Nov 11 Kinzel Article

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 9:25 PM
Ya know what I've been wondering a lot lately? Paramount was successful, right? Kinzel said some massive number of their guests had season passes. How does that factor into this whole equation? If you are a pass holder, do you get counted every time you go to the park - even though you're not paying again?

How does that affect numbers? I mean, attendance is up, but revenue might not be because the majority of people have passes.

How's that all work?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:45 PM
I don't think everyone will agree that people would rather go to IOA, or Disney rather than a SF or CF park. I would rather go to the other parks (SF/CF) than Disney.

The other parks have more attractions that I enjoy. At IOA, I have 3 great rides whereas at SFOT, I have 8. Which is the better choice for me? I rather go SFOT a whole lot more than IOA, or Disney. At Disney, I have 3 at Magic Kingdom, 1 at the Animal Kingdom, and 1 at the Hollywood Studios. I imagine after the rehaul on Space Mountain, Magic Kingdom will down to 2.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:04 PM

rollergator said:
^But not everyone can just drive down to Disney or Universal...."damned yankees". ;)

No, but that's my whole point. If you said, "Hey, let's make the regional amusement park cost $80 on the weekends to have people go through the door. With less people, they'll have a better time!" an average family might say that the four of us will end up spending $400 after food to go there. Hmmm... I wonder how much more it would be to go to Disney.

There is a certain point where people just won't pay to go to a regional park when there are other options available.

And SpinOut, I get your point that these parks cater better toward you, but the sheer volume of people who go to the Disney parks every year and the difference in ages that go there I think speak more for the general public. Remember -- these regional parks tried appealing to people like us during the last six or seven years, and some did a respectable job, while others (*coughSixFlagscough*) have nearly bankrupted themselves because of it.

Ultimately, I don't think these parks can increase prices much without turning off far too much of the population. The solution in my opinion is to go back to the days of coasters that could munch 2000 people per hour and appealed to lots of people.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Wait a sec. I must be missing the point.

Are you really trying to say that a trip to Disney is a reasonable and viable alternative to a day-long weekend visit to the local/regional park?


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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:39 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar Part of the idea of reducing crowds on weekends by upping the price, isn't just that you maintain or slightly decrease revenue with less overhead. You also increase guest satisfaction (less guests who you have to turn away or cram into an already crowded park, less wait times for everything, less bumping into people on the midway, less...crowding.).

Discovery Cove seems to have found a sweet spot with this where the high price chases away most of the potential customers making a premium experience available at a premium price.


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."

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:46 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Wait a sec. I must be missing the point.

Are you really trying to say that a trip to Disney is a reasonable and viable alternative to a day-long weekend visit to the local/regional park?


No, it comes back to perceived value.

If a family of four comes up with a number that seems to be pretty high for their day-long weekend visit to a local/regional park, what is to stop that family from thinking that they might as well save that money and apply it to a longer trip to a park like a Disney park?

In a nutshell, if they can spend $400 to go to the regional park, or they can spend $400 for an extra day at Disney, I think it would definitely make people question whether they should bother with their day at the regional park at all, or just save it for one more day at Disney if / when they go.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Ok, but that's fine.

Losing attendance is an acceptable casualty in this scheme. In fact, it's one of the points of doing it in the first place - you want a certain segment to not visit the park (or at the very least, not visit on the weekend).

Speaking of which, I would suspect that family would either:

1. Find a completely different form of entertainment for the day

or

2. Work out a way to visit during the week at lower prices

before they decided on a Disney vacation.

That seems like a little leap in logic to me to go from "Ahh, that's too much for the local park" to "Let's go to Disney!" with nothing inbetween.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007 5:53 PM
The two are simply incomparable, at least for my family.

A weekend day trip is a simple diversion. It requires next to no planning. You almost don't even have to think about it. You just grab the car and go. The only question you have to ask yourself before going is "can the lawn wait until tomorrow/next weekend."

Flying somewhere is a big deal. You've got to plan in advance. Buy tickets. Find a hotel. Get a place for the dog to stay. Stop the mail. Take a week off of work.

If my family is any indication, we don't even budget the time or money for day visits and week-long trips out of the same pot.
*** Edited 11/15/2007 10:54:21 PM UTC by Brian Noble***


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Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:02 PM
Gonch, I think the point he's trying to make is that families who had traditionally gone to CP 3-4 times a year might decide instead to spend their $1600 on one one trip to Disney (like the commercial advertises) instead of 4 days at CP if it's going to cost them $400 a shot. Will they? Who knows? It's up to CF to take that shot and find out.

