Kennywood cutting back operating days -- raising prices

Thursday, November 2, 2006 2:48 PM
I just saw the Kennywood 2007 schedule and I noticed two things. First, the park is closed on the first two Sundays in May, days they have been open in the past. Second, they are closing on the last Monday through Thursday in August when they used to open at 5 PM for the evening.

I wonder, has business slowed down for them or are they just cutting costs by remaining closed on days when they normally haven't done too much business? I am aware that a number of other parks such as GL are doing even more dramatic cutbacks.

As for pricing, a regular all day ticket is going from $28.95 to $31. I believe they did this because GL is raising their prices. Because of this they now feel it is safe to do this after freezing the price for 4 years.

As is the case with GL, there is no word on any new rides at this time.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 2:52 PM
Just a thought...MIGHT those Sundays be buyout days?

Another thought is that the school calendar might be affecting that last week in August...

Just find it hard to believe that Kennywood isn't doing so well....based on nothing more substantial than my *limited* personal observations....

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 3:17 PM
Most schools in the Pittsburgh area are open during that last week in August. That is why the park only opened in the evening on those days in the past.

I do believe that the park is doing all right. They just want to trim some costs without compromising on quality. The switch to all POP admission in 2005 was done for this reason so the park could save on the costs associated with using wristbands and ride tickets.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 3:40 PM
^Also dont forget that a few years ago they started PFN, so really if you go back these latest cuts just return them to their old amount of operating days.
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Thursday, November 2, 2006 4:22 PM
It's about time they canceled Dark Week (the 5pm opens at the end of the season). The park is ALWAYS empty during that week.
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Thursday, November 2, 2006 5:00 PM
When you open at 5pm and there's a little rain you end up with fewer than 1,000 people in the park. They should've done away with it a long time ago. It's a losing situation.

As far as regular operation days, the park has always figured them out the same way... start at the end of the year, count backwards with the number of picnics/groups scheduled, and when you run out, that's opening day. There's never been an absolute set date.

The price going up has nothing to do with Geauga. The PA minimum wage is going up $2/hour by next summer. That's a terrible hit for the park to absorb, as they already absorbed the extra money going to the local amusement tax without raising prices at all.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 5:33 PM
^ EXACTLY what is going to happen EVERYWHERE if this minumum wage hike continues. That is why I am 100% against it.

As a salaried employee, I have no minumum wage, therefore, I get no pay increase. Meanwhile, priices go up all around me because companies need to find a way to support the extra money they're spending.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 6:00 PM
There may be some exceptions in the minimum wage law for workers in seasonal recreational facilities such as amusement parks, FECs, stadiums, golf courses and ski areas. I do know that they are exempt from time-and-a-half overtime for seasonal workers. Even so, if Mickey D's has to pay more you know what is going to happen if the parks don't adjust their pay levels. Also, Ohio raised their minimum as well so that may be part of what is happening at GL with their dates and pricing (not to mention attendance that is often too low).

Anyway, with college tuition skyrocketing, anything more that those students get from their summer jobs is likely to be needed more than ever.

I just have to ask, what is happening at HP, DP, Knoebels, etc regarding their pricing. Waldameer is going up by $1 but the new drop tower is in now as well. Also Waldameer raising prices a bit now can reduce the increase that will be taking place once Ravine Flyer 2 opens. I certainly expect DelGrossos to raise their prices because of the coaster they are adding. Likewise for the Wood Coaster POP option at Knoebels once Flying Turns is completed. Lakemont is also expected to raise their ridiculously low prices by a dollar or two. If their staffing costs go up, they have little or no margin left to avoid an increase.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 8:36 PM
Thanks for the "heads-up" on this topic Arthur.

As luck would have it, the last full week of August is when I traditionally have vacation, as it's after camp ends and school begins.

Quite a few parks cut back that week, due to school schedules, less possible employees, less peeps visiting, less money made...yada yada yada.

I might have to think long and hard as to where to go this year. (Of course the biggest issue of where we go will be based on what's open when and my son's height by mid-August) [COME ON GROWTH SPURT!]

