How Cedar Point Covertly Doubled Their Admission Price (And How Apple Stole a Page Out of Their Playbook)

Thursday, November 1, 2018 11:12 AM

^I was thinking the same thing. Of the parks I've been to Cedar Point, and Cedar Fair in general, doesn't seem like a group that neglects rides until they break down. And if there is a problem, they do well to address as quickly as possible and reopen the rides. I was there all closing weekend. It rained the whole time and subsequently there were many breakdowns or rain related shut downs and they were always addressed as quickly as possible and rides back up and running.

I'm also pretty sure that when they've had failures on rides like Dragster they learned from those experiences and implemented plans to do preventive maintenance to avoid similar issues in the future. I think they replace the launch cable on TTD at planned intervals now, after previously having the launch cable fail. If there is a complaint I could have, it's that Cedar Fair doesn't seem to do as much track maintenance on wooden coasters as they could, but aside from that it seems like they are pretty attentive to maintenance to me.

Last edited by Drbyq9, Thursday, November 1, 2018 11:13 AM
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Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:06 PM

djDaemon said:

Zoug68 said:

Maybe more people are doing what I'm doing and hitting the other parks out there because we don't like what we're seeing going on at their parks

Then CF is doing it right.

Enthusiasts and/or the ride marathoning crowd are, as we know, not the people spending money in parks, generally speaking. So if CF is instead prioritizing attracting people who actually spend money, I don't see how that's a flaw in their strategy.

So, are you really saying that Cedar Point doesn't want me as a customer? Really? Since this piece of crap system has been implemented, I have stopped inviting others to go with me. If anyone goes with me, it's because they have asked me to take them. I used to take anywhere from 6 to a dozen different paying guests with me to CP each year...that has pretty much come to a halt. So, If CP is trying for fewer paying guests, their plan is a smashing success.

Your comment takes the prize for the worst justification of FL. SMH

Last edited by Zoug68, Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:08 PM
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Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:19 PM

It’s not a difficult concept; less people that spend more money makes for a better overall park experience, FL helps achieve that.

As was pointed out before, if there isn’t population growth for a regional park to increase attendance, then the better goal is to increase per capita spending. FL also helps achieve that; along with upscale resorts rooms, alcohol sales, premium cabins and RV sites, upcharge experiences, etc... (notice a pattern?)

Last edited by XS NightClub, Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:22 PM

Sandusky Fan, Starting to enjoy the city more than the park.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018 1:30 PM

And Cedar Fair leadership is focused on per capita spending for sure. I read the 3q conference call minutes and they brought it up in prepared remarks and in several answers in the q and a portion of the call.


CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (12 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (166 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

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Thursday, November 1, 2018 1:41 PM

Zoug68 said:

So, are you really saying that Cedar Point doesn't want me as a customer?

It's not that they don't want you. But they'd much rather have a family of four or five that comes once a year or even once every other year and pays for tickets, a few nights at Breakers, three meals a day for those four or five people, tshirts and souvenirs at the end, etc etc. Sure, they may not know the difference between Raptor and Rougarou. And they may never make it on Steel Vengeance and not even know what they missed out on. And that is exactly the customer Cedar Fair wants and is targeting. And if it means you throw a hissy fit and don't go for a year, they don't give a you know what about you not going.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018 3:26 PM
djDaemon's avatar

Zoug68 said:

So, If CP is trying for fewer paying guests, their plan is a smashing success.

Walmart has a hell of a lot more customers than Apple stores, but Apple stores are literally the most profitable (per square foot) stores on Earth. Which would you rather own and operate?


Brandon

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Thursday, November 1, 2018 5:09 PM
Jeff's avatar

James Parker jr said:

And Cedar Fair leadership is focused on per capita spending for sure. I read the 3q conference call minutes and they brought it up in prepared remarks and in several answers in the q and a portion of the call.

And that might be the problem, though. If you achieve gains like this via per capita spending, but your net increase in revenue is flat after adjusting for inflation, it means you lost money somewhere else. You can partially offset that with cost reduction somewhere, but that will absolutely have a negative impact on the product. That wouldn't instill confidence in me as an investor. (I have no position in FUN.)


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - My Blog

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Thursday, November 1, 2018 5:23 PM

Just wanted to mention in terms of the lack of maintenance on rides...

Every single ride location has dedicated night maintenance personnel that inspects all aspects of each unit EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. When crews come to the location in the morning to open the ride, it is protocol that leadership collects the night maintenance sheet from the night before which details everything that has been “fixed” or done to the ride. This in turn gives the crew clearance to operate for that day.

One thing you must keep in mind is that daily maintenance plays a VERY important role in terms of safety. And as we all know, safety is the top priority for all Cedar Fair parks.

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Friday, November 2, 2018 9:03 AM

The industry as a whole focuses on per caps. So that is not unique to Cedar Fair. And the context of the discussion above is important. It was an earnings call with analysts on the line asking questions. The quarter following a second quarter with disappointing results (particularly attendance). Attendance has recovered to a degree (about 57k down from last year after being 200k+ down last quarter). Natural question of analysts will be did you give up per caps to gain attendance. Per cap numbers say no. And out of park revenues are also strong.

