Drink Prices & No Re-entry (new takes on the same old)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:04 PM
rollergator's avatar

Gonch, I should have said "free drinks as implemented at HW" wouldn't really be a good idea at GAdv or MM. Having the waiting in line as part of getting the beverage takes out of the equation the possibility of kids having soft drink fights on the midway....but if you had Pepsi Oases all over some of the larger "metropolitan" parks, you could easily see that becoming an issue. Keeping them in a line to get their drinks, and then "pay" for them, puts a PRICE on the drink - the time they waited in line to get one. ;)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

Kick The Sky said:
Smaller parks like Holiday World can afford to give away the soda in exchange for the goodwill that brings more people through the turnstiles. I think a bigger company would have problems justifying that.

Actually, Holiday World can afford it because they raised the gate price the same year. They aren't buying good will, they're moving the cost to a different place.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:15 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:
Keeping them in a line to get their drinks, and then "pay" for them, puts a PRICE on the drink - the time they waited in line to get one. ;)

Yeah. And I think that's the key to it working in practice at the big parks.

Jeff said:
Actually, Holiday World can afford it because they raised the gate price the same year. They aren't buying good will, they're moving the cost to a different place.

Exactly.

Shouldn't be too difficult to figure the drink per caps and tie that in to the cost of a pass.

I'm still all for making it a passholder perk, not a park-wide thing.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:01 AM

Why would any park make it a passholder perk? Given the nature of season pass holders, soda is practically the only thing you can expect many of them to spend money on in the park. Turning it into a perk destroys the one route parks have to make a profit off of passholders.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:10 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
Why would any park make it a passholder perk?

Kings Island already has...well, for $8.99. (see original post)

The reasoning under my theory is to:

1. Drive season pass sales

2. Keep non-passholders paying the standard $4 a drink

Given the nature of season pass holders, soda is practically the only thing you can expect many of them to spend money on in the park. Turning it into a perk destroys the one route parks have to make a profit off of passholders.

And this is the part that seems to mystify people for some reason.

I'll type slowly. ;)

Trust me, the park has the numbers. They know what the drink per cap is. That is to say they can take drink revenue and divide it by the number of visitors and get a number that represents the average amount spent by a guest on drinks.

Just make sure you're getting that money back in the cost of the pass and you've lost nothing.

Do it right and you actually make more. :)


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:54 AM
a_hoffman50's avatar

Just to reiterate what Gonch said, if Joe Sixpack pays 5 dollars per visit on drinks and visits six times a year, that is about $30. Sue Lugnuts pays $5 per visit on drinks and visits three times a year, which brings her amount to $15. total profit for the park at the end of the season from Joe and Sue is $45. Joe and Sue both buy season passes with an extra $25 tacked on. The total profit is $50. Voila! The park made $5 more.

You may argue that Joe and Sue will drink more because it is free, but the cost of making drinks is peanuts, therefore that is a moot point.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that by the third or fourth visit Joe and Sue have forgotten that they paid $25 extra dollars and see the park as that much more of a value. In turn they may spend more money on food, souvenirs and games.

Last edited by a_hoffman50, Wednesday, October 15, 2008 2:02 AM
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:45 PM

That example works if both Sue and Joe only spend $5 on drinks per visit. But what if, like most typical park-goers, they buy about four drinks during a day-long visit. Now at CP prices, that works out to . . . let's see, about $57/visit. Just kidding. Let's say about $15/visit.

So if Joe Sixpack, using your example, visits six times in a year, the park would have to increase the season pass price by $90 just to break even. No way Joe is ponying up for what looks (on the surface) like a very bad deal indeed. Even with Sue Lugnut's measly three visits, the park would have to tack on $45 just to break even.

The economics only work at artificially reduced numbers.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 2:03 PM

Devil's advocate here: The wristband option obviously has to be re-purchased each visit. If an idea like that becomes popular, does it become yet another line people would have to stand in to get some kind of break?

The SP option seems more feasible. I don't know the psychology of SP holders-- you might have some who don't eat in the park at all and wouldn't appreciate the extra cost. Others will like the idea of spending even less each time they visit the park, so the additional upfront cost won't bother them at all.

