Lo-Q sees 30% boost in profit despite poor economy

Posted Friday, February 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Virtual queuing systems provider Lo-Q (AIM: LOQ) reported results for the first ten months of 2009 after changing its reporting date from 31 December to 31 October, yet was still able to report significant performance improvements as both revenues and pre-tax profits rose nearly 30% with further growth projected for 2010.

Read more from ProactiveInvestors.co.uk.

Friday, February 19, 2010 12:43 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

In other news, parks are still waiting for the prophecied backlash.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Friday, February 19, 2010 1:53 PM

I could see this being a big deal with waterparks once the technology is in place.

Watching some people carry up tubes 2 or 3 times in front of the regular peeps will make the crowds angry...but the only effect is has had has been growth within the industry.

Sign me up for a soggy gold bot!

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Friday, February 19, 2010 8:43 PM
LostKause's avatar

Well of course they are profitable. Blackmail, ransom, bribe-taking...How could that not make money?

Friday, February 19, 2010 9:01 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

Cannot believe Gonch has not weighed in already ;)

Certain victory.

Friday, February 19, 2010 9:20 PM
Jeff's avatar

There's something genius about it all. Find a way to make gobs of money by helping others make more money. It's like a golden opportunity in a down economy.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Friday, February 19, 2010 11:12 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Kick The Sky said:
Cannot believe Gonch has not weighed in already ;)

No reason to, the story and responses speak for themselves.

The prophecied backlash never will happen. No one is being blackmailed or held at ransom, otherwise profits wouldn't be up 30% because people would either not pay up or quit going to parks using the system. Roller coasters don't mean enough to people to risk trying to run that kind of scheme on them.

It's a wild success. People are willing to pay more for a better experience. No surprises there.

Jeff said:
There's something genius about it all. Find a way to make gobs of money by helping others make more money. It's like a golden opportunity in a down economy.

From what I've been led to believe, that's exactly what's happening. The park incurs no cost to install the system. Lo-Q does it all and then takes a cut of the profits. Win/win. (win/win/win if you include the guest :) )

Friday, February 19, 2010 11:40 PM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

...(and a big fat LOSS for all the others.) ;)


Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:24 AM
LostKause's avatar

Reading my mind, Dan? :)

Gonch, I disagree with your statement about parks not being important enough to the non-enthusiast for them to decide not to return once (or if) they notice how Lo-Q is negatively affecting their visit. A lot of parks have a kind of of a monopoly in their area, as they are the only theme park experience option to a lot of their customers. I think it's possible that a lot of non-enthusiasts, if they even understand that they are getting the shaft, still find the amusement park experience important enough to just deal with the negative effect that Lo-Q has subjected them to.

Another words, if they want to ride the rollie coasters, they just have to deal with that line cutting stuff. It's that, or just get one of them there Queuebot thingies.

There is also the situation where the kids keep begging the rents to take them to the theme park. Most kids have a lower awareness for things like having your wallet taken advantage of, and parents don't want to let their kids down. Even if parents despised the local theme park because of it's offering of Q-Bot, they may feel that they have to take their awesome, wonderful children anyways.

I haven't predicted a "backlash" in at least five or more years.

I still stand by this whole topic being about how you perceive it. I perceive it as very negative.

One explanation that Lo-Q (a name which is misleading in itself) is seeing yet more profit boosts in a poor economy may have something to do with budget cuts from struggling theme parks. What does a theme park do during tough times? They lower staffing on some of the rides, for one, which causes longer dispatch times, which cause longer lines. They also may close rides. Maybe just a few flat rides, but is still causes those bodies to be in other lines...

Which leads me to my theory, or whatever, that long lines can be artificially created to sell more line cuts.

If I owned a theme park, and I wasn't as thoughtful and loving of my fellow human beings, I would totally figure out a way to sell more Q-Bots, any way that I could. Who wouldn't? It's easy money.

EDIT - spelling

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:46 AM
Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:36 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The concept doesn't exist in a vacuum.

This isn't something people need, it's something they choose to do. If you provide people with a bad experience, you lose customers.

Pretty much your entire line of thought on the subject flies directly in the face of that most basic truth. Everything you suggest, top to bottom, indicates systems and plans to worsen the experience.

Stop and think about that.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:43 AM
Jeff's avatar

LK: The negative perception is a "backlash." I'm not sure why you're splitting hairs over what you think the definition is. If the market truly objected to this, it would've gone away by now. Furthermore, I've come to accept that alleging poor operations are automatically coupled with premium virtual paid queueing is at best an anecdote. I'm not yet convinced that they have anything to do with each other.