Cedar Fair net revenues have outpaced inflation every year since 2010. 2009 CPI was a blip negative; CF net revenues were down about 8% that year. Delta the past 3 years has been shrinking. This year net revenues growth (if any) looks to be lower than projected CPI. Whether that short term trend will continue remains to be seen.

Management also noted on earnings call (I believe in Q&A portion) that they reduced hours by 350,000 over last year. When attendance wasn't there, they sent employees home/told them to stay home. Presumably management believes product wasn't negatively impacted though that is in the eyes of the beholder to a large degree.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:02 PM
Pete's avatar

A little holiday cheer that is pertinent to this discussion. I just walked past Santa at the Great Lakes Mall and I saw a sign that said "Fast Pass - see Santa sooner!". Apparently if you purchase a picture package online you also get a Fast Pass to avoid the line. That is the way things are now, so avoid that butt-hurt feeling and just accept it.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:25 PM

I’ll hold out for Santa’s Fast Pass Plus upgrade, that way I can marathon Santa and truly be made whole.


Sandusky Fan, Starting to enjoy the city more than the park.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 2:30 PM

https://www.santasfastpass.com/

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 3:25 PM
jimmyburke's avatar

So Pete, the question is...... what did you ask him for when you sat on his lap? Careful what you ask for, you might shoot your eye out.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 4:40 PM
Pete's avatar

A Red Ryder rifle of course!


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 8:28 PM

Were they allowing re-rides or did you have to walk all the way back around?


But then again, what do I know?
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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:18 AM
operative_me's avatar

What happens if you buy the Santa Fast Pass but then Santa is down due to mechanical issues for the whole day?


-Craig
Lifetime Laps on Woodstock Express: 0

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:18 PM

djDaemon said:

Zoug68 said:

So, If CP is trying for fewer paying guests, their plan is a smashing success.

Walmart has a hell of a lot more customers than Apple stores, but Apple stores are literally the most profitable (per square foot) stores on Earth. Which would you rather own and operate?

And this is why I am spending more of my time at non-Cedar Fair parks, already, even though Cedar Point is exactly 2 hours away. I will be spending less money to get more from other parks like Hersheypark, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Great Adventure, Holiday World, Kentucky Kingdom, Kennywood and even Indiana Beach. These parks are far more fair to their guests, even those with fast pass systems, and I actually get way more rides in while at those parks. Unless Cedar Point comes up with something fantastic for 2020 like the dueling GCI on display now, 2019 will be the last Platinum or season pass I will own for any Cedar Fair park. I'll just use the $350 I'll save on the Cedar Fair passes and $50/tank of gas and just travel a couple of hours further to just about any other park I listed. Every single one of those parks even encourages you to stay an rides if no one is waiting for your seat which actually make dispatches easier and faster. Most of the time, I have to force myself to leave so I don't puke...lol. How often do you hear ops at ANY Cedar Fair parks announce over the speaker that if no one is waiting for your seat, you don't have to leave? At least that would make up for them having such a horrible fast pass system that screws people out of rides most of the day. If it weren't for Steel Vengeance and Cedar Point's proximity to my house, I really wouldn't have any reason to go there with all of the other choices that I've become aware of.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:21 PM

Someone is already out of their Snickers bars from Halloween.


Sandusky Fan, Starting to enjoy the city more than the park.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:03 PM
Lash's avatar

Zoug68 said:

And this is why I am spending more of my time at non-Cedar Fair parks, already, even though Cedar Point is exactly 2 hours away. I will be spending less money to get more from other parks like Hershey Park, Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Great Adventure, Holiday World, Kentucky Kingdom, Kennywood and even Indiana Beach. These parks are far more fair to their guests, even those with fast pass systems, and I actually get way more rides in while at those parks.

Life isn't fair. But you want your experience to be homogenous amongst all amusement parks.

Unless Cedar Point comes up with something fantastic for 2020 like the dueling GCI on display now, 2019 will be the last Platinum or season pass I will own for any Cedar Fair park. I'll just use the $350 I'll save on the Cedar Fair passes and $50/tank of gas and just travel a couple of hours further to just about any other park I listed. Every single one of those parks even encourages you to stay on rides if no one is waiting for your seat which actually make dispatches easier and faster. Most of the time, I have to force myself to leave so I don't puke...lol. How often do you hear ops at ANY Cedar Fair parks announce over the speaker that if no one is waiting for your seat, you don't have to leave?

Different corporation different policies. Again, you want your experience to be homogenous amongst all amusement parks.

At least that would make up for them having such a horrible fast pass system that screws people out of rides most of the day.

Horrible in your opinion, not horrible to the Fast Lane purchasers, myself included.

If it weren't for Steel Vengeance and Cedar Point's proximity to my house, I really wouldn't have any reason to go there with all of the other choices that I've become aware of.

You have made it abundantly clear there is no value in your purchase. So why go on repeating it Ad nauseam?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:10 PM

You hate it so much and they’re so unfair, but you’ve already bought a 2019 pass? That’s rich. Way to stick it to ‘em!

Last edited by CPVet, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:11 PM
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