Lo-Q CEO talks about virtual queues and company growth

Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 9:21 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Tom Burnet, CEO of Lo-Q, says his company has enjoyed significant growth during his tenure. He talks a bit about the business of virtual queues.

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Friday, May 4, 2012 10:45 PM

What happens to park patrons when Lo-Q has wedged themselves into every park, and they have grown as much as they can? What are they going to do in order to be profitable after that? The only thing to do is set more limits on the standby line and sell front-of-the-line access at a higher price.

It's a slippery slope that will inevitably separate the classes more and more the further we go. Of course Lo-Q is going to do well, financially speaking, as long as the parks hire them to hold the rides at ransom and blackmail their customers.

If my unpopular opinion on this subject allows just one new person to understand, then I have done my job, and I am grateful for the chance.

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Friday, May 4, 2012 11:00 PM

LostKause said:

What happens to park patrons when Lo-Q has wedged themselves into every park, and they have grown as much as they can? What are they going to do in order to be profitable after that?

That applies to every business everywhere all the time.

And anyone who would have even the slightest memory of you or I will be long gone before that sort of worldwide-beyond-just-amusement-parks saturation is reached. :)

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Friday, May 4, 2012 11:22 PM

More and more my biggest issue is what parks look like once the *only* reasonable option is virtual queuing, because I think it isn't too far off any more. Can't believe I'm going to say this, but I may lean more towards the old individual ride tickets than the VQ movement the more I think about it. I can appreciate the "benefits oriented consumer" perspective, but don't think it should be the only focus like it seems to be heading towards.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, May 4, 2012 11:45 PM
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Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:04 AM

maXairMike said:

I can appreciate the "benefits oriented consumer" perspective, but don't think it should be the only focus like it seems to be heading towards.

I think that's the only place they're still messing this up to some small degree. Sell it from the other angle as well!

"We run a Lo-Q virtual queue system, but we also offer a less expensive single-price, ride-all-day admission option for our "value oriented customers" too." :)

Seriously.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 12:23 AM

I don't get the suggestion that it's the "only focus." Where is that happening?

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 9:17 AM

I don't get how virtual queuing "separates the classes".

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 1:30 PM

If you are a teenager, and you are visiting the park on a school trip, and your waitress mother who is doing the best she can to make ends meet gives you $40 for play money for the day, you probably can't afford Lo-Q's product. If your Doctor father and Lawyer mother gives you $200 for play money for the day, you can. Separation of classes right there.

Before, POP allowed everyone to be on the same level, as far as amount of rides. Now, Lo-Q creates two kinds of people in the park; those who can afford to cut to the front, and those who have to wait for the cutters to finish with their rides so they can get the scraps.

Take your kids to the local playground and see how everyone is the same for a little while. It used to be almost like that.

Like I say, I can afford it these days, and if the park is remotely busy, I'll get it, but just because I don't want anyone cutting in front of me.

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, May 5, 2012 1:32 PM
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Saturday, May 5, 2012 2:15 PM

POP never allowed everyone to be on the same level with amount of rides.

Travis, you still think parks are a 'right'. They've never been a right. They are pure luxury and with any luxury, the more you spend, the more you get.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 3:31 PM

LostKause said:

Take your kids to the local playground and see how everyone is the same for a little while.

Last time I was at the playground, I saw the popular and 'cool' kids get the swings and use the slide at will while the less popular kids had to wait to use the swings and were stuck in the cat-poop filled sandbox.

Popularity is kid money. :)

Seriously though, you're comparing a public playground to an amusement park. Disney World and the neighborhood park on the next block over have absolutely nothing in common.

Nothing.

On a barely related note, you guys see Jason Hammond's pic of the Fast Lane line at Kings Island today?

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:09 PM

Rich kids have playgrounds in their backyards. They don't need public playgrounds.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 5:02 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

On a barely related note, you guys see Jason Hammond's pic of the Fast Lane line at Kings Island today?

My goodness, just look at all those 1%-ers.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012 7:37 PM

But POP did NOT allow everyone to be on the same level. Those who could afford the luxury of buying admission to the park got to ride rides. Those who could not afford the admission price could not.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 2:50 AM

It's a good argument, but even during my poor youth days, I still found a way to get to Kings Island at least once a year, if not more, with the school, family, or church. We had a lot more money in my older youth days, and I still went to the park the same amount of times. So I do not relate.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 8:06 AM

And I have never not had enough money for Lo-Q (though I've also never chosen to buy it), so I don't relate to people who can't afford it.

Edit: That was more a point for argument's sake. I'm not a totally heartless bastard.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, May 6, 2012 8:13 AM
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Sunday, May 6, 2012 9:44 AM

You are the 1%. :)

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 12:51 PM

Time is money!

Going back a few posts as to the thought that once all (or most) parks have thisthat the business growth of Lo-Q will slow down brings me to this thought...

Anywhre there is a line that people do not want to stand in, there will be a need and opportunity to use this.

The DMV comes to mind. Anybody who has ever been to a DMV in New York City (Kennedy Airport, Coney Island) will gladly pay 15 bucks to bypass the line. Everyone involved will make money from it.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 1:11 PM

Richie Reflux said:

Anywhre there is a line that people do not want to stand in, there will be a need and opportunity to use this.

That's exactly what I was alluding to with this comment:

"...that sort of worldwide-beyond-just-amusement-parks saturation..."

In fact, the article says it too near the end:

"I’m certainly going to be expecting to be able to report more sales and particularly I think to water parks around the world and to single line attractions with our smart phone technology"

They're still talking attractions, but 'single-line attractions' seems like they're not talking parks anymore...and once you're doing this on your phone (as we predicted/talked about five years ago) it can be implemented anywhere with ease.

And that's just Lo-Q technology specifically. That's not accounting for in-house attempts or competing companies.

Hell, most large Halloween attractions now offer some kind of FOL access for an upcharge - in that very little sense it's already trickled outside of the parks. How long before it moves to other kind of attractions? And then to more mundane things that aren't attractions (like the DMV as you mentioned)?

Just more of the reason that complaining about this at the parks feels like stone age thinking. It's already rooted in the parks...and it's starting to seep out.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 6, 2012 1:12 PM
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Sunday, May 6, 2012 1:38 PM

Do not like.

lol

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 1:48 PM

They've been doing it at concession stands at a few stadiums and arenas for a couple of years.

http://bypasslane.com/pages/teams

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