Prior to last year, I was going to Universal Orlando at least once a year, staying on-property for the line skipping perk. It was worth every penny, even in the off-season. People pay for what they see as valuable. Those who don't, don't, and live with the default. Get used to it.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:03 AM
LostKause's avatar

Have you ever been waiting on an exit platform with all the other flashpassers, and when the ride ops let you on the ride, everyone in the very long standby line moans, groans, and curses at you? I have. Why didn't most of those people choose not to come back the next year? Because if they want to ride coasters, they have little options. Going to an amusement park is important to the general public. If it wasn't, the amusement park industry wouldn't have seen the growth that it has for the last 20 or so years.

Maybe my frame of mind comes from my Cedar Fair training, where it was burned into our brains that we need to give as many rides during operating hours as humanly, and safely possible. It was also burned into our brains that people who cut in front of others are stealing from everyone they cut in front of, so it is "strictly" not allowed. I don't know how to explain my perception of it any better, short of saying that everyone who believes that "Q-Bot rules" is not thinking of the hidden aspects that allows the system to make a negative impact. It's not only causeing those people who don't use it to have less rides per day, it is also causing some of the rides that it is used on to give less rides per day, and that's the worst part of it all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:22 PM

LK - - - > There have been many times I have been barked at (even cursed at) while using a flash pass and bypassing the others waiting in line...especially when I have used a gold bot and lapped the line 3 times.

The best way to deal with that is to ignore it and not do or say anything that would prompt an angry response - should I meet up with that party later in the day.

Another way to deal with it is to simply enjoy my extra time on the rides.

I have also been on the other side of the fence where I go to the park (GAdv) after a day at Hurricae Harbor and I am bypassed by the bot parade. The comments from the people in line are priceless...but the people who can upgrade get better perks. It's a way of life that "WE" at least understand.

Here's a thought...if you were to stop at a bench and see a bot on the ground that someone accidently lost...would you use it, return it to the booth or just leave it there. What do you think would most people do?

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:02 PM
LostKause's avatar

Well, I, being a very honest person, would take it back to the Lo-Queue booth the next time I passed it.

So, if others know where I am coming from as far as the "boos and hisses" go, why is it that people (both botters and stand-byers) still come back after being subjected to the situation? I think that it's because the amusement park is the only nearby place for most, that offers roller coasters, among other things, and a lot of people enjoy that kind of entertainment enough to accept the negatives that Lo-Q creates. A whole lot of people don't have an easy choice as to which park they should visit.

That is my reply to Gonch's "

I'll agree that there is something genius about it all. All it took was a new company to figure out how they could break the unspoken rule of how waiting your turn works. If I was a worse person, I could have come up with that idea very easily.

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:06 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2010 1:34 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
It was also burned into our brains that people who cut in front of others are stealing from everyone they cut in front of, so it is "strictly" not allowed.

No one is cutting.

It's not one line anymore.

Read it again.

It's not one line anymore.

One more time.

It's not one line anymore.

No one is cutting in front of you or taking anything from you. You paid to wait in a stand-by line. Those people paid to wait in a preferred access line. There is no one taking something that isn't theirs anywhere in the scenario. It's separate lines of access.

Similar ideas in various capacities:

Continental's Elite Access - special priority lines at security, boarding and your luggage will be among the first out at baggage claim. Also a "no middle seat" guarantee.

Avis First - skip the lines and go directly to your car, free upgrades, members-only website with special deals

Front Of Line Wrstband For Vegas Clubs - pay for a wristband to skip the lines at LAVO and TAO.

Vatican Museum - pay for a special tour that lets you skip the line (reportedly sometimes reaches 2+ hours) for the Vatican Museum. Also skip the line at St Peter's Basilica. (even God is cool with it ;) )

Various Music Artists Fan Clubs - just a quick Google search shows that pretty much every artist offers better (often exclusive) tickets for paying fan club members. People who don't pay-to-play get the leftovers.

Schools Auction Parking Spaces - many schools raise money by auctioning off reserved parking spaces. If you look hard enough you'll find some school auction off FOL access for the carpool or car drop-off/pick-up lines.


For the record, haven't seen boos and hisses for at least 5 or 6 years - and even then the worst were at CP with their lame-ass handstamp system. Last time I used a Q-bot people struck up conversation - How much was it, how does it work, was it worth it, do I use it a lot - that sort of thing. Interest, certainly not animosity.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:16 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Another words, if they want to ride the rollie coasters, they just have to deal with that line cutting stuff. It's that, or just get one of them there Queuebot thingies.

