Great America Ticket Prices Spike
Season Opens Memorial Day Weekend
(STNG) GURNEE, Ill. When Marriott's Great America opened for business 30 years ago this spring, the cost for a family of five was $36.75 to spend a day at the theme park, including the cost of food and drink and whatever else they might buy in the park's shops and stores.
This season, that $36.75 will cover the cost of admission for one child, with enough left over for a bottle of pop.
The cost for a single adult admission, applying to a guest 54 inches or taller, will be $54.99 for 2006, up $10 from when the gates were last open during Fright Fest 2005.
Adult admission in 1976 was $7.95.
Admission this season for guests under 54 inches but older than age 3 will be $34.99, up from $29.99 in 2005.
A one-day parking pass has also gone up $5, from $10 last season to $15.
Speaking Friday to a group of student journalists about the price increase, park officials said the cost still includes admission to both the main theme park and the Hurricane Harbor water park, which will open for its second season on Memorial Day weekend.
They also said that the new rates compare favorably to the cost of going to Major League Baseball games in Chicago and Milwaukee, and pointed out that a theme park is an all-day experience compared to an afternoon or evening at a sporting event.
Great America was scheduled to open this weekend from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be open on weekends only until daily operation begins on May 12.
(Source: Sun-Times News Group Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2006. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)