I also don't think Discovery Cove is an adequate comparison. First of all, the place was built to provide a premium experience. Second, the experience is still something that few people are acquainted with. Third, it has no history as anything else.

On the other hand, most every other amusement and theme park has been billed for decades as the place where families could go for affordable fun. Unlike swimming with a dolphin, just about everyone knows what riding a coaster or ferris wheel is like. And no matter how upscale the park wants to act, to many people it's still the place where the "plant" or union local had their picnics and you went on your 6th grade class trip. It's a hard row to hoe to convince people it's an $80 or $100 dollar experience.

BTW, did we ever hear a thing about "Exclusive Adventure" after the event?

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:08 PM
I think that you both sort of missed my point.

Day parks are currently a diversion, but we are talking about leaving the weekly prices the same and driving up the price to lose attendance but make the experience better.

The problem that I see is that to me, the local park will lose more and more attendance because the people who have more money and are willing to pay can already purchase perks at the parks because of their money (VIP tours, Flash Pass, etc). In this way, the pricing structure of a regional / local park already works for all demographics.

But, if you raise the park for the pass by enough money to lower attendance, you theoretically eliminate the need for things like Flash Pass and so on. With what those cost, wouldn't that make general admission prices something close to $100 probably?

And at that point, why wouldn't most local people just skip the park altogether and instead either opt for the local carnival rides, or save their money for a park with a higher perceived value, like a Disney?

A local / regional park is a park that you can do with little to no planning... *if* you have the money to do it right now. I know a lot of people who save all year to attend one local park, and will save for five years to go to Disney. If the local park suddenly costs an extra $150 to go on the weekends, they will just stop going altogether.

I think that the amount of people who would pay such a high premium would be very minimal.

Actually, didn't one of the Six Flags parks do that this year (I think it was Great America or Adventure?) I think they opened only for a maximum group of like 5000 people, and everyone had to buy a ticket for $200 or something? I think it went over rather poorly, although I may be completely mistaken. I know I didn't go.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:09 PM
Not to dig up old bones but CF missed a hell of a shot combinng CP and Geauga. Booking combined 4 day 3 night stays.

It would have probably been profitable for them to run a shuttle from the CP hotels to Geauga and back.

Of course, Thinking outside the box never occured.
Chuck

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:49 PM
^ this still can be done as a waterpark trip.

Intimidator 305 the tallest most hated coaster nobody has ever ridden...

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Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:38 PM
Riddle me this:

In this world of premium experience, would there be such a thing as a season pass? Or would there be two tiers as well?-- the premium season pass, and the regular "don't even think about showing your face around here on a weekend" pass.

What kind of attendance reduction are you looking for-- 10, 20, 50%? So you think folks will come to the park, drop $100 per admission and exclaim "lookie, there's hardly anybody in the corn dog line. Here's 50 bucks junior, go get us some seconds!"

Now that's a premium experience!

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Friday, November 16, 2007 12:38 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
BTW, did we ever hear a thing about "Exclusive Adventure" after the event?

Not really. And I doubt we ever will again. :)


In this world of premium experience, would there be such a thing as a season pass? Or would there be two tiers as well?-- the premium season pass, and the regular "don't even think about showing your face around here on a weekend" pass.

I don't know. That popped into my head a few times, but I quickly pushed it aside. :)

Then again, I already think season passes are grossly underpriced at the big chain parks.


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Friday, November 16, 2007 6:31 PM
I'll agree with season passes being underpriced. Seems pretty clear that parks need them for the upfront money they provide. But then it's a huge wildcard if you're looking to control how many show up on your premium days.
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Friday, November 16, 2007 6:49 PM
^^ Well, Disney does that well, with different priced passes, depending on how many blackout dates you are willing to tolerate.
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Friday, November 16, 2007 8:22 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar I suppose just bumping the pass price to a reasonable level would have the same effect as tiered pricing. Especially if you split out a weekday only pass (at the current price) and an "anyday pass" at a premium price.

SFoT already has a regular pass and a Gold pass, but the only difference I call tell is that the Gold pass gets you some coupons to non-six flags events (tickets to sports events, etc.) *** Edited 11/17/2007 1:24:39 AM UTC by ApolloAndy***


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."

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