A management question. What would you do?

Friday, June 22, 2012 6:07 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

There has been a lot of topics based on what is good or bad management of various amusement parks, and park chains, but, what would you do? If you were in upper management of your favorite park, What would you do to make it better? You don't have to name any particular park. Just in general.

If I were in management of a chain, I would make every attempt to look at each park individually, and not do what they seem to love, and make every rule and pricing the same chain wide no matter what. Parks would be priced according to what they offer, and, and would not be based on what is going on in the amusement business as a whole, which I think is a mistake.

Park operations are fairly decent at most parks I have been to. But, food pricing, parking, and the cost of various merchandise should be based on each park. In other words just because park A, which has 50 rides, great shows, and huge entertainment value, and charges $20.00 for a meal at one of its eateries, should not be the model for the park B, that has a small number of rides, no shows and yet still charges $20.00 for a meal. Why not lower that price, to make it more attractive to the guest who visits the smaller park. And why not charge less for parking?

Obviously park A, which is already bringing in 3 million guests a year is going to cost more to run, so why not take that smaller park which is seeing growth in attendance, and attract more people to it, by making it better. Do more to get people to come to both parks, but make each park worth it on its own level. Give people a reason to want to come to the park each season, don't just price it, and hope people show up.

It seems to me that parks are no longer interested in promotions. The buy one get one frees, or coupons for various expenses. If It were me, I would do whatever it takes to keep guests coming through the doors. Instead of giving them sticker shock, and making them think twice about another visit.

People in business seem to think that people are going to keep coming no matter what. Yet, back in the golden age of parks, they dropped like flies, because the owners no longer wanted to put money into their parks. And, get out of the business while they were still rich.

Another thing I would do is keep my park out of the stock market. Not going to have a bunch of greedy share holders telling me what to do.


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Friday, June 22, 2012 6:21 PM
Vater's avatar

This thread should be titled "I Think Cedar Fair Manages Michigan's Adventure Like It's Cedar Point And It's Unfair. Oh, Except That Michigan's Adventure Should Get A New Ride".

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Friday, June 22, 2012 6:50 PM
sws's avatar

What would I do? I'd go to Holiday World.

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Friday, June 22, 2012 6:54 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I brought up this post for that very reason Vater. Because I knew that someone like you would try to find a way to make a joke about it.

At any rate, I brought up this topic, because of the recent post about the raise in parking at Six Flags Great Adventure. Like me, people like to piss and whine and moan about what their park is or isn't doing to improve itself. Read into it whatever you want, but, this could be any park, and any park chain.

Take for example, Geauga Lake. Owned by three different companies, one that decided he would be richer by selling it, another who dreamed too big and had to abandon it, and another who saw more value in taking it all apart, and basically getting rid of a park that was taking away business from their king. And then using it's assets to save big money on having to actually build new attractions at it's other parks. And, basically milked it for every penny they could get, while ruining a very nice park. Not to mention the loss of a great classic coaster. They could have afforded to do more with it, and instead, decided to do the same as they did in the golden age. And, that is put the land they aren't using up for sale.

Years ago, there was an amusement park in Grand Rapids, Michigan called Ramona Park. The owners sold the land to real estate devolopers, and what was once a very nice location for a resort area, is now just another city. And, where there was once a roller coaster, there is now senior housing. And, even more recent than that. Pleasure Island and Splash in Grand Rapids went out of business because they knew they could not compete with the mightyness of Cedar Fair. Because they didn't even try.

I think there is a sparkly new Artvan furniture store sitting on the land that was once occupied by a very nice water park...called Splash.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Friday, June 22, 2012 7:04 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Friday, June 22, 2012 7:15 PM

I'm not arguing this to be nasty or mean, and honestly I could be wrong because I'm having trouble accessing parts of mobile web sites for park ticket prices and stuff, but I think Cedar Fair AND Six Flags charge different prices for each of their different parks and for parking at the parks. Kings Dominion used to be cheaper than Dorney. You have mentioned that parking at MA is 10 dollars. Dorney parking is 14 or 15. I also recall that SFNE flashpasses were cheaper than at Great Adventure, as was parking. Now, again, things may have changed since I last looked into this because I've had issues with employment and injuries preventing me from being a frequent park goer in the past year or so, but until then, there WERE differences in costs per park.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Friday, June 22, 2012 7:18 PM
sws's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

Pleasure Island and Splash in Grand Rapids went out of business because they knew they could not compete with the mightyness of Cedar Fair. Because they didn't even try.

