Six Flags 25% off season passes

Lord Gonchar's avatar
I'm ok with parking - especially now - 3 seasons later when many of the other big parks are in the same range ($10+) - suddenly that $15 doesn't seem quite so ridiculous in comparison.

But sure, if you want to swap where the cash is coming from - that's cool too. Hell, I'd drop the parking by $5 and raise the gate $10. :)

Mamoosh's avatar
That's fine too Gonch. I'm not so naive that I think free parking is actually free. It's all about the notion of perceived value.
Speaking of season passes, I think CP has a great deal. I think it is $120 for a season pass? This year you also got a free jacket with the pass. Anyways, after about 3 or 4 visits the pass actually means something which is great. The SF deal is great too.


Yoshi, you say you're the type of customer SF doesn't want, yet apparently they came up with a season pass deal you couldn't pass up. I guess that's my question-- why did they come up with this bargain basement pricing that's suited to exactly the type of clientele they're saying they don't want to attract? (The teens who don't spend much inside the park.)

As far as parking goes, who says it's going to stay at $15? The question may be when it's going to be raised again.

Maybe they are just trying to get more butts through the gates this year, and then they'll tell all those butts that they can't leave the park without paying for re-entry. Just a nagging feeling I have.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I guess that's my question-- why did they come up with this bargain basement pricing that's suited to exactly the type of clientele they're saying they don't want to attract?

Just for clarity's sake - I'm not sure anyone officially associated with SF ever actually said that.

Isn't that a little thing we all created totally on speculation?

I think Shapiro experienced a bit of a rude awakening this year. I think there are a lot of people out there that just aren't interested in visiting a Six Flags park more than once a season. Remember, these are the transition years where they're not only trying to clean up the tarnished reputation, but also trying to break the dependency of the $15 million dollar roller coaster to rope in guests every year. Without those big roller coasters, what are you offering guests that's going to compete with the Playstation 3?

Those passes went on sale because there was little interest in them without something major being added to the parks. People have come to expect that from Six Flags and it will take a few years to adjust to this "family friendly" image.

Lord Gonchar said:

J7G3 said:^In the "I have more money than you" corporate world, yes. But in the 'new world' you get much more value for your buck - Holidayworld, Indiana Beach, etc....Again, back to all filler and no killer. Looks great from the outside... very flashy...
Honestly, I feel like I get more for my money at the big parks than at a HW or IB or the like.And to further make people say, "WTF!?" - I feel that smaller places (FEC's, the really little parks, etc) are a better value too.Places like HW and IB fall into a 'worst of both worlds' spot for me. I pay almost as much to get in ($40 and $31 respectively), but get 1/3 the coasters, none of the aforementioned 'flash', none of the larger-than-life feeling the big regionals can give for the same price.On the other end of the scale, the smaller places might only have a coaster or two and a stunted collection of rides and/or attractions, but they're charging me far less for access.The big places offer me a lot for a low price in comparison. The small places offer me fun on the cheap. The middle of the road (in terms of size) places seem to offer me just a little more than the smaller places, but want to charge me almost the same as the big places for access to it.Just me. YMMV. (or should that be YMWV )

Cough Cough, Your entitled to your view but HW, IB, KW, Knoebels. I go to are far more enjoyable to me, The lines are shorter, The rides are in much better shape, The food is actually good and affordable and there isn't someone in my face half the day trying to empty my wallet. I actually feel and can afford to spend in the park.

To each their own but you can have your SFMM, CF, I'll visit em once in awhile for a unique latest experience and thats about it.

Once again, we are seeing a split in the park season pass world. One side is treating passes like more of a premium, while Six Flags is just trying to sell as many as they possibly can. Parks like Disney have already raised their prices to the exclusionary level to try and thin the massive heard of low-spending AP holders, now it would certainly appear that CF is going for the same strategy by trimming it's already sparce pass incentives and creating 2 tiers. One park that is undergoing an incrediable pass system change, but is flying under the radar is a park near and dear to my heart. (hint: it is having an identity crisis and is the largest indoor park in the US) We are in the process of changing annual passes from costing $109.95 for adults to $250. Sure, we are getting terrible guest response from almost everyone, but I beleive that was the plan... *roll eyes*
Season Pass sales along with group sales bookings are guaranteed income. Regardless of weather, accidents or whatever could happen with a theme park that money is in the bank.

After a ho hum numbers year, doing a huge season pass push would drive numbers that can be reported back to investors and hopefully trickle down to a stronger stock price. A theme park investment is risky because of the unknown that can mess with business. The idea is to focus on the guaranteed money so this can hopefully make up for the uncertain stuff going wrong later in the season.

Group Sales will also offer killer deals this time of year for corporate groups to sign and book early for the same reason. After a craptacular year of numbers the deals are generally better than after a strong year.

