Parking charges have gotten out of hand

Thursday, May 9, 2002 6:55 AM
Park admission ticket prices have never really effected me since I know I am paying for a good time. But there is nothing worse than being raped at the parking booth when I enter a lot with an $8 parking charge.

It's completely gotten out of control, and for no good reason. The large theme park industry (and anywhere else for that matter) have seemed to find an instant way of making money, and there isn't any logic to it.

Back in the day, when parking charges were first instated, the general thought was to pay extra parking for convienince. Downtown lots would offer a deal as opposed to parking meters. Ball games would require a lot fee for traffic control and other places would require a fee to eliminate "non customers" or employees from parking in their lot.

Some parks used this fee to their benefit by keeping the vehicle volume down in areas where some people would park in their lot and go off somewhere else. That was understandable.

But now Cedar Point has gone Up to $8, Six Flags WOA at $7 (down from $9 last year) SFGrAm at $10, SFoG at $10 and Kings Island is $8 and $10 for premier parking. There is just no logic to it. I can understand causeway maintainence at Cedar Point, but not $8/car worth. Plus, so many of the large parks nowadays are in locations to where they are not effected by non-park-goers parking in their lots.

OKAY....... Now you are probally saying to yourself, "God John, have you never heard of a parking pass?" The point is, you can't take advantage of the average once-a-year family that saves up for that one big vacation, and is tight on money all the time. It gives them a negative impact and you get a bad word of mouth.

First impressions are important. The guests are aware of your ticket prices, but when you rape them at the toll booth, say goodbye to a happy customer.

Constructive thoughts are encouraged.

*** This post was edited by john peck on 5/9/2002. ***

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 7:14 AM
Well said John. SFNE is now at $10 which is insane, but what really gets me is when they randomly raise the parking price mid-season as they have for the last couple of years. I expect the high parking price, but to return mid-season and find a higher price is a great turn-off even for a park regular. The phrase "raped at the parking booth" that you used is very true, especially considering that most people have little choice, come upon the outrageous cost somewhat unexpectedly, and are left with such a negative image because of it.
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 7:16 AM
It is really bad that I pay 10 bucks to go to a professional basketball game in downtown Milwaukee and I get socked with the same amount at an amusement park. Maybe they are trying to stay consistant with what most sports venues are charging. The thing is that for most sports venues you can avoid paying the high cost of parking by parking further away or by using public transportation. You do not have that option with many amusement parks, especially the major ones.

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Bob Hansen

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"We are not responsible for anything the Demon takes or breaks"

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 7:29 AM
Agreed. There's a difference between carving out a piece of valuable downtown land for a parking garage for a stadium, than paving over many acres of cheap land beside the interstate.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 7:44 AM
Parking charges put me in a foul mood which upsets me because I'm at the park for a good time not to complain about being hosed by overpriced parking.

I might even be more inclined to buy food at a park if I didn't shell out the $10 to store my car. As it is now, I feel I already gave the park enough money and they aren't going to get anymore out of me.

Charging for parking is especially annoying when there is rarely any other option to get to the park except by lugging in a private vehicle.

I must give credit to Geauga Lake. They waived the parking charge one day in late August, 2000 because of the excessive ride closures. A nice gesture that I'm surprised they sprung for.
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 8:23 AM
Hey Kick the Sky,

I understand what you are mentioning. I was at a White Sox game two years ago and it cost I believe it was $13!!!!!!!!!!!!! to park there. Crazy stuff. I agree that we are getting hosed for parking fees. This is nuts. I already give enough money to attend amusement parks as it is. Though I will always pay to come back.... :-)

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 8:47 AM

Parks charge high parking prices because they can… they have us over a barrel and they know it. Like it was said above, you simply have no alternatives.

I’m surprised some parks don’t charge more than they do (CP comes to mind – your only option is the ferry, and that is probably just as expensive). At least Holiday World remembers that parking should be free…

I wonder why none of the chain parks offer a parking pass that is good at all of their parks???

