2020 Taste of Busch Gardens

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Nov 30, 2018
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Seems crazy they can't get a thousand guests even on a weeknight. Its not like central VA or HR residents have other options (SFA is a good 2 hrs+ and it's SFA), and weekends are sold out.
 
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Feb 14, 2019
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Seems crazy they can't get a thousand guests even on a weeknight. Its not like central VA or HR residents have other options (SFA is a good 2 hrs+ and it's SFA), and weekends are sold out.
Not too crazy when you think that demand is low due to pandemic concerns, and that the 4 hour sessions with reservations required make it difficult for guests that don't live in close proximity (would think JCC/Yorktown/Williamsburg specifically here) to get their money's worth.

For better or worse, I'd think most people have higher priorities than going to a park in the middle of the week.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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The reservations are wide open for Wed/Thurs so it’s not difficult to get in. I would think anyone within an hours drive could reasonably come, particularly when weekends are booked solid and any other decent park is 4+ hours away.
 
Oct 22, 2019
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The reservations are wide open for Wed/Thurs so it’s not difficult to get in. I would think anyone within an hours drive could reasonably come, particularly when weekends are booked solid and any other decent park is 4+ hours away.
I went to the first Wednesday of this event, but I don’t work a normal job, meaning that I could leave at 3pm to avoid the worst of the tunnel traffic coming from Norfolk/Virginia Beach. But on a Thursday when I’m busy until 4:15, I’d probably an hour getting to the park if not worse traffic depending, which means I’m looking at three hours at the park and maybe two hours on the road, and that gets to a point where it isn’t worth it for me.

The reality is that between people who are concerned about visiting a theme park (a place where people OFTEN catch viruses generally, Theme Park Crud is very real), people who are being impacted financially by the pandemic, and people who are Summer/Halloween/Christmas parkgoers at most, demand is not currently high for a seasonal theme park. We’ll see if Howl-O-Scream Lite manages to move the needle on that, but right now the demand isn’t strong enough to fill nights where combinations of work/traffic makes the short duration of the event less desirable.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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I went to the first Wednesday of this event, but I don’t work a normal job, meaning that I could leave at 3pm to avoid the worst of the tunnel traffic coming from Norfolk/Virginia Beach. But on a Thursday when I’m busy until 4:15, I’d probably an hour getting to the park if not worse traffic depending, which means I’m looking at three hours at the park and maybe two hours on the road, and that gets to a point where it isn’t worth it for me.

The reality is that between people who are concerned about visiting a theme park (a place where people OFTEN catch viruses generally, Theme Park Crud is very real), people who are being impacted financially by the pandemic, and people who are Summer/Halloween/Christmas parkgoers at most, demand is not currently high for a seasonal theme park. We’ll see if Howl-O-Scream Lite manages to move the needle on that, but right now the demand isn’t strong enough to fill nights where combinations of work/traffic makes the short duration of the event less desirable.
I look at it more from the vantage point having young kids and a lot of activities still being closed down (e.g. most Indoor sports) opening up opportunities for BGW to drive visits. I know if I asked my kids if they wanted to go to the playground or a theme park, they’ll pick the latter almost every time regardless of special events going on - same with a zoo, farm, etc.

If I had to suppose, I’d say the event is over marketed to adults when it should probably be a bit more balanced. My kids had fun the day we went, but the limited activities really showed compared to a fully open park and we haven’t been back (note: we’re a little over 2 hours away w/o traffic).
 
Oct 22, 2019
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If I had to suppose, I’d say the event is over marketed to adults when it should probably be a bit more balanced. My kids had fun the day we went, but the limited activities really showed compared to a fully open park and we haven’t been back (note: we’re a little over 2 hours away w/o traffic).
Kids don’t spend as much money as adults, so I’m not shocked they’re actively avoiding appealing to them. Prioritizing staffing costs for kid-friendly options just didn’t track, although if they’re hiring Games hosts for the next event that’s at least a sign they’re creating one more option.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
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Kids don’t spend as much money as adults, so I’m not shocked they’re actively avoiding appealing to them. Prioritizing staffing costs for kid-friendly options just didn’t track, although if they’re hiring Games hosts for the next event that’s at least a sign they’re creating one more option.
While kids don't buy high margin drink after drink, they do get their parents to buy ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy, etc. which are all high markup items. Additionally, kids rides and playgrounds require much less staff to operate than roller coasters and large flats. I would argue that teens and college age kids are probably the worst crowd to attract since they don't have much money, but they want to go on the biggest rides.

A smarter approach for BGW would be to make the event adult oriented on Fri/Sat/Sun and more kids oriented during the week by opening the Sesame Street and playground areas and closing Oktoberfest.
 
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