Kennywood, June 16 - CPLady Style

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:51 PM
The comment that many people stay local struck me as true. Here in Cleveland Kennywood is advertising like there is no tomorrow. A few of my co-workers who know that I travel to parks have asked me where the heck Kennywood is at! All they have ever known is CP and GL and maybe heard of KI and that's it. Not many people here know of Waldameer or Conneaut Lake, and forget about Wyandot. I have informed many people about these parks and their prices are a lot more affordable than the big chains, but of course now that gas has gone through the roof they don't want to go anywhere!

As for me, we have a nice big cooler that we bought last year and used on our big vacation to Ocean City, MD. However the first part of that vacation was two days at Sesame Place. I don't know how many of you have been there but the prices there are insane for such a small park. Last year, we just came back out to the minivan, grabbed the cooler, and snarfed at the picnic tables by the parking lot. It was the first time that we NEVER bought a single food or drink item at a park, and I'll bet I saved at least $75 bucks or more by doing that!

Tom *** Edited 6/28/2006 3:52:48 AM UTC by LdScotsman***


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 1:35 AM
So if it cost you guys fifty bucks to eat in the park or even 25, Would you have eaten inside the park?

My point is, Thats 25 bucks the park isn't getting because they feel selling 2000 meals at 20 bucks is better than selling 10,000 at ten bucks.

Go figure.

Chuck

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 1:45 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar So if parks would drop prices 50%, they'd see a 500% increase in sales?

Wow!


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:08 AM
One way to look at parks like PKI is to admit that they have reached their saturation point. This means that attendence can't go much higher without this degrading the park experience which in turn would reduce attendance. So, there is a sort of equilibrium there. As long as this is the case, PKI can remain relatively expensive and get away with it. Also this is the kind of park that the Six Flags parks are aspiring to be become like. From the beginning, PKI was designed to combine elements of Disneyland and more traditional parks. They have family attractions but they also offer good thrills.

In interesting contrast is CP which has HUGE ride capacity. Cedar Fair concluded that the attendance for this park should be higher and that pricing was one thing that prevented this. One must remember that Cleveland and Detroit aren't the strongest places economically. Anyway, CP cut their admission price and some of their food prices. The interesting thing is, will this help the park boost their attendance and revenue? Will it encourage people to keep coming back?

The question stands, why don't more families try going to the more affordable parks? Take GL, for example. This park is quite affordable and uncrowded but everyone seems to think about the Six Flags days and then they go off to CP or PKI or to no park at all.

In Pittsburgh, where I live, we do have an affordable park that is well attended. People here do "stay local" and go to KW. If they are fairly well off, they may also go to another park such as CP or HP. The problem with KW selling itself out of town is its hard to find location. Also, many people in the Cleveland area think, "we can only afford to go to one park so why not make it Cedar Point". Sure, CP isn't the least expensive park but, for what it offers, it is a good value.

If a park is expensive, it still might get the locals because you spend less on gas, hotels, and meals on the way to and from the park. You have to look at the whole package. Meanwhile such a park is more likely to have the attractions to draw visitors from other areas *** Edited 6/28/2006 12:10:20 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***


Arthur Bahl

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 9:08 AM
CPLady's avatar In the economically strapped Detroit area, CP is the park of choice, but the people I encounter have said the same thing when they see my pictures of CP in my office..."is that the new ride this year? I haven't been to CP in a couple of years. It's too expensive".

These are people who range in age from 20-40's (we are a commuter campus with a wide range of undergrads and lots of grad students). Most have no idea CP has dropped their admission prices, let alone the drink/food prices. Most remember paying $45 plus parking, and a couple remember the $3 drinks and high food prices.

My friends with grandkids make one trip a year and they pack a cooler and eat in the parking lot to keep costs down. One of those friends was thrilled when I told her about the lowered prices...including the $10 junior ticket (two of her three grandkids are still too small for the big stuff), so she's considering making two trips this year.

I think that's what Charles is talking about.. CP realized they were not getting the attendance they wanted and dropped prices. What they are likely to see (if they begin pushing the price drops in the commercials) are more people making the trip and maybe making two trips again. At the very least, discovering the huge drop in price for the junior tickets on top of the lowered price for the regular tickets might give people more incentive to spend that cost savings in the park on the one day they go.


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

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 9:20 AM
CPLady's avatar BTW...CF just announced it's attendence numbers for the first quarter. Up 1% from a year ago, although nothing specific about CP.

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

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 9:39 AM
eightdotthree's avatar Is Kennywood REALLY that hard to find that it effects attendance?

