Kennywood goes to pay-one-price admission

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:43 AM | Contributed by Neil

The new 2005 pricing structure at Kennywood eliminates individual ride tickets and cheaper general admission entry without rides. The pay-one-price scheme will save the park money. Kennywood will only say those costs run well into six figures.

Read more from The Post-Gazette.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:02 AM
I assume they know what is best for the bottom line. In my opinion, this takes away from the charm of the place. My parents loved KW. I doubt they would ever go now. They will not pay that much money to "not ride" anything.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:08 AM
Kennywood is not just rides, and if they deceide not to go because of the new prices, they will be missing out! Besides it's not "that" much more money. a Fun-day pass is $28.95 or only $19.00 when you purchase them at a local Giant Eagle. I hope they reconsider.

*** This post was edited by razore86 4/27/2005 9:10:37 AM ***

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:22 AM
Wonder if this is partially to cut out riff raff and "free" daycare since KW is not offering season passes?
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:28 AM
As usual, the 'frugal' enthusiasts strike first without reading the article. KP has a senior admission, a group admission, a junior admission, etc. And when you guys grow up and own your own park, you can hire guys to work at night weighing and counting tickets from 56 rides every damn day, over and over again.

And get stuck with the costs of printing tickets, selling them, and paying those nice ladies who sit in the park all day, sometimes not selling much, since 70% of KP business is through groups, and that means most of the rest already bought wrist bands. All those ticket selling folks only provided a service, not postieve revenue.

This is a great decision for KP. It will increase revenue, speed up the admission process, allow them to track how many is in the park, and cut costs across the board, which historically, they have re-invested heavilly in capital at their properties over the last 5 years.

As a bonus, the 'gate price' will continue to deter the 'hang out' mode for area tees. Just think where Euclid Beach or Riverview would be today if they didn't have the open gate, and those nice young boys didn't have the money to pay admission, and institute the 'babysitting' principle. When you pay top dollar, you get good people, which means good times.

Plus, they have even more packages with Sandcastle, evening rates, etc. They surveyed, they acted, they responded.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 9:39 AM
Jeff's avatar If they were spending six figures on the ticketing, and looking around everyone had a wrist band, it seems like a no-brainer to me.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:13 AM
Ok here's a quick way to cut costs. With tickets per ride you need a person collecting tickets without tickets you don't need these positions hence less costs. Or with Pay on Price you can have that person doing other things, that either help capacity or overall customer service which could mean more guests aka more revenue.*** This post was edited by dragonoffrost 4/27/2005 10:13:50 AM ***
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:20 AM
Pipe down agent...

I gave an OPINION based upon READING the article. No need to be a jerk. The article itself says..."People who could pay significantly more than in previous years are patrons who don't ride much -- or at all -- especially those who are not eligible for a discount." Who do you think I'm talking about?

I happen to believe that part of the charm of KW was the fact that old and young could find plenty to do. I do not see what has been added in a years time to justify an increase from $8.00 to $28.95 (or $14.95 if you are above 55) to go in an not ride. People like my parents loved to go inside KW and EAT. CB is full of people who brag about the food at KW. Apparently there are not enough people like my parents who go for the food and atmosphere to justify general admission.

KW's decision may well be a "no-brainer" from the business standpoint. I do not fault them. I just find it sad that they have chosen to be like every other park with the admission policies. I think a bit of the charm has been lost. I believe you will see a much younger crowd at KW than in the past due to the change in policy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:41 AM
Actually, my father is looking forward to his new-found RAD discount...
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:10 AM
Well i see overal attendance dropping from this. Not neccessaraly income but I think that might be affected as well.

I seen many a aunt and uncle, grandma and grandpa ect in the park both times I've gone. Sure they only spend a couple bucks to get in, But how many Ice creams ect do they buy?

It's already proven that getting the older generation in the park with the kids is where the real money is.

Hey grandpa, Can I have that T shirt, Ice Cream, Sno Cone?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:10 AM
eightdotthree's avatar I doubt we will see any change in the attendance at all.