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 8:52 AM
Hmmm.........I might be the oddball of this discussion, but I thought $8 to park at Universal/IOA for the day was pretty reasonable. And after 6:00 PM you can park for free and enjoy CityWalk. ;)
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 8:59 AM

Lallen said:
Hmmm.........I might be the oddball of this discussion, but I thought $8 to park at Universal/IOA for the day was pretty reasonable. And after 6:00 PM you can park for free and enjoy CityWalk.


And you have to admit that Universal's lots are worth the eight bucks to park in. They got the people movers going and the music blaring; it is all good. I cant even get a f'ing tram at a six flags park if I am parked in the boonies.

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member
"We are not responsible for anything the Demon takes or breaks"

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 9:00 AM

over here in england, they have just started charging for car parking at parks this season. it now costs £2 (about $1.50) to park at alton towers. many people are outraged at this decision by the park with the call an 'environmental tax' as they say they are trying to protect the environment by getting people to use public transport. however, there is no train station near the park and hardly any buses. also, from a leaked memo, we now know that the park are just doing this to get more money, and many people arent happy at this decision. however, they have no choice but to pay, so i can see several more parks in england starting to charge for parking soon, which people in this country arent happy about!

in relation to america and your car parking charges, i think they are absolutely crazy and no park should be able to get away with charging up to $10 just to park so you can visit the park. its totally uncalled for and stupid! if the charges in england ever get this high, i can see theme park popularity falling dramitically!

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 9:08 AM
For those of you who are familiar with Kennywood, you know they have free regular parking and like a $3 closeup parking lot. When they built Sandcastle waterpark in 1987, they charged $1 and that was quickly eliminated due to complaints.

Its gotten to the point where I think $6 is a deal at a large park.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 9:56 AM

Worse than the single-day parking fees are those places that won't sell you a season parking pass. That irritates me.

Still, I expect to plop down $10 for a sporting event or concert (to park three or four hours). Thinking in that context makes amusement parking seem like no big deal to me.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 10:00 AM
If I were paying 8 or 10 Dollars for Covered Parking, that would seem like an appropriate price.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 10:01 AM
I agree that parking has gotten crazy. PKI is $8, and PKD went up to $7 this year. At least SFGadv. repaved their lot, and SFA repainted the lines on their lot. It's a shame that everyone can't follow the Knoebels model and charge nothing.

When I worked at a nightclub, my manager discovered that you could charge more to get in, because people were either going to see the band, or not. An extra $1 or $2 wasn't a make or break thing. Sure, you may complain about parking, but it's highly unlikely that you'll turn around and go home over it.

All I've got to say is that you want the expensive rides, you're going to pay for the expensive rides, one way or another.
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Thursday, May 9, 2002 10:01 AM
I paid $20 to park at Pac-Bell park last year. Parking for a whole day at an amusement park is relatively cheap.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 10:48 AM
You guys should be glad you dont live here in Las Vegas. When Comdex and CES come to town. Some resorts and convention facilities charge upwards of $25 for parking.

A friend and I went to Condex this past fall and even valet at the Las Vegas Hilton had a $20 charge...insane!

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 11:00 AM
The moral of the story? Thank god for the smaller parks :)

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 12:44 PM
Very true. You can get an all day ride pass at Lakemont Park for less then what it costs to park at the large places.

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everything's better with a banjo

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 12:50 PM

Staying at the Radisson in downtown Chicago last summer, even after paying $169 a night for a room, I had to pay $25 a day parking fee on top of that.

Later that week, I stayed at Country Inn and Suites across from SFGAm, and walked to the park. I bet you could park in that lot, or in the lot of the nearby shopping center, and not be noticed.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, May 9, 2002 12:53 PM
I have a SFGAdv parking pass, but it only gets you in for free and you still have a hike to the front gate. If you want to get close you have to pay for premium parking. I like the way that Six Flags America does it. The earlier you arrive, the better the parking space. Between the premium and handicapped parking, there is no way to park close to Great Adventure's front gate with just a parking pass.
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