Are there any coaster/theme parks blogs?

Sunday, December 2, 2007 7:40 PM

Paula:
I know you meant no harm, Gonch, and no harm was done.

I'm sorry, Paula - you ended it nicely, but I'm getting dragged back in. Sometimes I think people want me to be the bad guy more than I want it myself. :)


halltd said:
Unlike what Gonch thinks, not everyone in the world is out to screw people out of money and only worry about the bottom line.

Dude, get over yourself.

Regardless of how much Paula enjoys it and how good the intentions of all involved are the blog exists for exactly the reasons Munarriz mentioned - to keep customers close and build anticipation...and there's nothing wrong with that.

If Paula came on here and said the blog had nothing to do with her job as PR person for the park and that they never talk in a business sense, I'd call her a liar. But she didn't say that.

It's a company owned website updated by the park's PR person - there's no lines to read between, it's as obvious as the nose on your face.


They believe if they treat people like their own family, they'll be just as successful.

Exactly. Their (Paula's?) approach to successful business is to keep it casual. You said it yourself regarding the HoliBlog earlier in this thread, man:


Call me a sap, but that's one of the main reasons we chose to attend Holiday World this year.

Mission accomplished. You were sold.

That's not to take anything from Paula - just the opposite. I think she's easily the best PR person in the industry - for all the reasons mentioned. She loves her job, is proud of the park, is a great lady and calls 'em as she sees 'em.

She approaches her position as PR person for the park from the same angle. She can be excited about the park and get others excited about it without feeling like a hard sell. It's exactly the kind of person I'd want promoting my product.

Just because you love your job and would do it for free (as you said of your time with Disney) doesn't mean that you're not working.

Last 5 HoliBlog posts:

1. Link to press coverage by Motley Fool.
2. Story of media coverage as Deal or No Deal filmed at the park
3. Video announcement of 2008 additions
4. Reminding people to stop back to see the video announcement of 2008 additions
5. Story about a play Will his heading up for the 200th anniversary of Abe Lincoln's birth.

Looks like five park-related PR pieces to me.


There are different people in the world. Some people live life to have fun, do what they love and make other people happy. Some people do things to make money and not worry about what people think. Other people do things for other reasons. I could go on and on and on.

Something we agree on. But regardless of why you do a job, you're still doing a job...even if your job is to promote an amusement park.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007 8:11 PM
As always, you're 100% right, Gonch. :rolleyes:
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Sunday, December 2, 2007 8:15 PM
As always. :)
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Sunday, December 2, 2007 8:32 PM

halltd said:
Unlike what Gonch thinks, not everyone in the world is out to screw people out of money and only worry about the bottom line.

Oh gosh, this again. Should we go through the differences between screwing/tricking/deceiving and promoting/convincing/persuading another time?

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Sunday, December 2, 2007 9:42 PM
I didn't know deal or no deal filmed at holiday world. I would have loved to be on that show, Deal or no deal is my favorite game show and I really enjoyed holidayworld. What are the odds of riding Voyage with the models?
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Monday, December 3, 2007 1:38 PM
They didn't shoot the show here ... it was a follow-up report on one of their favorite contestants (the GM from over at Santa's Lodge).

They didn't bring the models. They were probably getting manicures or something.

Paula

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Monday, December 3, 2007 3:30 PM
Howie Mandel is creepy.
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Monday, December 3, 2007 3:38 PM
Gonch explained this thread to me in the forthcoming podcast because I never peeked in on it until now.

Paula, the Koch family and as far as I can tell most everyone involved with Holiday World is the real deal. They care very much about what they do, and it shows in the product.

But let's not kid anyone, it is a product, for profit, and it's how people make their living. Paula wouldn't be doing the blog if it didn't have impact on the perception of the park. Quoting for my talk at IAAPA, Paula said, "We've used the Holiblog to further personify the park." You bought into it Tim, and you went to the park. Just because that's true doesn't make the message any less genuine.

The bottom line is still the bottom line. Whether you're accountable to a ticker symbol or a family, it's still your job to sustain and grow that business. Why a certain segment of the enthusiast culture believes that it's anything else is beyond me. It just happens to be that people find a stronger connection with individual smiling faces than they do giant organizations.

At the end of the day though, regardless of the business, I consider Tony Clark and Paula Werne good people who are good at what they do, and with similar intentions.

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Monday, December 3, 2007 3:38 PM

Lord Gonchar said:First off, I'd really love to thank Gator for dragging me into something I never said in the first place... thanks a lot, Bill!


Hehe, I do what I do....

Noone knows why - not even me! :)


P.S. I'm a tool, NOT a device... ;)

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Monday, December 3, 2007 3:48 PM

Paula, the Koch family and as far as I can tell most everyone involved with Holiday World is the real deal. They care very much about what they do, and it shows in the product.

But let's not kid anyone, it is a product, for profit, and it's how people make their living. Paula wouldn't be doing the blog if it didn't have impact on the perception of the park. Quoting for my talk at IAAPA, Paula said, "We've used the Holiblog to further personify the park." You bought into it Tim, and you went to the park. Just because that's true doesn't make the message any less genuine.

The bottom line is still the bottom line. Whether you're accountable to a ticker symbol or a family, it's still your job to sustain and grow that business. Why a certain segment of the enthusiast culture believes that it's anything else is beyond me.


