November 26, 2014

HAVE YOU MISSED ME? – I’ve been taking a break from my weekly blog since August. I’ve been filling my time with a wonderful birthday trip with friends to France for a barge trip of the canals, welcoming a new granddaughter, and completing several major research projects. But I am now back.

One of the hot topics right now in Southern Oregon is if Crater Lake should raise their entrance fees by 150%. Is this a marketing issue? Yes, if higher fees reduce your customer base. For many people, charging $25 to go to a fabulous National Park might sound reasonable.

But remember, if you’re a typical worker, you probably didn’t get a raise this year. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans say no one in their household received a raise or promotion in the past 12 months, according to the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2014 American Values Survey.

It’s worse than that, however. American workers have been treading water not only for the past 12 months, but for the past ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median weekly earnings of men and women with full-time wage and salary jobs have been stagnant for at least a decade.  Here are the inflation adjusted numbers from an American Consumers Newsletter report:

Men’s median weekly earnings: 2014: $880, 2004: $894
Women’s median weekly earnings: 2014: $722, 2004: $720

So, before you raise your prices Crater Lake National Park, remember, most of your customer have not had a raise in ten years! It is generally a good idea for your customers to have a raise before you take one.

One comment

  1. The gem of Crater Lake needs to be well taken care of for the future. While some have not seen an increase in wages, I have certainly seen travel costs increase over the last ten years, bought a breakfast in a restaurant lately? We have also seen federal dollar support of the park languish. Gradual increases would have made more sense but the amount of political capital expended to get any increase approved is like school board bond elections, about once a generation or in this case, in honor of a century of the NPS. Everyone wants a good looking backyard and Crater Lake is ours. The kids who mow my own backyard can visit the park with the pay of only one cutting!

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