Attendance at Six Flags parks was down 22% from a year ago to 6.7 million in the quarter ended July 3. The drop came partly because Six Flags has been steadily hiking ticket prices after offering too many discounts this year, CEO Selim Bassoul said.

Last month, a teen was arrested for aggravated assault of a police officer at Great Adventure in Jackson Township, NJ. Six Flags has been hiking prices to reduce the numbers of “rowdy teenagers running around,” he added. Last year, at the Six Flags in Prince George’s County, Md., several fights broke out in the parking lot.

In 2017, police were called to the park after teenagers “sucker punched” a 12-year-old. Videos posted on social media showed young women viciously attacking each other. Six Flags is ratcheting prices higher as it focuses on “elevating the guest experience.

Total guest spending per person has increased to $63.87 from $51.94 compared to a year ago. “We realized that we had discounted too much and we were filling the park’s with the wrong kinds of customers,” Bassoul says.

Sea World in Orlando, Fla. charges $116 per ticket, while a ticket to Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ costs about $45. “We believe our demographic is the average income of the US and I’m migrating a little bit from what I call the Kmart, Walmart [customer] to maybe the target customers, if I want to say that.”
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