Published: April 13, 2016
Skydiving Kansas City: Why We Don't Groupon
Over the last year, we've been receiving more and more phone calls asking if we will be running a GroupOn anytime soon. The answer? No.
We're not opposed to a great deal, in fact, we've purchased a GroupOn for different things over the years because after all, who doesn't like saving a little bit of money?
The reason we don't offer GroupOn's and other daily deals like Livingsocial is because we believe the cons outweigh the pros for both our guests and our business.
Here's our reasoning for not partnering with daily deal sites:
Profit is Reliant on High Volume
Sounds like a winner right? The more volume Skydive KC does, the more profit for both the daily deal company and us. While this may be true there's two major negatives that
stem from high volume: Poor customer service and higher maintenance costs.
Poor Customer Service
The model for daily deals forces businesses to book a higher volume of reservations per hour to offset the less expensive price. More than 80% of all skydiving reservations take place on the weekend and is the only time when a skydiving center is fully staffed. With higher volume per hour comes longer wait times for our guests. Because of the variables involved with skydiving, it usually takes about three hours from registration to landing from your skydive to complete the process and this is without any weather delays! Add higher volume, and wait times can creep into the four to five hour mark which we deem unacceptable. Last time we checked, people hate to wait!
Higher Maintenance Costs
Maintaining aircraft and parachute equipment comes at a very high cost if it's to be done right. It's our opinion that no corners should be cut when it comes to both aviation and skydiving.
Jumping from an airplane is a risky activity and our job is to mitigate that risk. Skydiving can be done safely but under no circumstances should basic safety requirements be compromised. Believe it or not, there are many skydiving centers that do cut corners and we never wish to be in a position to do so.
Skydiving is an expensive activity as it involves very expensive gear and airplanes. Any consumer that sees a great deal should probably take a moment of pause and consider what you're purchasing.
This is not an activity that should have you jumping at the best deal!
What Unethical Skydiving Centers Don't Want You To Know
Many skydiving centers who offer these bargain basement deals, usually have a few tricks up their sleeves to recoup the lower price margins. Here are some of the tactics being used:
Exiting at Lower Altitudes
If you thought that skydive was really quick... it probably was! When it's time to exit the aircraft, many novice skydivers are unaware of the actual altitude they're jumping from. For all you know, you seem really, really high. The truth of the matter is you are high, but not nearly high enough to get the full skydiving experience. Skydiving centers who offer really low prices often will cheat on altitude because their guests will never know the difference. This practice is wrong and happens all too often in the skydiving industry.
Added Fees & Upsells
Another trick is to add fees, usually in the form of booking fees. If this doesn't exist, then usually if you read the fine print on the daily deal, you may be purchasing a voucher for a specific altitude. You can be sure that you'll be hit up for upgrades in altitude which certainly add to the end price.
Essentially these operators are trying to be creative in order to recoup more money due to the deep discount. Usually, the only people that suffer are those that think they're getting a great deal to begin with: THE CONSUMER.
Aside from compromising safety, the biggest harmful effect of daily deals is it erodes the correct pricing structure for a skydive. Many large cities have seen an increase in skydiving centers because it's much easier to build a business when using a daily deal.
It's almost as if a skydiving business owner can open their doors and have an instant customer base without having to put the work in to earn the trust of those customers. This new skydiving center is now taking more market share from other established skydiving centers and to combat this, other skydiving centers feel forced to reduce their rates. This is not a sustainable way of doing business and can only be maintained by cost cutting dramatically whether it be with quality of staff, stretching out the max life of skydiving equipment etc.
It's a slippery slope.
Is It Really a Great Deal?
It's natural for any consumer to try and find the best deal. We're all programmed to find it because if we can, we feel like we've won because of our research. In this case, we believe you get what you pay for and we suggest not looking for the best deal, but instead the skydiving center with the best reputation. There's too much at stake.
The mission of Skydive KC is to deliver the best skydiving experience possible. To achieve this, our focus is centered around uncompromising safety standards and providing the best skydiving equipment, aircraft and facilities at a fair and competitive price.
This is our published mission statement. This is our reason for being and we believe that going down the daily deal road is not congruent with our values as a business.
To all who have supported us since we opened in 1998, thank you for your loyalty and business. Our goal is to continue to grow, but with a sustainable model in place. Occasionally, we will be offering a special promotion, but we will not be offering a Groupon.
Skydive Kansas City is a really great place to skydive whether you are a student or a fun jumper. They have an awesome staff and always make you feel welcome. The Tandem, AFF instructors plus the all the coaches are all top notch and professional. They have always made me feel at home and safe. The King Air aircraft is a huge plus also, takes you to 14,000 feet in about 10 minutes.
» Terry C.