I am not sure if anyone is local to Long Beach Ca, but I picked up the latest Destinations magazine and noticed an interesting article on Knott's. I say "magazine" but it is basically a tourist pamphlet with 75% ads and 25% articles, pretty good read though. Anyhow they interviewed the general manager of Knott's Matry Keithley and here are a couple interesting highlights.
Reminds me of DCAthe park gets up to 30,000 visitors on a busy holiday and last year topped 3.4 million people
Family entertainment... sound familiar?Aiming to entertain all guests, however, has forced Knott's to branch out into thrill rides, particularly given that until recently "everybody was into the hard rides and the big rides, trying to beat each other with a bigger [and] bigger ride." ... Now, people are reverting to family attractions, he says, noting that Timber Mountain Log Ride is an all-time favorite... "People are getting back to family attractions," he says "It can be a ride, but it doesn't have to be that 200 mile-an-hour, 3,000-foot-tall roller coaster anymore. It can be something that is just good for the whole family."
And this... is what I wanted to touch on.The park's focus on family is what has kept people coming- particularly the locals, Keithley says, explaining that roughly 60 percent of the visitors are from the region... given the nations weak economy, the visitor breakdown has actually worked in favor of Knott's Berry Farm because it does not rely heavily on tourists, who are likely to pinch pennies this year.
When you compare Knott's to Disney there are a lot of things to consider, but a major thing is their "hold" on the market. Disney is reliant on tourists more then anything else, Knott's relies on locals for the most part. What I am curious about is how the current economy will affect both. Right now the American dollar is weak, so international tourism is booming. This is good for Disney. But the boom in the international means a weakening of the national and local markets as Americans feel the pinch. What I wonder is how much of an impact will the economy have on both parks.