If you 'want' to ride roller coasters, and you go to a park that offers this type of service, knowing full well that it is offered, well, then, hey, it's not blackmail, holding for ransom, etc. If you still can make a choice (and in this case you can, either go and ride coasters, or go do something else) then you're not being blackmailed or held for ransom. I'd have thought you were smarter than that.

I went to 3 Six Flags parks in 2009 (even got an SP for the first time). I never saw in 2 days at SFoG anyone paying to cut. In a whole day of SFGAdv, a park notorious for lines and being hated on, I never saw it, and had a wonderful day.

I went to SFA and I saw it happen on only 2 rides, and it didn't impact me. At all. And they were in the seat right before I was to get on. There was also a concert that day, and after having waited and been bumped once earlier on Superman, I then got bumped because they brought the 'band' that was playing there that nite in and took my seat again. No one complained. Most of the little tweens were yelling and screaming because the band they'd come to see were right there. Oh, and they really DID cut the line, as they were being led around the park to ride without a flashpass.

The ONLY time I've ever had an issue with it was at SFMM in 2005, during the HEIGHT of that park and Del Holland's dark times. Colossus was running only ONE train on only ONE side, and they kept putting between 6 and 8 people who had flash passes in the line that was already 85 minutes. But, then, the Flashpass line was long too. That wasn't due to Flashpasses, that was due to poor ops, which were rampant around the park.

In Sept., I went to Universal Florida on my Free Superbowl Pass thing. I'd have loved to have payed to skip the line to the ticket booth. I waited over an hour just to switch my voucher for a ticket, but oh well, it WAS free. When I got to the ticket booth, they had a special (since it wasn't during the busy season) for a 2 park Universal skip the line pass for $25. I had limited time to do both parks that day, so I got it. And loved it.

I used it at every attraction, even the ones with short lines, because that little bit of time I saved let me do all but 3 attractions in both parks that I needed to do that I hadn't done before. The only ride I didn't use it on was Rockit, and with a 90 minute wait, I'd have loved to. Otherwise, I pretty much walked right on to every ride except Disaster and Posideon. If I hadn't had to wait on either one of them, I would have gotten on even more rides, and I still did mostly everything I wanted to do in two parks (all while getting lost in IoA because of the stupid Potter construction).

No one gave me dirty looks. NO one cared. It was available for them too. If they couldn't afford it they didn't get it. And yeah, maybe I did get to ride quite a few more rides than they did, but, then, I payed for that extra convenience.

Tonite I'm going to a concert in Charlotte. When I moved down here 3 weeks ago I was looking to see what shows and artists were coming to the area. I could get tickets then, knowing I was limited with funds because it was near the end of a pay period and I had just moved, or I could wait and get tickets closer to the time of the show and get a much better seat. BUt I wanted to go, and didn't know if I'd actually get a ticket if I waited.

I'm in the nosebleeds and I'm just happy I'm going. If I'd really wanted to, the band is offering 4 V.I.P. levels of tickets with a bunch of stuff. Honestly, it wasn't worth it to me to do that even if I'd have waited. Because I just want to go and see the concert. Yeah, other people will be closer to the stage than me, but I'm happy to get to go in the end. They're not holding me ransom and telling me if I want to have a good time I have to pay more. I'm going and I'm 100% certain I'm going to have fun.

Website | Flickr | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 3:11 PM

^I love going to Universal and staying at their hotels. Unlimited FOL access allows you to take multiple laps on all their rides. 10 Mummy and MIB rides, 5 Spiderman rides, and at least 3 rides on every other non theater attraction is just a normal day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:57 AM

Gonch - - - > I have never heard of public schools offering premium parking spaces before. WOW!

Perhaps this idea will someday spill into "Pay So You Can Have The Choice Of You Child's Teacher" or "Pay To Be Severd First In The Lunchroom."

Only upper administration and handicapped stickers have "Premium Parking" at our school.

Facinating stuff.

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Sunday, February 21, 2010 12:49 PM
Jerry's avatar

As a side note - I wasn't aware that Dollywood was recently moved to Texas -

"New clients secured during the period included several Six Flags theme parks in North America, Dollywood in Texas, Legoland in Windsor, Mirabilandia in Italy and Dreamworld in Australia."

Monday, February 22, 2010 2:37 PM
BDesvignes's avatar

Just don't go when the park is busy. Problem solved short lines and no need to waste extra money. It's like leaving for a trip a little earlier so you can take the way that's a little longer and avoid the tolls. In my opinion flash pass is like flushing money down the toilet but to each his own. Flashpass is probobly why there's hardly any flat rides at SFGadv, less rides leads to longer lines and more flash pass purchases (conspiracy theory).

Da Bears


You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2022, POP World Media, LLC