This is fairly desperate stuff but still in the process of cleaning up from the damage that the Premier gang did.

^ Agreed 100 percent.
A lot of my friends families have said they dont want to go to Six Flags because of the Kentucky Kingdom event and I think a lot of people have that in the back of their minds when deciding on what to do for vacation.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Cropsey wrote: This is fairly desperate stuff but still in the process of cleaning up from the damage that the Premier gang did.

I guess that's one way of looking at it, but consider the following track record of the new regime:

- severed parks from the chain (decreasing pass value) and feet from a guest

- several two-face fiascos in America

- substandard rides, games, and food operations at most parks (business as usual) granted there may be exceptions with some better pool of employees at some parks, but those were probably better under Premier as well

- increased parking fees at most parks

- removal of two major coasters and flumes at east coast flagship park for sake of a kid's theater and indoor mouse ride with stunts, reducing total number of family rides and overall ride capacity at park

- removal of newer wood coaster and SBNO unique vertical mouse coaster at west coast flagship park, again reducing overall potential ride capacity

- gradually initiated an alcohol prohibition policy at concerts in some parks which may be nice for families, but hurts their bottom line for easy infusion of cash bar sales (those beers weren't cheap folks) *** Edited 1/3/2008 5:37:37 AM UTC by Rye.D.Ziner***

Lord Gonchar's avatar
So (with the exception of the severing feet thing) it sounds like all the things a company with financial problems would do to attempt to right things. I suppose from a slightly different POV that same list would read:

- cut dead-weight parks from the roster
- better employees/operations at several parks
- corrected pricing issues
- removed rides that target a specific demo for attractions that reach a wider range of guests
- streamlined operations by removing problematic and high-cost/high-maintenance attractions

I still don't see the problem. :)

Jason Hammond's avatar
^I agree.

880 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

Mamoosh's avatar
I still don't see the problem.

I do: convincing people like me to make a return visit. None of the non-enthusiast family and friends I talk to are going to our local SF park despite the commercials touting how clean and safe it is. I doubt its only people in So Cal who feel that way.

Perhaps, but the LA market is one of the few with significant other theme park competition. Most of the rest of them are not competing with other parks, but with other seasonal passtimes.

Those parks may have less of an uphill battle.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Mamoosh said:
I do: convincing people like me to make a return visit. None of the non-enthusiast family and friends I talk to are going to our local SF park despite the commercials touting how clean and safe it is. I doubt its only people in So Cal who feel that way.

But you took it out of context. You're discussing their situation - I was discussing their actions.

Concerning the company's situation, I agree. They're still at the very beginning of a long uphill battle.

Of course their current situation sucks - if it didn't we'd have little reason to discuss the validity of their actions.

However, the moves they've made (with the exception of the pass pricing), I agree with and find encouraging.

I don't see a problem with their actions. I do understand the problems they face in their current situation.

a_hoffman50's avatar
I am not the typical enthusiast, as I am still in college and have no real job at the moment. I only went to WoF and HW last year. I have never bought a season pass to any park ever. However, when I saw this deal, I could not pass it up. So I will be visiting more SF parks this year then what I have done in the past few years combined. Perhaps this is their goal. I can only presume that I am not the only one like me. Really, I think it might make sense in some twisted way, if you consider my situation.
rollergator's avatar
Actually...let me ...opine for a second.

I'm thinking in a roundabout way that SF recognizes the VAST numbers of people in Moosh's situation - "you've disappointed me SO many times that I'm not going back UNTIL I begin hearing more optimistic reports". So, maybe what this kind of promotion is designed to do is to attract NEW season passholders. Maybe even people who don't have the experiences, both good AND bad, of the old SF regime. These *new SP* folks don't have the expectation of "value pricing" from the old days, and they don't bring with them the baggage of "let's hope the park sucks less than last time".

Just thinking that while SF has alienated a LARGE portion of their customer base (and let's face it, from a profit perspective they're trying to make sure it's those people who've visited "on the cheap") - maybe the idea now is to generate an almost entirely NEW customer built on new families with younger children, and more of the grandparents with grandchildren, with fewer thrillseeking teens that realistically are NOT as profitable a market.

Something to consider....or not. ;)

I think your boardroom insight is a good one rollgater, but I doubt they target demographics that specifically - they're just trying to sell as many as possible to whoever wants to spend money on their offseason.

Consider this - even giving the passes away for free results in a significant amount of cash being dropped in the park for overpriced parking, food, games, souveniers, drinks, keychain photos, etc. etc. etc.

The casual season pass user who doesn't refrain from overspending on these items in the park results in a nice chunk of fifty bucks plus per person for a full day's visit (no season parking pass, two meals, many softdrinks, couple of games and souveniers, etc.). This is one area that I think Six Flags has figured out versus some of their competitors who's pass pricing is too high

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