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I am a bit lower than middle class as far as income goes although my income fluctuates as I am in construction and it seems as though the phrase "feast or famine" is very appropriate ,at least lately..

The point of my reply is that I will make it a point to save for three or four events each year...The County fair,Chasco Fiesta,The Seafest and The State fair(not every year but the past two and definately the next)..I try to go to the county fair during the week when wristbands are cheaper,but I went on the weekend last year,to enjoy a longer time and did not mind paying extra..

I sometimes come across as a cheapskate on here,but a lot of that is done in jest--I will pay whatever they ask and never complain....I know the costs involved with the carnival firsthand(although I admit I do not know the committees costs)and I think that most of the time I feel as though my day spent at these events were a bargain...

I did make a comment on here one time that I thought 3 dollars for a one time slide down a Super Slide was a bit much and I am not backing down on that comment,but other than that for the most part,whatever they are charging is O.K. by me,I am happy to be able to go and spent time around the industry that I love so much....jeff
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Originally posted by Benjibear

...I may not know the fixed costs of the fair, but I do know people I know (middle class) don't patronize the fair like in years past...



That is a part of the problem right there and it has nothing at all to do with any aspect of the outdoor amusement industry. Middle class is disappearing. I consider my family to be middle class. We don't have much "entertainment/play" money at all, but when spring, summer, and fall roll around, our entertainment dollars are generally spent on midways rather than at movies, restaurants, etc.

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...There are so many places to spend your entertainment dollars these days the carnival is competing against movies, video rentals (those damn red boxes)video games and computer games just to name a few.



As Soda Guy pointed out, and another problem than, again, has nothing to do with the outdoor amusement industry, is a lot of competition. I blame the internet and TV. Both allow people to sit in their houses rather than get out and actually do something like go to a fair.

Movie theaters, some nightclubs, festivals all suffer because, as it seems, the general public doesn't go out as much as they used to. It's a shame too. No red box can cure this mark's fix for a good carnival!

*now stepping off soapbox.
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Originally posted by Soda Guy

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Originally posted by Benjibear

I just saw an ad in the paper for York Fair and Reithoffer is doing $19 wristbands and I beleive if you prepurchase it is less (maybe $15). That appears resonable compared to the entrance fee of $6 just to get in the place.



Benjibear, so how much is the insurance that the fairgrounds pays? How many people through the gate to pay that nut? You seem to be the expert on "what is to much" so you must have the inside knowledge to these and other fixed cost prices to make such a grand statement that 6 dollars is to much to pay to get in. What about the free acts? Does the fair pay any non profit group to park cars? pick up trash? These questions should easily be answered by you, beccause only after having that type of information could you make an informed statement.

My take on things is this, if you are working the same job as you did 5 years ago did you get a raise? Are your utility bills the same as 5 years ago? Insurance the same? Medial costs. . . THEN WHY DO YOU INSIST THAT THE CARNIVALS AND FAIRS TAKE A PAY CUT WHEN YOU AREN'T AND WHEN YOUR HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES GO UP DON'T YOU THINK THAT A SHOWS EXPENSES WILL ALSO GO UP?

As for Chris's questions I am really waiting to see what is working in general and what isn't. There are so many places to spend your entertainment dollars these days the carnival is competing against movies, video rentals (those damn red boxes)video games and computer games just to name a few. Fairs and festivals used to be used as a homecoming for communities now with facebook and other sites peoople stay in touch year around and local festivals aren't used as the yearly gathering place. Thus a drop in attendance.





I have lived in York now for 12 years. I understand that expenses have gone up and the fair needs to make the nut. However, I live here, I read the local paper, and I talk to people. That is where I get my information.
When I first moved here I heard that a few people went to the fair. That number has declined and I know more people now. I here the same story. The fair isn't as good as it used be. It gets smaller every year. The same stuff is there every year. There is not as many local stands. The entertainment isn't as good. The rides are junk and unsafe. There is violence and crime on the fairgrounds. Everything is so expensive. These things may or may not be justified and I am not saying any of them are true but it is peoples perception.
I may not know the fixed costs of the fair, but I do know people I know (middle class) don't patronize the fair like in years past. In my opinion the only reason the fair does as well as it does, is because the poor population in York city. My wife works in a urban center city school and many of her students talk about going to the fair. This particular school has a very high percentage of people on free or reduced lunches which should say they are poor.

It is what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.
Showman could respond with their perspective on what works, but they don't contribute here. gunshy, paranoid, can't spell? Who knows. All the rest have to play the guessing game.
UserPostedImage
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Originally posted by Benjibear

I just saw an ad in the paper for York Fair and Reithoffer is doing $19 wristbands and I beleive if you prepurchase it is less (maybe $15). That appears resonable compared to the entrance fee of $6 just to get in the place.



Benjibear, so how much is the insurance that the fairgrounds pays? How many people through the gate to pay that nut? You seem to be the expert on "what is to much" so you must have the inside knowledge to these and other fixed cost prices to make such a grand statement that 6 dollars is to much to pay to get in. What about the free acts? Does the fair pay any non profit group to park cars? pick up trash? These questions should easily be answered by you, beccause only after having that type of information could you make an informed statement.

