New Great Escape hotel opens with indoor water park

Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2006 8:49 AM | Contributed by DawgByte II

The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park had its grand opening Tuesday. The hotel is home to the state's first indoor water park. It features pools, body surfing, three indoor-outdoor water slides, 200 guest rooms and restaurants.

Read more and see video from WNYT/Albany, The Post-Star story and editorial.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006 2:08 PM

"We're evaluating all price structures," said Shapiro, the former executive vice president for programming and production at ESPN, who has been boss at Six Flags Inc. for only 33 days. "You cannot raise prices unless you raise value."

I'm glad he understands this.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 4:08 PM
Fun's avatar That certainly seems to contradict his decision to raise parking to 15 dollars.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 4:37 PM
And some parks in the chain raised prices with no new attractions at all.

I'm hopeful that the model of The Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark becomes a standard across the chain where geographically possible. It's a fantastic idea and the prior management finally seem to have figured it out. I hope new managment carries forward with similar plans.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 4:50 PM
Yeah but come on, Six Flags has been giving away the gate for years. A $15 parking fee hardly makes up for all those years of being able to skate through all their parks on one season pass. Besides, I'm sure he meant raising prices beyond what they already have been. And let's face it, up until now, with discounts and so forth, it's been awfully cheap to visit one of their parks. No wonder you got stuck with such a cheap product once you entered the gate, that's what you were paying for.

*** This post was edited by DWeaver 2/8/2006 5:13:39 PM ***

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:16 PM
DawgByte II's avatar Parking is raised just for the sake of parking.... if parking is going to cost upwards of 10 to 15 bucks to park my car, I'd expect gold plated tarmac, or at the very least... security around every corner, a pot-hole free lot, AND enough space between each vehicle so I'm not worrying if the jerk next to me has to make me use a can-opener to get back into my car.

The waterpark looks very promising, and it would fit in a number of markets that could support year-round attendance. Great Escape works fine because you've got the mountains right next-door so one can go skiing during the day & in the evening go swimming. A park such as Darien Lake would not benefit from that, since it's in the middle of the sticks & would have to sell out based upon what the hotel offers alone, and not surrounding attractions. Great Adventure would benefit greatly as well as other Six Flags parks, however.

Shapiro seemed excited & extremely optimistic about Great Escape, hoping to turn every park into what this park has become... but with only 700,000 visitors in 2006 AND being a fairly decent size based upon acres used up by the park... the attendance figures don't justify as such. More people were willing to attend the more thrilling parks.

...what they spent at each park, however, remains to be seen. Maybe a million or so people went to New England, LaRonde, or Great Adventure (their nearest properties)... but did they spend as much in the park on anemities such as games, food, souvineers, and up-charge attractions? Those are your biggest revenue makers, and therefore make up the most profitable parks.

I sure hope Shapiro & Snyder know what they're doing... because in all honesty... it just feels like they took a couple of rich bumbling sports execs with no amusement business background & plopped them right in the middle of the biggest financial woes of amusement park history, expecting them to make things right.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:20 PM
Well at least we DO know they won't be sitting on their hands, collecting a paycheck and just writing checks yearly for new coasters for Magic Mountain and Great Adventure.*** This post was edited by DWeaver 2/8/2006 5:26:37 PM ***
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 5:24 PM
Wow, $189 sounds awfully cheap compared to some of the other prices I've seen for these hotel/waterparks.
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 6:27 PM
DawgByte II's avatar It's an introductary (sp) rate, and will be changing. That's more or less half the price of what it's going to be (starting at $300 up to $500/night) starting I think in April or May.

Thursday, February 9, 2006 12:06 AM
Fun's avatar DWeaver, the parking lot, and admission gates are different. I wouldn't necessarily object to them raising prices at their gates (which they have) or even season passes, however their is no value that hasn't been already depleted in their parking lots.
Thursday, February 9, 2006 2:36 AM
Parking, gate, what difference does it make? The money ends up at the same place, in the park's revenue.
Thursday, February 9, 2006 2:36 AM
wow, I just made a rhyme... LOL

Bedtime... ;)

Thursday, February 9, 2006 5:42 AM
Fun's avatar The difference is most people don't consider that. They see it as $15 for the right to park a car, not as a hoaky pre-admission that must be paid.

The better way is to have a reasonable cost for parking, figure the average number of people per car, divide by the difference between the old cost and the new cost, and tack that on to the gate price. The money still gets where it needs to, and the guests don't feel ripped off for parking.

Thursday, February 9, 2006 9:32 AM
2006 will be the first year Great Escape charges for parking, and the cost will be $10 (not $15). In 2005 and previous years, the only paved section was the drop-off area and handycapped parking directly in front of the main gate. The main parking lot (across the street) was gravel / dirt and full of potholes. Paving the main lot is definitely an improvement worth charging a fee. IMO, they can charge more for anything, as long as they show improvement.
Thursday, February 9, 2006 1:38 PM
I'd rather pay 5 bucks more to park my car than an extra five bucks on each ticket I buy. Also the $5 parking fee increase hits the people with season passes that didn't buy a parking pass each time they attend the parks. Again people who buy a season pass without buying a parking pass will complain about the added parking fee but to those who go only one day will not see the impact.
Thursday, February 9, 2006 1:49 PM
Then SF should be honest and tell there guests that we are going to screw you big time when you park your car(at most parks i have been too you cant park anywhere near by for free as a option)so we can reduce the price of admission.
I would agree that a parking lot with alot of security and no pot holes would show the money is going too increase the guest experience but whenever they have increased the price of parking in the past i havent noticed the lot being in any better condition, any more security or more people taking your money at the gate so you can enter the parking lot sooner.
Thursday, February 9, 2006 6:38 PM
Yeah, because Six Flags parks are the only ones that charge to park.


Thursday, February 9, 2006 7:31 PM
DawgByte II's avatar No... but Six Flags is the first Amusement park in North America to charge $15.00 to park!

That's a little ridiculous, considering it's just putting your vehicle in an open asphalt lot with minimal lighting. A park only charges that much if they want to really screw the consumer for their own benefit. $5.00 is more acceptable. It could pay for lighting, property taxes, upkeep, line painting, security & other anemities of the lot... it will not only pay for itself, but a small profit will be obtained from that.

$15.00 is just gouging the customer for every cent they got... why? Because most have no other choice BUT to park there. Only a few lucky locations, can consumers park somewhere else and either walk or shuttle to the park avoiding that fee.

There's no reason for it other than for their own profit, and just for profit.

Friday, February 10, 2006 12:14 AM
Wow...isn't this company in debt? Profit is the BEST reason to raise prices...

I still don't get the complaints here. dragonoffrost hit the nail on the head.

Friday, February 10, 2006 7:56 AM
DawgByte II's avatar Because... trying to gouge the customer is not the best way to get out of debt... it can have reprecussions and backfire... don't think your typical guest is that stupid and doesn't know the value of a dollar, and when they're getting ripped off...

Not too many places charge $15.00 for parking on a regular basis. Sporting event would not qualify... I'm talking like downtown parking in a major city, casino parking and stuff like that. Don't underestimate.


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