Nov 11 Kinzel Article

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:18 AM
matt.'s avatar

Charles Nungester said:
Sure your getting more from the people that DO visit but you'll never get that money from people who don't because of it.

The idea is that the additional income from the guests that remain is enough to offset the income you lose from having less guests.

If you're making more money with 1 million guests and higher prices than you are with 1.5 million guests with lower prices from a business standpoint you are very much winning.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:37 AM
Matt, It compounds tho. This is where the real money is made. REPEAT VISITORS.

I can mention several store chaines I don't visit due to either over pricing or shoddy service levels.

I also don't visit parks that operate that way nearly as much as the value and satisfaction action.

So what you make 70 dollars off 1 person. Id rather make 40 dollars twice of that same person.

Get it?
Chuck

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:37 AM

you want to bring the same people in on a weekday and charge them less, when they were already coming in that weekend?

No, you raise prices across the board, but then offer a "weekday discount" that gets you about back to where you started.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:46 AM
matt.'s avatar

Charles Nungester said:
Matt, It compounds tho. This is where the real money is made. REPEAT VISITORS.

If you cut your attendance by a significant amount and raise your park's income you're going to gain repeat visitors because the park will be less crowded, lines will be shorter, and in theory you could translate some of that increased cash flow into more or better paid staff which creates a better experience for the guest.

I realize this is all "in theory" but I don't think it's in theory that the current model is no longer working as well as it has in the past for an awful lot of parks. *** Edited 11/14/2007 2:47:57 PM UTC by matt.***

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:16 AM
Sorry but that just don't work either matt.

The majority of park goers are families in the 30-75 thou income range. No matter how you slice it. A family only has so much disposible income.

If your rich, Your more likely to take big trips, Have home entertaiment centers, Your own swimming pool ect. I mean big trips as not to the regional park but fl. california, europe.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:20 AM

Touchdown said:
Ski resorts, are for the most part (I know there are exceptions) multi day affairs, especially the big ones, thus a vacation activity (much like the Orlando Parks, which do not get a weekend "bump" in attendance.)

I disagree. Yes there are plenty of big ones which are multi day affairs. But I think you are overlooking the multitude of smaller resorts scattered all over the country. Most of those attract patrons from a local or regional area that typically visit just for the day. They see a big jump in attendance on the weekends and holidays. Not only do they raise their prices on weekends, many of them practice seasonal pricing as well, meaning prices go up during prime skiing season.

I think amusement parks could learn a thing or two from the local/regional ski resorts.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:20 AM
rollergator's avatar

Brian Noble said:No, you raise prices across the board, but then offer a "weekday discount" that gets you about back to where you started.

...cause nobody likes a price hike, but *everybody* likes a discount. :)

LOL, many many parks have figured this out. Just offhand, the most recent examples I can recall were Lagoon and more notably HHN/HoS at Universal/BGA. The Halloween events (at least the ones here) have enough pricing tiers to at least assume they're TRYING to find their "sweet spot". Given the most recent financials from Universal, seems like they're doing it right - or at least *pretty close*.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:21 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Charles Nungester said:
Gonch, You don't get it and aparently never will. You seem to think people are stupid.

LOL! Indeed.

matt pretty much gave you the same responses I would have.

In your world, Chuck, it's the price that is the hassle. That's not true for everyone. The consensus on this page seems to be that for many the crowds are the hassle.

Eliminate the hassle for the majority and you win in the long run. If this page is any indicator (and it very well may not be) - then the crowd is more of a hassle than the price.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:44 AM
Here's another way to put it. It costs two things to to go an amusement park: money, and time.

Some people have spare time. Some people have spare money. A truly lucky few have both. Many people have neither.

If you have neither spare money nor spare time, well, an amusement park isn't in your future.

If you are in one of the other categories, the hassle factor simply depends on which thing you have less of.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:48 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Exactly. We had similar conversations about Q-bot and paying for your ride wait in either time or money.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:51 AM

Jeffrey Seifert said:

Touchdown said:
Ski resorts, are for the most part (I know there are exceptions) multi day affairs, especially the big ones, thus a vacation activity (much like the Orlando Parks, which do not get a weekend "bump" in attendance.)

I disagree. Yes there are plenty of big ones which are multi day affairs. But I think you are overlooking the multitude of smaller resorts scattered all over the country. Most of those attract patrons from a local or regional area that typically visit just for the day. They see a big jump in attendance on the weekends and holidays. Not only do they raise their prices on weekends, many of them practice seasonal pricing as well, meaning prices go up during prime skiing season.

I think amusement parks could learn a thing or two from the local/regional ski resorts.


This is correct about ski resorts. Most have differant weekend and holiday pricing as well as pre-season and post season rates. BMBW, charge about 8-10 bucks more on a lift ticket on weekends. To boost their slow hours, sundays from 5:00 to 9:00 pm they offer rental and ticket specials that are dirt cheap.
And ski resorts don't charge 4 bucks for a pop or coffee!

;) *** Edited 11/14/2007 3:55:08 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:08 AM
matt.'s avatar

Charles Nungester said:
If your rich, Your more likely to take big trips, Have home entertaiment centers, Your own swimming pool ect. I mean big trips as not to the regional park but fl. california, europe.

