SFMM Introduces "Play Pass"

Monday, November 1, 2004 2:07 PM
http://www.sixflags.com/parks/magicmountain/

SFMM has decided to bypass the traditional season pass this year in favor for their new "Play Pass." It's essentially a season pass, but it's the cost of a one day admission. Like all other SF season passes currently on sale, it is good the rest of 2004 and all of 2005. I know SFOG has a similar deal, but considering a SFMM single day admission is only $47.99...that's one heck of a deal, especially when you consider that's cheeper than 2005 Season Passes at "smaller" SF parks like SFA and SFDL. It really makes you wonder what SFI is thinking putting out deals like that.

They also have an Xtreame Pass available for $125 with some REALLY nice perks like free parking included, 4 free fast lane passes EVERY visit as well as some good discounts available ALL the time throughout the park...

So the question is...is SFMM in so much trouble that they need to pull deals like this to pull in the masses? Or is the park doing so well that they can offer these deals without serious damage to the overall park income? I mean, consider that the EARLY BIRD price at SFGAdv and SFGAm is $74.99 (though the fact that HH at SFGAm is included makes it more of a deal), at SFNE and SFMW it's $54.99, at SFDL and SFA it's $49.99...SFMM beats ALL of those parks, which is odd considering SFMM season passes are typically the most expensive. The only park with even cheaper season passes are SFOG with season passes only costing $42.99 (also the cost of a single day admission).

Interesting...very, very interesting..


If you can't stand the heights, get out of the line.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:26 PM
Here goes SF again, giving away the gate thinking that by reducing season passes, people will just empty their pockets in the park....

$47.99 for a Season Pass at SFMM? That's just a stupid business decision.


--George H

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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:26 PM
That's crazy. They've been trying for years to fix their financial woes by giving away season passes, etc. That's not the answer, kids!

When they've never opened all 16 coasters on the same day, had rides that haven't run for years, and the running coasters run 1 train only, the last thing they need is more people in the park. (And probably just increased "babysitting" attendence!) *** Edited 11/1/2004 7:27:59 PM UTC by Peabody***


Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:40 PM
Jeff's avatar Wow... If I was a major investor in the company, I'd demand the executives be canned yesterday. Unbelievable.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:47 PM
Part of this may be due to price competition in that market. I know that Universal has offered a similar deal in the past. That said, Disney has been busy raising DL passes by a big chunk of change recently, and I can't see this as a move trying to poach former DLR passholders who don't want to renew at the new prices---those demographics couldn't be more different.
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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:54 PM
SFOG is indeed selling season passes for the price of a regular admission, which is like $42. What a deal!

I think that this is a good thing generally, but nowadays, Six Flags could really use the money. I think that they take care of their passholders pretty well, but they do really need to consider some increases (unfortunately)

I think part of the plot may be to sell more season passes, and therefore, people may be inclined to come back more than just for an annual visit, like many people do. If the season price pass is the same, many will but it and visit multiple times, meaning more money coming in from food, merchandise, paid attractions etc. So, I think that the deal balances out in the end. *** Edited 11/1/2004 7:58:17 PM UTC by RamblinWreck***

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Monday, November 1, 2004 2:59 PM
Soggy's avatar SoCal peeps are really used to getting a new coaster every season or so, and now that this will be a second season in a row with no new coaster, they have to get return business somehow. Also, Disney just announced that they were raising their price to $329 for a 2 park-deluxe pass, which would make SFMM's look all the cheaper. USH will probably bring back the "Buy a day get a year for free" deal again, if they haven't already. Another reason SFMM wants to do the same.

Why are all the comments negative so far? I know SFMM's operations have hit the skids as of late, but it saves you money, so why cry about it? I never renewed my pass for 2004, but I'll most likely go sometime soon and take advantage of this deal.


Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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Monday, November 1, 2004 3:05 PM

Soggy said:... but it saves you money, so why cry about it?

The point isn't saving money for people....that's not going to get them the business they want. I'll give you a rotten spoiled nasty egg salad sandwich for free, or a really tasty fresh one for $5l Which are you going to take?


Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
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Monday, November 1, 2004 3:54 PM
I don't see how it's all that disastrous. Didn't the Busch parks do this a couple years ago?

