Author Topic: Park meets attendance goals for 2014  (Read 11527 times)

biscuitcreek

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Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« on: January 03, 2015, 08:37:38 AM »
The link below is to an article in the current edition of Branson Tri-Lakes News. It has highlights of 2014 tourism in Branson. There are several paragraphs about SDC with quotes from Brad Thomas and Lisa Lau. The park did hit its 1.9 million visitor goal and did have a record attendance day of 24,000.

http://bransontrilakesnews.com/news_free/article_72b450d0-92bc-11e4-9efc-5f39b498c962.html

Runner1960

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 09:22:36 AM »
As you read this article it is really depressing how many taxes are levied on the tourist. I know all tourist areas are bad about this , but Branson seems over the top . Glad my visits have decreased over the years to 1 or 2 at the most.

sanddunerider

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2015, 10:00:54 AM »
I read that article, that is great news for SDC.!

They did have several poor weather weeks and weekend..  I am glad for the company they were able to get the numbers they wanted.

As far as the taxes are concerned, we pay taxes everywhere we go, Branson is a little higher on their day to day taxes....

I just look at it as being an expense I have to pay to enjoy myself....

Runner1960

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2015, 02:25:54 PM »
So I want to ask the question because I am curious.

Is 1.9 Million a good number? I believe I remember they were topping 2 million back in the late 80's. Maybe my rememberer is broke.
It really does not seem like a lot when you consider the St. Louis cardinals do 3.5 Million on only 81 dates. And I think the Royals did close to 1.9 this year.

Also, Is this a paid attendance or a total? BAF's , comps and employee give away tickets might be included.

Tmboote

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 02:50:16 PM »
So, SDC was open 214 days this season. So if 1.9 million people went that averages to about 8,900 people a day. That doesn't seem like very many people. Does this count every different person who went to the park? If someone with a season pass went to the park ten times this season, did they get counted ten times or just once?

thelarsonsix

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 02:51:46 PM »
So I want to ask the question because I am curious.

Is 1.9 Million a good number? I believe I remember they were topping 2 million back in the late 80's. Maybe my rememberer is broke.
It really does not seem like a lot when you consider the St. Louis cardinals do 3.5 Million on only 81 dates. And I think the Royals did close to 1.9 this year.

Also, Is this a paid attendance or a total? BAF's , comps and employee give away tickets might be included.

No offense, but I don't really see the comparison between two MLB teams and a regional theme park. Would you happen to know what Six Flags, WOF, or Dollywood does in a year? That seems like it might be a bit fairer. Secondly, I'm not disputing your figures, but if the Cardinals are doing 3.5milion per season, that would mean they are filling Busch almost 76 out of 81 dates. IIRC it seats around 46000.

The question of paid attendance is a valid one also. I'd like to know the answer to this also. I assume they are strictly counting bodies through the turnstiles but would like to know for certain.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 02:54:02 PM by thelarsonsix »
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thelarsonsix

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 02:56:01 PM »
So, SDC was open 214 days this season. So if 1.9 million people went that averages to about 8,900 people a day. That doesn't seem like very many people. Does this count every different person who went to the park? If someone with a season pass went to the park ten times this season, did they get counted ten times or just once?

No it doesn't. I don't recall exactly what the figure is (I'm thinking it's 10k) when they come to the turnstiles and make a big to do about how many people have entered the park that day. We've been there more than once when that occurred mid morning.
"He takes a log, then he just cuts away everything that don't look like an injun" - Jed Clampett

Hollwood

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 03:18:07 PM »
I can clear some things up...

1.9 was a goal... As a nation we are still in a "recession" and business have to scale down their expectations to obtainable goals. SDC first hit the 2 million mark in 1999 and had their best year in 2006 (they had a 25,000 person day that year).

A 9,000 person average sounds exactly right. The 10,000 guest celebration happens every day, around 1, so sorry to burst anyone's bubble who thought Terry and the gang was actually keeping count.

