introduced but were quickly taken down due to neighbouring complaints.
In 1986, visitor numbers were at an all time low so Geoffrey Thompson, owner of the park decided to give the ten acre site a complete overhaul. This involved turning the park into Frontierland which would hopefully see guests flock back to Morecambe. This worked for a few years but once again, numbers dropped, so in 1989, the Sky Ride was introduced – a cable car system that would allow people to fly over the park and out over the promenade before turning around and going back to the station. The ride was initially a big success and once again, visitors flocked to the park. In 1991, visitor numbers were back down to their low standard and investment wasn’t being put into the park so freely as two previous attempts had backfired massively.
In 1992, Geoffrey Thompson was about to make his biggest investment ever at Pleasure Beach Blackpool by introducing the 235-foot-tall (72 m) Pepsi Max Big One, a £12 million hyper coaster. One ride which had stood at Blackpool for over ten years was in the way of these plans. With the construction of the Big One due to start late 1992, the Space Tower was to be removed. So, in 1993 Frontierland received the Space Tower, a 150-foot (46 m) gyro tower. The ride was initially going to be placed at the back of the park but with the sponsorship from Polo Mints in the bag, the ride was positioned on the front. This resulted in a boost in visitor numbers but nowhere near what Blackpool was about to get from opening their new roller coaster.
The Polo Tower was the last major investment at Frontierland, however fans of the park believe that Geoffrey Thompson had no intention of shutting the park down, as in 1993, with the installation of the Polo Tower, Geoffrey Thompson signed a contract allowing a telephone mast to be placed at the top of the tower – this contract allowed the company to have their telephone mast on the tower for twenty years meaning that the Polo Tower cannot be taken down until the contract has expired resulting in a possible removal of the tower in 2013.