Through Manon Loubet
“I will not go this year, it’s too expensive”, “seven euros a merry-go-round, it’s theft”, “I can’t go with my children, we can’t afford” …
Following our articles on Saint-Romain fair in Rouen (Seine-Maritime), Internet users’ comments on prices deemed too high for the rides are going well. The fairgrounds are aware of these criticisms, and have agreed to play transparency on the prices charged.
Alexandre Thinel, owner of the Bomber Maxxx, this large clock which makes the public rise to more than 52 meters in height, offers the place at seven euros for four minutes of thrill ride. “We were at six euros in previous years, but with the Covid and the increase in the price of gasoline and electricity, we were forced to increase by one euro, otherwise our small SME would not would not have come out of it, ”assures the man who has been managing this merry-go-round for 15 years now.
70,000 euros of budget security
The safety and maintenance budget for his arena alone amounts to 70,000 euros per year. “For travel, we have three fairly heavy semi-trailers. Our trucks are around 70 liters per 100, and we also pay a lot of tolls, because it’s based on weight and length. There is a toll in Bordeaux where you pay 250 euros per truck! The Fréjus tunnel is 850 euros! So when the price of gasoline goes up, we are very affected. “
Added to this is the location at the Saint-Romain fair, or 4,700 euros, plus the 400-amp electricity supply. “The cost of electricity increased by 30%, on the courier sent. “
Alexandre Thinel’s SME employs four people on a daily basis to manage the Bomber Maxx, and two to three more people for assembly and disassembly.
17 semi-trailers for the King
For the owner of the King, the essential big 8 of the Saint-Romain fair, Karl Vancraeyenest, the costs are even higher! Because to move this big merry-go-round, you need no less than 17 semi-trailers! “And that’s ten days of editing with ten people,” he says. Its location, which is the largest in terms of surface area of the Saint-Romain fair, costs it 15,000 euros. “To this, we must add the fixed costs of maintenance, insurance, electricity and advertising for the fair, but the price of gasoline which increases …”
At six euros for the 2.5-minute ride, Karl Vancraeyenest assures us that he cannot do less. “You know, we are artisans, small SMEs. In my family, we have been a fairground since 1780, we started out as a bear trainer. We have a lot of skills (welding, complex maintenance of the rides) but do not know how to do something else chosen. So, during the health crisis, we lost a lot of money… ”
As for the ghost train, it’s five euros instead. “The merry-go-round justifies the price,” assures Julien Mauny, son of the owner. It’s a very big machine, with five days of editing and three actors during the day, five in the evening. Plus regular maintenance with many parts to be changed regularly… ”
“Cheaper than Disneyland”
So, are the prices of the Saint-Romain fairground rides too high? They can be according to the purses of each one, but the showmen assure that they can not do better. “For children, a merry-go-round costs around three euros. And for adults, it’s between three and 15 euros per tour, depending on the attraction chosen. What is certain is that an afternoon at the fair costs less than going to Disneyland, ”concludes Peter Hector, communications officer for the Saint-Romain fair.
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