The turnstile count is every ticket that comes through the gate for the first time that day. All tickets are included (paid, comp, SP, ect...) Every entry after the first  that day is counted as a reissue and is placed in a separate column that way they know how many have come through for the day and know how many are on park at any given time. (there is always error as the exit turnstiles do not capture everyone leaving but is good enough to make business decisions.

I hope this clears some things up.

Tmboote

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 03:23:02 PM »
So, SDC was open 214 days this season. So if 1.9 million people went that averages to about 8,900 people a day. That doesn't seem like very many people. Does this count every different person who went to the park? If someone with a season pass went to the park ten times this season, did they get counted ten times or just once?

No it doesn't. I don't recall exactly what the figure is (I'm thinking it's 10k) when they come to the turnstiles and make a big to do about how many people have entered the park that day. We've been there more than once when that occurred mid morning.

I'm just saying that if the park had the same amount of people come every day they would've had about 8900 people every day this season. That obviously isn't true because more people will come to the park when it is 80 degrees in June than when it is 50 degrees in March and April. Also, more people will come on weekends than weekdays.

On Wikipedia they have a page of the top amusement parks by attendance and in 2013, Busch Gardens Williamsburg was at the bottom of the list (#20) for North America with 2,726,000 visitors. So I would guess that SDC has similar attendance numbers to other parks in the area. (Six Flags St. Louis, Dollywood, and Worlds of Fun) None of these parks made the list.

thelarsonsix

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 03:23:24 PM »
I can clear some things up...

1.9 was a goal... As a nation we are still in a "recession" and business have to scale down their expectations to obtainable goals. SDC first hit the 2 million mark in 1999 and had their best year in 2006 (they had a 25,000 person day that year).

A 9,000 person average sounds exactly right. The 10,000 guest celebration happens every day, around 1, so sorry to burst anyone's bubble who thought Terry and the gang was actually keeping count.

The turnstile count is every ticket that comes through the gate for the first time that day. All tickets are included (paid, comp, SP, ect...) Every entry after the first  that day is counted as a reissue and is placed in a separate column that way they know how many have come through for the day and know how many are on park at any given time. (there is always error as the exit turnstiles do not capture everyone leaving but is good enough to make business decisions.

I hope this clears some things up.

It does, with one exception:

A 9,000 person average sounds exactly right. The 10,000 guest celebration happens every day, around 1, so sorry to burst anyone's bubble who thought Terry and the gang was actually keeping count.

This happens every day, or you mean every day they actually have 10,000 guests? If it's every day then what is the point?
"He takes a log, then he just cuts away everything that don't look like an injun" - Jed Clampett

Tmboote

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 03:25:28 PM »
I can clear some things up...

1.9 was a goal... As a nation we are still in a "recession" and business have to scale down their expectations to obtainable goals. SDC first hit the 2 million mark in 1999 and had their best year in 2006 (they had a 25,000 person day that year).

A 9,000 person average sounds exactly right. The 10,000 guest celebration happens every day, around 1, so sorry to burst anyone's bubble who thought Terry and the gang was actually keeping count.

The turnstile count is every ticket that comes through the gate for the first time that day. All tickets are included (paid, comp, SP, ect...) Every entry after the first  that day is counted as a reissue and is placed in a separate column that way they know how many have come through for the day and know how many are on park at any given time. (there is always error as the exit turnstiles do not capture everyone leaving but is good enough to make business decisions.

I hope this clears some things up.

Thanks for clarifying, Hollywood.

sanddunerider

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 04:22:34 PM »
I would say Hollywood had it pretty well summed up.....

EXCEPT for 1 discrepancy:
HW claimed that SDC had a day over 25,000 people in 2006....

But the article quotes SDC as to having their first day of over 24,ooo people in 54 years of being open this year....?????   

misprint?.  misquote?














..

Tmboote

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 04:32:07 PM »
I would say Hollywood had it pretty well summed up.....

EXCEPT for 1 discrepancy:
HW claimed that SDC had a day over 25,000 people in 2006....

But the article quotes SDC as to having their first day of over 24,ooo people in 54 years of being open this year....?????   

misprint?.  misquote?














..

