Whose Pricing will Prevail -- Six Flags or Cedar Fair?

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:27 PM
^^ You got us there, Gonch :) But their parking is still too expensive (save SFKK's--Shapiro doesn't have control of that), as is SFA's online price :) *** Edited 9/8/2006 7:31:06 PM UTC by rablat5***

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:30 PM
Six Flags does indeed offer good online prices but some other parks provide other discounts off of their full prices so you might end up around $25 or even less in some cases. It's just that these discounts might not be available to everyone all of the time.

Also there is the matter of the overall package. Parks like Knoebels don't require everyone to buy a POP ticket if they don't ride. LC and HW offer free soft drinks. And there is also the price of parking, food, games, and merchandise that differs between parks.

Most important, however is quality of the experience. Good operations and rides that are actually up and running are a large part of this.

Arthur Bahl

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:34 PM
^ Good point, Arthur. Even if some of the smaller SF parks have comparable gate prices with the online discount, you still are getting raped inside the park, since some of those prices are more similar across the board, such as $3.50 soda machines.

Add to the fact that the parks aren't run as well (typical of some SF parks) and you don't always get the other perks that some parks offer, such as free soft drinks, cheaper & better parking facilities, etc.

Also, good points, Brian. Perhaps it would benefit SF to try another brand name for some of their parks. *** Edited 9/8/2006 7:36:17 PM UTC by rablat5***

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Arthur - So then you're really complaining about is in the park prices and additonal costs? Which is what you keep coming back to and many times I've said I concur.

This is the whole 'going in circles' thing that pushes me out of these conversations. You're not moving forward, man. Yes, the SF parks are often a bad value inside the park. Got it. Don't keep arguing one thing and then changing it up to look like you were arguing another.

Flat out, it is just as cheap to get into the small SF parks as it is any of the 'golden' value parks that keep coming up.

And Mr. Noble - brilliant post. I'm surprised the idea a 'secondary' brand hasn't come up before these past few posts. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Plus, it could salvage the chain without too many lost parks.

*** Edited 9/8/2006 7:50:24 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:53 PM
^ Hey, I basically brought that up several posts back! :)

And yes, we pretty much are going in circles. We know that SF needs help and fixing on the inside. I think that some of us seem to basically be of the differing opinion as to the price hikes in general--some don't mind and see it as ok, while others it definitely bothers and see it as putting the cart before the horse.

Breaking Six Flags into "Lexus & Toyota" might just be a good idea. Same parent company, different focuses, clientele, etc.

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:57 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, you suggested the idea. Kudos.

But Brian's explanations and analogies were spot on and definitely firepower for an argument supporting the idea.

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:59 PM
Several points to mention.

Six flags should use different tiered pricing for items like food, games etc. Lower prices at parks such as TGE, SFDL, SFKK and EV and higher prices at the big parks with their bigger and more expensive attractions.

I do believe that big megaparks should charge more across the board. Sure KW and Knoebels can charge around $2 for soft drinks and LC and HW zilch. I would consider $3 to be acceptable at the megaparks but $$4 to be too much.

I do like Shapiro's vision. Regional parks with destination park qualities. The trouble is that this is going to take big bucks and that will be hard do as long as that debt is around. Hopefully the day will come when SFNE, SFGAdv, SFOG, SFOT, SFGAm, SFFT and maybe SFA and SFStL will live up to this. Meanwhile the smaller parks find their own identity at the same time.

Arthur Bahl

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:21 PM
^^ Yes, Brian did put it together well, and this would be a good thing for discussion. Maybe it'd be a good thing for SF management to look into as well :)

Arthur, more good points, as well. Tiered approaches to other things, such as food, parking, etc. would also be a good approach, and would help set them apart from the "big" parks, too.

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:45 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I do believe that big megaparks should charge more across the board. Sure KW and Knoebels can charge around $2 for soft drinks and LC and HW zilch. I would consider $3 to be acceptable at the megaparks but $$4 to be too much.

So excercise your right to get the bargain - souvenir cups.

SFKK was running a deal with the souvenir cup for $9.99 and free refills all day when I was there.

I believe (alothough correct me if I'm wrong) SFGAdv did $7.99 for the cup and $1.99 per refill.

5 drinks is under $15 - so there's your $3 "acceptable" range.

So far I given you guys:

-The comparisons on actual paid gate prices that are nearly equal.

-The drink prices reduced to an 'acceptable' range.

All you got left is food and parking. I personally find the highest of SF parking at $15 to be comparable to Paramount's $11 and CF's $9. It's on the high end, but not totally in another league.

Food prices suck. But I still see people lining up for food and drink when I visit these places. To each their own, I suppose.

Back to a repeated point in this thread:

"Pricing is the least of SF's problems" :)

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:27 PM
The reason that I keep going on about Six Flags food prices is very simple. It takes away from the overall park experience. When are they going to understand this?

Still, operations are far more important. A busy park should be doing everything within reason to minimize the waits. That means putting the second or third train out when the line reaches a certain length and handling the dispatch of the trains efficiently. Also if there are more than two or three rides down, something is wrong.

Arthur Bahl

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:31 PM
^ True that. Add to the list that, if they are going to use Flash Pass, make sure they run it efficiently and correctly!

Operations ARE more important. If a park is run very well, the high prices may seem more tolerable while you're there. Sure, if I want a soda, I may have to shell out $3.50. But at least I won't have to wait for an hour or two to ride one of my favorite coasters.

coastin' since 1985


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