This is proof that the message hasn't even made it through all of Ohio yet. The facts are that turning GL around will take alot of time if people who live in Ohio still don't know whats up even after 2 years.
I get SOOooo many freakn e-mails from people asking about Sea World Ohio, from where is at, to what's for families this year at the park. Every month I get them, not just one or two a year. Definetly gets worse during the coaster season of course.
On top of that, the good news is SFWoA is now Geauga Lake. That was even worse when it became Six Flags, and everyone was asking about the park.
Most people's e-mail I end up pointing them in the direction of Cedar Fair. A LOT of hate mail from the animal lovers of SFWoA and Sea World. Not that Cedar Fair can do much about anymore, but I sure can't either. Sad really.
I don't really think its an issue of "getting the message" out or whatever, I just think that people are either just misinformed in general, or just don't know any better. Anyway, I can totally see someone wanting to take their kids to Sea World Ohio and getting pretty confounded using google if they hadn't gotten the word yet.
I see it every day in my job, as does everyone else in their jobs - people who have no clue about things that they definitely should have a clue about.
That said, it doesn't help that some atlases and gazeteers still list places such as Sea World Ohio, Americana and Six Flags Ohio on them.
I was on a short trip with my in-laws in January, and I took a peek at the Atlas they had of our state (dated 2004). As most people do, I tried to find my house. My entire neighborhood wasn't listed in the atlas.
My house was built in 1987, so it's only been 17 years that the atlas is wrong.
Of course the answer must be to advertise, because of course people who haven't bothered to notice the change in the last 5-7 years will obviously pick up and notice if you show 'em a nice purdy TV spot during Wheel of Fortune.
Who cares if people don't know it's changed yet? There are people who still think Pittsburgh is covered in black soot from steel mills that not only shut down, but were mostly demolished before I can even remember... and I'm 23!
Geauga Lake is not, and will not be a destination-style park. Why is it a bad thing that they don't know Sea World doesn't exist and not a good thing that they're planning a vacation to the area and will more than likely still visit and put a few bucks into the Geauga Lake coffers this year?
Even worse is a lot of people who assume Geauga Lake closed along with Sea World.
Wait, Geauga Lake is still open?
Just Kidding, though at only 700,000 guests a year, it won't be long until the park closes unless things change drastically! Hopefuly Bill Spehn will get what he needs to boost attendance, because I like him, and the park has a lot of sentimental value for me.
The shorter season should help, and the emphasis on the water park (the park has some of the best life guards in the USA), so hopefully GL can hit a million guests in 2006.
I haven't met a person yet who knows of HW, SFKK, WL, or GL without having a converstion with me first. And surprisingly, many people know very little about CP. Most of them with a little prodding can conjure up a memory of seeing TTD's premiere on their local news.
But so many of them do not realize CP is only 3 1/2 hours away, I can remember a few who truly believed it was 5-6 hours away, and one girl who had heard of CP, but didn't realize it was in Ohio.
Around DMAX, where I work, it's either PKI or Americana, (and don't say LeSourdsville Lake, or you're bound to lose 'em). Surprisingly, many do not realize Americana has been closed for years, even though it covered by the media very well.
I also don't think their views/knowledge are out of the norm for 99% of the population.
It's that whole "quit thinking like an enthusiast" thing some of us are so fond of repeating. :)
Theme parks are so regional in scope that it hurts. Most people don't know (or care) about parks outside of the handful in their 'local' range and there are only a few true 'destination' parks. (and while CP is moving in that direction and is certainly the regional closest to being a destination park - it is not one)
I've always insisted the most interesting viewpoints on the topic of parks and rides come from non-enthusiasts and the more I dive into the enthusiast community, the more I crave the views of non-enthusiasts.
Sometimes when you get WAY into something you dwell on the details and end up missing the big picture. This is too often the case on enthusiast forums and such.
Just my not-so-humble opinion.
*** Edited 3/8/2006 9:09:47 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
Most people could care less about amusement parks. This is something most enthusiasts can't seem to realize. As Jeff always seems to say, this is a small industry. As such, very few people care about it.
I remember last year, when working at South Tolls, a car came up looking for Sea World. Luckily, the people in the car admitted they should have done their research ahead of time.
People have better things to do with their lives than know the ins and outs of every little amusement park in the world. We shouldn't blame them for not knowing things that to us are common knowledge.
As much as I love amusement parks, the older I get, the more I realize that there is more to life than roller coasters. People have varying interests, and it isn't our place to insult them for caring about things other than who owns what park and what ride was built when.
Just my two cents,
Under my comments, the Americana thing was hard to believe, as well as, the CP comments. But honestly, I didn't totally expect people to know where WL, GL, or HW were. SFKK...maybe a few more people seeing as how many co-workers are Kentucky-natives, and visit Louisville occasionally.
I agree with Gonch that CP is heading in the right direction toward being a destination, but maybe some more advertising would help. We live in Dayton, OH, (approx. 3-4 hours away), and I've never seen a CP commercial here. One billboard a couple of years ago, but that's all I can recall.
All three of the parks (PKI, CP, and GL) advertise pretty heavily in the Columbus market...it's that central location, I guess.
Heck, CP, PKI, and Geauga heavily advertise here in Charleston, WV, and most of them know there is no longer a Sea World in Ohio.
But then again they have never heard of Kennywood or Holiday World for the most part. I keep suggesting that these parks market/advertise in this section of West Virginia.
In the meantime I will keep sending people out to both. ;-)
Several times I have been told "I didn't realize there was an amusement park in Pittsburgh, and that's so close!" ;-)
*** Edited 3/8/2006 6:05:32 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
I remember going to Charleston last year for another passion of mine show choir, and we passed like 3 CP ads 5 PKI signs and like 4 GL signs. There's heavy advertising along the freeways there.
Those pics of Shouka are pretty sweet to me. The last time we saw her at SFWoA, she was the baby just learning a few simple jumps...now she's the star!
Last year, 2005, however, I don't remember seeing any CP billboards here. Was that marketing strategy a little futile, or has PKI simply taken over?
In summer 2004, I took a speaking class, and one assignment was to pitch (sell) a product. I chose Cedar Point. My main selling points were: a resort destination with more thrills, and coasters than Disney World, yet closer and cheaper; the most coasters in the world; and the awards its received (Am. Today: best park, best steel coaster, best capacity).
The class took a vote, which was split. For the no-votes: besides the fact that some didn't care for parks/coasters, some asked why they should have to pay for the extra gas, hotel, and higher admission to do something Kings Island essentially offers for less and closer - plus with an included water park.
Unless they are into thrill rides and coasters, I doubt very many people from areas south of Columbus, and furthermore those from Cincinnati metro and NKY, would seriously go to Cedar Point. *** Edited 3/8/2006 8:54:33 PM UTC by CoastersNSich*** *** Edited 3/8/2006 8:56:26 PM UTC by CoastersNSich***
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