Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

How much did your group sales and secondary spend/per caps suffer last season because of the slow economy?

Paul Borchardt, Wonderland Park, USA (pictured): Our group sales from the large groups were down significantly, by about 25%. All of these cancelled about 40 days out. What saved us was one really large government contractor group that turned out very good. We also had more of the smaller groups, so our per caps were up about 8% over all. I cannot tell if this was due to the groups or regular attendance as these are in the daily park totals. Our overall attendance was up a very little, but this was affected due to 28 days out of 116 scheduled days that were lost due to weather and one week of the Swine Flu fiasco in the spring.

Gordon Gibb, Flamingo Land, UK: It wasn’t the best year we’ve had in terms of visitor throughput, but it was the best year cash wise and I couldn’t really report a fall-off in secondary spend. School groups were strong during the season, and our holiday village certainly benefited from the “staycation” trend.

Mattias Banker, Parks & Resorts Scandinavia: At Gröna Lund we were up by about 230,000 people, and season pass sales were up too. The problem is that when we are too full in the park, people can’t spend money, so I think we were pretty much the same as last year in spending per caps. At our other parks, Skara Sommarland and Kolmården, spending was up. At Skara we added a new all-inclusive wristband this season, including all food, drink and ice cream. We sold a lot of wristbands, but they were pretty cheap and people ate a lot, so while I think we made a little money, it was more of a marketing exercise.

Dick Knoebel, Knoebel’s Amusement Resort, USA: Our group sales were down 15%, but I can’t address the per caps because we don’t have a gate to measure it by. However, I know that individual pay-one-price wristbands and ticket sales were up minimally. Games were down and refreshment sales were down. Fortunately, however, overall we finished very close to our 2008 numbers.

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