Um, that's totally part of the problem. The people who are loaded are interested in premium experiences. If more regional parks offered something close to a premium experience then perhaps those wealthier patrons would be more interested. And bring their credit cards with them.

I personally think it's something CP does pretty well. You can pack your kids into your dumpy minivan and do it on the cheap or you can go balls out and get a suite and stay a few days and chow on lobster or whatever every night. Disney has absolutely nailed the concept recently. There's options. I don't think it necessarily takes a resort to do similar things, it just takes some creative ideas. I mean why wouldn't you as a park want to attract the people who have the means to blow the most cash?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:03 PM
rollergator's avatar ^LOL, "creative ideas" seem to be what's REALLY at a premium.

These corporations DO have spare time (in the form of *extra* employees), and they DO have spare money (well, everyone but SF). They do NOT seem to have the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that leads to real innovation - "HEEEEEERE'S Dicky!"

More and more, I am coming to the realization (delusion?) that the kind of *fresh concepts* they're looking for COULD have come from those people who might have spoken up....but they probably got terminated for disagreeing with the boss one too many times.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:36 PM
From all I hear, that's probably especially true at Cedar Fair. Resistance is futile. ;)
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 1:55 PM
If the hassle truly is the lines and the other people, there are two ways to take care of it...

1) Increase prices
2) Increase capacity

I've already said what I think about capacity, but in the way of prices changing based on season / day (and some parks already do this at least a bit -- I know that the Six Flags discounts in my market were higher before July, less after that point), while I like the weekend idea, I think that you're wrong about just raising the prices to thin out the crowd further.

If you are wealthy and you want to go to a theme park, but you don't want to deal with the hassle of lines and stuff like that, you can afford the various passes that they offer to ride a lot faster.

If you aren't wealthy but still want to go, hopefully the park isn't priced outside your range.

The problem with moving the price points up much is that there is a breaking point where people would rather go to Disney or Universal, and where suddenly the difference in money between the two seems to not be that much. Disney and Universal have a perception of value (thanks to theming and capacity) which people are willing to pay more for. I don't think that enough people will be willing to spend enough of a premium to make a park like that work long term. Maybe for a couple days a season, but definitely not year round.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:19 PM
rollergator's avatar ^But not everyone can just drive down to Disney or Universal...."damned yankees". ;)
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2:33 PM

Brian Noble said:
Some people have spare time. Some people have spare money. A truly lucky few have both. Many people have neither.

And some people have spare tires. This also can create hassles at amusement parks. :)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 5:08 PM
What's so bad about trying to shift some of your customers from a weekend to a weekday by offering a discounted gate?-- as opposed to just simply raising rates on the weekends to limit admissions.

Many places offer reduced rates during non-peak periods. For example, Sight and Sound Theatre in Lancaster has a $10 difference in price between the Tuesday-Thursday tickets and Friday-Saturday tickets. Every Christmas show will set out, and it won't be all seniors on buses attending either.

The minor league hockey team I support offers deeper discounts on group ticket prices for games that aren't played on Friday or Saturday. They also offer "dollar Wednesdays" where many concessions either cost $1.00, or you get $1.00 off the regular price. I don't know if the idea brings in more hockey enthusiasts, but it has brought in more casual fans and GP and a few of their dollars.

Say your park gets 40,000 people per day on weekends, which you think is too crowded. With the magic per cap of $40, you bring in 1.6 million per day. If you want to reduce that crowd to 30,000, your per cap has to increase to $53.33 just to bring in the same revenue. That's 13.33 more per person-- including the kids with the junior admissions, the people coming in for twilight admission, and everyone who doesn't pay toward the parking. That's a pretty ambitious increase. And that's assuming you'll still have 30,000 people willing to pay 1/3 more.

Neither SF nor CF have figured out where the point is where they can reduce attendance but still increase revenues significantly. It seems each year CF is down 2-4% in attendance, but up 3-4% in per cap. SF has the 14% per cap increase to go along with their 13% drop in attendance. Will it take a 20-30% increase in price? Or maybe there is no such point?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 6:43 PM
matt.'s avatar

thecoasterguy said:
The problem with moving the price points up much is that there is a breaking point where people would rather go to Disney or Universal, and where suddenly the difference in money between the two seems to not be that much. Disney and Universal have a perception of value...

Right, exactly, perception of value. The only reason I can argue for perhaps raising the gate price is if the quality of the experience directly correlates. If that doesn't happen, boom, you're right, Orlando is the obvious answer.

And that's the thing, for many local parks I think the price of entry is perhaps too low, but when compared with the experience (the percieved value) the price is really way too high. Hence, I don't go. Lots of people don't go.

I mean I don't think every regional park has to be IOA. But taking cues from that kind of park wouldn't hurt, IMO. Of course, Paramount kinda sorta tinkered with the idea, at PKI especially, but I'm not sure anybody here thinks it was very effective. Italian Job, Tomb Raider, that's kind of the epitome of a good concept but half-assed execution to me.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:00 PM
'gator's got it right. The gate price of Disney less than 1/3 of the total cost of my trip there. And, I go *cheap*. Most people spend proportionally less than I do on tickets.
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