Six Flags offering deep discounts on Play Passes to open 2010
Written by Robert Niles
I'm on a conference call with Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro right now, and he's making the point that Six Flags is offering deeply discounted Play Passes for many of its theme parks early this year, in an effort to hold on to market share in a tough U.S. economy.Tweet
At Six Flags Magic Mountain, for example, visitors can buy a Play Pass, which admits them to the park every day it's open in 2010, for $54.99 - the same price as a one-day ticket. (The Play Pass differs from Six Flags' annual pass at some parks, though not at Magic Mountain, in that it does not include the coupon book, free tickets or other perks of the SP. Both the Play Passes and the Season Passes include admission to all other Six Flags parks.)
But Shapiro said that the discounts will not last through the season, and the Six Flags anticipates raising ticket prices by as much as $20 as the summer progresses. Shapiro did offer some wiggle room, saying that if the economy did not improve and the market did not support increases, Six Flags would stay put.
But he encouraged visitors to buy now to lock in the discounted prices, which makes sense for a company trying to hold on to market share. Get those folks to buy now - instead of giving them any reason to wait, when they might decided not to buy.
Update: FWIW, Shapiro said that Six Flags has a deal to bring Mrs. Fields into the parks this year. More calories! :-) He continued that he'd like to add more outdoor cooking options, like those offered at Dollywood, but that local restrictions at some parks preclude that. But they will add where they can, in the future.
He also said in response to my question that he doesn't anticipate creating an in-house attraction design team, a la Disney's Imagineers and Universal Creative, at any time in the near future, though he paid them great credit for what they do.
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