My take on things is this, if you are working the same job as you did 5 years ago did you get a raise? Are your utility bills the same as 5 years ago? Insurance the same? Medial costs. . . THEN WHY DO YOU INSIST THAT THE CARNIVALS AND FAIRS TAKE A PAY CUT WHEN YOU AREN'T AND WHEN YOUR HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES GO UP DON'T YOU THINK THAT A SHOWS EXPENSES WILL ALSO GO UP?

As for Chris's questions I am really waiting to see what is working in general and what isn't. There are so many places to spend your entertainment dollars these days the carnival is competing against movies, video rentals (those damn red boxes)video games and computer games just to name a few. Fairs and festivals used to be used as a homecoming for communities now with facebook and other sites peoople stay in touch year around and local festivals aren't used as the yearly gathering place. Thus a drop in attendance.


I just saw an ad in the paper for York Fair and Reithoffer is doing $19 wristbands and I beleive if you prepurchase it is less (maybe $15). That appears resonable compared to the entrance fee of $6 just to get in the place.
It is what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.
I've read over the replies to this topic, and I think there are good points that everyone is making. Being 'family friendly' is something I've heard a lot. I like the suggestion of the 'dollar night', which is something that I've seen many spots do on the opening night (usually a Tuesday or Thursday), when it would normally be slow anyways. It's a different take on the 'use a POP to draw them in' philosophy that most use. And I do agree, that some people will complain about ANYTHING, just to hear themselves complain.

I also get what the folks talking about what the show keeps are saying. You obviously have to price things so that you make money, or else why bother to do it (and I've run numbers through my head, and understand the giant nut that exists even before the gates open).

So on a related note, how do you price things to make it seem to the public that they're getting a 'bigger' bargain?

<ul><li>Is it pricing tickets at 50 cents, selling a monstrous sheet of them for a 'reasonable' price (say 60 for $25), and charging 5-8 tickets a ride? </li><li>Offering reduced price drink refills, with the refill price reflecting your cost + profit on a more durable 'premium' cup that you don't have to provide the 2nd time around? </li><li>Using coupons to reduce the POP price to the previous year's price? </li> <li>Or some other method...</li></ul>

Again, I look forward to your responses.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
Again from the perspective of a customer:

The biggest thing for me is appropriate pricing for the amount of rides there. There is one carnival I go to here where the pricing has stayed the same no matter what company plays it. So if there are less rides from a different company, or more rides from another company, the price still stays the same. If there is less rides than the previous year the prices should be lowered and if there are more and better rides, I would expect the prices to go up. The general public does notice when there are less rides especially if there is empty space where rides once were. Kids notice as well because they are able to remember the names of the rides and remember where they were and if they are not there when they were there last year. Parents don't notice as much, but the kids do.

This carnival has raised their POP price to $20 for a parking lot carnival, when it used to be $15 per 4 hour session. There are also less rides than there used to be. During the $15 era the carnival was filled with kids and teens happily riding the rides and people were utilizing the rides. Now that it is $20 POP per session and there is a lot of loitering, less spending, and very few are riding the rides. Now it also attracts more trashy crowds that loiter, stand in circles and talk and play with their phones instead of the families that came during the $15 era and actually spent money. The higher prices have made this carnival go downhill.

The reason I mentioned lowering prices during a show is because I have seen it done once, a carnival I went to was having problems with the electric and once they finally got it going they decided since there wasn't enough time left for POP (they were about an hour into POP) that they would charge 1$ for all rides. They could have just continued charging full price. Well I spent about $5-10 that I would have not otherwise and people were lining up for tickets like you wouldn't believe after the price was reduced. I suspect they made more money on that then they would have at the regular $4 per ride or $15 POP this spot was charging. Lowering the price will get people to spend money who otherwise wouldn't, because the public then perceives the lowered price as a deal and a good value. Its been done a lot of times before too, some fairs advertise $2 rides on opening day and they have been doing this special for many years, and its obviously not a problem since if it was they would remove the opening day special.

I guess my suggestion would be to have some kind of special or discount on ride prices in some way other than the normal posted POP or ticket prices. Offer a coupon for a couple dollars off POP or discounted ride tickets through some channel. Offer a coupon for x dollars off the purchase of x ride tickets. The coupons for POP discounts seem to have gone away for a lot of spots in my area which is a bad thing because almost all spots here had a coupon in the paper for something in years past. Now there are no more coupons. These coupons bring in a lot of business, create more advertising and good word of mouth too. People love good deals especially these days and they want to see that they are getting a deal or a sale price. People love coupons, especially families. A deal or a sale is a good value to the public. People are more willing to spend if they see a sale or a deal or have a coupon, retail stores use these tactics all the time to get people to buy more stuff and it works.
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Originally posted by BigSumo

Try a trip to one of big amusement parks, Disneyland is now $72.00. You can drop a G-note easy in one day at a big park. The fair is still a better value. Plus here in the Golden State the rides at the big amusmeent parks are exempt from inspection, go figure!


Insurance companies will inspect them once a year.

Was talking to someone today said he went to a fair with a gate charge 20 POP and $1 tickets with rides costing 5 tickets. I think $5 a ride is a little steep.
Try a trip to one of big amusement parks, Disneyland is now $72.00. You can drop a G-note easy in one day at a big park. The fair is still a better value. Plus here in the Golden State the rides at the big amusmeent parks are exempt from inspection, go figure!
Clarke

Jacta alea est - "The Die is Cast"