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Reduced hours at all Paramount parks this year

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Published: February 1, 2006 at 10:32 AM

When Paramount's Kings Dominion released its 2006 calendar a week or two ago, I noticed that they had cut back on both the operating days and operating hours. They're opening for the season a couple of weeks later, and they no longer are staying open until 10pm on summer weekdays (it's now 9pm). At first I thought that this was just a response to nearby BGW's similar schedule change that had already been released.

However, the schedules for Carowinds and Kings Island were just released, and they also show serious cutbacks in the hours they'll be open this year. Carowinds is closing at 8pm on summer weekdays, and PKI isn't opening until 10am on any day (used to be 9am). Also, PKI is closing at 10pm in the summer; I'm pretty sure that last year they were open until 11pm or even midnight, at least on Saturdays.

Is this just a general cost-saving measure, or are they in trouble financially? I'm particularly annoyed about the 9pm close for PKD since that makes it difficult for me to go there after work during the summer and make the drive worthwhile (I live over an hour away).

Readers' Opinions

From Gareth H on February 1, 2006 at 12:48 PM
Generally they try and close earlier as its not a money maker staying open later.
When parks close later, normally the only people inside the park will be the ones who arrived prior to 3pm.
They see the hour they they close earlier as a way to cut back on staffing costs and overall running costs.
The final couple oif hours in parks are run at, I guess you could say, a loss to the park operator. This is why most restaurants, kiosks and sideshows close before the actual posted opening hours. The only thing that is of any benefit to the park in the final hours are the gift shops and most people will only purchase this upon exit.
From Mike K on February 1, 2006 at 2:47 PM
Cedar Point is doing a similar thing this year as well. The park is now closing at 10PM on weekdays instead of 11PM. Cedar Point has been having budget problems this past year, and this is a major way to cut back on staffing. I doubt most people will notice a difference.

http://www.thepointol.com/news/newsstory167.html

-Mike

From Derek Potter on February 2, 2006 at 6:31 AM
I don't think it's a big deal. I don't recall Kings Island opening it's rides until 10 AM. They opened the gates at 9 AM. They were mostly opened until 10 am on weekdays and 11 on weekends during peak summertime hours in July. The schedule varied by the month. I'm not sure about the other parks, but Kings Island was busy right up to close. With their attendance being as high as it is lately, I don't see the hours being cut too much because there isn't any real reason to cut them.
From Pete Brecht on February 2, 2006 at 8:37 AM
Hmmm. I checked PKI's 2006 online calendar again yesterday and today to verify a couple of things, and they've temporarily removed it from the website. Now it says "Check back soon for 2006 Operating Calendar". Maybe they've decided to make a few changes?

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