Taking a lesson from the marketing playbook that made the Washington Redskins one of the wealthiest teams in sports, Daniel Snyder's Six Flags theme parks are launching a concierge service that allows patrons to pay extra to be first in line for park rides and to get reserved seats to live park shows.
For prices ranging from $199 to $249 per person plus tax -- depending on the park -- patrons get one day's admission , preferred parking, meals, snacks, games, reserved seating at shows and "front-of-the-line ride access."
"We did a lot of research. People said they wanted to come out to Six Flags, but they wanted a private visit. . . . They didn't want to be included with the masses." (Washington Post)
They must really be getting desperate. And come on. "The masses"? Way to dismiss the 99% of your customer base who can't afford the VIP tickets. Why not just refer to them as "commoners"?
Now, I admit, I've never been to Six Flags. So maybe it's worth spending a thousand dollars so your family can cut to the front of the line. But I doubt it. I have yet to hear anyone rave about rides at Six Flags the way they do about Islands of Adventure or Busch Gardens. And since Snyder made the decision to focus the park's efforts on parades and people dressed up as Looney Tunes characters, I don't see that changing. Besides, with the park's attendance what it is, are the lines really that bad? We're not exactly talking about Disney World.
More importantly, who are these supposed rich Washingtonians who are anxious to visit Six Flags, but not if it means rubbing elbows with Joe Blue Collar?
"Well, obviously, we'd love to visit your magnificent theme park. But the only way we could even consider it would be if it were a private visit. So we don't have to deal with...you know... those types."
Look, I've accepted the fact that it's Dan Snyder's world, and the rest of us are just living in it. But this seems like a really stupid idea. Almost as stupid as his idea for Redskins Cola, and that was pretty fucking stupid. At this rate, the park will just continue to hemorrhage money until it's eventually sold or shut down.
Unless, of course, Danny takes an entirely new approach to Six Flags. Forget all the crap that hasn't worked, and start thinking outside the box.
For example, why not invite drug dealers to operate in the park? Think about all those meth addicts who would be so desperate for a fix, they'd gladly pay $50 to get in. Think about all the tokers who would buy horrendously overpriced park food in order to cure the munchies. Think about the (under the table and completely tax-free) 10% Six Flags could claim on every rock, pill, bag, or gram sold on its property.
That's how you increase revenue, Mr. Snyder. Not parades or VIP tickets. Drugs.
If you're interested, I have other ideas about how to increase profits. And yes, they all involve drugs. My consulting fees are very reasonable. Call me!