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Gold Plus Membership

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Postby anewman35 on January 20th, 2018, 11:02 pm
Somebody mentioned this in the random updates thread, but I thought it deserved it's own topic - it actually has some pretty interesting extra features for not very much extra, especially if you visit other Six Flags parks. Weird thing is that it's only available as a Membership, not as a Pass, and if you already bought a 2018 Gold Pass there's no way to upgrade. There's supposed to be a special priority Gold Plus entrance and special exclusive events, I wonder if those are going to be not used too much for the first year since so many people who might have done it will have already bought 2018 passes...

https://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/store/membership
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Postby n9yty on January 26th, 2018, 11:21 am
Yeah, I feel kinda stiffed a little on that one... When you offer the season pass sales, with all the nomenclature about no better deal for this year and so on, and pay six month's in advance of the next season, only to find out that they are offering what could be seen as a "better deal" that you can't take advantage of....

But in the end, I got what I paid for, so the sour grapes is one of perception maybe not reality. I had written them about it, never heard a peep back. I see they have substantially udpated the FAQ since the first posting and also now have a PDF comparing passes... Depending on how it shakes out this year, maybe we won't renew our season passes next year then.
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Postby anewman35 on February 26th, 2018, 8:13 pm
I feel bad for the poor fools who bought a lowly Gold Plus membership now that they have Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Elite memberships (yes, really). WHAT are they doing?

(Another HitP data point - one of the passes gets you something free at HitP. Maybe it's referring to other parks, maybe it's not?)
Last edited by anewman35 on February 26th, 2018, 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jodon on February 26th, 2018, 10:43 pm
Not going to lie, the Diamond Elite looks solid. It's a little expensive, but falls right in line with the Cedar Fair Platinum pass. Really like the idea of getting 2 skip the line passes every visit, plus some other decent stuff. However, because I've visited SFGAm so much the past few years and there really isn't anything new thats particularly interesting, I doubt I'll go beyond my Gold Pass anytime in the near future.
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Postby Wisco Woody on February 27th, 2018, 9:27 am
The Pass Holder portal says that on March 1st there will be special offers for those of us with Gold Memberships to upgrade. There's no way Im paying $19.50 a month for every month of the year for Diamond Elite, and Im hoping that Diamond level will drop from $14/month to below $12/month with the special offer.

I already have my 2018 Cedar Fair Platinum pass fully paid for in anticipation of Steel Vengeance and the other Cedar Point improvements alone. But I like the direction of Great America well enough that I at least want to upgrade to their Platinum level, if not Diamond for the skip a line once every visit perk.
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Postby n9yty on February 27th, 2018, 10:26 am
Yeah, if I had to gripe it isn't about having the tiers, or pricing, it is the fact that in the middle of the time when people may have bought or are buying these things they keep changing the offerings up. Oh well, change is inevitable... :)
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Postby MrsTaxi on February 27th, 2018, 11:23 am
Wisco Woody wrote:The Pass Holder portal says that on March 1st there will be special offers for those of us with Gold Memberships to upgrade. There's no way Im paying $19.50 a month for every month of the year for Diamond Elite, and Im hoping that Diamond level will drop from $14/month to below $12/month with the special offer.

I already have my 2018 Cedar Fair Platinum pass fully paid for in anticipation of Steel Vengeance and the other Cedar Point improvements alone. But I like the direction of Great America well enough that I at least want to upgrade to their Platinum level, if not Diamond for the skip a line once every visit perk.



Ugh....this sucks. I already purchased our season passes. ( no memberships). I wish they'd allow us to convert it to a membership. :( Oh well, maybe I'll do memberships next year.
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Postby Sven18 on February 27th, 2018, 2:30 pm
anewman35 wrote:Somebody mentioned this in the random updates thread, but I thought it deserved it's own topic - it actually has some pretty interesting extra features for not very much extra, especially if you visit other Six Flags parks. Weird thing is that it's only available as a Membership, not as a Pass, and if you already bought a 2018 Gold Pass there's no way to upgrade. There's supposed to be a special priority Gold Plus entrance and special exclusive events, I wonder if those are going to be not used too much for the first year since so many people who might have done it will have already bought 2018 passes...

https://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/store/membership


SF wants to convert as many season passes to memberships as possible, they made that pretty clear in the Q4 conference call. They don't mind the ire of some on the roll out of the membership tiers and the fact season pass holders can't upgrade for 2018. This is essentially gaining really early awareness for 2019 where they want people to change from passes to memberships. People in 2018 may feel they are missing out on alot of benefits for 2018 and will be ready to buy the memberships in 2019. The memberships are at a higher price point than people paid for season passes, which were perpetually on sale. The thing is a lot of the added benefits don't cost SF much and also the fact is a lot of people don't use a large % of benefits.
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Postby Sven18 on February 27th, 2018, 3:19 pm
Crafty move by SF. They know people are use to really cheap season passes and substantial increases would meet resistance. Instead they are trying to convert people to memberships that are much more costly than season passes while adding benefits that cost them little or nothing in most cases. Many of the benefits are convenience such as betting parking, skip lines, priority entrance, etc. A lot of the rest are discounts off excessive regular price points that volume will make up for lower prices. The platinum is likely going to be a very popular level.

