2007 Attendance Report

Monday, March 17, 2008 1:10 PM
I'd say the Boardwalk, since I'm never convinced people care much about anniversaries. I can't speak for everyone, but if I had no desire to go to Hersheypark last year, finding out it was their 100th anniversary wouldn't have changed my mind. AFAIK, Hershey's attendance has been increasing for quite some time. Not sure what contributes to that, but it's nice to see the park (and the region in general) isn't affected by an economic slowdown.
Monday, March 17, 2008 1:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Well, if you believe the numbers on that list (and while the accuracy of those numbers is questionable - they're close enough for our purposes) then the whole industry wasn't exactly hurt by the 'economic slowdown' that's supposed to be killing us all.

In other words, people are still willing to spend for what they want - no matter how non-essential.

Something I've been saying all along, BTW.

(yes, this is just a poorly disguised, "I told you so" :) )

Seems to me that a waterpark style attraction would be more likely to elicit repeat visits. You know - summertime, it's hot, let's spend the day keeping cool - that sort of thing.

So as far as the 9% increase goes - all they had to do was draw 1-in-10 people back again (or 1-in-20 back twice and so on) to get a big increase like that.

Not to take anything away from that increase - it's most impressive, but waterpark-style additions are exactly the kinds of attractions that would get people coming back again and again.

Monday, March 17, 2008 2:07 PM
eightdotthree's avatar I don't know if this has been printed somewhere or not, but I think that almost the entire back there will become the water park/water play area.
Monday, March 17, 2008 2:44 PM
SFGAm went through the roof with their waterpark, too, IIRC.
Monday, March 17, 2008 3:39 PM
^^^ Not to take away from the appeal of waterparks in general, but I have a feeling that a waterpark was one of those things that many people noticed Hershey was lacking and instantly became the one thing that brings 'em back throughout the year. Of course, Hershey seems to be one of those parks that can do no wrong so maybe they could have done nothing at all and dumb luck would have produced the similar results?
Monday, March 17, 2008 4:06 PM
Olsor's avatar What amazes me is knowing that places like SFGAm and SFMM were pulling in higher attendance figures in the '80s and '90s, despite the fact that they had less than half their current stable of rides. Then again, I also vividly remember over two-hour lines for Shockwave and Batman when they first opened.

I think Gonch touched on a great point about the inherent repeat value of waterparks. It's probably why places like Schlitterbahn, which is in a metro area of around 2+ million people (if you count Austin), gets 800,000 plus visitors per year. Can you imagine SFGAdv drawing 40% of the population from the 28 million people in the NY/Philly metro areas? Those are approaching Disney numbers.

The thing is, I think the large regional amusement parks are demonstrating that they've really gotten too big for themselves. I think we're going to see a lot more rides being retired and replaced rather than being added to parks. I imagine places like BGE/BGA and the Orlando parks will be largely unaffected, since they're located in tourist destinations. But I think it's crazy to keep building $20 million rides in regional parks that won't show a long-lasting increase in attendance. I'd really love to see them revert to what they were originally: theme parks. Fewer rides, but more elaborate theming.

Monday, March 17, 2008 4:14 PM
ClubXJeff's avatar Haha - I agree with the above comment. It is a little strange that 'back in the day' the park (SFGAm) seemed more popular. Maybe it's because I was smaller and everything had that 'bigger' mentality goin on.

But if you really miss the 2HR lines for Batman - just visit on a Saturday during Fright Fest :)


PS: I can't wait to see everyone's reactions to the drastic change in Parking this year at SFGAM :)

Monday, March 17, 2008 4:17 PM
Well I think its clear that SF is over the coaster spree of the late 90s/early 00s, and CF has defiantly slowed. However, I think that the big parks who have the attendance to back up the investment will continue to get big rides (see CW and Behemoth, CP, and KI and the rumored 09 hyper.)

However, I think that the big areas of growth I expect to see is adding water park attractions and beefing up/upping the quality of Halloween events. The former, as has been mentioned on this thread has been a slam dunk for way too many parks for their peers not to take notice. As for the latter, its apparent that these have also been slam dunks for the industry, however they must at all times compete with the local haunted houses for guests.

While each side has obvious advantages (the parks have their rides/name, the houses can be more edgy and touch you) I look for the parks to also assert the advantage they have in capital to invest in better sets and animatronics to not only draw more summer guests back for another trip, but also draw guests who would never otherwise would go to a park (ie haunt enthusiasts.)

2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona


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