A great place to learn about marketing and scarcity is the Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey. I drove the 2 plus hours to the park as part of a family fun day at Mimeo.com. The day got off to a great start with a drive through the safari and a nicely planned company luncheon. The scarcity issue came to light the second we tried to get a promised FastPass which would get our family to the front of the hour plus lines on all of the popular rides.
First I was amazed that they charged for the privilege of getting one of these passes. Our company provided a free coupon for the passes, but still, who wants a $25 a person! up charge. Next the line to get your "get to the head of the line" pass was itself over an hour. So to get a pass that lets us cut in line we needed to wait on line over an hour.
How much better would our experience have been if we could sign up for our "FastPass" online. How much better still if our kids could create their own plan of how to go through the park with the times built in. What if they were acknowleged for creating a map with special treatment in the park.
Now I'm sure the management of Great Adventure knows their business better than myself. Judging from the crowds coming in for the 6PM concert you can't argue that they are doing their best in a tough economy to draw crowds. It just seems they could be doing 25% better.