View Full Version : So I went to Scarowinds last night...

09-19-2010, 09:38 AM
...And I was SHOCKED at how busy it was. I would guess there were close to 15000 people in the park. Usually opening weekend is really slow and is the best time to go and ride the rides and watch the new haunters try to be scary, but I was blown away by the sheer numbers of people. It was so crowded I decided not to ride anything, nor go through any haunts until later in the season. I got to see a couple of old friends that I used to work with and it was nice to catch up on news. I'll go back later to see the haunts. I did go through the outdoor 'scare zones' that don't have lines and you could tell the actors were trying but a few were a little out of their element.

Perhaps this is a good omen for local haunts. Hopefully it will mean good numbers for all...

Twin Locusts
09-19-2010, 10:10 AM
What do you attribute the numbers to? Has there been a marketing blitz, if so, do you know any of the modes, direct mail, TV, news insert? Do they have any price specials or 'economy' specials?

I haven't read a lot on it yet but the staycation trend during a downturn has to be in play. Lower price point entertainment may thrive when higher travel related entertainment tanks.

Maybe not though, Memorial Day Weekend was at a 17 year low for the top 50 grossing motion pictures, counting all four days. We live in a bit of a bubble but our multi plex is packed right now on weekend afternoons. Not suggesting movies are an A to A comparator, in fact a haunt should have significantly greater value perception than cinema, even though, in most markets the price point gap is progressively narrower.

Haunt numbers this year will be much more indicative of the overall economy than last year, mainly because younger end unemployment hadn't taken the brunt of the downturn yet, it's in full force now, consumer credit debt has dropped 17 months in a row which is not likely due to consumers paying off debt but to card companies lowering caps, and consumers freezing spending. Perceived quality will be king this year.

There'll be a convention of thought out there that would suggest that if you'd been a 13-15.00 dollar "established" haunt it may be the time to bump to 20.00. At a glance it seems counter intuitive but the argument would be that you're not going after the price conscious buyer anyway, and that the core market will go regardless of price between 15-20 as there's low buyer differentiation of the two points. The underlying assumption to this idea will be that there will be an overall reduction in headcount, basically, the price conscious and zero discretionary fund folks due to unemployment. Therefore, the revenue goal will have to be hit with a lower headcount.

Factoring for immediate competition in the market would be huge in this scenario, if you're the only major player in the market it'd be a time to bump the ask. That or find a three to five hundred percent markup retail item that will get that remaining 5.00, the better bet would still be to bump ticket ask.

chuck weber
09-19-2010, 04:34 PM
people are probably itching for halloween to begin. big buzz around here (my area) for it. houses are allready decorated and posters for haunts are up. Looks like it's gonna be a good season.

09-20-2010, 08:37 AM
Great to hear Scarowinds had a great opening.

freak 'n' stein
09-20-2010, 09:28 AM
Aw man! I miss working there, but some friends and I are going this season! Can't waittt!