News: Labor challenges force Cedar Point to adjust operating calendar

Saturday, May 22, 2021 5:15 PM

Cedar Point's gold pass strategy was intended to pack the park for the 2020 season. Also, I think they have learned that once you push someone over that threshold of buying a season pass, they are more likely to buy again in the future. The Gold Pass is a way of adding some incentive to buying the pass early: the gold pass includes several perks that cost the park basically nothing, but dramatically increase the value of the pass: parking, admission late in the season, early entry. It's a strategy that until March of 2020 looked like it would work pretty much as planned. My prediction is that beginning with the 2021 season (ha!) the Gold Pass would be significantly more expensive than it was for 2020, and I think we've seen that price increase go into effect already: the $99 pass was a stunt for the 2020 season intended to introduce a lot more people to season passes, and insure big crowds for 2020.

Unfortunately now it looks like it is going to insure big crowds for 2021, and I wonder if it will backfire and disappointed people will decline to renew for 2022, especially at what will almost certainly be a price more in line with, say, the 2019 season pass program.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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Saturday, May 22, 2021 5:22 PM

Another issue that has been created from raising the hourly rate is that many of the union workers were already making $20 an hour, so internally there are a lot of unhappy maintenance/electrical workers that are up in arms (understandably so).

It’s a lot like watching a dumpster fire, and they’re just throwing more gas on the fire to salvage the season and at the same time creating many more internal issues.

At the end of the day there will be a LOT of consequences for this season that will likely affect future seasons, and not necessarily in a good way.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021 6:50 PM

Well, on the bright side, the basketball games are all closed!

I think CP probably made a mistake closing employee housing to older employees. Still not sure why they did that. There appeared to be at least a few J-visas in the park today. The fellow working a drink stand was Columbian.

When they throw in a company car, I'll apply for a weekend job.


"Forgiveness is almost always easier to obtain than permission."

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Saturday, May 22, 2021 7:14 PM

I still think a lot of people are overthinking the over 30 housing thing. I really think it just came down to not wanting 35-40 year olds living with 18 and 19 year olds. Had they known what kind of labor issues they were going to have they may not have done it, but it's a hard one to walk back without openly admitting you are doing it just because you are desperate.

But I do agree that based on what happens with this season, future seasons could be impacted to a degree, An even later Opening Weekend in May, limited dates and hours, etc. I also wonder if rather than closing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays if they did something like the old limited bonus days in September back in the early 2000s. Have a skeleton crew operating 7 or 8 coasters for a reduced admission price with reservations required. At least you'd potentially make something.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 12:29 AM

The question is, why close housing to 30+ entirely? Cedar Point now has multiple residential facilities available; why not designate a particular building or campus as “senior” housing? I don’t know how much of an issue it is, but I’m guessing that one of the ripple effects of Cedar Point’s wage increase is going to be a significant increase in the market price of rental housing in the Sandusky area...

—Dave Althoff, Jr.



/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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_/XXXXXXX\_/XXXXX\_/XXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\__/XXXXXX

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 6:30 AM
Uncle Steve's avatar

Open senior housing and recruit the homeless.
Problem solved.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:24 AM

Cedar Point's moment of desperation is the employees' opportunity to show why they actually should keep higher wages.

Crew members, especially those who sell food and merchandise, need to bust their butts to help justify the cost of those higher wages.

Employees SHOULD expect people to go all Karen on them if they are not working hard enough to earn that higher wage.

I know that I expect a "better than Disney" experience at CP this year.

Crew members need to keep in mind that CP WILL decrease wages when international employees are allowed back.

Hopefully, CP gets so many applications from qualified people that they are able to eliminate the lazy and incompetent crew members who were willing to work for lower pay. A well-paid, competent employee might be able to replace 2 weak employees.

Last edited by Zoug68, Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:30 AM
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Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:48 AM

There’s internal rumblings that the $20 an hour is in fact only temporary, and normal wages will be restored next season. Take it with a grain of salt of course, but this is coming from some of the union workers there who were told this in response to them being upset over the $20 an hour increase.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 2:49 PM

Did everyone get the Email about the Tuesdays and Wednesdays being closed. I get every other Email but not this one. Luckily my buddy let me know so I could change my reservation.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:28 PM
vwhoward's avatar

It's hilarious hearing all you people say that the Gold Passes are hurting them and CP needs to charge more to recoup the losses of $20 an hour wage. It is like you're begging to help the company just get richer and pass the expense on to you. It's like blaming the workers at McDonald's for the Big Mac costing more instead of the corporate greed. Embarrassing.


Joe
Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:31 PM
vwhoward's avatar

mgou58 said:

There’s internal rumblings that the $20 an hour is in fact only temporary, and normal wages will be restored next season. Take it with a grain of salt of course, but this is coming from some of the union workers there who were told this in response to them being upset over the $20 an hour increase.

