Six Flags Over Georgia
April 6, 2011 by USA Post
Six Flags Over Georgia, (AP) – Amusement parks in the United States launched for a loop by the economic downturn in recent years are beginning to recover, drawing larger crowds in the past year and spend more money on new attractions and shows of the season.
A growing crowd in many U.S. parks in, with some attendance record now. Increased benefits for families looking for fun and began to travel again. Better weather helped, too.
Those in the entertainment industry are optimistic this year will be even better.
The two largest operators of regional amusement parks, Six Flags Entertainment Corp. based in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. based in Sandusky, Ohio – the attendance was reported last year nationwide. Other regional parks also saw at least modest gains, while the Disney parks in the U.S. dipped a little. For many, it was a rebound year after “two of the more depressed we’ve seen over the past 35 years,” said Dennis Spiegel, a theme park consultant who is president of Cincinnati-based International Theme Park Services Inc.
Amusement parks are often thought to be recession-proof, offering a full day of entertainment relatively affordable, with adult tickets per day and usually range from 35 -. But that is not true in 2008 and 2009, as the attendance and revenue in many large parks flattened or fell, and several companies are moving to sell the parks to pay the enormous debt.
Six Flags, which has parks in North America, presented by .3 million visitors, a jump of nearly 1 million assistance due to the growth of Halloween and Christmas events. More than half of the increase in assistance occurred during the last three months of the year.
The visitors also spent more money on cotton candy, hot dogs and souvenirs. Last year, Six Flags saw attendance drop of 1.5 million people. The company does not provide attendance figures for individual parks.
Cedar Fair parks, including Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio and Knott’s Berry Farm near Los Angeles, hit a record, drawing .8 million people, an increase of 1.7 million euros. Increased hotel stays, too. Walt Disney Co., the largest U.S. amusement park, reported increased attendance at Disneyland in California, but left at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in 2010 after one of its main competitors, Universal Orlando, enjoyed a big jump in attendance with the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction. Disney did not release specific attendance figures, but said the crowds gathered for the last three months in Florida.
Hotel Reservations for the year also declined. Regular admission costs for adults and 82 at both Disney World and Universal Orlando, but prices are coming down with the options of several days.
Disney World offers a range of package deals including discounts, free meals and hotels during the economic downturn, but it did raise ticket prices in August.
Universal Orlando, one of the few parks to release annual figures for assistance, said its count of visitors increased from 9.3 to .2 million last years. Better weather during the summer and fall in most U.S. was an important factor in better attendance numbers last year. In the last two years had been rainy and cold, wet for assistance in many parts of the country, said Spiegel.
“As the economy continues to improve, we see families may travel a bit more,” said Colleen Mangone, a spokesman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, based in Alexandria, Virginia.
The families are watching their money more closely and are no longer willing to risk spending money on an amusement park exit if a chance of rain in the forecast, said Pete Owens, Dollywood theme park spokesman in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Dollywood, on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, saw huge crowds throughout the summer and fall, but heavy snow wounded assistance during the holidays, “said Owens.
Amusement parks are trying new ways to get more repeat visitors. Six Flags is allowing holders of season tickets in some parks to pay in installments _ Prices vary by park. One of the oldest parks in the United States, Kennywood, near Pittsburgh, began selling season passes last year for the first time in its 112 year history. And the parks are spending more on new attractions and places of interest this year than last season, said Gary Slade, editor and publisher of Amusement Today, a trade publication.
“Everyone is more than positive,” said Slade. Mountains of New rollers are opening at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, and Six Flags Over Georgia, near Atlanta.
Florida Legoland will open in October south of Orlando. Several other parks are making new additions to the water attractions. The emphasis now is on adding family attractions like water rides that four people instead of large rollers mountains attract more teenagers and young adults.
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