June 3, 2008: "How to Hit an Amusement Park on the Cheap"
"There's typically so much discounting going on at parks that few people actually pay the gate price."
"There isn't a lot of price resistance by tourists. They've already invested a lot of money to come to the area, they've got the kids with them, and they're not going to turn around, especially if the park provides a unique experience."
May 9, 2008: "Theme parks preparing for long, dry summer"
spikes usually have little to do with vacation planning. It was only
the gas shortages of the 1970s that caused some to cut their vacation
plans. They were much more concerned about being able to get gas than
how much it was."
July 2005: "Mickey's Malaise"
"There's good reason why Euro Disney wants to jack up attendance: because theme parks typically have high fixed costs and relatively low variable costs. Once the break-even point is reached, every little increase in visitor numbers translates into high marginal profit. Known in the theme park, hotel and airline industries as operating leverage, it's one of the reasons why theme parks emphasize new rides and other expansions to generate attendance. When you can add 10% to your attendance, thanks to a new ride, a lot of that goes straight to the bottom line."
"Indoor water parks with attached hotels are the hottest lodging concept this decade. They attract families looking for new ways to be entertained, and operators love them because they can keep customers coming year-round. It's really that aspect that's caused the current growth, if not explosion, in water-park resort development."
June 12, 1989: "Hi-tech thrills and chills"
"Simulation is the next step in rides because it reproduces the experience without the danger of the experience. Theme parks are becoming like Fantasy Island where people can act out their fantasies."
December 5-25, 2005: "Mad money: five ways to have some real fun with your disposable income"
"Nothing says success like your own personal theme park... All told, you'll drop roughly US$20 million for something like Michael Jackson's Neverland Valley Ranch to upward of US$200 million for something like Paramount Canada's Wonderland north of Toronto."
October 25, 2006: "He's not just a spectator of the arts"
L. Douglas Wilder recently chose John Gerner as a volunteer liaison
consultant to his performing-arts committee. The committee will spend
the next two months preparing a final report for renovating and
expanding the Carpenter Center as well as, perhaps, building two
October 17, 1991: "Experts tell Lockport how to lure business"
John Gerner, a tourism expert from Richmond, Va., said the downtown project would have problems succeeding unless more attractions are created to lure the 300,000 people who live within 10 miles of Lockport for daylong visits. He suggested raising the level of the Illinois & Michigan Canal so it could be used for recreational purposes, building more historic trails and museums, adding signage and finding an answer to the parking and traffic problems downtown.
January 6, 1994: "Old Mint Reopens Today -- Experts Say It Needs Better PR"
"Any attraction, even the free ones, have to work hard for success. Unless the attraction is located in a pathway of tourists, where they are physically going to walk by it, like Ripley's Believe-it-or-Not Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, it has to promote itself through advertising and through offering attractive exhibits. Being free does not, in itself, attract visitors. It competes with other free forms of entertainment and education, such as television and libraries. Without promotion, the Old Mint was essentially condemning itself to low attendance -- to its fate."
October 14, 1989: "Anheuser-Busch to Be Major Force In Amusement Industry in Future"
Experts said Anheuser-Busch may never link Shamu the killer whale, Sea World's signature draw, to the company's beers in advertisements. Although visitors to Sea World parks will likely see more brands of Anheuser-Busch for sale there, John Gerner of ERA said, they "won't walk and see big posters that say 'Drink Budweiser. You won't see Shamu jumping over a beer can. They will never emphasize the beers too heavily."That is because Anheuser-Busch wants to market its parks to families, Gerner said, and "they are very careful not to risk damaging that reputation."
September 30 1993: "Universal Hopes to Make a Splash with Shark-Ride Sequel"
"In some respects, the real acid test will be Jaws. If the new version does at least what the original was supposed to do, that will be a real good sign that Universal knows what to do with their theme park."