While I do think its a little sad that a parent cant bring their child in and just let them ride without paying a full price, thems the breaks. I have heard people in line for tickets in that situation complaining about admission prices before. If it isnt this, its something else that people will complain about.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 11:42 AM
Well you got to make some sacrifices it you convert to a ticket system like this. If they wanted they could be just like every other park and have the standard ticket selling procedure, I however think this is a great move. I'll surely be visiting again this summer.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 12:46 PM
Bash me if you will, but I think Kennywood is a piece of trash and by the way, they could only dream of having 56+ rides, they have around 40+ including kiddie rides which i don't ride. Long Live Geauga Lake!!.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:02 PM
^ Your hyper coaster is the lick! Long live GL indeed! :-I
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:18 PM
Jeff's avatar You guys act like they decided to try this for the hell of it to see what happens. Don't you think they took a hard look at the data and figured out what the percentages were in terms of general admission versus ride-all-day? It's not even hard math. If none of the people that paid general admission ever come back and that loss is less than the cost savings of not having to deal with the ticket issues, they've already made more money.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:41 PM
Kennywood is well worth 28.95. In fact, I'd say thats a steal compared to most parks these days. They certainly have the rides to justify that price.

I agree with Jeff- they've worked this all out, and its a pretty big advantage to make this choice.

IMO, Kennywood is too big of a park to keep going with the tickets. Not to say that is impossible to not use wristbands (Blackpool pulls it off nicely), but I can see how the ticket counting (and accounting) is probably a chore.

I really don't see a problem with this at all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 2:51 PM
eightdotthree's avatar 10% of your admissions is not enough to keep around tickets, especially when its going to save you that much cash.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 5:14 PM

"If none of the people that paid general admission ever come back and that loss is less than the cost savings of not having to deal with the ticket issues, they've already made more money."

The article says this was 10% of all admissions. You think that they were spending 10% of their entire budget on ticketing?

While I see your point and agree with your overall premise, there is no way they would be doing this IF they thought there would be a 10% decrease in admissions (people through their gate). My hunch is they expect a much lower decrease. Also, do you not think that the 10% (mostly senior citizens the article says) bought food in the park? Why would they pay $8.00 to get in and not ride IF they were not at least planning to eat something? I would guess that they have accounted for this loss also.

Again, I do not think anybody is arguing that this is not, or at least may not be, good business sense for KW. I'm sure they know what they are doing as it affects their bottom-line. All I am arguing is that it sucks for people like my parents. This policy sounds very good for KW and their staff in terms of effort/headaches and possibly their profits. However, this policy change did NOTHING to help the customer. They have taken away admission choices that were rather unique in this industry and decided to be like every other park. I wish them the best. I love KW...It is just not going to be the same after these changes in my opinion.

I can't imagine anybody (even the most serious of fanboys) cannot see how this might suck for people who don't ride (especially grandparents). I merely point out the obvious as does the author of this story.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:30 PM
Jeff's avatar Did I say that those people wouldn't show up? Consider that they'd only need one-third of them to return this year to make up the entire amount, and they won't have the six-figure ticket expense. Happy?

My point stands... the armchair executives need to put a little faith in the fact that the park knows what it's doing. If you disagree with the new system, so be it, but don't pretend you can predict ultimate doom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:48 PM
Well, THIS armchair executive is still wondering why Kennywood didn't do this a decade ago. All the times I've been there, I've seen very VERY few people using tickets...but the park still had to have several ticket sellers, people to take tickets and check wristbands all over the park, plus the problem of collecting and handling all those tickets, which were probably more of a nuisance than anything else once all the rides got turnstiles. Kennywood's general admission wasn't all *that* cheap (it was on the order of $10 as I recall), only about half the RAD price.

Well, the direct costs of tickets were apparently significant. What about the indirect costs? Am I the only person who is looking forward to not seeing purple ink all over the posts surrounding the Jack Rabbit station? Remember also that there were not only direct costs of tickets, there were also direct costs of wristbands. Wristbands also have a cost, not to mention the mess they can create, plus the fact that each entrance turnstile at Kennywood had to have at least three people to staff it: One person to take the ticket or receipt, one person to apply the wristband and handstamp, and one person to operate the magnetometer. Switching to universal POP means one of those three people (at each of eight gates) can go do something else. It also means that the ticket taker needs not do as much processing, so each ticket person can probably handle two gates. That's four more people who can go into the park and do something productive.

Now the frugal enthusiast in me wants a cut-rate evening ticket. Or did they do that?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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