I just wanted to quote that because it's a much better wording of what I tried to say here. If you hate my quote-filled, point-by-point, long winded posts - then the above quote covers it nicely.

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Monday, December 3, 2007 3:51 PM

Jeff said:Paula, the Koch family and as far as I can tell most everyone involved with Holiday World is the real deal. They care very much about what they do, and it shows in the product.

Undoubtedly. "Genuine" is to the core, "salesmanship" is a veneer you apply.


But let's not kid anyone, it is a product, for profit, and it's how people make their living.

Making a living can "grow the brand", making a killing usually equates to profit-taking and bailing. HW definitely falls into the prior category, er, CLASS.


Whether you're accountable to a ticker symbol or a family, it's still your job to sustain and grow that business.

See above... ;)


Why a certain segment of the enthusiast culture believes that it's anything else is beyond me.

I'll take a stab and say it's because there's that whole concept of "doing it for love". Then again, I don't see a whole new waterplay area, or a new carousel, or a new Moser spring ride popping up at the "barely-surviving" parks. Doing it because you love it is great, but that basically ensures an unstable and unpredictable future with dark clouds perpetually looming on the horizon. Sound familiar, Conneaut Lake?

Fun *and* profit IS the way to go....and the way to stay. ;)

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Monday, December 3, 2007 4:21 PM
“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” -Walt Disney

That's the biggest difference I see. Some people go into things because they love it and make money as a result. Disney and Holiday World being two prominent examples. I believe they are as successful as they are BECAUSE they got into the business because they loved it.

Disclaimer: Yes, I agree the Disney of today does not necessarily carry the same ideals. But, the reason it is so big now is because of Walt's love.

Other people go into things to make money. They're all in the theme park industry, but have different originating motivations. I am also a strong believer that guests can feel the difference in the parks.

It's obvious that Holiday World LOVES the industry. I doubt anyone would argue that. That's also why their park is so much fun.

Six Flags is in it to make money - well try to anyways. I think it's obvious from the parks this is their motivation. Qbot, outrageous parking, corporate advertisements all over the park, tie-ins to blockbuster movies (that aren't their own), corporate fast food chains, Wii consoles, etc... It's a completely different atmosphere and experience and I believe that's because of the lack of love/care/personal involvement on behalf of their management.

Holiday World is doing great. Six Flags, not so much. Sure, there are other aspects to the equation, but that's how I see it.

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Monday, December 3, 2007 4:23 PM
I'm not suggesting that there isn't a difference between loving money and loving your job, but assuming that they don't coexist is being naive.

Business leaders come in two flavors: The build-and-flip and the build-to-sustain variety. The influence applied to these two situations comes largely from outside investors. If you're self-funded and believe in the product, then you're in it for the long haul. Some investors also see this as a more sustainable way to go because the VC game produces so few hits. But no matter where someone sits on that fence, they're still there to make money.

It's not an issue of class, it's an issue of whether or not you can create something people want to buy. The market and everything it entails has a huge bearing on how that pans out.

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Monday, December 3, 2007 4:27 PM

halltd said:
Holiday World is doing great. Six Flags, not so much. Sure, there are other aspects to the equation, but that's how I see it.
Are you really trying to over-simplify the differences between a single family-owned park in the middle of nowhere (not to say it isn't very peaceful out there ;)) that has virtually no competition to a public company tanked by previous management that operates in half of the major competitive markets in the country? If Snyder and Shapiro had a group hug and professed their love it would be all better?
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Monday, December 3, 2007 5:39 PM
Paula, you would have to admit it would be thrilling to have deal or no deal filmed at the park.
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Monday, December 3, 2007 5:55 PM
Basically what I'm saying is that there are two (in essence) groups of people in the theme park industry. There's a group of people that are in it to create fun, have fun and see their guests have fun. Making money is a bonus to them. The other group of people are in it to make money. If they create fun, have fun or see their guests having fun, it's a bonus to them. That's all I'm saying. Fun comes first to some people, money comes first to other people.

You can claim everyone is only out to make money, but that simply isn't true. I hope the day never comes when I go to work just to make money.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007 1:03 AM
Well I guess you live in a different world than me. (Shocker, I know.) All the people I know who work like to eat too.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2007 3:29 AM

halltd said:
Fun comes first to some people, money comes first to other people.

If it were as black and white as you're implying, we'd see a lot of housing estates and strip malls where Six Flags parks used to be. I think it's incredibly narrow-minded to think that you can lump park operators into a handful of categories and think it is representative of how this industry works.

Now, I don't work in the industry, but I went into my current line of work with the sole intention of making money. End of story. It did however start as a hobby of mine. When I did the sums it looked like I could sucecssfully operate a business and do this for a living. If that weren't the case I'd suit up, get my resume in order and get a 'real' job. By your implication, I'm in in this line of work for the money and therefore any enjoyment I get out of it is incidental and purely by coincidence.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007 7:40 AM
Since I am adding to the discussion I hope that it's okay that I mention my theme park blog at: www.thecoastercritic.com

Other than NewsPlusNotes and Coasterdom (which is a group of bloggers), I don't know of any other blogs written by individuals with their personal take on theme parks and coasters.

For a personal take in a different medium try the CoasterBuzz podcasts too.

Good luck with the paper.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007 1:33 PM

halltd said:
“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” -Walt Disney

There's a huge difference between the quote above, and this:

Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland with the idea of making money.

The actual quote implies that Walt did in fact intend on making money.

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