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Cedar Point leaves main ticket price unchanged

Toledo Blade

Original Article »

January 22, 2008

When Cedar Point announced yesterday it was holding the line on its main ticket price for 2008, amusement park consultants weren't surprised.

Fears about a possible national recession have sent chills through the industry.

"People are looking at ways to hold prices yet entice people to come out and visit," said Dennis Speigel, head of International Theme Park Services Inc., an industry consultant in Cincinnati.

"If there was a way to raise prices and [Cedar Point] felt comfortable with it, they would had done it," he said.

Cedar Point's regular gate admission this season will stay at $43, the as at the end of last year.

Cedar Point, which produces about 30 percent of the overall revenues of its parent firm, Cedar Fair LP, announced all of its 2008 gate prices yesterday, although five types of tickets, including its regular adult ticket, had been available for sale on the amusement park's Web site since late November.

Last year, the company began the season with a $42 price at Cedar Point but raised that by $1 on Aug. 21, the first such in-season increase in memory.

The company's official posting of ticket prices on its Web site was three months later than usual. "We wanted to make sure it was carefully thought out," said Robin Innes, a Cedar Point spokesman.

Although the one-day adult admission is unchanged, Cedar Point's junior/senior ticket - for children older than 3 and less than 48 inches tall as well as for seniors over age 62 - went up $3 to $16.

The two-day Cedar Point/Soak City combo ticket went up $1 to $72, and the two-day junior/senior combo ticket went up $3 to $34. A ticket for visitors in the military rose $1 to $32.

Rick Munarriz, a stock analyst for the Motley Fool investing Web site, said the park could try to increase revenue in other ways, such as raising prices for foodand drinks.

Mr. Speigel said other amusement companies are searching for ways to cut costs. For example, Six Flags Inc. is raising prices at its parks, but also said it would cut $100 million through decreased marketing and cuts in operations.

"The last two months everybody's been watching the [stock] markets and commodities to see where things were shaking out for 2008. The people I've talked to throughout the industry, they've all been watching the economic indicators for a sign," Mr. Speigel said.

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