It’s been a few years since Zaira and I explored one of Santa Cruz’ funkiest : The Mystery Spot, so we decided to head up there yesterday. We’re trying to save money for my big 40th birthday trip at the end of the month and since the Mystery Spot charges only $5 admission and a $5 parking fee it seemed to be the perfect choice for a lovely August afternoon.
Alas, we arrived only to discover that the Mystery Spot was closed to “walk ins” and reservations were required. Reservations? For a tourist trap?!? I’ve never heard of such a thing! So, we were turned away and exploring The Mystery will have to wait for a future date. We did, however, manage to see the Mystery Spot Car (pictured above) which is entirely covered with the (in)famous Mystery Spot stickers.
While discussing the car (and the amount of stickers it takes to cover such a thing) I realized just how much of a bargain the Mystery Spot truly is. After all, we’ve paid $5 for bumper stickers in the past and they’re included with the $5 tour. So, in a way it’s “Buy a bumper sticker, get a free tour”. A very excellent deal, indeed. Of course, that realization led me to another….
If The Mystery Spot is booked solid by 2pm in the afternoon they clearly aren’t charging enough for a tour. Have these guys never taken a basic economics course? Is the law of supply and demand somehow mutated at this locale as well? In the brief few minutes we were at the foot of the driveway we saw two other cars turned away for want of reservations. It seems reasonable to me to double the price for the tours (at least on historically busy days). After all, if they’re turning people away now, they could dramatically increase revenue while possibly cutting expenses at the same time (two employees were required to “guard” the driveway against “walk ins”). Even if they gave half as many tours due to the increased prices they’d still come out even.