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  1. #1

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    A question of Markets

    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.

    the park gets up to 30,000 visitors on a busy holiday and last year topped 3.4 million people
    Reminds me of DCA

    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."
    Family entertainment... sound familiar?

    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.
    And this... is what I wanted to touch on.

    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.
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  2. #2

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    Re: A question of Markets

    I think the answer changes whether you are asking about Disney Parks & Resorts worldwide or Disneyland specifically. Disneyland specifically relies on locals FAR more than WDW, so if you take that into account, you can expect WDW to do better during tough American economic times than DL will. That said, DL still gets WAY more international tourists than Knotts, so DL will still be better off than Knott's once Americans begin to penny-pinch. My gut says that in the end, the sheer numbers of guests won't change that much, but you'll see a shift in WHO you're seeing in the parks.
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  3. #3

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    Re: A question of Markets

    The economy will have an impact on everything, and I fear that all parks will feel the pinch, but DIsney maybe more than others because their AP's and tickets in general are more expensive. I love Disneyland and would spend more time there if I could but I hate fighting traffic and now with gas inching closer to $4.00 a gallon, a visit to the park is even more expensive. We probably will not be renewing our APs before summer...we'll see maybe this fall.

    APs for Disney are cheap for what you get, but its going to be hard to compete against the free AP offers (buy one day get the year free) USH and SFMM have. So Cal pass to Disney for a family of 4 = $676.00, APs to SFMM for a family of 4 including 1 extreme pass for free parking and food discounts = $303 (yes I have been doing my homework). With SFMM making some really positive improvements, Disney, Knotts and SFMM will be fighting for the same family demographic, and many of those families will have less spendable inclome to go around this year.

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  4. #4

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by MollyTrolly View Post
    The economy will have an impact on everything, and I fear that all parks will feel the pinch, but DIsney maybe more than others because their AP's and tickets in general are more expensive. I love Disneyland and would spend more time there if I could but I hate fighting traffic and now with gas inching closer to $4.00 a gallon, a visit to the park is even more expensive. We probably will not be renewing our APs before summer...we'll see maybe this fall.

    APs for Disney are cheap for what you get, but its going to be hard to compete against the free AP offers (buy one day get the year free) USH and SFMM have. So Cal pass to Disney for a family of 4 = $676.00, APs to SFMM for a family of 4 including 1 extreme pass for free parking and food discounts = $303 (yes I have been doing my homework). With SFMM making some really positive improvements, Disney, Knotts and SFMM will be fighting for the same family demographic, and many of those families will have less spendable inclome to go around this year.
    I agree with a lot of what you are saying Molly. The gas price is starting to be more a problem for me and my g/f to go to SFMM and DL as much as we like. We are AP holders for both. We dont have kids or anything, but i have watched our free money dwindle with the price of everything going up.

    "The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold

  5. #5

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Disneyland's audience has always been primarily locals. In the late 90s some reports said that the visitor mix at Disneyland was 60% local to Southern California and something close to only 10% International. After 2001 those numbers could have changed considerably in favor of locals.

    Unlike WDW I would say that DL is in a good position when it comes to downturns in the economy - since there is such a huge local audience to draw into the parks. They need only to adjust AP prices to bring in more people to the parks. Of course they make less money that way.

  6. #6

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    Re: A question of Markets

    I like the thought Mr. Liver, but what they may loose on AP's, they have to make up on APers that dont have the parking option, not to mention all the vending and such that AP holders do still buy.

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  7. #7

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by MollyTrolly View Post
    The economy will have an impact on everything, and I fear that all parks will feel the pinch, but DIsney maybe more than others because their AP's and tickets in general are more expensive. I love Disneyland and would spend more time there if I could but I hate fighting traffic and now with gas inching closer to $4.00 a gallon, a visit to the park is even more expensive. We probably will not be renewing our APs before summer...we'll see maybe this fall.
    These very thought occurred to me in the last day or two, as soon as I heard the possibility of gas going up over $4 a gallon.

    I think for the people who live within 30-45 minutes (or less) of the parks it probably won't make much of a difference. Those people will still go to the parks in the same numbers as they did before. But for the "semi-locals" like me, who have to drive 2-2.5 hours and a whole tank of gas plus a hotel room unless we just do a day trip... its going to have an effect. Just the price of gas alone has me thinking about cutting out some of the trips I was hoping to make between now and December. I will probably still renew my AP in October, because I will still probably go through the gate enough times to pay for it, but there might not be as many "extra" visits.




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  8. #8

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by penguinsoda View Post
    These very thought occurred to me in the last day or two, as soon as I heard the possibility of gas going up over $4 a gallon.

    I think for the people who live within 30-45 minutes (or less) of the parks it probably won't make much of a difference. Those people will still go to the parks in the same numbers as they did before. But for the "semi-locals" like me, who have to drive 2-2.5 hours and a whole tank of gas plus a hotel room unless we just do a day trip... its going to have an effect. Just the price of gas alone has me thinking about cutting out some of the trips I was hoping to make between now and December. I will probably still renew my AP in October, because I will still probably go through the gate enough times to pay for it, but there might not be as many "extra" visits.
    I'm in the hour to hour and a half range, and even taking the g/f's civic, a trip up to DLR is getting to be quite pricey. When we started going, it was ten to fifteen bucks up and back. Now its about twenty.

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  9. #9

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Well, you can fill up at the Arco at Ball and Disney way. It generally has a low price for gas.

    What I had heard was that day in day out 60% of the traffic at Disneyland comes from 100 miles or less. It's about the same for Knott's and SFMM. Disney has always been the most family focused. I gave up on Six Flags when they took out some of my favorite 'non thrill' rides and started attracting gang members. I hear it's better now, but so far, I haven't made it back. Knott's also saw less of me when they lost the Steak House, the Berry ride and went thrill ride. I am planning on getting back there soon; especially if they are going back to more family friendly park.

