Increase in local park attendance?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2:37 PM
I've never tipped an attendant in Jersey and never intend to. It's a state law that your gas must be pumped by an attendant. It's not a personal decision. Why pay extra to comply with the law? Besides, they at least get to move around, unless those other folks who are stuck inside a 5 ft by 8 ft cage their entire shift.

Now maybe if they looked under the hood, checked the oil, cleaned my windshield, I'd consider it. And I probably just gave away my age by remembering those days-- not that anybody tipped them then either. That was considered normal service.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
Now maybe if they looked under the hood, checked the oil, cleaned my windshield, I'd consider it.

I filled up once in Jersey last week. The attendant asked if I wanted my oil checked and cleaned the windshield.

I didn't tip him. It felt weird, but I followed the same logic as you - I'd rather have done it myself, I didn't ask the dude to pump my gas. New Jersey made me let him do it.

Plus, I didn't have cash on me. I paid with my card. I don't think I've paid cash for gas yet this millennium. There's really no option to tip with the debit or credit card.

What's up with that law anyway?


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:04 PM
rollergator's avatar ^Remember that Jersey has some past....environmental concerns. In a twist of irony, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman later became head of the EPA. Almost certain it was an environmental decision to try and eliminate/reduce overfilling and other forms of illegal dispensing/spillage.

edit: Realized I was unclear. The irony is that Gov Whitman really was quite environmentally active and really did kinda earn the EPA slot. "Green" republicans from NJ at the time were pretty rare.
*** Edited 6/24/2008 7:06:48 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 3:21 PM
CPLady's avatar http://www.newsweek.com/id/143046

As for me, even though I've got a Platinum Pass for CP, I can't afford the $45 in gas for a round trip to the park like I could two years ago. As others have said, it's more than the cost of gas driving to the park.

Driving to work and back costs more, food prices are higher as well as my utility bills. So I have less money to spend PERIOD. The extra $15 to fill up a gas tank over last year is killing me and I drive a fuel efficient car.


I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:07 PM
Anecdotally, my wife said that CP was very quiet on Sunday. They waited 20 minutes at MF mid-day.

Granted, the forecast was iffy, and it was a Sunday. But, it was a Sunday in late June, and the schools up here have all been out at least a week.


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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:24 PM
One thing's for sure. Like CPLady and a lot of us, I normally make frequent trips to my parks (CP & KI) through the season, especially in the early spring and fall portions. This year, not so much. CP is a one tank trip for me and costs about 60 bucks now. I wanted to jump in the truck and head to KI after work one day this week for a couple of quick spins, but if I do I'm thinking I'd better go on Wednesday when prices seem to be at their lowest for the week! Otherwise I'll have to pass. I'm not poverty stricken (yet) but she makes the good point, as I did earlier in the thread, that everything is costing us more these days.

Lets just hope that the folks who make the park visit once a year will still go and overall attendance won't be impacted as much as feared. The rest of us nuts will just have to go less often this year and hope for happier times in the future.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:31 PM
rollergator's avatar ^I think that's the point that alot of people are missing, that the price of gas in and of itself wouldn't be the problem that it is....except for the fact that when gas prices go up, EVERYTHING goes up. We don't really have a functional rail system to deliver products to market in an energy-efficient manner, so when gas prices jump, prices go up across the board (meaning less "disposable income" left to dispose of).

If wages went up along with gas, food, electricity, rent, etc., then it would cause no disruptions at all. If gas were the ONLY thing going up, then the theory of "it's just an extra 20 bucks in gas" would come into play as those theorists espouse... ;)

This post brought to you by "Citizens for Better Transport in the 21st Century". :)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 12:03 AM
Around here, SDC reported that they were about 11% down for the year, but blamed the extremely wet weather as one of the biggest reasons -- it has been a very wet year so far in South Missouri.

SWOOSH -- MidwestInfoGuide.COM

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rollergator said:
^I think that's the point that alot of people are missing, that the price of gas in and of itself wouldn't be the problem that it is....except for the fact that when gas prices go up, EVERYTHING goes up.

Way to kill the argument with someting that's hard to quantify. ;)


If gas were the ONLY thing going up, then the theory of "it's just an extra 20 bucks in gas" would come into play as those theorists espouse... ;)

Perhaps and I see the point here. It's not necessarily about the ratio of additional gas cost to this trip, but rather the ratio of additional expenses to disposible income.

I guess I'm lucky (or smart) enough to have:

1. Allowed enough of a financial buffer there that we're still easily able to do park trips under the current economy.

or

2. Lived in a way that the rising costs associated with rising gas prices haven't affected us too much.

Not sure exactly which it is, but I suspect it's a little from each.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:39 PM
SFOT's attendance is up this year, but you can't assume there is a correlation between a rise in attendance and an increase in gas prices. They have a new coaster this year and ticket prices have been reduced. Plus attendance has been below average the last few years. The current rise could simply be a return to normal, or the result of any one, two or all three factors combined.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 1:47 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Lord Gonchar, your not lucky, your smart.

So many people are living so far outside their means its ridiculous.


