Posted Monday, September 11, 2006 8:48 AM | Contributed by ColtsFan
Holiday World says it will spend $4.5 million to build all that. Across the country, amusement parks dole out millions of dollars every year just to keep people coming back. But that doesn't always work. Holiday World is the exception. It is doing phenomenally well compared with the industry as a whole. From 1990 to 2005, attendance at Holiday World jumped 161 percent, while attendance at U.S. amusement parks overall rose 32 percent.
Read more from The Indy Star.
It's an interesting article though. What exactly is Holiday World doing that the other parks aren't? Cedar Point lowered its cost significantly this year (roughly 10%), lowered their food costs across the board and apparently they are still not pulling higher numbers than last year. Six Flags took the opposite route, and priced themselves higher to get per-cap spending up, and yes, that did work, but not enough to make up for their drop in attendance.
I guess the difference must be perceived value. Holiday World only has three roller coasters, but the park is clean and they give away free stuff. Other parks don't do that. Cedar Point, as a one-year "experiment," should make parking free and simply raise admission prices by $3 or so. I bet attendance would rise then.
The only thing I find surprising about Holiday World's growth is its location. The product and the people in charge get most of the credit, but the fact that they haven't leveled out in attendance, because of the location, really surprises me. I think Will is going to get his million sooner than later.
Will looks like he's got it all figured out and its paying off. Holiday World is VERY family friendly because they aren't rolling out with record breaking rides and attractions, they are adding things that the entire family can do. I haven't been to the park this year, but I do plan on making the 6 hour drive in the future with my own family because of all the things we can do together.
Its not a family coaster, grandma won't be riding this thing. Holiday World was aiming to build something extra-ordinary, something beyond a record-breaker. After looking at the Voyage, I'm not surprised it cost 16 million to build. No wood coaster comes close to how elaborate this thing is. Over priced? Sure it is, but then so is Picasso.
I think it's great that Holiday World is setting the standard for efficiently run parks. Spoil the customer and they'll shower you with success. Maybe they can offer a class to Six Flags?
Methinks the word about the park is getting out to a bigger audience than we think. It's a shame Will didn't get booked on the Colbert Report earlier in the season, LOL!
What is HW doing right that others are not? Easy: guests feel as if they are getting a great value for their money. Rides are open and fully-staffed, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy, the park is clean, the employees are friendly, food is affordable, soft drinks are free, parking is free, etc.
Plus, there's a HUGE difference between "how much goes to GG" versus "how much did the coaster cost to build"...tree removal (however minimal, hehe), station, that BRIDGE couldn't have been cheap, and of course, the TUNNELS... ;)
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