FLP up again to $249 on Saturdays

Tuesday, August 3, 2021 3:28 PM

The people attracted in 2019 $99 Gold Pass for the 150th anniversary are not logically driving FL issue. If you're only buying b/c of a reduced price, which many did, you're not likely going to be spending more than your pass for the year for FL+ regularly

I dunno ... I could see this the other way. The gold pass expense is long in the rear-view mirror and folks didn't have to pay anything to get into the park this year, so why not splurge on FL?

(I agree this is a bit of a mess. I don't think it was a completely foreseeable mess. They do need to try to fix it because for folks like me the park just isn't as fun a it has been previously and our passes are not guaranteed.)

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 3:42 PM
djDaemon's avatar

CED23 said:

If you take away day FL+ the lines are non existent, a fact.

A fact? Please cite your data. :-)

I think some wires are crossed here. I don't think all season FL is a large contributor to the long FL lines. I simply think all season FL is wildly underpriced. And your experience, and 50% savings, is a testament to that.

If you downgraded to CP Gold from Platinum than the only reason you had Platinum was CP didn't offer anything else but a regular pass, which had no good benefits & you had to pay for parking with it. Hence Platinum made more financial sense.

Exactly! It made "financial sense" for those people, in that they found it to be a good value at that price point. And now they get primarily the same thing for a reduced price in the Gold Pass. And yes, even at $150, the Gold Pass is still at a reduced price compared to the Platinum Pass, to the tune of about a 30% reduction.

The park is leaving money on the table to apparently cram as many people in the park as possible, some of whom are new Gold Pass customers who in many cases were too cost-sensitive to spring for the Platinum Pass. So are their per caps going to make up for the lost gate revenue? Maybe we should ask Six Flags?


Brandon

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 3:45 PM

I don't see many Gold Pass people doing regularly, they have to pay full FLP price, I could see most people doing it once all season, some twice.

The $99 Gold Pass part was foreseeable IMO, CP didn't increase those prices in fall of 2019 when they saw the initial frenzy of buying. The overlay of pandemic of extending passes obviously not & the government making people "flush" giving essentially $2600 for every person in most people's household.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 4:16 PM

djDaemon said:


Exactly! It made "financial sense" for those people, in that they found it to be a good value at that price point. And now they get primarily the same thing for a reduced price in the Gold Pass. And yes, even at $150, the Gold Pass is still at a reduced price compared to the Platinum Pass, to the tune of about a 30% reduction.

The park is leaving money on the table to apparently cram as many people in the park as possible, some of whom are new Gold Pass customers who in many cases were too cost-sensitive to spring for the Platinum Pass. So are their per caps going to make up for the lost gate revenue? Maybe we should ask Six Flags?

The people that downgraded from Platinum weren't utilizing the benefit of it. Yes, the Gold is reduced compared to Platinum, but it's smart business to offer a product selections that meets customers needs, which you view from the pure aspect of "leaving money on the table". CP had a gap in product offerings. I see no problem with Gold Passes other than the initial price of $99, which they did not do again in 2020 & have steadily raised the prices on. I suspect CP Gold to be priced like Knotts, which is essentially around $130 fall sale price & increases from that...ie..CP now has it at $150 from when last fall lowest sale price till early Nov was $119 & was $129 or more after that.

CF is nothing like Six Flags in historically "giving away the gate"., SF low admission per caps is b/c of heavy discounting & continuous bring a friend for free or 9.99 days. The thing is SF has essentially cut that out this year & their per caps are up quite a bit. CP/CF have & are pricing into demand, the per caps will be fine. The avg season pass holder goes to the park like 5times/yr...the 20+ people /yr are balanced out by the seldom use people whom still see value in those few visits compared to day tickets, parking, etc... Cedar Fair reports earnings tomorrow & hopefully you're fretting will be assuaged over their per caps

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 4:26 PM

I’ve said this from the beginning, too… $99 Gold Pass was too cheap and too incentive laden. Think about it… For every one person who switched from Platinum to Gold, you had to sell another Gold Pass just to break even on what that Platinum Pass would’ve brought in.

The problem is you used to be able to pay a premium price for a premium experience but still pay regular price and have a regular experience. The premium experience wasn’t at the cost of the regular experience. 50% of capacity going to FL+ is absurd. Now you have to pay a premium price to almost get that regular experience. And if you don’t pay the premium price, you’re screwed.

Six Flags didn’t have to buy Cedar Point. Cedar Point is becoming Six Flags all on their own.


ROUNDABOUND.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 4:46 PM

The notion that any significant number of the Gold Pass frenzy is downgraded Platinum is pretty ludicrous. Already explained why the surely low % of downgrades would happen, ie...locals that never went to other parks & it's smart for CP to offer Gold passes for that customer. The Gold Pass frenzy was driven by 1st time locals, price sensitive local that were very very unlikely to buy a Platinum.