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 9:16 PM
Kennywood will be open that Friday evening at 5PM. They get decent attendance on the Friday evening before Labor Day because there is no school the next day.
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Thursday, November 2, 2006 9:50 PM

Raven-Phile said:
Meanwhile, priices go up all around me because companies need to find a way to support the extra money they're spending.

Welcome to the farcical reality of inflation. Prices go up, pay goes up, people end up in the same place they were (or behind).

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Thursday, November 2, 2006 9:50 PM
The moving of the start of the season isn't that big a deal because it seems like that whenever Kennywood has opened the last few years it seems like the weather has been awful anyway. The price going up is a little bit to be alarmed about only for the reason that Kennywood hasn't done anything really amazing in a bit, but the good thing is that significant discount tickets have been available early in the season, and hopefully that will continue.
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Friday, November 3, 2006 12:26 AM
I don't think a minimum wage hike will be much of a problem for Lakemont Park. They get away with paying much less than minimum wage due to the seasonal nature of the business.

Imo, Kennywood will be priced just right at $31.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 7:38 AM
An increase in the Minimum wage is a TAX on anyone who doesn't make minimum wage. Prices on everything will go up, but I won't be making any more money.
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Friday, November 3, 2006 9:08 AM
Well, the counter argument (which I somewhat agree with) is prices have been going up anyway, with the minimum wage being held at the same level. That makes it even harder for people earning minimum wage to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, that starts a nasty cycle -- raise the minimum wage to help earners at that level make ends meet, and another round of inflation can kick in. Does it suck for the rest of us? Sure, but it sucks even more for them.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 9:40 AM

is a TAX on anyone who doesn't make minimum wage.

True, but you'll be paying for it one way or another, in ways you don't always see. For example, my wife is a psychiatrist at a county mental health center---these folks are below the poverty line, with significant mental health issues. Treating them---paid for by the state---is less expensive than dealing with the consequences of not treating them---e.g. in the form of unpaid hospital costs passed on to those with insurance and their employers. How much have your insurance co-pays and premiums risen over the past 10 years? Health care for the indigent is one reason why, though of cousre it is far from the only reason.

I believe that more people working at a living wage means fewer instances of much more expensive costs in other sectors of our economy. True, that means that our effective buying power goes down, but I'd argue that it goes down by *less* than it would otherwise.

And, the new Penna minimum wage still isn't a living wage for many. At $7.15/hr, an employee working 50 hour weeks (10 at 1.5 time), 50 weeks a year, earns a shade under $20,000 per year. That's exactly at the Federal poverty line for a family of four. The second parent could also work, but child care costs eat up a substantial chunk of the additional earnings.

At least in Michigan, it appears to no longer be the case that teenagers, young adults, and retired elderly staff these jobs. My local fast food emporiums have a surprising number of people in their 30s-50s working in them.

Finally, I already pay that tax willingly in many situations. For example, I shop at Costco, rather than Sams Club. Why? Because Costco pays their employees a living wage, and includes health benefits. Sam's is just WalMart on steroids. I probably spend an extra 2-5% or so at Costco compared to Sams, but I also don't have to wonder how those employees feed their families, or pay for their kids when they are seriously sick.

Then again, I'm a pinko commie limousine liberal who can afford an extra few bucks at the amusement park gates, so take my opinion for what it is worth---not much to many of you, I'm sure.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 10:07 AM
^ & ^^ - why are you two making it so hard for the true hardline conservatives?

Don't you know people are poor because they WANT to be? To heck with ignorace, POVERTY is where the real bliss is at... ;)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 10:14 AM
Friggin' hippies. ;)
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Friday, November 3, 2006 10:47 AM
Despite being a hippie, I believe I can convince most libertarians that many social services are in their best economic interests: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

That's what happens when you learn your macro economics as an undergraduate at Berkeley. ;)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 10:56 AM
Well, that was directed more at Bill (I just like throwing that his way every once in a while :) ) and while I might not necessarily agree with 100% of your post, I do agree with almost all of it to some degree and certainly see where you're coming from.

It's a fine line you walk when you're the Rock N Roll Republican. I think I do it pretty well. ;)

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