WestCoasterKing wrote:Man, I'm glad I live in a small town. We don't even have parking meters downtown. We used to, but they were killing downtown because people avoided the area like the plague, so they were removed. Now our downtown area is booming. I guess I just don't understand big city life. I live less an hour from Seattle, but aside from driving through on I-5, I rarely if ever actually go there. I also lived in SoCal while in college and don't remember ever paying for parking, aside from downtown LA of course.
You lived in SoCal and never went to the beach? They all charge to park, unless you're going to some obscure beach in the middle of nowhere.
Here's a quick primer on how these things work. Parking lots cost money to build and maintain, and that money has to come from somewhere. Where it comes from depends on supply. If you have a large parking lot with more supply than demand, like Wal-mart for instance, you can offer free parking as a way to entice demand; i.e. get people to park in your lot. The money to maintain the lot would then come from increased sales.
If, however, demand outstrips supply, the best thing you can do is to charge for parking, because then the lot pays for itself while also decreasing demand from people unwilling to pay for it. This is the model urban garages use, especially the ones that charge per hour, since people will be incentivised to move their car as soon as they've finished their errand.
This is why the mall next door to Knott's with free parking says no parking for Knott's. They don't want to pay to maintain their lot for people who aren't spending money there. It's a big loss for them. Theme parks charge a lot for parking because they know the demand is there, and it also incentivises people to carpool or whatever they need to do to bring the least number of vehicles required. Theme parks are also not really worried about anyone who would be turned away by having to pay to park. If they weren't willing to spend that $18 on parking, they probably weren't willing to spend that $18 in the park either. Better to have them choose not to come and free up the spot for someone who is willing to spend money in the park.
Obviously this is the simplistic version of the economics behind these decisions, but I hope it helps you understand the business thinking of theme parks.
^ I meant I never paid to park at a mall or shopping center. When it comes to things like amusement parks or beaches, those are considered activities. I always factor in parking for activities. But shopping is different thing to me. Shopping is not an activity. It is a necessity. I don't go to the mall to walk around, hang out and have fun. I'm going to purchase things that I need. I don't need entertainment an amusement. But imagine paying to park at the grocery store.
I'm also not criticizing Knott's for charging for parking. I fully understand and support it. I'm in the camp of those who are mad at the people who did cheat and played the system to use the Marketplace for free amusement park parking and thus ruined it for everyone else. I'm just worried how the new parking policy will effect the future of the Marketplace. I don't fault Knott's and Cedar Fair, nor do I think it's a greedy money grab. It just sucks that some people had to ruin it for everyone.
My 2-cents on the parking situation.... that parking lot is for the Marketplace. If you are using it for the Marketplace, it will still be (effectively) free. Too many pass holders tried to circumvent the cost (or the walk) of parking in the lots for the theme park, and the park responded by making it harder to game the system. They don't want that lot to fill up, because that hinders the income potential for the restaurants and shops if folks wont come because the pass holders took up all the parking.
Checking the webcams, it looks like they added even more track to HangTime last night. I imagine they will finish track work and top off the first inversion in the next day or two! Only one or two pieces left.
ytterbiumanalyst wrote:Theme parks charge a lot for parking because they know the demand is there, and it also incentivises people to carpool or whatever they need to do to bring the least number of vehicles required.
or, like Six Flags, they up the price to get people to purchase the Season Parking pass.
that really seems to be why it's now $25 per time to park at the Texas Six Flags, they bet that folks will do the math, and realize it's way cheaper to buy a season pass (or membership), and simply pay the extra $$ to upgrade to "Gold" which gets you free parking at all Six Flags parks.
if you get it during a sale -- we got Season Passes with free upgrade to Gold during Cyber Monday sale, for less than $65 each, and went twice in 2017, before end of year). So the passes have already paid for themselves, and now get free parking rest of 2018 at any park.
I have to believe that's why they are charging so much.
not exactly the same thing as what Knott's is doing.. you clarified that really well in your post.
but yeah, gives an idea also why so many charge for parking. . . even Downtown Austin charges to park (weekends too), and it does NOT stop folks from going out.
Yeah, Six Flags is a different beast. Since they make ao much of their money on advertising, they need to do all they can to sell season passes. There the guests are not just customers, but also products they sell to their advertisers.
ytterbiumanalyst wrote:Yeah, Six Flags is a different beast. Since they make ao much of their money on advertising, they need to do all they can to sell season passes. There the guests are not just customers, but also products they sell to their advertisers.
Parking is expensive at all theme parks because they still have to pay property taxes on it and have a captive audience. Doesn’t really have anything to do with pass sales. You charge what the market will allow you to.
I had to pay $50 to park at the cotton bowl if I didn’t want to walk a mile and park in a sketchy shopping center parking lot.
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