Saturday, October 4, 2003

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Amusement park ends discounts

Senior citizens will have to pay more to ride the coasters at Cedar Point amusement park in northern Ohio next year.

The park's owner is cutting discounts for those 60 and older, bucking an industry trend of increased marketing toward seniors.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair LP said the change will affect all its parks, including Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif.; Valleyfair, near Minneapolis, Minn.; Worlds of Fun, in Kansas City, Mo., and Michigan's Adventure near Muskegon, Mich.

Company officials said they eliminated the discounts because seniors were becoming more active and no longer needed an incentive to visit their attractions.

"In the past, the policy was because we felt there was less at the park for them to do," said Brian Witherow, director of investor relations for Cedar Fair. "We see more of them doing more than they were doing before."

Cedar Point charges $43.95 for a one-day adult ticket, while discounting it to $29.95 for seniors 60 and older. The decision was made in the last month, Witherow said.

Beth Robertson, a spokeswoman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, which represents about 450 parks in the United States, said 4 percent to 5 percent of park attendees nationwide are seniors and that most parks have discounts for them.

The Associated Press

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