There also seems something very sly with the pass vs membership in the chart in the future. I know currently as a 2018 Gold pass holder I have a bunch of discounts listed for Flash pass $5, retail 20%, etc... But if you look in the comparison chart a bunch of current gold pass discounts are only listed in the memberships. This to me means come 2019 people are going to be forced into minimum gold membership to retain the benefits they were essentially grandfathered in to having in 2018 before the membership structure changes. That means to get the $65 flash sale gold pass benefits one has to buy the lowest membership level of $84. SF would be getting $19 more per person come 2019. If I remember correctly even during the flash sale the membership price didn't go down. Also, it will be interesting to see how the drink bottle is handed in the future since all but the lowest memberships are including drinks. Will SF change the offer of the season drink bottle free with the dining pass during the fall flash sale to entice more memberships.

It appears SF is finally trying to move away from a pure high volume and low cost model. The thing is the scrutiny of the visitors may be higher as they are essentially forcing people into a $84 gold membership to get what they were getting for $65 with a gold pass(flash sale)
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Postby anewman35 on February 27th, 2018, 5:59 pm
A year of a membership compares even worse to the flash sale, because if you do the flash sale you technically get more than a year.

It will be very interesting to see what changes (if any) happen to the flash sale next year. I agree with what's above, given that they clearly prefer Memberships to passes, it would make a lot of sense if they either make passes cost more or have less to make memberships look better in comparison.
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Postby Sven18 on February 27th, 2018, 8:43 pm
anewman35 wrote:A year of a membership compares even worse to the flash sale, because if you do the flash sale you technically get more than a year.

It will be very interesting to see what changes (if any) happen to the flash sale next year. I agree with what's above, given that they clearly prefer Memberships to passes, it would make a lot of sense if they either make passes cost more or have less to make memberships look better in comparison.



I think during the pre season(flash sale) they may try to funnel most people by pricing to the platinum membership, like they did with gold passes in the past. The might go with the same flash sale free upgrade mechanism, before it was gold pass for regular pass price of $65 last year. The big benefit in that dollar wise was free parking. With memberships they give free upgrade of gold membership to platinum. The gold to platinum big benefit is free drinks and also they gives 4 or 5 one time benefits and extra 5% off on many things.

It will interesting to see if over time SF can really get people to by the higher cost membership over gold passes without losing patron. If successful they could increase revenue enough that even with the capital expenditure formula they could afford more expensive coasters over the abundant inexpensive clones since bankruptcy.
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Postby momlovescoasters on March 2nd, 2018, 12:40 pm
This really pisses me off. I refuse to do any type of membership that requires an automatic monthly payment. I've had so many issues in the past with incorrect billing and difficulty canceling. I would have been willing to pay double, if not triple for my gold pass to get the new benefits they are now offering. Why not offer an upgrade for the loyal customers who purchased their passes during the "best offer ever" flash sale of Labor Day weekend? I'd upgrade just for the seperate entry and parking. Thanks Six Flags.
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Postby Sven18 on March 2nd, 2018, 3:16 pm
momlovescoasters wrote:This really pisses me off. I refuse to do any type of membership that requires an automatic monthly payment. I've had so many issues in the past with incorrect billing and difficulty canceling. I would have been willing to pay double, if not triple for my gold pass to get the new benefits they are now offering. Why not offer an upgrade for the loyal customers who purchased their passes during the "best offer ever" flash sale of Labor Day weekend? I'd upgrade just for the seperate entry and parking. Thanks Six Flags.


