sestree: (subtlety)
[personal profile] sestree
So the long awaited announcement was finally made: what price increases would we see at MDRF.

Per the MDRF Website:

Ticket Prices and Group Sales for 2011
At the Gate &

Also Available Online Beginning June 1

Groups (20-99) Groups (100+)
Adults (16-61) $19.00
2-Day Pass $28.00

Fairever Pass

9 Day Subscription - $81.00
6 Day Subscription - $60.00

Wow - what a price jump. It actually works well for us doing the 6 day pass. I feel sorry for the people who were planning on going every day - I say planning because I know a few will look at the cost and think maybe not.

I wonder what the thought process is though. The economy is still not great, gas prices are really high, and to see a $40.00 jump in faireever passes is odd. Mayhaps Caroline is hoping to weed out the regulars and bring in fresh blood? Mayhaps it's a way to keep the attendance down? Or maybe prices have just went up that much.

I can't complain since we were planning on curtailing our faire attendance anyway. We're doing the 6 day. Without themed days, other than Labor Day weekend, it will probably be more to the end of faire. I am concerned about other prices jumping 50%. Then again, mayhaps they wish for more bang for their buck.

Still for us - from a purely cost/benefit analysis - I think faire is coming to a sad end. It's too hard to get around. Prices are becoming outside of our means. I'm not fond of the newer music (however, at least now I can hear Barleyjuice). And the main reason to go - to see friends - may be going by the same wayside. I've read more than a few that will now be cutting down to 6 days or 9 days - no not in protest of Hack and Slash or The Rogues but rather because they simply cannot afford it anymore.

Sad. But all things come to an end. All things change and evolve.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 11:53 am (UTC)
ext_298353: (al no ma'am)
From: [identity profile]
Mayhaps Caroline is hoping to weed out the regulars and bring in fresh blood? Mayhaps it's a way to keep the attendance down? Or maybe prices have just went up that much.

Um, helloooo? Carolyn is the artistic director. She has as much control over door prices as you do.

And what business owner who makes money on attendance wants to "keep the attendance down."

I know you want to speculate, hon, but pleaseā€”a little thinking, please. Costs on everybody are going up.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't know she didn't have control over gate prices. Yes everything is going up but when that happens, people choose to spend more wisely and thus curtail non-essentials. Faire is definitely a non-essential much as any entertainment is. That is often the first things cut in any household budget. Add the gas prices and it becomes a no-brainer.

Faire has already mentioned a cap on attendance. This would aid in that. If you just take 5% of the regulars and make them non-regulars, then there's room for 5% more people who aren't regulars - people who can afford to spend money recreationally. Maybe that's it? Maybe not. It's not a criticism of the way things are running - just an observation.

Still gate prices rising isn't entirely it - it's the size of the jump. That is making people think.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 12:14 pm (UTC)
ext_298353: (bogie sez)
From: [identity profile]
Artistic director means just that: she oversees performances. Not food and beverage, not groundskeeping, not ticket prices.

That attendance cap is for those few days when the places swells to the breaking point. When there are 28,000 people trying to get on site, it has a negative effect on the whole experience and becomes a point of diminishing returns. Turning away two thousand so that 26,000 have a better time is a pretty safe call.

And the "regulars" are such a small percentage of the whole that I doubt that even comes into the equation. Last I checked, 1) MDRF hadn't raised their ticket prices in at least four years, 2) paying for one of the packages or for a fairever pass means that you're still coming in at way less than half the cost of a full price one day ticket, and 3) you'll note that a two-day pass is still five cents less than the cost of a one-day ticket at PARF.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 12:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is cheaper. Yes. However the economy ain't great so even if it's cheaper or you're getting 12 days free or whatnot, if it's cost-prohibitive it's cost-prohibitive.

We had already thought about curtailing our experience because yes the large crowds are a problem with Jon. Also it wears him out. This just makes it a no brainer. The 6 day pass works.

I applaud the idea of an attendance cap and if you recall, I applauded the idea of fresh music to bring in fresh faces to spend more $$$$. The regulars are a small percentage but we take up space. It probably didn't come into it when the decision was made, that much is quite true. I really did think Carolyn wielded more power.

There's a reason why we haven't been to PARF in a year or two: ticket prices + gas prices + drive + few places to sit = negative cost/benefit in the long run.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Fairever pass has been relatively underpriced for quite some time. I think the multiple day subscription makes a lot of sense -- captures those folks who would think oh, I'd wouldn't go often enough to justify a season pass, but yeah, I'm sure I'll be there 5-6-8 days.

I can vouch that EVERYTHING is more expensive. Fuel, ice, printing, insurance, plastic cups -- plus we're seeing fuel surcharges on anything that gets delivered. You hold off as long as you can, but at a certain point, you have to pass some of it on.