Anyone that is upset that someone else is making money don't belong in the union, or in the work force, for that matter.


Joe
Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:32 PM

^ Completely missed the point of my argument of pricing being too low (has nothing to do with letting them make more money) but thanks for your input.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 7:32 PM

vwhoward said:

mgou58 said:

There’s internal rumblings that the $20 an hour is in fact only temporary, and normal wages will be restored next season. Take it with a grain of salt of course, but this is coming from some of the union workers there who were told this in response to them being upset over the $20 an hour increase.

Anyone that is upset that someone else is making money don't belong in the union, or in the work force, for that matter.

Because people who worked their ass off to get to $20 an hour and suddenly everyone instantly makes the same wage is always a positive thing. Thanks for your input buddy.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 8:21 PM
Top_Thrill_Tyler's avatar

vwhoward said:

It's hilarious hearing all you people say that the Gold Passes are hurting them and CP needs to charge more to recoup the losses of $20 an hour wage. It is like you're begging to help the company just get richer and pass the expense on to you. It's like blaming the workers at McDonald's for the Big Mac costing more instead of the corporate greed. Embarrassing.

No. You've missed the point entirely. Stick with your McDonalds analogy. If the corporate board at McDonald's wants to make more money selling Big Macs, and they decide to use horse meat for their Big Mac to accomplish this result in lieu of increasing the price (would actually not be too surprising), then the customer experience is negatively impacted. By dramatically underpricing the Gold Pass in 2019, the customer experience is negatively impacted with massive crowds and the intervening issue of severe understaffing. If the price of a season pass is increased, guests will think a bit harder about the cost-benefit of purchasing a season pass. A higher price at the gate may limit the number of guests, but at least you have guaranteed revenue and can anticipate a more positive guest experience. There's a happy medium in there somewhere, but where exactly that is has pretty much gone out the window with the pandemic. I wish the black shirt higher-ups well in finding that price point again.

As far as "corporate greed", don't take this as a defense of corporatism, but if you run a corporation and your number one priority at the end of the day is not company profit (e.g., shareholder value), your priorities are misplaced.


-Tyler A-

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 8:48 PM

I'd happily pay $250-$300 for a Platinum Pass if Cedar Point (and the other CF parks) were able to deliver guest service and efficiency on par with Disney and Universal. The upper tier parks (Cedar Point, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, and Knott's) are worth a much higher price than they currently charge. But with that price things like open attractions (and opening them on time), open and accessible food and drink stands, etc., would need to also be in line with Disney and Universal.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 9:00 PM
vwhoward's avatar

Nah...you guys miss the point even you were trying to make. People work their ass off all over and don't make enough. Or have enough benefits. Or enough time off. Those people in the union (and I know this from personal experience), have way more benefits than just their wage. They have job protection, health benefits, a pension or at least a 401k match, vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, etc. These folks that are now (deservedly) making $20 an hour are still way off of where the union members making the same hourly wage. Keep staying on the side of the business who will work people until they die or are too broken to work, instead of the working class that makes up most of the US and affords you experiences/services you couldn't live without.


Joe
Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 9:39 PM
Top_Thrill_Tyler's avatar

Joe, I still think you're missing the point. I'm not here to take a "side" in a labor debate. I'm discussing how the amusement park this forum is dedicated to can best thrive out of a catastrophic 2020 - from the position of a park fan who would just like to see a few more rides running, food stands operating, normal days & hours of operation, and everything else that means I can enjoy my visit and the business can enjoy a successful season.

Last edited by Top_Thrill_Tyler, Sunday, May 23, 2021 9:39 PM

-Tyler A-

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 9:40 PM

I can’t argue with the wall in front of me which is what I’d be doing if I continue to try to make you see your misguided perceptions.

And, I might add, that there were more than just union workers at the park making $20 an hour before all this. The problem is not in the wage itself; no one at any point in this entire thread said anything against workers making more money. We are having a discussion about the consequences of such a sudden and dramatic increase in wages to not only the park itself, but to the surrounding economy, which if you had bothered to read instead of, like everyone else on Facebook making it a political/corporate/anti-union argument you’d have seen our point more clearly.

But again, arguing with the wall and expecting a different result is stupid, so I’ll let you be with your opinions and I’ll have mine.

The internet is truly a wonderful place.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:00 PM
Jeff's avatar

Inflation isn't even remotely outpacing wages. In the CP case, starting wage is 33% higher. Inflation is not 33%.

Buying back in to annual passes at Disney, with five-ish weeks of total blackout dates around the holidays and spring break, cost almost $800 with tax. Even if you adjust for number of operating days and the subjective quality of the experience, CP is dramatically undervalued at $99 for a season pass.


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

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Sunday, May 23, 2021 10:09 PM
vwhoward's avatar

👍🏼 Ok


Joe
Eat 'em up, Tigers, eat 'em up!

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