You're response essentially means SF marketing has done i's job. You're claiming you would pay much more b/c they have created a sense of missing out in 2018. That's a classic sales technique to get people to pay more. Come 2019 you sound enthusiastic to pay more for mostly benefits that cost SF nothing, parking, entry, % discounts on overpriced SF stuff, etc.. Would you have been that enthusiastic if last fall SF would have increased prices by a large amount? That's what they are essentially doing. Come 2019 to get the benefits of your $65 gold pass you have to pay $84. You sound like you will be going for much more possible the $110, or $146 plans.
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Postby anewman35 on March 2nd, 2018, 3:50 pm
Sven18 wrote:
momlovescoasters wrote:This really pisses me off. I refuse to do any type of membership that requires an automatic monthly payment. I've had so many issues in the past with incorrect billing and difficulty canceling. I would have been willing to pay double, if not triple for my gold pass to get the new benefits they are now offering. Why not offer an upgrade for the loyal customers who purchased their passes during the "best offer ever" flash sale of Labor Day weekend? I'd upgrade just for the seperate entry and parking. Thanks Six Flags.


You're response essentially means SF marketing has done i's job. You're claiming you would pay much more b/c they have created a sense of missing out in 2018. That's a classic sales technique to get people to pay more. Come 2019 you sound enthusiastic to pay more for mostly benefits that cost SF nothing, parking, entry, % discounts on overpriced SF stuff, etc.. Would you have been that enthusiastic if last fall SF would have increased prices by a large amount? That's what they are essentially doing. Come 2019 to get the benefits of your $65 gold pass you have to pay $84. You sound like you will be going for much more possible the $110, or $146 plans.


That's assuming they actually offer that. He's saying he would pay more IF IT WAS AVAILABLE AS A PASS, and right now it's not. It remains to be seen if it will be.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on March 2nd, 2018, 4:10 pm
momlovescoasters wrote:This really pisses me off. I refuse to do any type of membership that requires an automatic monthly payment. I've had so many issues in the past with incorrect billing and difficulty canceling. I would have been willing to pay double, if not triple for my gold pass to get the new benefits they are now offering. Why not offer an upgrade for the loyal customers who purchased their passes during the "best offer ever" flash sale of Labor Day weekend? I'd upgrade just for the seperate entry and parking. Thanks Six Flags.


I'm wondering if instead of monthly payments we can do a one-time payment instead?? Is the membership auto-renewing with no end-date like the gold pass has??
Single Day Ride Count Records

Without Flash Pass - 41 rides 8/19/2016 (Coasters After Dark)

With Platinum Flash Pass - 51 rides 7/15/2016

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Postby momlovescoasters on March 2nd, 2018, 4:30 pm
Sven18.....I understand your points on the business set up. And I know Six Flags doesn't care if they piss off a few loyal customers. Still upsets me so I'm glad I can vent here. :)

I would have gladly paid $150 for my season pass last year with all of the new benefits. For me that averages to only about $15 per visit. Why wouldn't they want my $150 all at once instead of processing my credit card every month? I guess the one thing I did learn was NOT to purchase this year during the Labor Day sale.
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Postby anewman35 on March 2nd, 2018, 5:10 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:
momlovescoasters wrote:This really pisses me off. I refuse to do any type of membership that requires an automatic monthly payment. I've had so many issues in the past with incorrect billing and difficulty canceling. I would have been willing to pay double, if not triple for my gold pass to get the new benefits they are now offering. Why not offer an upgrade for the loyal customers who purchased their passes during the "best offer ever" flash sale of Labor Day weekend? I'd upgrade just for the seperate entry and parking. Thanks Six Flags.


I'm wondering if instead of monthly payments we can do a one-time payment instead?? Is the membership auto-renewing with no end-date like the gold pass has??


No, that's the point, you can't do that. If you want all these special offers they have now, you HAVE to pay month by month (with at least a 12 month commitment), it auto-renews until you end it, and if you already bought a pass for next year you're out of luck (unless you don't mind paying for the Pass and then also paying for the membership)
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Postby anewman35 on March 2nd, 2018, 5:13 pm
momlovescoasters wrote:Sven18.....I understand your points on the business set up. And I know Six Flags doesn't care if they piss off a few loyal customers. Still upsets me so I'm glad I can vent here. :)

I would have gladly paid $150 for my season pass last year with all of the new benefits. For me that averages to only about $15 per visit. Why wouldn't they want my $150 all at once instead of processing my credit card every month? I guess the one thing I did learn was NOT to purchase this year during the Labor Day sale.


I'm sure the actual reason is because they assume that for a lot of people, once they have you paying every month you'll just forget to ever cancel it and they'll have you paying every month for years (I'm sure the processing the credit card every month costs them pennies, so that's not an issue).
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Postby Sven18 on March 2nd, 2018, 5:49 pm
anewman35 wrote:
momlovescoasters wrote:Sven18.....I understand your points on the business set up. And I know Six Flags doesn't care if they piss off a few loyal customers. Still upsets me so I'm glad I can vent here. :)

I would have gladly paid $150 for my season pass last year with all of the new benefits. For me that averages to only about $15 per visit. Why wouldn't they want my $150 all at once instead of processing my credit card every month? I guess the one thing I did learn was NOT to purchase this year during the Labor Day sale.


