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View Full Version : Economy & Impact on FtW & Renovations


des1954
06-13-2008, 06:34 AM
I posted this on the main board under Kristina's "It's a Shame" thread - but though it would be a good topic for our Community Board.

This is long...and it's just my opinion (worthless by some estimations) - but I am interested in the comments of all my buddies here......

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This economy will have an impact on FtW, and I predict that ressies are going to drop enough that FtW management will have to come up with new strategies to entice people to spend their money on gas to stay at FtW.

The one thing WDW has no control over is the price per BBL of oil, nor how that effects the price of gas. (I can't fathom how much WDW is paying daily to keep all their vehicles running). That being said, FtW will be forced into either offering lower prices on sites per night or packages only available if you stay at a regular campsite & not a cabin.

When the economy went south back in the late 80's/early 90's, FtW offered discounts on extended stays & until 2005, they offered "Winter Settler" rates to anyone staying longer than 30 days. The Winter Settler rates ended at the end of '05, and if I had to guess, I'd say 20-25% of people who traditionally stayed at FtW for the winter found alternative places to stay. I personally know of 8 couples who ended up selling their equipment & purchasing older mobile homes to come to in the winter. Paying lot rent year round was cheaper than FtW rates for a 2-3 month (or longer) stay.

When I asked a former FtW manager the logistics regarding dropping the Winter Settlers rates, he told me that short term vacationers & weekend only guests typically spend more money at WDW than the long term people. (Fair statement) In their opinion it was more profitable over-all to let FtW sit empty Mon-Thurs, and then have it fill up for the weekends.

With the cost of fuel, even the Florida people are going to find it difficult to spend money to haul trailers or drive MH's to FtW. Add to that the high price of a site per night, and you've just lost a bunch of potential guests.

When we stay at FtW, we really aren't interested in the cable, and with air-cards for laptops, WiFi will be less of an issue. To me at least, I'd rather see them engineer better drainage & level off all the sites so you don't have those dangerous drop-offs from the concrete pads. The current site design is fine & to me there is not enough justification to put in all the "super-pads". We had a 45' MH & then a 40' MH, and did just fine. The people we did find that had difficulty backing in were the long 5'ers & long TT's. All FtW needs to do to make it easier for these folks is to clear out a few trees, do a better job of placing site markers, trash bins & recycle bins, and for the most part the problem would be solved... for a lot less $$ than what they currently plan on doing.

If current FtW management is smart, they will re-evaluate their current pricing schedule and will also reconsider some of the renovation plans in order to keep their prices down. Maybe they don't care right now... but when people stop coming - that is NOT the time to start shrugging their shoulders and ask "what happened".

Thanks for reading my $.02 worth.

2goofycampers
06-13-2008, 07:37 AM
be nice if they start offering the promos the resorts get, at the Fort at the very least.

ntsammy5
06-13-2008, 07:47 AM
It will take a while before WDW recognizes this and they may never do anything at all. Depends on the severity of the downturn. Having said that, it might have the opposite effect -- some renovations may be outright postponed or even cancelled.

auntie
06-13-2008, 08:19 AM
I was thinking the same thing. We haven't actually seen that much in the way of improvements yet. Other than the clearing, which was being done prior to the announcement of the rehab.
I think that a good many people think(or hope) this spike in the gas is more or less the summer increase with more of a "kick". As the reality of the situation sets in and the trickle down begins to effect other aspects of the economy we are bound to see changes in the way people vacation. I'm afraid that those of us towing, and using trucks are going to have no choice but to vacation closer to home. Whether Disney runs promotions to entice visitors to the Fort....I guess that would be nice...especially for the Florida residents who might be able to take advantage of them.
I hope they don't put off some of the changes ...in particular the pool, as it's very long over due. Personally the entire situation with the economy is nerve racking. People seem to be holding their breath and hoping for the best..but it's not looking good if you ask me.:worried: