Teresa F. Lindeman writes, "Lee Alexicos has been in the amusement park business long enough to remember when kids actually had unscheduled time during the summer and were looking for someplace to go -- like maybe Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
Now, the vice president of marketing for Cedar Fair, the world's sixth most popular amusement park chain, says the competition has changed. "Twenty-five years ago, we weren't competing against a kid that was staying home on Saturday afternoon so he could play Xbox."
Spending on U.S. amusement parks is projected to rise from $11.5 billion in 2006 to $14 billion in 2011, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Meanwhile, the NPD Group estimates U.S. sales of video games, including hardware, software and accessories, which was $12.5 billion in 2006, totaled almost $18 billion last year."