At Virginia, we're lucky in being a young faire -- there are plenty of places where we can just get more efficient, make better decisions, work on better deals. For a mature faire, and one run by professionals, there are fewer opportunities to find cost savings.

You're not looking to weed people out -- but it's generally speaking the people on the margins - who had just enough money to get in the gate and purchase the minimum food and drink -- who wind up staying home. You don't really want anyone to stay home - but if you figure you're spending an average of $15/head on overhead (and that's a not well thought out guestimate based on overall amusement venues, not Maryland) for every person that walks in the gate, then you're willing to trade in a really cheap season pass for higher margin daily or multiple passes.

That would be my number-crunching, anyway.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you for putting it more concisely than I did. There are a few that I know of who will be opting for the 6 day or 9 day pass instead. Will the faire feel the crunch of their non-presence? no. Will there be a few more seats available? yes.

There ya go - it's a business and one that tickles me to watch. Geek.

Right now for our cost/benefit, VARF works better. Hotel is cheap. Faire prices aren't bad. I can always find a place for Jon to set - something that's gotten more difficult at MDRF each year (one of the main reasons we bail early). He has to set down periodically. So we'll hit VARF once or twice and MDRF a few times and call it happy.

We'll also look at opportunities missed because we were always at MDRF 9 weeks. The thing is yes, while Jon and I are in a unique position, we are not unique. Others are looking at the cost/benefit as well and many are opting for the multiple day passes. I personally think that was a very good idea.

Good to hear your take on this from a business standpoint. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
With as little as I'm going to be in MDRF attendance (gas already at $4 a gallon, driving 150 miles each way to Faire, my restaurant opening in Oct, etc), the 6 day pass sounds appealing. More so because I'll probably only get to go 3 times, then scalp the pass to someone else to recoup some of my money

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
odds are any passes will not be transferable, whether fairerever or not. given that they're going to an electronic ticket system, this will be easier to enforce now.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No, it just likely means I'll take a pass on faire altogether, just like last year. Besides, isn't it the same thing every year, anyway?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 01:55 pm (UTC)
ext_298353: (zorak the man!)
From: [identity profile]
You'll love the Rogues new set this season. Even the locale has changed.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-04 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

almost missed this ....

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oy. Unless L starts bringing in some sizable bacon - we won't be going more than once or twice.


(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 03:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, we WERE going to get season passes this year. But, with a 50% increase - probably not. The 9-day thingy will probably fit in our budget & schedule better. Maybe even the 6-day.

I understand price increases - but, I also know sometimes those also affect my choice. I'm kind of sad we won't get the fairever. At least there are other options.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What was the season pass? $70?

If you do the nine day pass, and go nine days, that's $9 a day. If you got a season pass last year and went 9 days, you paid $8 a day. So, it went up a buck a day. Sure, if you went more than 9 days you'll be impacted more, on a daily basis -- but as so many people say, with gas and other expenses, they were going to cut back anyway. If you went every day at the old rate, it was $4 a day. Which, when you think about it, is dirt, dirt, dirt cheap. Now it's a little over $6.50. $2.78 a day more, assuming one day you can't drag your butt out of bed.

Yes, for some people -- especially if they're a family and buying several tickets at once -- that will cumulatively put a crimp in their budget. But for most people...seriously, skip a latte once a week and you'll be ahead of the game.

I'm NOT minimizing the concerns of folks who are cutting back because of it -- just pointing out that relatively speaking, it's not that big of a change when you break it down.

But then again, I refuse to pay for anything more than basic cable, so we ALL have our "this much and no more" points when it comes to pricing.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It *is* all about choices. You don't have basic cable. We have premium so we get History International and BBC and The Military Channel and a bunch of other goodies.

A waste you say? I hear you Meredith - your yankee sensibilities are all atwitter (and frankly it's kinda cute) ...but your partner doesn't have limited mobility and the inability to hold a book to read.

Choices. We pay for more-than-basic cable and choose to forego most outside entertainment. This year we'll search out entertainment that is 1) cheap and 2) within [ profile] pyllgrum's limitations.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-03 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the 6 and 9 day passes seem like a good deal

I always bought the Fairever Pass, but rarely used it on Sundays ... now that my Sundays will be more flexible, I can pick and choose the weekends and pay for the days I'll actually be going, so I have no issues with this

my real issue will be if gas is $5.00 a gallon by then (or higher) as some are projecting ... that type of corporate suckage will certainly put a curb on my Faire days

(no subject)

Date: 2011-05-05 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I see it as the season pass price hasn't gone up in 5 years and they just couldn't hold off on that anymore, what with prices on everything else going up.

It'll be interesting to see how attendance numbers pan out this season. On the one hand, gas prices going up may curtail people going out as much. On the other hand, the last time that happened attendance was healthy because people went to the festival instead of traveling further for vacation. I know this fest doesn't have roller coasters, but it's still a really good deal for a daytrip compared to Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens.


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