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Staycation? Here's how much many Montreal attractions cost right now

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It's the season of summer festivals in Montreal.

While some people opt to get away for the summer, others choose to stay in Montreal to take it easy on their wallets.

However, it's not much less of a financial burden to take a so-called staycation in Montreal.

Entertainment prices have skyrocketed at a more accelerated rate than inflation in recent years.

Montreal Comiccon is taking place from July 5 to 7 and tickets cost:

  • $110 for 3-day General Admission
  • $125 for 3-day Deluxe
  • $350 for 3-Day VIP
  • $21 for 3-day Child (6-12)

Comiccon patrons must also pay extra for autographs or photos with featured guests such as Kevin Smith, Robert Englund, and Vincent D'Onofrio.

"It's probably fitting more in line with sporting events these days," said Concordia University economics professor Moshe Lander about entertainment prices in the city.

Lander believes that the increase in costs is due to the entertainment industry trying to match Alouettes and Canadiens ticket prices, which have also shot up dramatically in the 21st century.

Other summer festivals in the city include ComediHa! from July 18 to 28 and Osheaga from Aug. 2 to 4. Tickets start at $50 for the former and $395 for the latter.

Even water activities in the city have considerable price tags. Renting a four-seat pedal boat in the Lachine Canal will cost $25/$30/$60 for 30/60/120 minutes and a day of swimming at Parc Jean-Drapeau will take $14.35 from a family of four.

"It's a difficult exercise now," added Lander. "For a traditional family of four, by the time you're done paying for parking, and for food, and for any souvenirs, and the tickets themselves, for whatever it is that we're talking about, it can easily run you into hundreds of dollars. It's the type of money that, after the last couple of years of inflation, most families don't have."

Many families will become more selective when deciding which fun activities to undertake. The Just for Laughs festival was an event that fell victim to this new selective entertainment spending. Lander believes that the festival priced out a considerable proportion of its customer base by trying to cover its own costs, which is the cause behind its current financial peril.

While a staycation is still cheaper than a vacation, there is a time value to consider when staying home. Landers says that instead of paying for a restaurant entrée, those who stay at home spend less money on food but spend more time preparing food and washing dishes.

"In this case, the labour is being paid to yourself, so it looks like it's cheaper," he said.

Another factor is that most customers will go along with higher prices anyway.

"If you increase the price of a product by 10 per cent, for example, and you only lose five per cent of your customers, then overall, your revenues have gone up," said Lander.

This is the strategy employed by the entertainment industry in Montreal. Lander believes that it will continue until prices reach a critical point where the increased revenues no longer compensate for the loss of customers. 

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