  10. #10

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn, Renaissance Woman View Post
    Well, you can fill up at the Arco at Ball and Disney way. It generally has a low price for gas.

    What I had heard was that day in day out 60% of the traffic at Disneyland comes from 100 miles or less. It's about the same for Knott's and SFMM. Disney has always been the most family focused. I gave up on Six Flags when they took out some of my favorite 'non thrill' rides and started attracting gang members. I hear it's better now, but so far, I haven't made it back. Knott's also saw less of me when they lost the Steak House, the Berry ride and went thrill ride. I am planning on getting back there soon; especially if they are going back to more family friendly park.
    Lynn, i had not been to Magic Mountain in a long, long time, but i have been going more recently and i can tell you that i have not scene any of the gang problems that previous MC'ers had mentioned. They have, and have continued to do a good job of cleaning up the park, and getting the riff raff out. Now, if they could just keep up the bathrooms.

    "The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold

  11. #11

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Due to proximity the main "competition" if you will has always been Knott's and Disneyland. If the economy does take a downturn then Knott's prices will seem that much more attractive and as in years past, the locals may either A) migrate to Knott's or B) cut back on their visits to Disneyland and/or cancel their AP. Both of which would hurt Disneyland.

    I also question the amount of "locals" that Disneyland "relies on" because if they seriously needed locals that badly they would not have blackout dates... they utilize AP's in the off season but they do extremely well with or without them in peak season. Also with the boost from the 50th they haven't really had an "off season" like in years past. Knott's by comparison NEEDS the local crowd and has no black-out dates. They also run various promotions for the local crowd. This combination of lower prices, promotions, and no black-outs... will sway people if the economy takes a bad turn!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  12. #12

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    Re: A question of Markets

    [quote=techskip;2610100]

    Reminds me of DCA
    DCA attendance is far above that. But it will be interesting to see attendance at DCA when major portions of it are down for construction and when the new stuff all comes on line about 2013.

    Family entertainment... sound familiar?
    Let's hope this Knott's guy means what he says. So far, nothing in the new plan for DCA goes beyond what I'd call the intermediate thrill level and I like what I see.
    Personally, I never bought into the thrill rides are the wave of the future thing. Certainly they will be in the mix, but this arms race of whiz the drawers thrill rides many parks got into ultimately hurt those parks.

    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
    At WDW yes. But not so much at DLR.

    Knott's relies on locals for the most part
    .
    As does DL. Though I would guess DLR relies more than Knott's does on tourists.

    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.
    If Oil prices keep climbing, both locals and tourists will feel the pinch. Tourists will see their air fares going up. It might show in other areas that attendance such as merchandise sales and the like. Maybe some people that spent the $ for Disney branded hotels will choose instead to stay across the street. . Right now, that economy doesn't appear to be on solid footing. We've now got inflation in the face of a weakening economy. That isn't good news at all.

    I also question the amount of "locals" that Disneyland "relies on" because if they seriously needed locals that badly they would not have blackout dates...
    Not all aps have the black out dates. And in actuality, it's a sign DLR relies on their locals. One of WDW's promotions to get more business in off season is free dining if you book a package and stay at A Disney hotel. They also have free ticket upgrades with packages in the spring time, and they also have nicer hotel discounting than does DLR. That's geared far more for the tourists there. The discounted ap is geared for the locals. One of the big 2fer promos was also more geared for the locals.
    Last edited by WSVR; 03-04-2008 at 08:09 PM.

  13. #13

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by WSVR View Post
    Not all aps have the black out dates. And in actuality, it's a sign DLR relies on their locals. One of WDW's promotions to get more business in off season is free dining if you book a package and stay at A Disney hotel. They also have free ticket upgrades with packages in the spring time, and they also have nicer hotel discounting than does DLR. That's geared far more for the tourists there. The discounted ap is geared for the locals. One of the big 2fer promos was also more geared for the locals.
    The fact that AP's even have blackout dates means that they are not as heavily dependent on the locals as Knott's. Disney has a multi-level play-for more access system. Knott's can't afford to do that or their attendance would be even lower. They also have a LOT more promotions then Disneyland, half prices, bring a drink get a ticket, that sort of thing. They NEED locals, Disneyland just entertains the ones that show up. The one promotional Knott's offers that IMO Disneyland should is the Military admission for Vet's Day... but that is another story. My point is that Knott's caters to individuals who can't afford Disneyland's prices, and if the economy takes a turn the Knott's crowd swells!
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  14. #14

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Disneyland relies on AP's alot more than they want to tell the public they do...

    Locals are a major part of our Guest demo...I was talking to a Vacation Planner (Ticket Seller) on Tuesday afternoon and she said that she had only sold 2Fer tickets or the SoCal AP that morning. Locals may not be the bread and butter during the busy seasons, but during our slow periods they most definitely are.
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  15. #15

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    Re: A question of Markets

    Quote Originally Posted by mainstreetcm View Post
    Disneyland relies on AP's alot more than they want to tell the public they do...

    Locals are a major part of our Guest demo...I was talking to a Vacation Planner (Ticket Seller) on Tuesday afternoon and she said that she had only sold 2Fer tickets or the SoCal AP that morning. Locals may not be the bread and butter during the busy seasons, but during our slow periods they most definitely are.
    Bold mine. Disneyland can afford to exclude lower levels of AP's (which are arguably the most popular to those who can't afford more) for the majority of the busy season. Knott's can't afford such exclusions.
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