Industry turns corner on attendance, expects big year

Posted Monday, April 4, 2011 12:38 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Amusement parks thrown for a loop by the slumping economy over the past few years are starting to rebound, drawing bigger crowds over the past year and spending more money on new attractions this season. Crowds increased at many parks in 2010, with some seeing record attendance. Those within the amusement industry are optimistic this year will be even better and think rising gasoline prices might help them out by forcing families to spend their vacation time near home.

Read more from AP via the Indy Star.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:42 PM
kpjb's avatar

I think JetBlue is the best overall. Flew them when I went to Boston a couple years back. $39 each way. Low prices and good amenities. Nice leg room, XM and DirecTV at every seat, I believe they do WiFi in-plane now, too.

Unfortunately for me the only places they go from Pittsburgh are NYC and Boston. I prefer to go non-stop, but I don't really mind transfers if they're on the way. I'm not going to backtrack to New York if I'm going west or south.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011 4:26 AM

maXairMike said:
I am not a big fan of Allegiant due to the fact that their flight pattern determines your schedule for you. Unless my dates happen to coincide with their pattern, I don't bother checking.

See, I don't have a problem with this. I just book my flight and vacation days from work at the same time so I can go with the flow. The cost savings and convenience of flying out of small airports is worth it to me, but to each his own. This fall I'm hoping to make a one day trip to check out Haunt at Universal, so obviously I'll have to shell out a little more for flights on a carrier that does back to back days (not to mention deal with the headache of flying out of DTW).

Brian Noble said:
It certainly seems to me that reactions to gas price spikes in the past have been more emotional than rational. If you sit down and work it out, the increase in price really *is* very modest. But, most people don't do that. They just see the tens digit on their weekly fill-up go up and think "crap, I better stop driving!"

In other words, People Are Stupid. But, we knew that.

I'm mixed in my agreement with this. Personally, I make enough and drive a fuel-efficient car, so the 30 cent jump at the pump between Wednesday and Thursday only runs me an extra $3 per fill up, which isn't going to break the bank or cause me to shift spending habits.

Of course, over the last two years, prices are up about $2 a gallon, making a $20 difference in every fill up. That's definitely a number that far outpaces inflation, especially considering wages have generally been stagnant or down over that same period. That's enough to hit people who don't have extra padding in their bank accounts. Throw in the fact that rising gas prices are driving up the cost of everything else, and there's definitely cause for some people to be concerned.

Like I said before, as a single guy in his mid 20's this hasn't really impacted me. However, between increased gas prices and increased food prices, my parents are spending $40-50 more per week on just these two things, which for them means $50 they've had to divert from putting into savings. For my grandparents (on a fixed budget) who don't have an extra $50 a week, it has meant smaller meals or skipping meals entirely, and driving only when they absolutely have to.

Edit: Thanks for the tips about Airtran on here. Just looked at potential Haunt trips and found $170 round trip. That's pretty awesome.

Last edited by CP Chris, Wednesday, April 6, 2011 4:37 AM

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 5:38 PM

CP Chris,

Nothing personal here. But few things grate me as much as hearing that "seniors are on a fixed income" routine. Like everyone else isn't? I don't know of anyone who can walk into their boss's office and get a raise because the price of beef, or gasoline, or airfare to Orlando went up this week. They're actually lucky they're on a fixed income, because everyone who has a job could see their income go to zero in a flash.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 11:18 PM
LostKause's avatar

Yea. I just paid about $80 to fill up my Explorer today. That kind of hits me pretty hard, considering just a few years ago it was about $50. $30 is a lot of money to me. That's a weeks worth of groceries.

What really sucks is that I have to drive 30 miles to get anywhere where I live, which is in the middle of nowhere.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 4:44 AM

^^ Fair enough. I guess when you look at it like that, everyone is indeed on a fixed income unless you work on commission or something. Although I always figured the phrase applied because, in theory at least, working people could find higher paying jobs whereas retired people (assuming they want/have to stay retired) can't. Perhaps "low income without reasonable means of increasing it" is a better description of what I was going for.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Friday, April 8, 2011 12:39 AM

Like I said, Chris, it's not just you. I live in an area with an older population. Any time it comes to paying for anything, they trot out that excuse. Pay for schools or economic development? Can't, we're on a fixed income. Just ignore the fact that those people are going to be paying for your programs with their taxes when they graduate and find jobs.

Then they drive up to McDonald's in the big-ass Chrysler they paid for with cash, and make sure they don't get overcharged for their senior coffee.


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