Newest jump-to-the-front-of-the-line scheme at Hersheypark--Gonch had it right--there is no escape

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:51 PM
Yes, Sweet Access is most certainly NOT new. It was being pitched at Hotel Hershey last year. I recall it being a little different. It was five rides -- not five hours -- and the concierge service included a limo ride to and from the park.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3:40 PM
^I figured as much considering they were giving out prices for dates that had already gone by. The header for the email was "Front-of-Line opportunity." I'm just curious why they're pushing it now, unless this is when they decided to give the program an overhaul.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:29 PM
Much as I dislike programs of this type, the one saving grace is that they have to remain somewhat limited. It makes no sense to have 30% of everyone attending be a VIP.

Another downside is that when programs like this take off, parks will have to come up with something even more expensive and exclusive so people can feel even more important than those around them.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:44 PM

Another downside is that when programs like this take off, parks will have to come up with something even more expensive and exclusive so people can feel even more important than those around them.

Ahh, the most popular misconception about such things.

It must really look that way from the other side because so many seem to echo those sentiments. That's a shame.

Seems pretty simple to me. You pay more because there's added value for the added cost.

Works in every facet of life - otherwise there'd be no one buying anything more than the 'basic' version of any given product or service.

Believe it or not, lots of us pay more for extras because we want them, not because of what anyone around us thinks.

Now if we could just knock those snobs who pay an extra $100 for floor mats as an add-on option to their car purchase off of their high horses. ;)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 8:30 PM
Lord Gonchar said:

Works in every facet of life - otherwise there'd be no one buying anything more than the 'basic' version of any given product or service.

^That's why it was SO predictable that it would be readily accepted at parks... ;)


Believe it or not, lots of us pay more for extras because we want them, not because of what anyone around us thinks.

^And *that* is why I think ALL perks should be on a la carte menus...pay for what you really WANT... ;)

*** Edited 7/25/2007 12:34:21 AM UTC by rollergator***

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 9:30 PM
Gonch, you're the one who keeps saying people will get used to these premium pricing structures. And when the normal park experience becomes a 5-hour guided tour for $200 a head, where's the special value in that? People will be looking for something of greater value, and parks will come up with someway to offer that, while charging a premium price for it.

As you said, some people pay for extras because they want them. So when the extra becomes the norm, you create a need for more extras.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007 12:30 AM
Be careful not to blur the lines between 'high prices' and 'pay for perks' - there's a difference.

Will people eventually get used to SF (and even CF) pricing? Without a doubt.

Will everyone who visits the parks buy the upgraded experiences? Depends...if too many start buying look for the price to go up. Price is the easy limiter in this situation. (and as I mentioned in passing earlier, SF has already bumped VIP prices - that's not something you do to a service that isn't selling better than expected) All you have to do is maintain the gap in pricing between the two and the extras will never become the norm.

I do think prices will continue to rise...quite high at the bigger parks, but the gap between the gate price and the 'perks' price will always remain too.

It may be $40 to get in today and $50 down the road and $70 after that, but the Sweet Access won't still be $165 then either, it'll be $250.

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