All-in-one discount pass sells well in opening year: Park officials hope to boost sales of child tickets

August 1, 2005

Nearly a year after White River State Park created a seven-venue park pass, the group is deeming the program a success.

The pass provides one-time admission to White River Gardens, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Museum, an Imax movie and an Indianapolis Indians game.

The park sold 518 adult passes at $38 each and 42 child passes at $27 each. It sold out its original number of 500 adult passes, necessitating the creation of more.

The cost for the pass is about 25-percent less than the total admission price to all venues if they are purchased separately. Passes purchased last September are good through this year.

The idea to create the multivenue pass had been in the works for a couple of years, said Donna Imus, president of the Indianapolis-based Imus Group, a consulting firm that developed the park pass model. Imus is also a former deputy director of the park.

"The goal was to get people to visit some of the attractions so they might then buy an annual membership," she said.

Two issues initially presented stumbling blocks to creating the pass. All the venues have different ticketing systems, and there was an initial hesitation by some of the venues that the one-time pass could hurt their annual membership sales or walk-up visitors.

Both issues were resolved and the pass began selling last fall. This year, it will again be available starting in September and will be good through 2006.

The prices for the adult and child passes have not yet been determined, but they are not expected to rise much, if at all, Imus said. As the Imus Group gears up for its next season, it is looking to boost marketing efforts mainly related to the child passes, which did not sell as well as anticipated. "We were surprised with the adult vs. child mix of passes sold," Imus said. "We assumed we'd sell more to families with kids."

So the park has hired a research firm to find

out

who is buying

the passes and for what.

In addition to selling passes to companies that give them to employees as rewards and to home builders who give them to new residents, the Indianapolis office of Clear Channel Communications Inc. recently purchased 124 adult passes to include in their VIP and season-ticket packages at The Lawn, the White River State Park concert venue.

"The park has so much to offer," said Elaine Ervin, vice president of client services at Clear Channel. "Including the Park Pass is something we wanted to do as a way of introducing our clients to and supporting all of the great forms of entertainment in what has become one of the most exciting areas of downtown."

The passes can be purchased online at www.inwhiteriver.comor at the park's visitor center at 801 W. Washington St.
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