Knott's Cuts Everday Kids' Ticket Price to $12.95

Knott's Berry Farm: One major theme park has eschewed ticket promotions in favor of a new everyday low price strategy. Will it work?

From Robert Niles
Posted January 15, 2004 at 11:11 PM
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif. has cut the everyday gate admission price for kids ages 3- 11 to $12.95. The price matches the deeply discounted price that Knott's had offered during supermarket promotions in past summers. The old kids price to the theme park was $33.

We've mentioned the price rollback in other threads, but I wanted to give this its own thread for two reasons. First, so that it would show up as a link on the Knott's Berry Farm pages on TPI. And second, to highlight a comment that Knott's spokeswoman made about the price cut.

Susan Tierney told Amusement Business magazine that "even with the revenue factor, it was worked out so that it wasn't a risk to us." She told the magazine that the vast majority of children visiting the park in the past had done so while taking advantage of an admission discount.

That confirms something that many of us have been saying for the past few years: Gate prices are for suckers. Most, if not close to all, theme park visitors are coming in with discounts -- some more than 50 percent off the daily gate admission price.

If that is the case, and at least at Knott's they are now confirming it, why keep the gate price so high? Why not take a "Wal Mart"-type marketing approach and eschew the "sales" in favor of an "everyday low price"?

In Knott's case, the ongoing supermarket strike in Southern California surely would have reduced the number of local families participating in any grocery-related promotions this year. But any promotion involves some hassle, as partners must be arranged, coupons printed and ticket sellers trained.

Knott's is leading the industry by trying the everyday low price approach with the kids. Let's see if any other theme parks follow.

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