Posted Tuesday, May 1, 2007 10:57 AM | Contributed by Jeff
More than two years after he announced his intention to build a destination theme park in Kansas, Thomas Etheredge is making good on his promise. When Wild West World opens Saturday, Etheredge is betting millions of dollars that his family-friendly theme park based on Kansas’ cowboy history will entice people to drive to Park City.
Read more from AP via LJWorld.com.
"The big mega-theme parks are turning customers away, essentially, because their ticket prices are getting close to $60,” Slade said. “For a family of four, that’s one expensive day that’s out of reach.”
I think in this case it's a matter of perspective and that quote would probably represent the perspective of the Wichita park goer - for exactly the reasons Rob mentioned.
"The soda prices are very much a kick in the nuts. $3.35 for a 20 oz. fountain soda is ridiculous. It's almost offensive to me. I guess part of the problem is that I'm willing to pay it. Something has to give though, because it's way too much"
I wonder who said that? ;)
*** This post was edited by millrace 5/1/2007 5:24:38 PM ***
I don't see WWW being a destination park. Sure, you'll get regional travelers, but I really don't think you'll see people leaving LA to get to Wichita. My wife and I will go, but that's mainly because her family lives 7 miles away. Other than that, I don't think we'd go out of our way... And I suspect that the average park-goer (not enthusiast) won't ever hear about WWW...
In regards to Jeff's comment above, I think Disneyland IS turning away customers. Otherwise, places like Castle Park wouldn't be in business. Now whether Disneyland actually needs or wants those people, that's another story.
Hold on a second. That's not true. I'm sure they would be able to double attendance at California's Adventure by snatching those Castle Park cheapskates. ;)
See, if I paid 10 bucks for a Wicked Twister t-shirt, it's no big deal to come back next year and buy a TTD shirt...and then again for a Maverick shirt. Suddenly CP is getting multiple sales, getting their park name out in the public eye.
Of course, Kent Buescher isn't buying the idea at all. WA and CG have some of the highest-priced merchandise going...can't help but thinking that "small but growing parks" need that word-of-mouth advertising WAY worse than someone like CP, or Disney, where any additional advertising is more like "piling on".
Do people really make vacation choices based on a stranger's T-Shirt?
I see people at amusement parks wearing Cedar Point shirts all the time. They're definitely not doing anything to convince me to go to Cedar Point. If anything, they're showing me how the person wearing the shirt paid money to become one of Cedar Fair's tools ;)
Short answer is obviously no. But life doesn't follow the "short-answer model". Life is complex. And in your neighborhood (or community), no one is really a complete stranger either.
I got asked by one of my Tampa users the other day "hey, how is SheiKra now with the new (floorless) trains?" She had seen the 6 o'clock news, and knew I was down at the park for the media announcement. She was confused in thinking the floorless trains were already on track. But my point remains (thought I'd never get there, did ya?)....people know I'm interested, they ask my opinion on this and that. Brenda's family was coming down for a visit, she was thinking about taking them to BGA. Now she knows two things: 1) 'Kra is still running the regular trains, and 2) the ride will be closed when her family is down.
Probably, they'll go to the park anyway....although they MIGHT end up going to Orlando, since Brenda has heard me rave about RotM.
The SHIRT, or the bumper sticker, or even the Beast thong, isn't in itself the advertising. The *advertising* part comes after the "conversation starter" has gotten its talons into the helpless victim (continuing with bird-of-prey analogy). In this instance, it wasn't even ME that started it, it was Tampa's 6 o'clock news. But the park got the benefit, and the cost was LESS than that of a shirt...it was FREE.
I wear a coaster or park shirt around everywhere I go. No one comments on it and I rarely catch someone even give it a second look. The park didn't didn't directly benefit in any discernable way.
I understand what you're saying, Gator, and always have. I just don't think it happens on any meaningful level.
My guess is that the $20 profit on the current prices of shirts helps the park much more than $7 profit on lower prices and more people wearing the shirt.
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