The story below was posted by Shave after that day, so I think the day in 2006 must have been lower than the day in August. Does anyone know how much higher the attendance was that day than the previous record?
http://sdcfans.com/silver-dollar-city-hits-single-day-attendance-record/

Runner1960

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 04:47:58 PM »
So I want to ask the question because I am curious.

Is 1.9 Million a good number? I believe I remember they were topping 2 million back in the late 80's. Maybe my rememberer is broke.
It really does not seem like a lot when you consider the St. Louis cardinals do 3.5 Million on only 81 dates. And I think the Royals did close to 1.9 this year.

Also, Is this a paid attendance or a total? BAF's , comps and employee give away tickets might be included.

Here is the MLB chart for you. And yes the Cardinals sell out almost every game.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

No offense, but I don't really see the comparison between two MLB teams and a regional theme park. Would you happen to know what Six Flags, WOF, or Dollywood does in a year? That seems like it might be a bit fairer. Secondly, I'm not disputing your figures, but if the Cardinals are doing 3.5milion per season, that would mean they are filling Busch almost 76 out of 81 dates. IIRC it seats around 46000.

The question of paid attendance is a valid one also. I'd like to know the answer to this also. I assume they are strictly counting bodies through the turnstiles but would like to know for certain.

shavethewhales

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Re: Park meets attendance goals for 2014
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2015, 07:43:29 PM »
Great to hear they made their target for the year, but it probably should be increasingly worrying for us that SDC's attendance has remained fairly flat for the past 25 years. The market has been evolving rapidly over this period. I'm certain that SDC still has the highest attendance in Missouri as well as nearly the highest attendance out of most of the central U.S. outside of Sandusky, but everyone else is catching up.

The last time I saw really good comparison figures between the parks of Missouri was probably ten years or more ago, and back then SDC had more visitors than all the other parks in MO combined. That was before the Halloween Haunt events really started taking off, and the other parks were simply smaller in general. Somehow those parks, with all their seemingly anti-consumer issues, have continued a steady incline while SDC/Branson has been struggling to figure out where to go next for the last decade. These are parks that charge $20+ to park your car, have an extra $50+ charge to even get on the rides on busy days, and don't even make their parks into places that are that enjoyable outside of the rides.

So all in all, just looking at these numbers it seems like if you're the CEO of HFEC, a growing national entertainment conglomerate of which SDC is now just a single property within a massive portfolio, you're going to either start thinking about making massive changes at the park or simply focusing major investments to other properties for the foreseeable future. We already know that DW is experiencing rapid growth and therefore getting massive capital investments over the next decade, so they're already taking the latter route to some degree.

I just wonder how many years until they say screw it and just fill the place up with rides, give up any pretense of being a semi-realistic Ozarkan town, and start a halloween haunt event of their own. SDC has always been a signature attraction of the midwest, but as we've been discussing for the entire existence of this fansite, the customer base is rapidly changing in ways that are hard for SDC/Branson to adjust to without choosing between their core base of visitors and the new generation of potential visitors. 15 years ago when SDC invested in Wildfire it started adjusting the focus of the park to include basic rides similar to their competition, but in doing so they shoved a new wedge in their customer base that now views the park as just another amusement park and expects little more than the basic amusement park experience. This wedge keeps growing as the older generations who grew up with and appreciate the "old" SDC die off and the newer generation of visitors doesn't necessarily understand or appreciate what they're seeing.

I know this is another big rant, but I just don't get it. SDC is so good to the consumer, and the other parks are so bad. SDC has free parking, amazing staff, great food, great operations, great scenery, a great line-up of rides, the park is enjoyable to visit even if you don't ride anything, and yet attendance isn't growing by leaps and bounds each year. What's missing?

I think they need a new marketing push to show consumers what they're actually getting at SDC beyond just a bunch of rides. They also need to get back to setting themselves apart as an institution and a unique attraction. Branson also really needs to get it's crap together and HFEC should start putting more pressure on them. The town is a mess and while little things here and there get improved from time to time, the whole town needs a master plan implemented ASAP to get growth started again. There's a whole other long-running discussion there.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 07:46:13 PM by shavethewhales »