It seems that quite a few parks blamed there lower than normal attendance on bad weather. Not that I can blame them. We had rain here in NC for most of the summer. We counted only 11 days of Sun this past July. *** Edited 12/21/2003 8:58:50 AM UTC by Dukeis#1***
Yah but the bad weather line is a terrible excuse.
For instance fiesta texas blamed hot weather for the drop whereas SeaWOT down the street accredited the weather with their increase. It's true SWOT has a water section but it's hardly the main draw (and Schlitterzrbahn is fairly close too, #1 water park in the world).
If they all had increased attendance they would talk about how great the weather was this year... (well maybe not SF, they'd be cynical and state 'in spite of the weather...')
The only park I know much about is Dorney and the weather was certainly a factor - it rained something ridiculous like 40 of the first 45 operating days this past season. The park was dead until late June/July.
Congrats to Epcot, DCA (13%!!), SWF, CP, PKI, SCBB, PKD, PGA, SWT, WA, KW, and Lagoon for being up even if slightly.
I'm pretty surprised and impressed at how high PGA was and I hope the new waterpark will do wonders even after losing Stealth. Hopefully it will push PC up next year and it's disappointing the Nick Central change didn't do the same for them it did for PKI in 2001. CP and PKI had a nice pull with incredible new attractions this year and I'm very happy for both parks. It seems they're always neck and neck at the end of the year as far as attendance goes and that's great for Ohio.
Wild Adventures is the park to watch and with the owner getting into Cypress Gardens, that will be something to pay attention to as well. WA's attendance has gone up from some 100,000 when they opened around 6 years ago I think and now they're up to 1.35 million. Whoa!
Dorney was extremely dead when I went in mid-June even though it was a bright, sunny day. The waterpark was pretty much hopping, but they were doing "half-train" op on Thunderbolt, one train op for Hercules and Laser, and two train op for SF and Talon (might be the norm). Wild Mouse was the longest wait and took about as long to get on as with around double the people in line for Hershey's. It was fine though since we still finished the park and ate within a couple hours including several rerides.
As long as the weather is better next season, I think a lot more parks will be up. Dollywood, Carowinds, Hershey, Canada's Wonderland, and Camp Snoopy will probably be able to make a turnaround.
Huh. Knott's Berry Farm had a higher attendance than Cedar Point. At Cedar Point's training I was taught that Cedar Point had a higher attendance than Knott's, despite being open about half as much as Knott's.
I've also heard that Knott's wasn't doing too well in terms of attendance, though they did drop 4%.
I was also surprised by SFGAM's numbers. And the midwest had good weather so they dont have the excuse of rainy weather like the parks on the east coast had this year. maybe management will learn the lesson of making the park more family friendly will result in more money and not every new attraction has to be a roller coaster(even thouhg i do love them).
Anyone think SFNE will have significant growth next year with their S:RoS being named the #1 steel coaster? I think they could use that to their advantage if they were to advertise it.
Some of these numbers amaze me though. SFWoA only had a half million more guests than my lowly SFDL? Even smaller difference if Jeff is right about attendance? That amazes me seeing as how SFDL hasn't gotten anything major in years whereas SFWoA built 5(?) new coasters in the past couple years. That should tell SF that maybe if they spent a little money on SFDL they could make a some more money at that park.
Yeah, SFGam attendance numbers surprised me as well. Its really a disappointment when you consider the fact that they added S:UF this year, and did not get an increase or even maintain their attendance numbers.
In the year 2000, SFGam attendance numbers were in the 2.9 million range. Now, even with a new attraction it's still down further than it should be.
Maybe the weather was a bigger factor than we thought this year. Everybody seems to dismiss the weather as just an excuse for low attendance numbers when Six Flags says that, but it appears to have impacted parks that did receive a major attraction this year.
The east parks certainly would've been impacted by weather, but it wasn't a season-long phenomenon. We had our share of ups and down here in Cleveland, but it was mostly confined to May and early June.
Why should SF spend any money on SFDL if they can milk it out with spending near nothing extra each year on new attractions? They don't have a huge amount of competition with MFI and Seabreeze and they still have likely the best coaster among all three. I think they also have more upcharge attractions than any other SF park, so maybe they're using those things to their advantage. ;)
Estimates showed that no NA Six Flags parks were up this season and with SFGAm taking out a major coaster in its skyline for a major flying coaster that *I think* was poorly reviewed by a newspaper in the area, it doesn't surprise me. Do you remember an article about that Chitown? I think you might have posted it here. A friend from that area said that guest reactions to SUF didn't seem as excellent to him as he expected and that the ride wasn't all it was made out to be either. I really loved the GAdv and SFOG versions (and of course the GAm is the same one), so I don't know how this would be any different. How agressive was their marketing campaign? In addition, how were Deja Vu operations?
I really wonder what CP could have done if it wasn't for the problems with TTD. They had great marketing, build up, etc. Then all the problems happened. The News telling people not to go until it was open, the papers, the disapointment from people coming from miles around, etc. Granted CP did the best they could and it's a machine. I'm just wondering what would have happened if everything went according to plan. I mean a 3% increase...I talked to a good couple hundred people that didn't take their annual "Ohio Mecca Trip" because it wasn't running. Just wondering.
I also would like to see numbers for just Halloween events for parks. Looking forward to parks jumping on the Christmas lights (or something of the sort) bandwagon soon. :)