Knott's Berry Farm announces installment pay plan -- for hotel rooms
This is a first -- at least, it's not something I've encountered before. Plenty of theme parks have introduced installment plans for buying theme park passes. But Knott's Berry Farm has introduced an installment plan to pay for a hotel room.
Photo courtesy Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm's Easy Pay Program is, in essence, a layaway program for stays at the Knott's Berry Farm Hotel, in that you must complete your four payments before the beginning of your hotel stay. Given that many hotel stays are not paid in advance, one could just set aside a certain amount of money each month before a trip, and get the same result. But Knott's plan might help the theme park ensure that would-be visitors don't change their mind and decide to spend their "saved" money on something else. (Knott's FAQ promises "no cancellation fees" on reservations cancelled more than 72 hours before arrival.)
Have you seen an advance payment or layaway program like this for hotels before? Would you consider using it?
Update: From the comments, it appears that Cedar Point (Knott's sister park) is offering the same deal at its hotels.
It seems Cedar Point is also adopting this program.
A lot of hotels I've stayed in will charge the first night upon making the reservation, with the rest due at check-in. I could see someone wanting to spread out their payments for a hotel stay (plus the tickets--you can buy them together as a package, according to Knott's website) and using this installment payment plan.
I understand advance payment, when it gives you the opportunity to book a lower rate, or a high-demand period, or preferred rooms. What I don't get is the benefit of this program, since it doesn't seem to deliver any lower rate or preferred benefit. Perhaps if you're the type of person who needs the external discipline to set aside money for a vacation? (And that, BTW, is *far* preferable to charging the room and paying it off, with interest, after the trip.)
Here's another example: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/06/20/put-your-vacation-layaway
I could see the advantage for a special activity like a TPR West Coast Bash or such or possibly high season.
This will help those who can’t save the opportunity to set a financial goal and then enjoy the benefits of it…
This really doesn't make that much sense. I could see Disney or perhaps Universal offering a program like this, but for parks that likely wouldn't see guests for more than 2 or 3 consecutive days, it doesn't seem useful. I don't want to sound crass, but if you can't put money aside on your own to pay when you arrive for your first night's stay, then perhaps you shouldn't be booking hotel rooms.
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