Anyway, in my experience here in Pittsburgh, people say that Kennywood is too expensive as well. My step aunts and unkles wont go because of the price, and thats even the discounted $20.

My co worker took his family to california last year, they went to Universal etc. His kids wanted to go to Kennywood and he was complaining about how much it cost.

I call BS on the arguement about value, price, location. Like Gonch has been saying, as much as people may feel a sense of value, or a sense of being ripped off, they are going to pay what they have to pay. This is in my experience, before and after discovering this site and enthusiasts and my opinion.

Glad you had a nice trip CPLady, Kennywood seems small and like you could get it all done in a few hours but there is plenty to fill a day with. Hope you get back again.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:06 AM
The food is one of the best things about Kennywood. You have a much better selection there (worlds apart from that offered at CP), and the prices are very reasonable.

The quality of my days at Kennywood have ALWAYS been very enjoyable. So they don't have 16 rollercoasters - you really don't miss that. It has a very charming feel, and knowing that you are getting great value for the money always helps.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:25 AM

What about the park that gets 400 dollars out of someone's pocket and shows them a good time? IMHO that's the biggest success of all.

I brought a "first time" family with us to CP for CoasterMania weekend. I figure they spent almost $350 on tickets and lodging alone for the two days, plus food and a few souvenirs, puts 'em at $450 or $500 easily. They had a great time, and are looking forward to going back.


The question stands, why don't more families try going to the more affordable parks? Take GL, for example.

We don't because it is an extra hour and a half, one way, compared to Cedar Point. It takes almost seven hours to drive there and back, and that means we have to stay overnight (which changes the trip dynamics significantly). In other words, CP is a day trip, GL is not. Same story with MiA.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:02 AM
When bringing up GL I was referring to the local Cleveland market. GL is close for them. It has both rides (including lots of coasters) and a waterpark included in one admission

Arthur Bahl

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:06 AM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
I hate the way you're so good at saying something that is earnest, makes a good observation, is twistedly humorous and succinct all at the same time. :)


You're pretty sexy yourself... ;)

Somehow I think I was mis-cast as a straight guy, LOL. But anyway, I think what we'd ALL like to see is people leaving the parks "feeling like they got their money's worth". If that is true, then THEY come back, they *bring* friends and family, and they *tell* neighbors and relatives. THAT is the ultimate success story to me...and one of the reasons I keep finding myself at one of those darned PA parks that starts with a 'K'... ;)
*** Edited 6/28/2006 3:07:59 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:09 PM
Since when does "HersheyPark" start with a "K"? ;)

Anyway, I'm on LG's side on this one. While smaller parks may be a lower cost "alternative" in most cases, they can (rightly) be seen as a substandard alternative. Simply put, while a place like HW can indeed give you a day of fun just like PKI does, there is more *to* do @ PKI. You pay for having that variety. And the food costs at most major parks near major cities charge about the same for the same type of wack food that is served @ sporting events. (Kennywood being a notable exception).

It's funny to me that I hear all these stories on here about the picnic lunches and the "trailer-park-tailgates" and what not, but I'm never the only one eating in any of the in-park restaurants and often have to wait in significant lines to buy some of that nasty-overpriced food that nobody is buying (/end sarcasm). Do I wish prices were lower? Selfishly, yes I do. But I understand *why* they are what they are and, like LG said, consider it the price of playing ball.

I'll admitt, I'm extraordinarily blessed to be able to get what I want without money being the primary deciding factor. But even during the times when I was broke, I just saved for what was important to me.

As for amusment parks, I'm not even sure that they *need* the same people to come every year to maintain their attendance...especially not the big parks. GAdv, for example, draws from such a large population base it's concievable that they could have 3million people come to their park this year and a significant portion of them had not have visited last year. If a family has to "take a year off" i dont think that's a big thing.

But for those that think it's "too expensive" how much were they spending in the park to begin with? I find it odd that one is happy about spending 100 but grumbles about 50. I guess I just have a different way of looking at things. I know how much I can "afford to lose" and stick to that. I dont suddenly become stingy just because I feel gouged. IMO, you should have known that before you came.

Who knows, maybe my thoughts would be different if I had on a different pair of shoes...
jeremy

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:20 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yes, Yes and Yes to everything Jeremy said. (again, I hate how other people express what I'm thinking better than I can :) )


It's funny to me that I hear all these stories on here about the picnic lunches and the "trailer-park-tailgates" and what not, but I'm never the only one eating in any of the in-park restaurants and often have to wait in significant lines to buy some of that nasty-overpriced food that nobody is buying (/end sarcasm).

