Six Flags Membership Rewards will reward customers for visiting and spending in the parks with a variety of perks, including free park tickets, Flash Pass line-skip passes, and special in-park and VIP experiences.Six Flags yesterday announced the launch of a new Membership Rewards program for park visitors. Like an airline frequent flyer program,
The program won't be open to all Six Flags visitors — only to those who have the parks' membership passes. Memberships at Six Flags are like seasonal passes that automatically renew, in perpetuity. Think gym memberships... but where your "exercise" is airtime. The Six Flags Membership Rewards program is open to all Gold Plus, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Elite membership owners over the age of 12 who live in the United States and opt in to the program. (The last three are legal requirements for rewards programs.) While the program launches officially on January 1, 2019, Six Flags is opening a beta-like "early access" period on August 30, as it tests the program.
The program is points based, using the Six Flags app, with the following earning schedule:
Six Flags also says that it will offer members points for other activities including taking surveys and signing up for newsletters. No word yet on how many points will be needed to redeem rewards. I suspect that will be one of the big things tested and adjusted during the early access period, as Six Flags learns how quickly visitors will be accumulating points.
It's obvious from the schedule that the big points here are for spending money in the park. A $20 meal would earn you 500 points, dwarfing the points you could earn simply from visiting and checking in all over the place inside the park. So forget about the idea of truly "free" rewards. Like with most commercial loyalty programs, if you want the extra stuff, you will end up at least indirectly paying for it.
So why is Six Flags getting into this business? For the same reasons that any hospitality business starts a loyalty program. Six Flags wants to drive its visitors toward buying memberships instead of daily tickets and annual passes. Memberships provide the company with income stability, protecting it from declining attendance due to bad weather and other external factors. Once you buy that membership, Six Flags has that money and will keep getting it, going forward until you cancel.
Loyalty programs also provide companies like Six Flags with an enormous amount of data about their customers. With a membership rewards program, Six Flags now can correlate guest spending with specific visitation patterns. It will know when its highest-spending visitors come to the park and which rides and shows they frequent. That information is immensely valuable to the company in deciding which types of attractions to develop in the future, as it now will know for sure which ones drive the most spending elsewhere in the park.
Loyalty programs also help introduce customers to upsells that they might not have paid for in the past but decide they might like to pay for in the future, once they've tried them via a rewards freebie.
From movies to online content and now theme parks, many companies in the entertainment business are trying to move from a price-per-service model to subscription-based ones. (Think about Moviepass, Netflix, and now Six Flags.) If this works for Six Flags, will other chains in the theme park business follow with loyalty programs of their own, just as the airlines did?Tweet
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