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:09 PM
CPLady's avatar Yep...you are definitely lucky Gonch. Lucky that you haven't been unemployed three times in five years, nor had to live off that "buffer" for months after the 6 months unemployment money ran out while gas, food and utility costs increased at a dramatic rate. We are both driving 7 and 10 year old paid off cars, cut back on everything including food and house maintenance and the only one who got a christmas present this year was our son. It's not like we were living large by any means and there is literally, nothing more to cut back, except my trips to CP and MiA.

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 3:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Saw the blog post too, Linda. :)

I get you. I know what you're up against.

However, you're assuming I've never been there. That my family has never been there. That we haven't adjusted, made changes, been forced to play a bad hand dealt to us, fallen and gotten back up, that I don't see it everyday, that I don't have essentially immediate family members dealing with the very same crap you are.

Just because I'm able to do it now, doesn't mean I always have been and doesn't mean it didn't take a lot of work, smarts, sacrifice and tons of luck for us to get here (and by "here" I mean pathetically middle-class :) ).

I'm not sure what my point is or why you took such offense to my comment. All I said is that I've been lucky (or smart) enough with past events that I can still take big stupid trips now regardless of the rising costs of gas, food, life in general.

It was eightdotthree that made the 'outside their means' comment, not me. I wasn't judging others but rather commenting on my own situation.

(sorry for selling you out like that, eightdotthree ;) )


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 4:19 PM
eightdotthree's avatar I did say it. And that was before CPLady's post and in response to all the people putting their houses on the market and losing money because they were living outside their means.

I bike to work, conserve energy and water at home. Our utility bills are down from last year in fact. I haven't noticed a rise in food costs, but the news told me they are rising.

I have noticed beer prices rising however, which is a result of not only gas, but because of the hop shortage and now a shortage of barley.

On other note, its not just gas prices that are affecting us its the ridiculous idea that growing crops for fuel is a good idea... *** Edited 6/25/2008 8:38:19 PM UTC by eightdotthree***


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:52 PM
CPLady's avatar I apologize for going off. I realize I took a generalization rather personally. Things have not been going well financially for several years and more recently I'm dealing with an elderly mom I've had to place into a nursing home with the threat of an additional $6K debt if her Medicaid is not approved. Can you say stressed out? And I can't even make trips to my "happy place" (Cedar Point)to de-stress because I don't have the cash for gas.

It's just the idea that if one doesn't live beyond their means, keeps a buffer set aside and cuts back more, they would be better able to deal with the rising costs.

I've never lived beyond my means, have been in my house for 28 years, always with a fixed rate, and drive paid off, older vehicles. We once had that "buffer" you mentioned, but it obviously wasn't enough to deal with all the set backs (car repairs, hot water heater, leaking roof, and let's not forget the mother raccoon who decided to break into our attic and have a litter and cost $700 to remove) along with the unemployment. We have nothing left to cut back on, except food.

As I said in my blog...this too will pass. It's not like I haven't been dirt poor before. In fact, this is the third go around for us.

The point is, though, there are others just like me, who are simply struggling not because of bad choices, but because there have been to many things go wrong.


I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Thursday, June 26, 2008 9:01 AM
eightdotthree's avatar I don't want this to come of as preachy, but you just have to keep your head up and always remember that there are many families far less fortunate than most of us.

We are not the normal park going customer, gas prices are affecting our trips to parks because we make so many trips in the first place. A family who drove two hours ago last year to go their park of choice, will probably be able to drive two hours again to the park again this year.


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Friday, June 27, 2008 10:17 AM

Jeffrey Seifert said:
SFOT's attendance is up this year, but you can't assume there is a correlation between a rise in attendance and an increase in gas prices. They have a new coaster this year and ticket prices have been reduced. Plus attendance has been below average the last few years. The current rise could simply be a return to normal, or the result of any one, two or all three factors combined.

It's most likely called weather. The weather is probably better this year. Last year, and the year before they said it was horrible.


Get Ready. Get Set. Spinout! Six Flags America: The Park that is Full of Disappointments
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Friday, June 27, 2008 1:13 PM
Sorry to read about your situation, CPLady. What really sucks is that it sounds like you were playing "by the rules" as it were, acting responsibly, but a whole bunch of bad things happened at the same time. But I also think because you act responsibly, you'll be able to weather your situation much better and be back on your feet sooner.

Unfortunately, there are too many other people out there who don't have a clue about financial responsibility, or just don't have a lick of sense when it comes to spending or saving money. The slightest little blip sent them into total chaos.

I'm generally a compassionate person, but I loathe the idea of having to buyout greedy banks and mortgage companies, and also clueless and irresponsible (and yes greedy too) homeowners, while I was acting responsibly and living within my means. Everytime that happens, the dollar devalues and oil goes up even further. (The value of the dollar and the price of oil are linked, but many people don't understand that either.)

I also have a suspicion that a lot of people raised prices for products far more than just an increase in oil prices alone would cause. A few weeks ago, I went to shopping for a Memorial Day picnic. I was shocked that a family size bag of potato chips cost more than $4.00. Last year, the same size bag was around $2.99. Is there some rule of thumb that cost of bag of chips = gallon of gas? I don't see how the entire process is affected by the price of oil to justify a 33% increase in the price.

Getting off my soapbox now before the price of detergent goes up again.

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