This is one of those "hamster wheel debates" - you can't please everyone all the time. But picking up points from Zack & Frank Juedes posts got me thinking. How about breaking down some of the things that are going on in a day at AV and trying to price them individually, then comparing that to the price for AV? I tried to pick things that you could reasonably do in one day without being a marathon runner.
If I want to add an airshow - just an airshow, mind, nothing else. You may get one or some of these, but probably not all of them - forums, veterans, historical, record breaking, futuristic, or any other kind, of aircraft to meet/prowl around, museum access, vendors to window shop in. Just an airshow. Zack reckoned somewhere between $20 and $30 depending on which airshow. So lets average that at $25.
Normal museum entrance fees? $8.75 for an adult ticket to the AirVenture museum. Access is included in the AV ticket price. And don't forget, that includes access to the Museum Speaker showcase, not just a tour of the collection. I looked up the Milwaukee Public museum for a comparison. Their adult ticket costs $12. This does not include any of the special exhibits or Imax theater. Plus (again, PLUS, not less) - "There is a 12% convenience fee for online ticket purchases" or $5 for phone purchases on the day. Don't get me wrong, I'm not here to bash MPM, I think it is a fantastic museum, and am happy to pay for a visit. I'm just using it for a comparison.
If I go to the Oshkosh cinema, a quick check of the website shows me that tickets are $8.75, plus (yes, PLUS, not less) a $1.00 service fee if I book in advance. If I want to buy some popcorn, that is about another $2 or $3. So to be conservative, lets say $2. Now I'm looking at $10 just to watch a movie. Which keeps me entertained, (or not!) for about 1.5 to 2hrs at the most.
If you don't fancy the movie theatre, how about Theatre in the Woods? I'm not sure you can put a price on that - whether it is Richard Branson, Mike Melville and Burt Rutan on stage, or the Lt Dan Band, or any one of the other events that are held there in the evening. So I'll just stick without pricing it, and see it as an alternative if you don't want to take in the fly-in movie theatre.
So, to recap....
Movie & popcorn - $10 included
Airshow - $25 included
Museum visit - $8.75 included
Total - $43.75 $37 (or $35 if you book in advance, with NO booking fee)
I think thats not bad. And I'm Scottish, for goodness sake
Mr Herlt, I hope you reconsider your feelings on the entrance fee. I don't think anyone could deny that, for a full day's entertainment, you get your money's worth.