Six Flags Darien Lake

Darien Lake, the largest theme park in Western New York, attracts more than one million guests per season.  At the end of the 2013 season the park needed a fresh idea that would help them overcome the previous year’s challenges of poor weather and declining attendance.

Darien Lake, the largest theme park in Western New York, attracts more than one million guests per season. Tipping Point Communications has been the park’s public relations agency of record for the past four years and is responsible for issues management and executing all media relations activities throughout the season.

At the end of the 2013 season the park needed a fresh idea that would help them overcome the previous year’s challenges of poor weather and declining attendance. Given the regional desire for in-park entertainment, Darien Lake hired Nik Wallenda, the famous Niagara Falls tight-rope walker, to do a season-long in-park show.

Tipping Point recommended that Darien Lake hold a press announcement in each of its major markets (Rochester and Buffalo, N.Y.) to announce Nik Wallenda’s in-park entertainment act in which Nik Wallenda himself would appear and hype-up his new show. The press event generated an enormous amount of buzz across both markets with more than 96,000,000 impressions.

To continue buzz and generate excitement for the show’s premier in June, Tipping planned and implemented an in-park preview stunt and invited regional media to get a taste of Nik’s upcoming show. More than 4,000 season-pass holders attended the free preview and nearly 4,000,000 impressions were generated.

Year-over-year earned media coverage was up significantly over the previous year, with specific Nik Wallenda coverage making up more than 38% of the overall media coverage for the season. Park attendance also saw a 5.5% increase from the previous season. A major achievement given there was no major capital investment (ride/attraction) added to the park in 2014 to drive attendance.

Total Impressions: 99,205,615

Total Advertising Value: $178,000

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