Again, the only problem with Gold was the price point, which they corrected & the change to allowing 9am early entry which is a staffing issue b/c they don't have the people & hassle to be checking passes at rides

But, it''s clear that there some Platinum people by the posts in the thread that take the view that CP should neglect a certain cohort of customer that don't want to pay $200 for Platinum, though they only want to go to CP & not other parks in the chain, which is the purpose of Platinum.

CF is nothing like SF where you can buy a $60 Gold Pass & get into every park in the chain w/ parking included. Or last off season till about March, you could get all season Platinum Flash Pass for any one park for $199. That's what leaving large sums of money on the table actually looks like.

Last edited by CED23, Tuesday, August 3, 2021 5:46 PM
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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 5:20 PM

Based on what I've seen this year at all 7 parks we've visited through the end of July, demand has been way up for chain and local parks. If I were setting prices, I think I'd say:

Gold: $150, $135 renewal

Platinum: $275, $250 renewal

All season dining: $130 gold, $160 Platinum

All season drink: $50 gold, $75 Platinum

All season FastLane: $1000 gold, $1300 Platinum (less of an increase as most other CF parks charge much less for daily fastlane)


CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (37 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (190 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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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 6:02 PM

Other than the Gold Pass & dining pricing , the rest are way too big of price increases for 1 yr & will lose way too many people. It would eviscerate the base & drive people to day products which chains have worked hard to build all season pass/product base for the guaranteed revenue against bad weather, etc...

The best early season prices for each product in 2020 were:

Platinum Pass was $202( now $225)

Gold Pass was $119, than $129, $135, (now $150)

Season dining Gold $119(now $139) & Platinum $132(now $149)

Drink Plan $33(still $33)

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 7:37 PM

https://cpfoodblog.com/

2022 Cedar Fair Season Pass News

Platinum Pass- $198; $192 Renewal
Platinum Dining- $135

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 10:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

CED23 said:

They aren't giving away the gate. The people attracted in 2019 $99 Gold Pass...

I couldn't disagree more. You only need to visit two days to justify a pass at that price (2x daily admission). Is the experience at the park really worth that little to people? I know that often the industry looks at it from a total per capita spending angle, but consumers aren't looking at it that way. The pass is a sunk cost I paid for ages ago, or an inconsequential amount if I'm paying monthly. When I have to shell out $7 for fries and $4 for a soda, I'm not thinking, "That's OK, the admission was cheap!"

We don't have any good data to compare to last year for the same quarter, but 2019Q2, per cap spending was $48.59. Q3 last year, which may not be an apples-apples comparison, it was down 5% to $47.29, from $49.94 the year before. With pent up demand for everything, pushing inflation, that's not the results you want to see. Six Flags demonstrated this in their slide toward bankruptcy. You can get people one year with crazy food pricing, but it won't last. Not suggesting that CF is going to go bankrupt, but if the results show this isn't working, they'll have to adjust.

It's also worth noting that the ideal multiple of the daily ticket price is different at each park. A place like Knott's or Canada's Wonderland or Kings Island are in major metros with public transportation to them. CP is a "haul" for most of its market. I'd price KI at maybe $200, at least.

And while not a realistic comparison, keep in mind I have to shell out $800 with tax per person to visit the rat, and that's even with blocked dates around Christmas and spring break. People pay it.


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

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021 11:29 PM

They are not giving away the gate in reality. You and other either don't follow or have some unrealistic expectations of how regional chains & non Disney/Universal parks prices their lowest passes. BGW parks prices their lowest pass at 2.4X a discounted pre-sale ticket online from their website. Gold passes at $119(last years lowest price which was only till Nov 1st) is 2.4X the CP discount price of $50 pre-sale on the website. That's how chains price their lowest level passes that you get full value at 3 visits. SF is at 2X with Gold Passes at $60 and the lowest pre-sale tickets on the site ate $30. A can show a bunch of parks ie.Kenywood, Indiana beach, etc...that a pass is even under 2x a pre-sale discount ticket.

It's literally worthless to try to compare 2020 per caps to 2019. There was no pent up in demand in 2020 as you're trying to claim. Most people were avoiding parks & most large public activities. Also, the deferred revenue claiming was not normal & it won't be this year b/c of the extended passes. Pass revenue for a 2020 pass with the 2021 extension, with the CP July 2020 opening means they are claiming that pass revenue over Q3 & Q4 2020 & 2021, a total of 6 quarters. It even different for some parks in the chain like Wonderland which are extending thru Labor day 2022 & Knotts June 2022. Until all the Covid weirdness runs thru it's impossible to to do comps to 2019, that will happen in 2023 Q1.