-'Playa
(who still has his BGT card)


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 4:05 PM
BullGuy's avatar I did a double take when I was told that I could come back any day on a regular admission to Sea World Orlando. We visited the park a total of 3 times that year, and we live in Chicago.

-Mark
Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 4:16 PM
eightdotthree's avatar People are complaining because it will only make the park worse. Increased attendance with the same cash flow means no new money to hire additional workers to handle the assumed attendance boost.
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Monday, November 1, 2004 4:55 PM
Wait now is the play pass also valid at the rest of the chain or just at SFMM all summer?

Kyle Says: Diamondback was a lot of fun! Made his first time at Kings Island worth it all!

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:01 PM
rollergator's avatar Busch still has the Fun Card idea going on....

I was initially bummed that it *tends* to devalue my 2-year Gold Pass, but really, BGT doesn't get that busy anyway....and that's nothing a new coaster is gonna change.

Back to Tragic Mountain...That Xtreme pass, that sounds like a "babysitting magnet"....seems like it's intention is to draw people away from the better-run SoCal parks, LOL....good luck!

Is SFMM in trouble? You betcha! Will this help? Not without some DRASTIC changes in the way things are run there....
*** Edited 11/1/2004 10:02:38 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:14 PM

redman822 said:
Here goes SF again, giving away the gate thinking that by reducing season passes, people will just empty their pockets in the park....

$47.99 for a Season Pass at SFMM? That's just a stupid business decision.


But let me ask you this; given all the alleged problems that SFMM has and assuming that these problems are as chronic as some people here would have us to believe, why would anyone ever return to SFMM?

I am in full agreement with you all that the upkeep/staffing/service issues *must* be addressed. But even if you do all those things, who would know? You've given no reason for the pissed off to ever return. At least the price reduction is a concilatory bone. Of course, this would mean nothing if the other problems are left to fester.

Methinks that things must get worse (financially) for SFI before they can get better.


zacharyt.shutterfly.com
PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:20 PM

Kyle Fobe said:
Wait now is the play pass also valid at the rest of the chain or just at SFMM all summer?

As quoted from the SFMM webpage, Play Passes grant "FREE Admission to all Six Flags Theme Parks across the country!"


If you can't stand the heights, get out of the line.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:30 PM
Isn't giving away the gate (Wildlife side *and* waterpark free with very cheap admission and season passes for what was offered) one of the main reasons their megapark in Cleveland failed? This type of thinking could do them in.

+Danny


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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:31 PM
Soggy's avatar Peabody: Getting people to come back by saving them money is SFMM's point, not mine. They NEED some sort if incentive since there is no new "big ticket" attraction.

We all know that the average guest (non-enthusiast) spends more money inside the park than they do on the gate. That's nothing new. Most SoCal guests will know about all the local discounts. (buy tix at Ralph's, get half off, and a free child ticket too) That "costs" the park quite a bit. If they offer this deal, and people take it, they are now getting 100% of the "regular" gate fee, which is quite a bit, PLUS whatever they will spend inside the park that day, and future visit(s).

Now, I'd be willing to bet that the marketing research proves that most people who get these cheap season passes don't come back more than once anyway. That would still be only a 50% gate cost compared to about 75%.


Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:35 PM
During their last quarterly conference call, they said the average season passholder makes roughly three park visits.

And consider this: Play Pass with no additional discounts in effect costs how much less than a season pass? Hmmm? Stupid idea or clever marketing?

-'Playa


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:44 PM

Jeff said:
Wow... If I was a major investor in the company, I'd demand the executives be canned yesterday. Unbelievable.

Maybe you didn't understand that the Play Pass is from now until December 31, that's only two months. This is a good strategy to get in-park spending revenues to rise. This is a smart move, I think. The park is basically luring one-day visiting guests to come back more until the last day of year, now because they have a pass. These guests will spend money on overinflated merchandise and food inside the park - and that's where a good deal of the profits come from.

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Monday, November 1, 2004 5:52 PM
That's about half the time Busch parks dole out Fun Cards.
Not to mention it's during KBF's SB debut.
So maybe they aren't so crazy after all...

-'Playa


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

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