Amusement parks were all set to have an amazing 2020 and then COVID-19 happened. Revenue dropped to nearly nothing and the downward spiral continues for many theme park companies.
Many owners and industry experts were expecting a record-breaking year for the world of theme parks until the pandemic cut attendance to zero and forced the venues to close. The theme park industry has lost billions of dollars in revenue because of this crisis. And now, with heavy restrictions being handed down by state governments, many parks are finishing off a dismal summer season with half (and often less than half) visitor capacity.
The world has changed and the way theme parks will operate has changed as well. The key to weathering this storm and making it into a successful 2021 season will rely heavily on the ability of amusement parks to shift their operational systems and guest experience.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best practices that have emerged from the pandemic and explore ideas on how theme parks can keep themselves alive to deliver another great season filled with lasting memories for families across the country in the coming months.
The Power of Perks
With the summer ending and limited seasonal traffic on the horizon with fall and winter holidays, there are plenty of ideas that theme park management could consider for attracting guests through the cold season and into next year.
The Perks Of Private Parties
People still want to have fun. People still want to go out with their friends and family. It could be a valuable idea to think about promoting parties at your venue. Consider giving perks and discounts to those who book multiple parties over the course of next year. Possibly provide additional party gifts, complimentary food, drinks, and other forms of entertainment for guests who are planning parties with your park.
You may also want to gear some of your marketing campaigns towards the wonderful experience of throwing a private party at your venue. Are there attractions or programs at your park that could be attractive to patrons? Place the perk of experience with those attractions and programs into memberships to make a long-term investment more attractive.
The Perks Of The Bundle
Most people like bundles. Think about upcoming events at your park and how you might be able to bundle several events into one package. Or maybe you can offer a bundle of special events for free to those patrons who purchase a membership for the 2021 season. Look at giving your members as many perks as possible to let them know you appreciate their support. You might provide a complimentary meal or drinks to members. You may offer attractive discounts on all of your merchandise or products bought in your theme park to any card-holding members. You may also want to give single-pay visitors an option to “upgrade” their day at your park with a meal package or bundle their ticket with a program or attraction like those mentioned above in this article.
Make The Experience Convenient
With all of the stresses involved with daily life, at the moment, people are happy when companies can provide convenience. Shoppers are using online grocery store apps and delivery at a record level. Patrons are now expecting to be able to check-in or make a purchase online. Contactless interactions have become as common as handing someone a credit card six months ago.
Get creative and think about making your customer’s experience as frictionless and convenient as absolutely possible. Maybe you can guarantee no waiting times to enter your venue, or possibly even “no lines” for your attractions. This is a time for you to get creative and stretch as much as you can to give your guests the easiest, most satisfying experience as possible.
A Long Road To 2021
When we look at reports coming in on the amusement park industry, we see that all of the biggest players have cut costs, fired or furloughed massive amounts of their workforces, removed as many operating costs as possible, and have slashed their expenses to nearly nothing towards new attractions.
As with all of the other public and mass gathering venues, the theme park industry has been decimated by the pandemic of COVID-19. Many owners are scrambling for capital to help them make it through the remainder of this season and open strong for next year’s spring and summer months.
At the moment, the hard truth is that no one can honestly and predictably say how long it will take for theme parks to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic. It’s also nearly impossible to predict how customer spending habits are going to change at theme parks.
With these unknown variables in everyone’s minds, it may be necessary for some companies to look at different tactics for generating short-term revenue. If your business has found itself struggling to create enough revenue to keep the gates open, then you might consider selling some of your attraction items. You may be able to offset costs and generate enough operating capital to make it into next year if you can sell some of your less popular attractions.
Your first step is finding a trustworthy business equipment appraiser to help you determine the value of your assets. You’re in a high niche market, so you’ll also need a company that has a successful track record in targeting qualified buyers who are ready to spend. An undertaking like this requires expert attention. You need the right team with the right experience. That team is Auction Masters. We’ve been helping companies like yours with appraisals and high-value equipment sales for over 40 years. If you think we can help you in any way at all, give us a call. We’ll do everything we can, from appraisals to high-value marketing and sales, to help your team make the best decisions about your business equipment moving forward. Contact us anytime if you have any questions.