As long as it doesn't get too complicated-- for example, if each passholder has to "buy" their own drinks (as somebody mentioned before), what about the case where a family is buying meals with drinks? Can dad pay for everything and put all the drinks on his pass? Or does there have to be a separate transaction for each drink, on that person's pass? For this reason, I tend to like Hershey's perk of a straight 15% off all food, drink, and merchandise. Probably doesn't work out to be that different from free drinks only included.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 2:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
The economics only work at artificially reduced numbers.

Wow.

Stop and think about it. KI is already doing this...at the park...right now. You can get unlimited drinks for the day for $9.

SFGAdv is too. Unlimited drinks there are $12.

We have parks who've pretty much established the number it takes to make unlimited drinks worth it.

You can speculate all you'd like about how many drinks people buy, but KI is telling us - it takes $9 to make unlimited drinks work for us.

Now it's as simple as multiplying that by the average number of visits a season pass makes - and if we assume the price of a pass compared to the gate tells us that number then we're at about 4 visits on average.

Voila! $36 on a season pass and you get free unlimited drinks.

Ensign Smith said:
The economics only work at artificially reduced numbers.

I just had to read that again. I'm not sure how you don't think it can work. Parks are doing it. Holiday World, Lake Compunce, Magic Springs - please tell me you're not naive enough to think they aren't getting their drink money upfront.

Six Flags Great Adventure and Kings Island are doing it in an a la carte fashion.

It's not a question of if it works. It does and has been.

I'm saying the times (read: economic fears) are right for a big park to go for it and see a big payoff.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 3:08 PM

You're right, that it is happening in the real world suggests those parks have found a way to make it work. Great for them, and great for me. I like free soda (or 'pop', as it is more correctly called.)

I guess I have something in common with John McCain. Both of us, self-admittedly, don't understand economics.*

Good thing I'm not running for president!

*I took an econ class years ago and argued up and down with the professor every chance I could get. Good times.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 3:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
I like free soda (or 'pop', as it is more correctly called.)

I suppose that's debateable as well. :)

(although being a native of Western PA, I call it pop too)


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 3:46 PM

I caught myself once when we went to NYC a few weeks ago. I went into a store and asked if they had any pop (they had juices and such) and all I got back was a blank stare. Once I asked for soda (which is that nasty stuff that comes out of the sprite nozzle when you hit the alternate button) she realized what I was looking for and said they did not.


John
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:03 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Do you know that many people who go to the park on a season pass 6 times a year and average 4 drinks a visit? In my experience, the people who have season passes are the ones who drink the least per visit. Giving them drinks and making them pay for it upfront will increase their overall consumption and probably make them feel good about it.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:26 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:I suppose that's debateable as well. :)

That is HOTTTT! Wonder if we could do that for other terms (like New England has water bubblers whereas the rest of the country, AFAIK, drinks from fountains - a New Englander would find it unsanitary to drink from a public fountain, LOL). The reason I care? We've become a Pepsi university in the middle of Coke country....and I'd rather vote for Palin than be forced to drink Pepsi products every day... ;)

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:38 PM

GREAT map, Gonch! Hard to believe such a whimsical resource exists, but there it is.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:41 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Here's my thing.

I've lived where they call it pop.

I've lived where they call it soda.

I've lived where they call it coke.

But I've never lived where they call it other. What exactly are other terms? The only think that comes to mind is 'soft drink'


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:00 PM
matt.'s avatar

rollergator said:
That is HOTTTT! Wonder if we could do that for other terms

Linguistic Geography, more or less.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_geography

Not only could we do it, some make a living at it. :) Not I, I should clarify, I'm an Urban Geographer.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:05 PM

I read somewhere that in a few parts of the country it's referred to as 'soda pop'.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:05 PM

I've only lived in popland (Michigan and Penna) and sodaland (California). I know people who live in cokeland, though.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:52 PM
matt.'s avatar

Brian Noble said:
I know people who live in cokeland, though.

Family site, I am *not* touching that one. ;)

Actually I think I just did.

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