If you’re a teenager going to Six Flags on free days or with discounted tickets, the amusement park company doesn’t care about your business.
The theme park company, which has 27 parks in North America, is changing its strategy and target demographic.
It does this by increasing ticket prices, improving amenities and eliminating promotional offers, as well as all all-you-can-eat meal plans, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Six Flags President and CEO Selim Bassoul said during an August earnings report that the variety of cuts had turned the parks into “cheap daycare for teenagers.”
“Raising prices is not an easy task for a company that has trained its customers to expect discounts,” Bassoul said. “And in 2022 we shocked the system with a significant increase in ticket prices.”
The change comes as year-to-date park attendance is down about 35% from 2018, according to the Washington Examiner.
Meanwhile, a recent study found that the cost of family outings like baseball games, movie theaters and theme parks are rising two to three times the rate of inflation.
He also compared the cost of family outings in the 1960s to today and found that families now have to work up to twice as many hours as 60 years ago.
Each park has different daily and annual passes, but, according to the LA Times, “per capita spending for admission to Six Flags parks increased 29% over the previous year, from 29, $67 per capita at $37.75”.
“I think a lot of our customers, even though you kept prices the same as last year, their disposable income was hit pretty hard,” Bassoul said in reference to the higher cost of goods.
But he hopes that when the economy returns to its new normal, those people can come back to take advantage of “the new premiumization and beautification”, shifting from “Kmart, Walmart to maybe the target customer”.
“Our goal is not to become a park that is not affordable for everyone,” he added.