Or more likely, they went out of business because they were losing money and realized they were going to continue to do so. It is not common for highly profitable businesses to close their doors voluntarily. The goal of most businesses, privately or publicly held (and excluding non-profits) is to make money. Imagine that. I've never understood why the concept of capitalism is so confusing to so many people. I guess I'll just have to blame the educational system. And to think that any small park should try to directly compete against the likes of Cedar Fair or Six Flags is absurd.

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Friday, June 22, 2012 9:11 PM
Maverick00's avatar

That sounds just like The Beach. The Beach couldn't keep up with Soak City at Kings Island and had to close its doors to the big business down the street.


Cedar Point will always be The Roller Coaster Capital of the World, regardless of the number of coasters they have.

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Friday, June 22, 2012 9:20 PM

Pleasure island went out of business long before CF bought MiA. I'm talking at least eight years before.

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Friday, June 22, 2012 9:24 PM

Sorry, 5 yrs.

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Friday, June 22, 2012 9:45 PM
LostKause's avatar

Travisland would be amazing, but coaster enthusiasts would complain about how short the lines were and how reasonable the prices were. This topic sucks. lol

Timber-Rider said:

Geauga Lake... and basically getting rid of a park that was taking away business from their king. And then using it's assets to save big money on having to actually build new attractions at it's other parks. And, basically milked it for every penny they could get, while ruining a very nice park.

No.


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Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:15 AM
Vater's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

I brought up this post for that very reason Vater. Because I knew that someone like you would try to find a way to make a joke about it.

You started a thread solely because you knew it would invite jokes? My bad for taking the bait. Honestly, I typically lob a lame joke because it's easy, and I'm lazy. I rarely have the time to refute all that begs to be refuted in a Timber-Rider post because of the sheer volume.

Though I have to admit, Travis' response is rather appropriate, quite effective, and time-saving.

LostKause said:

No.



Last edited by Vater, Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:18 AM
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Saturday, June 23, 2012 7:10 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I hereby decree that henceforth, we shall ignore all topics started by the coasterbuzz user known as mid-timbers, errr timber-rider.

All in favor?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Saturday, June 23, 2012 8:31 AM

I'll engage you on this one...

First, there is something to be said about a standard across the board. When I worked for Apple or even visited the stores as a fanboy, the level of consistency was great. I always knew what to expect whether I walked into a tiny mall store or the one in NYC. So there's nothing wrong with having a standard and maybe even a commonality with your park. Six Flags especially since the name "Six Flags" is connected to each park. At that point, you've offered a chain of amusement parks and people come to expect the same service. This can kill you in the end though if service is bad at one because the patron may skip your other parks. Cedar Fair is a bit different because each park seems like it's independent even though they have the same owner...

For me, it hinges on that idea. If each one of my parks shared a name, I'd try my best to keep them consistent from park to park varying a bit with a few things varying from park to park depending on the community it serves. But uniforms, names, and look would be consistent. I want you to enjoy Chase's Amusement Parks no matter where you are in the country and know exactly what you're getting.

But in the case that my parks didn't share a brand name, I'd want the local culture to thrive a bit more. Uniforms, food, and services would be based on the community in a way. I'm thinking of parks like Busch Gardens Williamsburg vs. Six Flags Magic Mountain. Different cultures and different desires and different histories. I'd want each park to keep those identity since there wasn't a brand to link them with. If I had an amusement park in a poor community, I'd adjust the price to make it possible for them to enjoy themselves without breaking finances. Skyrocketing profits are great, but I'd also want a long lasting park instead of something that shrivels in a few years.

I'm no business guy, but that's what I'd do.


Chase

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