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Cedar Point bucks trend, cuts admission prices

2006-01-23

By Robert Niles: Cedar Point might not be adding a new coaster for 2006, but Cedar Fair's flagship park is making a strong move to boost attendance.

The Sandusky, Ohio park has announced that it will cut its regular adult admission price by five dollars, to $39.95. In addition, the park's everyday price for kids under 48 inches and seniors 62 and over will be just $9.95. Cedar Point also is offering an additional five dollars off adult tickets purchased online.

Cedar Point's aggressive kids' price continues a strategy initiated at Cedar Fair's Knott's Berry Farm, in Buena Park, Calif. Knott's slashed its everyday kids price to $14.95 in an effort to lure families from nearby Disneyland. The move helped boost Knott's attendance, making the park a favorite for school and camp groups throughout Southern California.

Cedar Point's across-the-board price cut follows industry-wide price increases, led by Disney, Universal, Busch and, in a change from previous years, Six Flags, which under the new ownership of Dan Snyder's Red Zone LLC, has upped one-day ticket prices to Disney-levels in some markets.

Readers' Opinions

From Derek Potter on January 23, 2006 at 9:27 PM
Not a bad move by Dick Kinzel this year. Cedar Point hasn't seen a big ride for a few years, and neither have the guests. The markets they are going after are the day trippers and borderline marketplaces. They have no problems bringing in their local and hardcore fan bases, but without a major new ride, some just won't come. Some of them will come when they find out that daily admission was actually reduced five bucks. New ride or not this year, Cedar Point is still worth a visit.

Some may say that Cedar Point's declining attendance the past few years is attributed to the marketplace leaning more towards family entertainment and away from thrills. I say it's because they haven't installed a major ride in 4 years. Thrill rides have and always will be huge draws and big moneymakers when done correctly in the right setting. Declining attendance will be out the window when the empty land footprint that used to be White Water Landing is filled.

From Russell Meyer on January 24, 2006 at 10:32 AM
This was inevidible. Cedar Point slashed prices at the end of last year trying to buck its trend of declining attendance throughout the summer of 2005. The price slashing technique did work, and without a big new ride to draw guests in, Cedar Point was really left with no choice. The big question will be is how much they'll jack prices up in 2007 if a big coaster project comes to fruition.

I'm a bit surprised that Knott's lowered prices. They're perfectly positioned demographically between Magic Mountain and Disneyland, and have carved out a good little niche in Southern California. With the addition of Silver Bullet last year and Disney and Six Flags raising prices, leaving prices alone would probably have been sufficient. I do like their attempt to attract more families to the park, but I wonder what a family with smaller children is supposed to do at Knott's.

From Robert Niles on January 24, 2006 at 11:09 AM
Camp Snoopy. It's widely considered the best kids' area at a theme park in the LA/OC area. Legoland (in San Diego County) beats it, no contest, of course, and I think that competition from Legoland taking visitors from OC and San Diego county over the past few years has put pressure on Knott's. Disneyland's also squeezed Knott's with its massive base of annual passholders.

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