Love that. :) On the same note, I don't exactly see tons of parking lot picnics either when I do run out to the car for something.


I find it odd that one is happy about spending 100 but grumbles about 50. I guess I just have a different way of looking at things. I know how much I can "afford to lose" and stick to that. I dont suddenly become stingy just because I feel gouged.

Thank you! I was starting to think I was insane. I don't get this at all.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 2:40 PM
Shoulda been at HP over the Memorial Day weekend. We were parked right by one of the Restroom Islands that had some trees and some picnic tables and we got the last tree available! I had never seen so many people eating out in the parking lot. One guy even brought his own grill and was cooking up some burgers! Judging by the lines at the food places I don't think HP was missing our money for food though. :)

Tom


You have disturbed the forbidden temple, now-you-will-pay!!!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:08 PM

eightdotthree said:
Is Kennywood REALLY that hard to find that it effects attendance?

Glad you had a nice trip CPLady, Kennywood seems small and like you could get it all done in a few hours but there is plenty to fill a day with. Hope you get back again.



Eightotthree, It is when Altolf steals all the ARROWS :) J/K

Chuck, who had no problem finding kennywood following the arrows the first time he had too do so.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:17 PM
Im not saying the parks don't do a good buisness on food and such, All Im saying is if a person wouldn't feel it was a rip off or it wasn't so expensive that its neccessary to pack a lunch/drinks ect. Wouldn't they sell more?

The thousand soft drinks drank out in the parking lot that aren't sold in the park are still a couple grand that the parks not getting.

All i mean is I goto KW and don't even think about buy a drink, 1.50 is nothing, 3.50 and I say forget it. but I'd probably buy 5 at 1.50 instead of reluctanly paying for one at 3.50.

Im not the only one who feels this way, Sure a teen or well to do family might not think twice but there are a lot who do and a lot that go so far as to avoid eating and drinking in parks at all cost.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 6:04 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

All i mean is I goto KW and don't even think about buy a drink, 1.50 is nothing, 3.50 and I say forget it. but I'd probably buy 5 at 1.50 instead of reluctanly paying for one at 3.50.

But this is exactly what Jeremy said in part and something that makes absolutely zero sense to me.

You'll spend $7.50 at KW because their drinks are cheaper, but reluctantly drop just $3.50 elsewhere because prices are high.

Yeah, $1.50 is nothing, but you're spending $7.50.

It just doesn't make sense.


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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 9:30 PM
It does make sense.

I spend more but don't even give it a second thought. Thats why imho the corporates are missing out on money they could make just by making things affordable the 1/2 of the guest who don't buy because of price would be buying or be more likely to buy.

Chuck, who has no good way of saying what im trying to say other than the charge less and sell more is better for parks than charge more and sell less. And it don't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:02 PM
I can see what Chuck is saying, even though I don't necessarily think the same way.

Buying a $1.50 drink hurts less than buying a $3.50 drink. So, you buy it. Later in the day, you buy another, again without thinking about it. By the time the day is over, you realize you've spent more, but since you didn't spend it all at once, it just kind of trickled away.

A similar mentality fires up every time I go to a place like Best Buy. 3 DVDs at $15 each, no problem. One video game at $50, I reconsider...


--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 10:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Ok, I see.

However, I entirely disagree. I don't think the majority of people work that way. Who knows though? It'd be an interesting study.

I've always believed that selling less product at a higher margin is vastly superior to selling more product at lower margins.

Here's how it works for me:

I'm thirsty. I want a drink. I get one. Later, I get thirsty again. I want a drink. I get one. Repeat as necessary.

So if I end up getting 5 drinks in a day then the park that charges $1.50 got a total of $7.50 from me, but the park that charges $3.50 got a total of $17.50 from me.

So if we're both at the park on the same day and both buy based on the '5 drink' theory, then:

-Cheap Park got a total of $15 from us (we both spent $7.50)

-Expensive Park got a total of $21 from us (my $17.50 and your $3.50)

Conclusion: Even if only 1/2 of the people accept the higher price, it's still enough to more than make up the difference.

And just for fun let's assume only a third of park guests accept the prices:

-Cheap Park gets $22.50 (7.50 x three guests)

- Expensive Park gets $24.50 ($17.50+3.50+3.50)

Conclusion: It's still to their benefit to run drink prices at $3.50 each. (and this doesn't even factor in the additional costs of moving more product at the cheap park)

Just a basic difference in philosophy, I guess. :)


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