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View Full Version : Here is an article about gas prices and theme parks...must read



drfrightner
06-09-2008, 12:01 AM
Do you think gas prices will affect your business this October? Well read this article...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20080606/ap_tr_ge/travel_brief_theme_parks;_ylt=ArAc1BVQrYUaF7GiWfPw 4SOs0NUE

Kevin Dells
06-09-2008, 03:35 AM
Funny you posted this Larry!
Just read in our local paper the North Carolina Zoological park thats located smack dab between our haunt and Spookywoods had big numbers this past memorial day weekend.

Up 15,000 in attendance from last year! Sweet, maybe high gas prices aren't such a bad thing!

jason
06-09-2008, 07:03 AM
i can't see haunted houses cutting down their ticket price for local customers. plus, how many haunters receive out of town customers? is the ratio of out of town visitors higher over local community? i couldn't see that being true.

Scary Jerry
06-09-2008, 08:23 AM
Downturns in the economy have always had some predictable effects. People sell vacation homes, collector cars, airplanes and spend more time going to movies and other local entertainment venues.

In other words. this will be a great year for Halloween traffic!

Barry
06-09-2008, 08:53 AM
I am reading more and more articles about this topic and they all seem to say the same thing. However, this does not seem to apply to MHC. We have 37 states represented here as well as a number of people coming down from Canada. Lots of people traveling from all over to come to Columbus this weekend.

icandrawem2
06-09-2008, 05:19 PM
NC Zoo isnt between WOT and Spookywoods by any means....not far away maybe, but not "in-between"...but regardless, yeah up 15000 isnt bad!

Kevin Dells
06-09-2008, 05:40 PM
NC Zoo isnt between WOT and Spookywoods by any means....not far away maybe, but not "in-between"...but regardless, yeah up 15000 isnt bad!

O.K. Fine

How about in the general area of the two, or close proximity. The point is if the zoo saw better traffic hopefully our two haunts will as well, im looking forward to even bigger crowds then last year and that was pretty dang good.

Not sure our a lot of our crew is because a lot of them have never seen crowds that size before. Some saw it as awesome and some saw it as oh crap theres still How many at the gate! LOL

But we have been talking with them preparing and tweeking our layout and flow possibiltys just in case. Added a little more parking as well.

twohlgemuth
06-09-2008, 08:33 PM
The first time gas shot up in 2007 everyone on our core team was scared that our business would suffer. It did suffer for our daytime school groups with our school reservations down by 1/3. You have to understand the dynamics of why.

School groups have to get a bus and the kids are charged for gas ontop of the field trip fees. The shock of high gas prices was still evident and field trips were cancled in the fall of 2007.

I do believe that the nation has become used to the price of gas and the shock is becoming numb and people will find ways do what the really want to do. The price of gas also may help the strong attractions that focus on education to become the "One" field trip that is allowed by the school to take place. This makes having a strong event with a great reputation for education to come out positive from the price of gas.

However, we seen an increase in our famliy attendance on the weekends at our day time attrations. I polled several families daily and found that they had decided not to drive to the beach, moutains, or other entertainment options to make the short drive to our farm for a day of fun.

We have a Wet & Wild water park just 10 minutes up I-85 from our haunt and they reported recorded breaking sales for Season Passes already. Driving home the local attractions will win out over the longer drive locations for fun.

We also polled every ticket buyer on our onsite and phone center for their zip codes for our Spookywoods Haunted Attraction. The clear winner by a mile was the local zip codes within 15 minutes drive to our haunt.

As far as lower ticket prices for your haunt this year to gain business, I disagree. In fact we are going up $2.00 per ticket for onsite haunt and corn maze tickets. I can understand the theme parks using this discount to get people to make the drive, but we have the local market only minutes from us and we are investing huge amounts of dollars in our events this year and people will see the reason for the increase. We have not increased our prices for 4 years for the haunt and 8 years for our Corn Maze.

It's times like these we are in now that will allow the strong attractions to thrive and the weak ones will fall short. People want the best bang for the buck and are willing to pay for it. In my opinion it is important to improve your haunt as much as you can this year to gain that word of mouth to be the one to see. If you sit idol and try to save money yourself, it could cost you more than you think. When the word gets out that your event is mainly the same as last year or improvments are not evident, that's deadly in a time when entertainment dollars so carefully spent.

My predictions are we will have a banner year for our daytime events and I also believe the same is true for the haunt at night. Partnering up with local TV stations to drive home the idea to "Save Gas" stay close to home and experience the national known attractions in your home town. For our corn maze we are investing tens of thousands of dollars for irrigation which was much more of a killer than the price of gas last season.

We had a record breaking season last year with our haunt. We are focusing more on timed ticketing and increasing our through put to keep up with the demand.

This is my opinion based on 23 years experience in my market, your mileage may vary!

Jim Warfield
06-10-2008, 12:29 AM
Attendance records were broken years ago, I accidently left my record collection on the floor and the room was dark, and there you go!
At least ten people must have stomped all over that vynl plastic.

Then tape cassettes came along, they broke easy too and now CDs, well, we all know now how easily they crack.
Possibly all of these items had a structural design flaw? That hole in the center!