Groupon Deal Cuts Revenues For Navy Pier

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — Ticket sales are up for Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, but revenue has taken a hit.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports the managers are finding that Groupon deals are a mixed blessing.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

This is the second year in a row Navy Pier has offered half-price tickets through Groupon for the first two weeks of Winter WonderFest, which runs through Jan. 2.

On the day Groupon offered the deal, 7,500 tickets were sold – a nearly 300 percent increase over last year’s deal.

While tickets sales soared by 12 percent overall, revenues were down. Groupon takes half of each $9 ticket, leaving Navy Pier with just $4.50 apiece.

Navy Pier senior director of marketing Mark Thompson said the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which oversees Navy Pier, will look at restructuring future Groupon deals.

“Inasmuch as we can work the terms, potentially, a little more in our favor, yes we would like to discuss that,” Thompson said.

Thompson said, however, that the Groupon partnership has been extremely effective in drawing attention to Winter WonderFest, the biggest annual event at Navy Pier.

He also says that while revenue is down for ticket sales during the first 11 days of the event, they are making additional revenue from people spending money at Navy Pier’s restaurants and shops.

The Groupon discount is valid through Dec. 17. After that day, the tickets are $18 for the event.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot contributed to this report.

  • Jason

    Well it looks as if Navy Pier now knows how much the public thinks they’re festival is worth. How about lowering prices for all Illinois families instead of complaining about how Groupon takes half.

    Perhaps Navy Pier will be satisfied with the ridiculous price to park there?

  • Tom

    Half price ticket for their Winter Wonder Fest but no half price for their parking? Are they nuts? Who would pay $4.50 for a ticket and $20+ to park?

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