In what world has SF slid towards bankruptcy? Besides 2020 which killed every chain, SF have been making money, they weren't when they actually filed bankruptcy in 2009. In the 2000's SF were losing money for years & years in a row. In the last 5 years before bankruptcy they lost a combined 1.2B with the best year in those last 5 losing 130M & the worst losing 330M

Last edited by CED23, Tuesday, August 3, 2021 11:31 PM
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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 6:51 AM
djDaemon's avatar

CED23 said:

Already explained why the surely low % of downgrades would happen, ie...locals that never went to other parks & it's smart for CP to offer Gold passes for that customer.

For 2018, locals could purchase a season pass that didn't include early entry, parking, or access to CPS, and it was priced the same as the Gold Pass is now. And people were buying it.

I can somewhat see the logic of wanting to pack the midways for the 150th in the absence of a marquee attraction, so sure, offer a one time season pass at $99 to accomplish that. But why include, for example, any early entry whatsoever? Increased access to early entry diminishes the value of the Platinum Pass and, more importantly, the value of the resort they just spent a ton of money updating. And from a revenue standpoint, why offer free parking? The people who weren't willing to shell out the relatively paltry sum for a standard season pass, but will pay for Gold are, broadly speaking, not necessarily the guests you want to attract from a per cap perspective.

CP can't be Disney or Universal, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't strive to be more upmarket than SF or Indiana Beach.


Brandon

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 8:13 AM

CED23 said:

In what world has SF slid towards bankruptcy? Besides 2020 which killed every chain, SF have been making money, they weren't when they actually filed bankruptcy in 2009. In the 2000's SF were losing money for years & years in a row. In the last 5 years before bankruptcy they lost a combined 1.2B with the best year in those last 5 losing 130M & the worst losing 330M

I think when Jeff, I, and others reference Six Flags giving away the gate and going bankrupt, we are referencing the early 2000s. To be honest, I haven't set foot in a Six Flags park since then or owned a pass from them because my experiences were so bad. I stopped spending money with them, no matter how cheap their passes were, because there are other costs associated with a trip to a park that are much more, and I didn't enjoy it. Hoping Cedar Point/Fair do not end up in the same bucket. If my choice is between a $99 pass and a miserable time vs a $200 pass and a good time, I'll pick the latter because the admission is probably only less than 10-20% of what I am spending for my yearly visits.


-Matt

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:04 AM

djDaemon said:


For 2018, locals could purchase a season pass that didn't include early entry, parking, or access to CPS, and it was priced the same as the Gold Pass is now. And people were buying it.

I can somewhat see the logic of wanting to pack the midways for the 150th in the absence of a marquee attraction, so sure, offer a one time season pass at $99 to accomplish that. But why include, for example, any early entry whatsoever? Increased access to early entry diminishes the value of the Platinum Pass and, more importantly, the value of the resort they just spent a ton of money updating. And from a revenue standpoint, why offer free parking? The people who weren't willing to shell out the relatively paltry sum for a standard season pass, but will pay for Gold are, broadly speaking, not necessarily the guests you want to attract from a per cap perspective.

CP can't be Disney or Universal, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't strive to be more upmarket than SF or Indiana Beach.

Sorry, for Platinum people that feel they "own the park" & should exclude as many as possible, but lack of a Gold Pass was a glaring omission at CP for years. All the other parks had a Gold Pass. Yes, early entry is included with Gold Passes at other parks. So, it makes sense to do it. Gold Pass was original only suppose to have 930am entry & the front of the park. CP didn't have the staffing to do that, checking passes at ride, roping off the front &checking passes to get past the main Midway stopping at the junction to go to Millenium Force & or keeping straight towards Dragster. Only 2 parks don't include parking with a Gold Pass, Wonderland which makes sense b/c with the conversion rate their Gold Pass is like $78. Knotts doesn't include b/c it's CA & you can do that in that market, Knotts makes you pay separately for Knotts Scary Farm even as a Platinum passholder.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

CED23 said:

They are not giving away the gate in reality. You and other either don't follow or have some unrealistic expectations...

If only I had experience working for a theme park company, I'd know better! 🙄

If you can charge twice as much for passes and still attract even 75% of the customers, you're giving away the gate. When you factor that in with probable per caps, there is literally a formula to decide what the threshold is. If you attract half the people but charge twice as much, not factoring in spending, you're still in the same place, only better because there are less people in the park which makes it a better experience.

In what world has SF slid towards bankruptcy? Besides 2020 which killed every chain, SF have been making money...

Let me Google that for you.

