The article is actually quite bland, focusing on the traffic congestion the added attendance has caused. But I found the attendance thing to be an interesting tidbit.
The biggest coaster in the world? No.
A flying coaster? No.
Two coasters in a season? No.
A wavepool and some slides.
A brand spanking new waterpark? No!
Several coaster additions over the past few years? No!
A flying coaster? No!
Finally being in Chicago when the park was open? YES!!!
I know that only counts for 2 of the over 3 million attendees. Just giving Playa some trouble. :)
The waterpark looked great, even though all the slides weren't completed. Next time I'll be giving that part of the park some quality slippin' and slidin' time.
Most (if not all) reports say HH fills to capacity in no time...which means people can't get in and then maybe aren't so happy. Actually, I had a coaster lovin' Chitown native (but not a poster or lurker) totally rip HH for long slide lines and not enough to do.
Even if they drew half as many visitors, they'd still have a quarter-million more visitors coughing up another $20 or so apiece. Use that to add a little more to HH and THEN include it in the gate. Monday morning quarterkbackng? Not really! I was saying the same thing long ago.
*** Edited 8/6/2005 4:50:57 AM UTC by CoastaPlaya***
And to anyone who has been to the park this will give you an idea: The American Eagle was using many switchbacks in the tent area. In previous years that was completely unheard of...
And yes, as posted above HH does hit it's capacity very quickly pretty much everyday.
*** Edited 8/6/2005 5:38:13 AM UTC by Raging_Bull***
The park only holds 7,100 people. If they had 15,000 people a day going for just the water park there could be a problem with people stuck outside the park not being able to get in. With admission being combined now, if they can't get in the water park they can at least go and enjoy some rides, shows or water rides on the rides side. Something they would have to pay extra to do if the parks were separate.
The good thing is they will run everything to capacity. The bad thing is, there will be almost 38,000 people in the park...you're gonna have huge lines regardless of capacity with that kind of crowd.
Go, enjoy the park, but just don't expect to be marathoning on Raging Bull! :)
Joe "enjoyed my crowded visit to the park last week" C.
In the wake of Harry Potter, kids no longer need a carrot dangled in front of them to pick up a book.
And to think they're pissing away money by including it in the gate.
I disagree. I think that, by including the waterpark in their admission plan, Six Flags Great America will enjoy a much greater bump in revenue than they would have with Hurricane Harbor as a separate gate.
Not only are they able to increase their ticket price under the rationale that they've added a whole second park, but the resulting attendance increase because of the new waterpark will come in paying the much higher prices of a theme park as compared to a waterpark.
Here are some numbers (using estimated figures) to back up my thinking:
Scenario 1 - Gated Separately:
400,000 waterpark admissions x $25 (estimated admission per-cap) = $10,000,000
(400,000 annual visits is what Hurricane Harbor in NJ gets, according to AB, and would be an impressive tally for a stand-alone waterpark in its first year. The NJ waterpark charges $29.99 per person before any discounts. So I think the use of these figures is reasonable.)
Total Revenue Increase: $10,000,000
Scenario 2 - Two Parks, One Price:
2.3 million (2004 baseline attendance, from AB) x $3 increase ($41.99 in 2004 vs. $44.99 in 2005) in ticket price = $6,900,000
500,000 new visits (from newspaper article) x $35 (estimated admission per-cap) = $17,500,000
Total Revenue Increase: $24,400,000
I'm thinking they made the right move!
So go ahead and pull your thumb off the scale (you know, where you're estimating the visits in your favorite scenario at $10 more apiece and dropping the two-gate visits by 100,000) and let the numbers line up as they should.
*** Edited 8/6/2005 6:13:53 PM UTC by CoastaPlaya***
I don't think it's realistic to expect a separately-gated waterpark in its first year to see 500,000 visits. Six Flags' top waterpark, Hurricane Harbor in Arlington, reportedly saw 470,000 visits in 2004. But I'll do the math with 500,000 visits anyway.
I also don't think that it's improper to assume the $10-lower per-cap on admission at the waterpark. Six Flags' highest-priced waterparks come in at $29.99 before any discounts. Factor in coupons, comps and season pass visits, and that figure can only come down.
So then, with some adjustments, here's the separately-gated figures:
500,000 waterpark visits x $25 = $12,500,000
2.3 million baseline theme park visits x $3 = $6,900,000
Total $19,400,000 Increased Revenue
I still come out $5,000,000 ahead "giving away" the waterpark.
Jeff: I'm sure a certain number of vacationers would have gone to both parks, but I think that approach works much better at resort properties--Cedar Point, Disney, etc. Great America is more of a day-tripper park, and I question how likely it is that a family making their annual one-day visit to the property would plan on adding another trip in the same season. I think it's more likely that they'd choose one or the other, and that'd be it for the year.
You bring up in-park spending, and I think that further supports my viewpoint. Because people tend not to carry their wallets around in a waterpark, in-park spending is much lower than at a dry park. The combined-parks approach forces guests to walk past plenty of spending opportunities, while still in possession of their wallets, before even reaching the waterpark. The same guests walk past those same outlets a second time on the way out--and perhaps take in a ride or two, increasing their length of stay (and likelihood of spending a little more).
There are still other angles to look at here, not the least of which is the very powerful marketing message of "two parks for the price of one." It's a very strong perceived value that's also easy for the average consumer to understand.
I'm convinced they made the right decision.
*** Edited 8/6/2005 7:17:19 PM UTC by Snowman***
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