Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 10:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff
The Georgia Aquarium says it's on track to have 1.5 million visitors in its first 140 days of operation. That would quicken the pace for downtown Atlanta's newest attraction. It took the fish tank 98 days to reel in its first million visitors. The aquarium predicted 2.4 million visitors during its first year.
Six Flags Over Georgia also is riding a wave of enthusiasm. The amusement park on Atlanta's west side is reporting its new hypercoaster, Goliath, is attracting record numbers of thrill seekers.
Read more from Atlanta Business Chronicle.
On another note, of course Goliath is doing the park right. Not only is the ride one of the most exciting coasters I myself have been on, havent we been saying for years and years that the smartest move SFoG could do was build a hypercoaster? Its the one idea that made so much sense. I only have one thing to say to that: DUH.
Instead of 100 years ago when averyone wanted the new 'jumping carousels', now they need a $12 million out and back steel coaster.
The so-called arms race is good both for the park and customers if impplemented properly unless of course one wants only carousel type rides to be built.
For those not familiar, the online reviews and word of mouth indicate unbearable crowds at the aquarium. Many times you can only see, and feel, the people around you as they pack them in like sardines. Other problems include long security lines (I’ve read up to an hour) only to get there and buy a ticket that is good for return HOURS later. I’ve not experienced any of this firsthand and am only relaying the research results I came up with a couple weeks back, so please do not take this as an unjustified bash, but instead consider this a “heads up.” I really wanted to see the aquarium as I’ve heard great things about the actual facilities, but it would appear they are working out quite a few services and pricing issues that are interfering with guest experience (funny that they would mention this facility along with a Six Flags park)!
If you are seriously considering a trip to the aquarium it is strongly suggested that you buy your tickets ahead of time and get in the first group of the day! Otherwise, it appears you are risking less than stellar conditions. Like anything else…you should do your own research. I just wanted to give a heads up that a visit to the Atlanta Aquarium is not as simple as heading down there after lunch on a Saturday for a leisurely fish walk. Think of their admission practices as one huge Fastpass system that can often fill up early in the day! Weekends versus weekdays can be a crap shoot based upon school field trip schedules, etc!
P.S. Goliath is indeed a good one… :-)
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 4/24/2006 2:50:54 PM ***
Sort of like, "Hey, we have a hyper!". Response. "Its about time." I hope it works out, since while Shapiro is right to state that family business is good for business, you still need to cater to the thrill seekers every few year.
They should look across the state to Wild Adventures and see some good capital expenditures.*** This post was edited by Agent Johnson 4/24/2006 5:25:53 PM ***
Yup, those inflated parking prices, much higher ticket prices and upcharges like Q-bot are sure keeping people away. ;)
When are people going to get that all markets cannot be looked at the same. That's the one thing that Burke obviously began to see towards the end.
As for your question about getting repeat visitors, I can tell you what the National Aquarium in Baltimore has had to do over the years. The first thing they did was to change out exhibits from time to time. They would have an exhibit for a year or so, then they would pass it onto another Aquarium. Many of these exhibits were already on tour, so to speak, by the time the National Aquarium got them. The second thing they did was to add another pavilliion that has a dolphin show. The third thing they've done and that just opened was to add a whole other pavillion dedicated to the Australian Outback and all of its wild creatures.
So, of course the easy answer is to frequently change and add on to what you have. It also helps that the surrounding Inner Harbor has undergone a radical change as well. For example, when the Aqaurium first opened, there wasn't an ESPN Zone, Hardrock Cafe, Barnes & Noble, or Gold's Gym right next door. There also wasn't a Camden Yards (home to the Orioles), M&T Bank Stadium (home to the Ravens), or new Convention Center nearby. Another key player in the equation was the Baltimore Science Center (located caddy corner to the Aquarium). They just added another wing on and renovated two years ago.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 4/24/2006 5:26:19 PM ***
I'd bet it will simply because it is open much more than SFOG is. Plus, its the new game in town. If SFOG beats the aquarium, that will be a hell of an achievement.
I think these numbers are off - attendance is pretty flat from last year AFAIK.
But yah, looks like they will do just fine with their new pricing. And if I'm ever in the area, I'm SO there with wallet in hand.
Let's just say the people claiming the pricing didn't matter that much were few and far between.
Granted it is very early in the seaso and there's a long way to go, but the numbers don't seem to exactly be suffering at this point.
Can't wait to see if the CF parks that dropped prices really pull in much more of a crowd or not and more importantly what everyone's revenue looks like at year's end.
AJ...as far as Wild Adventures is concerned - with admission pricing, in-park items like food and merchandise, *and* the money NOT being spent caring for the park and its rides, I'd say WA is a far cry from the park I used to come here and praise. The park in North Georgia, even on a busy Saturday, even paying full-price admission, seems like the MUCH better value at this point...IMO.
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