Gold Passes Are The Fall Guy?

Thursday, September 9, 2021 12:17 AM

Had a conversation with a few friends that have been going to CP since they were kids like myself and a big continuous gripe was CP is messing everything up with these Gold passes as they are now overcrowding their parks and in turn making ride lines way too long. I've heard this from others and some on here... Gold passes being too cheap overall are changing the experience at the park.

While I can understand the argument, another thought hit me. When we went to my kids baseball game at SF, they gave every family on the team 5 day passes for CP.

I think that could equally be the cause of the uptick in attendance, everyone at SF and the Sports Arena having "free" admission to the park.

I guess Gold passes should be cut a little slack...

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:15 AM
djDaemon's avatar

It's one in the same - they're devaluing the park in both cases. It's a strategy, and in my opinion a terrible one.

This is touched on in Hildebrandt's book, where the old school philosophy was to get as many bodies in the park, all else be damned, which perhaps made sense in the 80's and into the 90's. But the park is a different thing now, and while getting bodies into the park certainly generates revenue in the short term, if that negatively affects the guest experience it will be harmful in the long term.


Brandon

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 6:37 AM
jimmyburke's avatar

I've seen how crowded the lot at Sports Force can be during those tournaments, but I don't think those people spread out over CP add a whole, whole lot to your wait times. They all aren't coming over at the same time as they have tourney games to play. It is interesting to see the groups of youngsters around CP with their different team affiliated shirts.

I think the SF park has been a boon for some of those smaller hotel/motels on Cleveland Ave. Also, be sure to get some of your food/drinks/supplies at Clofts General Store near the KOA entrance, owned & operated by some dear friends of mine.(shameless plug)

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:42 AM

Only the players on the team get free tickets, well they aren't really free in reality, as they roll the price into the $1600 or up to $2000 registration fee for a baseball tournament.

Family & friends get discount tickets, $45 for a day or they can buy an in & out pass for $89, the later makes sense for many b/c over a multi day tournament they can go to the park multiple 1/2 or 1/3rd of a days in between tournament games.

Also, the number of people from the Sports Complex is small compared to the gold passes. Cedar Fair number of passes across the chain increased by a little over 1M compared to 2019, the only significant change across the chain was the CP Gold Pass. That record passholder number was driven a great extent by CP Gold Passes & they have alluded to such on earlier conf calls.

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 11:40 AM

I agree, but I think the masses aren't aware that teams get free tickets and therefore assume the rise in attendance is solely because of the GP

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 11:41 AM

I know in the 3 tournaments we've played, the majority of the games were over on Saturday around 6 and Sunday even earlier and we have followed the mass exodus in a procession from there directly to CP

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Thursday, September 9, 2021 11:44 AM

Yea I realize GP is the main driver.... But there is also a contributing factor.

And yes... those tournaments aren't cheap... we have 5 scheduled between now and July...

I need 3 more jobs 😩

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Friday, September 10, 2021 1:00 AM

They parks are overcrowded. They overselling without enough capacity to make it a good experience. Eventually sales will decline because people aren’t having good days in the parks and this strategy will fail.

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Friday, September 10, 2021 6:27 AM
jimmyburke's avatar

One aspect of giving away tickets to Sports Force participants is this; those teams come from all over the country for tournaments. Someday the young athlete may be planning a vacation and will remember the couple hours they spent at that awesome park on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie and may decide to create a more fulfilling (and costly) experience. By that time we will find out what is going to be operating at the Wicked Twister area.

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Friday, September 10, 2021 10:33 AM

coaster5 said:

They parks are overcrowded. They overselling without enough capacity to make it a good experience. Eventually sales will decline because people aren’t having good days in the parks and this strategy will fail.

Overselling? The parks capacity is like 60K, the number of days they actually reach capacity on any day is rare. Never heard of a max capacity day all summer. The fact is the attendance was up some, but the thing that actually made it seem more crowded was rides being down. Gatekeeper which is people sucker was down all of the main season essentially. Maxair another ride that soaks up a decent amount amount of people was also closed. They also happen to be front of the park rides, so those closures changed flow patterns to even more of the back of the park. You also had the fact that June closures made people concentrate attendance in June & most places had online school, which many kids were not doing faithfully. All this is why June was crowded more than usual. For July/August(the main season) there was the fact that people couldn't really go anywhere in 2020 & like 75% of the public got close to 3K in stimulus checks, pent up demand & excess money from the government. 2021 was a confluence of factors that are not replicable for 2022.

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Friday, September 10, 2021 11:29 AM

Yes, overselling. Because even if the park's theoretical capacity is 60K in practice they can't handle near that number. I've been there on 40K days and operations are abysmal at best. And I'm not just referring to wait times on rides. Food and drink stand lines are terrible, bathrooms are dirty, etc.

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Friday, September 10, 2021 12:35 PM
djDaemon's avatar

CED23 said:

The fact is...

...those closures changed flow patterns

...the fact that June closures...

...the fact that people couldn't really go anywhere...

2021 was a confluence of factors that are not replicable for 2022.

Are you sure those are all facts?


Brandon

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 12:41 AM

Scott Cameron said:

Yes, overselling. Because even if the park's theoretical capacity is 60K in practice they can't handle near that number. I've been there on 40K days and operations are abysmal at best. And I'm not just referring to wait times on rides. Food and drink stand lines are terrible, bathrooms are dirty, etc.

Exactly. Their mediocre cashier cutting operations can’t handle the crowds. Even a high capacity ride like Gemini that eats people, they don’t operate it fully all day. Giant Wheel runs at 1/4 capacity. One train on the railroad etc. The food operations aren’t efficient. For the “flagship” park of the chain, the restrooms are small, dirty and outdated.

Plus fast lane money grab that jams up the lines Now the fast lane lines are like regular lines used to be!

They can’t handle the crowds AND make it the “best day ever” for the customers.

One gets what they pay for and a season of CP is definitely only worth $99 right now

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 7:20 AM

^ Last sentence insanity right there.

Platinum Pass here...stepped foot in the park 3 times this year on vacation, like usual. Feel like the Platinum Pass is a huge bargain at it's price, and would definitely feel the same about the Gold Pass. 10/10, will buy again.

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Yesterday, 1:18 AM
GL2CP's avatar

Based on how many people jam into stadiums, fairs, ice cream shop lines and cp on a busy Saturday I’m guessing most people don’t think about the crowds or even care like regular visitors do.


First ride; Magnum 1994

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Yesterday, 1:37 PM

Even if they do care, it's a short enough lived bother that they'll gladly do it again next summer. The park doesn't live rent free in their mind every day like it does for us enthusiasts.

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