Inducements galore for US guests
It is a sign of the economic times that an increasing number of American amusement parks are this season offering inducements and promotions to lure guests. In the face of rising prices for food, fuel and airline tickets, a variety of venues are slashing prices and throwing in extras ranging from money-off admission and hotel rooms to free fuel.
At Steel Pier (pictured) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, owners the Catanoso family are offering a free gas card with the purchase of a $100 ride ticket book. As part of “The Ride Is On Us” promotion, visitors can travel about 100 miles on the card, the approximate distance from major surrounding metropolitan areas Philadelphia and New York.
“We know that many of our customers are feeling the pinch of the economy yet still looking forward to summer at the Jersey Shore” says Anthony Catanoso. “We want thousands of families to continue coming.”
At Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, three new ticket promotions have been introduced, including an all-you-can-eat meal for $2 above the regular admission price. A second deal is a $10 admission later in the season with the purchase of regular admission. There is also a $40 saving for anyone buying a four-ticket family package.
Both Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, New Jersey, and Six Flags New England, Agawam, Massachusetts, are offering a $10 dollar reduction in admission price over last year. Six Flags America, Bowie, Maryland, is now offering two admissions for the price of one. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, meanwhile, in Arlington, Texas, is rolling back its adult waterpark admission by $7 to the lowest price in 10 years.
And at Kalahari Waterpark Resorts in Wisconsin Dells and in Sandusky, Ohio, guests can get a $40 gas card when they check out after a four-day stay, plus a $40 reduction in their daily room rate for each of those four days.
Yet there are some parts of the United States that seem unaffected by the current downturn. In the face of price reductions elsewhere in the country, theme park admission prices are actually up in Southern California, by between $1 and $3. Last winter prices also rose at many parks in Central Florida.