I'm sure the actual reason is because they assume that for a lot of people, once they have you paying every month you'll just forget to ever cancel it and they'll have you paying every month for years (I'm sure the processing the credit card every month costs them pennies, so that's not an issue).


That's the basis of all memberships is that people forget to cancel. They don;t notice small charges monthly in all their other bigger charges. But, initially SF has to create a desire to make people to go from a pass to a membership and they appear to be doing it. The notion of "missing out" is being expressed on many forums.. SF has possibly created a scenario where people are clammering to pay more. The higher price points is something SF has been wary of. SF has kept passes cheap for so long for a reason..ie... the difference between 2016 flash sale gold pass and 2017 was $1.00. SF would be smart to offer a membership option of 1 time payment. Other chains offer that on passes or memberships. It woudn't change the financials in regards to quarterly revenue b/c SF already distributes a season pass revenue over the quarters of the operating season.
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Postby 2(B) on March 9th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Btw for all y’all interested
While it is not possible to apply the cost of your 2018 Season Pass to a new Membership, we will for a limited time be able to offer you in-park spending credit equivalent to what you paid for your 2018 Season Passes in the form of "Bugs Bucks." Bugs Bucks can be used to purchase most things in the park including food, merchandise, etc. and will be valid for the rest of the 2018 season.

Until April 15 or within the first 30 days following park opening this spring (whichever is later) we will give you full credit for your 2018 Season Pass purchase. After that we will pro-rate your credit based on the number of times you've visited during 2018.

The functionality needed to give you credit for your switch to Membership will not be available until March 15. On/after March 15 please log in to your Season Pass portal and look for the "Upgrade" button for full details.
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Postby MrsTaxi on March 11th, 2018, 12:03 am
2(B) wrote:Btw for all y’all interested
While it is not possible to apply the cost of your 2018 Season Pass to a new Membership, we will for a limited time be able to offer you in-park spending credit equivalent to what you paid for your 2018 Season Passes in the form of "Bugs Bucks." Bugs Bucks can be used to purchase most things in the park including food, merchandise, etc. and will be valid for the rest of the 2018 season.

Until April 15 or within the first 30 days following park opening this spring (whichever is later) we will give you full credit for your 2018 Season Pass purchase. After that we will pro-rate your credit based on the number of times you've visited during 2018.

The functionality needed to give you credit for your switch to Membership will not be available until March 15. On/after March 15 please log in to your Season Pass portal and look for the "Upgrade" button for full details.


Interesting.
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Postby Sven18 on March 18th, 2018, 5:49 pm
I have a feeling that the conversion of season pass holders to memberships isn't going to be at a high conversion rate unless SF phases out season passes and/or stops giving heavy flash sale and off season discounts. I guess the 1st test will be what the sale price is for the typical sale offer that comes april/may.
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Postby n9yty on April 11th, 2018, 8:35 am
Well, Gold Plus now being the BOTTOM of the Membership family.... :(

Anyway, I'm too lazy at the moment, but it would be interesting to see a cost comparison for someone taking a membership AND a premium level dining pass, as to how all the discounts/etc play out and what the total end cost is per month for each. And compare that to buying the season gold/dining pass outright.

Anyone with a lot of spare time and spreadsheet skills want to take it on? I'm sure I will eventually... LOL
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Postby UnclePennybags on April 12th, 2018, 10:20 am
n9yty wrote:Well, Gold Plus now being the BOTTOM of the Membership family.... :(

Anyway, I'm too lazy at the moment, but it would be interesting to see a cost comparison for someone taking a membership AND a premium level dining pass, as to how all the discounts/etc play out and what the total end cost is per month for each. And compare that to buying the season gold/dining pass outright.

Anyone with a lot of spare time and spreadsheet skills want to take it on? I'm sure I will eventually... LOL


I punched all the passes/memberships into a spreadsheet during the Easter sale so I could compare total costs over a 12 month period if someone were looking for unlimited park admission, parking, and dining. Here's the numbers I got (not including taxes or fees):

Season Pass, Gold: $138.98
Membership, Platinum: $203.40
Membership, Gold Plus: $208.68
Membership, Diamond: $228.60
Membership, Diamond Elite: $285.00

Of course, the benefits are different for each of the above: parking isn't the same parking for each option, "skip the line" passes are available for some of the memberships, special queues to enter the park, etc. In the end, for what my brother and I do, the Gold Season Pass was still the best option.
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