From the earnings release today:

In-park per capita spending was $61.93 for the five weeks ended Aug. 1, 2021, or roughly 120% of results for the five weeks ended Aug. 4, 2019, which was the result of increases in guest spending in all key revenue categories.

That's pretty extraordinary, but it exemplifies the shift away from gate integrity. Why is that bad? Because aggregate attendance was down 23%. Per caps are only a great story when your attendance is also a good story, which strikes me as a weird thing to bet on, given the number of times the dips are attributed to things they can't control, like weather (or a pandemic).

A Cedar Point season pass is far more valuable than a hundred bucks.

...but lack of a Gold Pass was a glaring omission at CP for years.

For whom? It certainly hasn't helped the company.


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

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:27 AM
Joe E's avatar

CED23 said:

They are not giving away the gate in reality. You and other either don't follow or have some unrealistic expectations of how regional chains & non Disney/Universal parks prices their lowest passes. BGW parks prices their lowest pass at 2.4X a discounted pre-sale ticket online from their website.

That pass ($138) has blackout dates and doesn't even include the waterpark or parking! Their gold pass equivalent (parking, waterpark, no blackout dates) is $216. Their platinum equivalent is $369 (but with some extra deals)

Dollywood is a park CP should be trying to emulate and would be the closest comparison. They are both regional, but attract visitors from outside the area with the resorts and has the sperate waterpark gate. Their park and waterpark combo is $200 without parking.

A Waldameer season pass is even at $112. CP is insane for offering theirs near the same price

Last edited by Joe E, Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:27 AM

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:34 AM

Another post by people with the "mentality they own the park as Platinum holders" & that let's exclude people that don't want to pay $200 for Platinum. They aren't giving away the gate, it's just people, which you seem to be one, that are pissy the park is actually more crowded than day 2017, 2018, 2019 on a regular basis.

SF was in bankruptcy in 2009, you pretend like they are approaching it now, it's pure nonsensical.

You conveniently omitted the part "Attendance for the current 5-week period represented approximately 85% of comparable same-day 2019 attendance levels."

But, let's see why attendance could be down...could it be Wonderland the park with the 2nd biggest attendance normally is under capacity caps & Canadians are being way more cautious than Americans in going back to "normal". Could it be several parks are actually not opening 2 days per week ie...Dorney, Valley Fair, World of Fun, MIA.

Yes, Gold passes was a glaring omission & the inclusion riles the people that think Platinum should "rule CP" & the rest be damned. Adding new passholders helps the park, as even though it was initially under priced for the 150th anniversary special, the price has increased to best sale price of $119 last year & will probably increase some this year. Though some of the $99 will not renew this fall, some will & that is a positive to CP & CF. They will gladly take a nice number of $119 or more guaranteed revenue over trying to attract & the marketing expense, etc.. to attract 2.4x customers paying the $50 online pre-sale price. That logic is why parks the last 20 yrs have gone to pushing more passes in general.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:45 AM
djDaemon's avatar

CED23 said:

All the other parks had a Gold Pass. Yes, early entry is included with Gold Passes at other parks. So, it makes sense to do it.

How many of those parks have a 600+ room beachfront resorts for which early entry is a benefit to staying there? It's a nonsensical comparison.


Brandon

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:47 AM

Joe E said:

CED23 said:

They are not giving away the gate in reality. You and other either don't follow or have some unrealistic expectations of how regional chains & non Disney/Universal parks prices their lowest passes. BGW parks prices their lowest pass at 2.4X a discounted pre-sale ticket online from their website.

That pass ($138) has blackout dates and doesn't even include the waterpark or parking! Their gold pass equivalent (parking, waterpark, no blackout dates) is $216. Their platinum equivalent is $369 (but with some extra deals)

Dollywood is a park CP should be trying to emulate and would be the closest comparison. They are both regional, but attract visitors from outside the area with the resorts and has the sperate waterpark gate. Their park and waterpark combo is $200 without parking.

A Waldameer season pass is even at $112. CP is insane for offering theirs near the same price

BGW passes are not equivalent as you claim, the pass you referenced is $192 now & it gives you 2 free tickets & a bunch of other stuff. One of the reasons SEAS parks are more for passes b/c they include a lot of other stuff that Cedar Fair & other parks don't. Ie... SEAS platinum for instance gives you 6 free tickets per yr

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:49 AM

djDaemon said:

CED23 said:

All the other parks had a Gold Pass. Yes, early entry is included with Gold Passes at other parks. So, it makes sense to do it.

How many of those parks have a 600+ room beachfront resorts for which early entry is a benefit to staying there? It's a nonsensical comparison.

What's nonsensical is the notion the resort has anything to do with offering the Gold Pass, which is designed for essentially locals.

Last edited by CED23, Wednesday, August 4, 2021 9:51 AM
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