Check down on Michael Darling's post below for fixed link.
Thank you Michael *** Edited 7/12/2006 3:14:13 AM UTC by supermandl***
The time is past for wondering why the double booking occured, and now to move on to resolutions.
Obviously it is easier for the park to invoncenience the group of 60 rather than the group of 28,000.
If they park did sign an exclusive deal with one party, then the next phone call the park made should have been to the other group trying to negotiate buying out their contract.
I'm not sure how the legal system is over in the UK, but I'd venture to say that if this happened here in the USA, the park would be staring at a huge lawsuit claiming a rediculous amount of money in "Emotional Damages" I'd say at the very least the park should comp the entire wedding package they sold to the group. Hey, they booked a 28,000+ party, they can comp a party of 60, and if the wedding couple decides for whatever reason to not go through with the wedding at the park, the high class thing would be for the park to foot all expenses related to relocating the wedding party to another venue of the couple's choosing.
Me thinks this news article is a textbook case of "encouraging" the park to reconsider there rather pathetic offer of two comp tickets as an apology. Same concept as when you involve a nightly news consumer advocate, amazing how fast companies are willing to change their tune and suddenly appear to be all about the customer.
machos nachos - I read that line to infer that the wedding party was exempt from the dress code, not all the other restrictions placed on the guests. Otherwise this would be a non issue.
John - not everybody cringes at the thought that there are people with beliefs and values different than their own. That said, sadly I can totally imagine that soundbite.
And I thought miscommunication starts after the wedding.
Well, they can't say they won't have a memorable day.
'Should be' and 'are' exempt are two differant things.
I bet that will make for an interesting 'Chicken Dance'.
Who says the media have no sense of humor.
okay, I'll quit for now.
*** Edited 7/12/2006 1:01:21 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER*** *** Edited 7/12/2006 1:07:31 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER*** *** Edited 7/12/2006 1:33:00 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***
I have to wonder...
A "double booking"?
It appears that the wedding party was scheduled first. Then this "Muslim Fun Day" was scheduled... AFTER the wedding.
A few issues that the article wasn't quite clear on (at least to my thick skull it wasn't clear):
"The Complex": Are they talking about the Complex of the Hotel or of the Hotel and the Park?
Did "Islamic Leisure" "buy out" the park and the Hotel for that day? If they did... then they can "make the rules". If they just scheduled their "Leisure Day" at the park and the Hotel for that day with out having it as a "buy out" (i.e. it is STILL open for the general public), then Sorry... you can have the dress code and regs for your own people... but if the park is still open to others now in your group, than there is no way this side of Hell that you should be able to force your "ideas" on others, no matter how "sacred" you hold them.
If "Islamic Leisure" DID buy out the park and the hotel, then there are other questions. The park / hotel should not have allowed a "buy out" IF they knew another "event" was planned. In the case of the Hotel, no "buy out" should have been allowed because no "buy out" was possible since the wedding party rooms were booked. Since no "buy out" should have been allowed, the Rules and Regs of "Islamic Leisure" should be required for people who are not part of that group. As for the park... Not sure about that. Not sure if that was a "double booking" or not, because by the sound of it, a 60 person wedding party is unlikely to "buy out" an entire park. So... IF "Islamic Leisure" did in fact "buy out" the park, then the wedding party, which had planned on going to the park the day after the wedding should not be allowed in the park because they are not part of the group "buying it out"... in other words... they are part of the GP and in a "buy out" aren't park's technically closed to the GP? IF "Islamic Leisure" did not "buy it out" and are only all going there, then sorry... your own people may have to abide by your rules, but those of your group do not.
Not sure about the UK... but at most parks in the US, aren't most "buy outs" scheduled BEFORE the schedule of the park is made public for the year? (and shaded or otherwise noted)... and any that are scheduled later are ususally scheduled on days when the park is otherwise closed?
Reading all of this... IF this was not a buy out... Alton Towers is out of line for allowing one group in their park to dictate what another group will wear or how they will be have. IF this is in fact a "buy out" it seems like it is a "last minute buy out" (i.e. late in the season on a day when the park was otherwise supposed to be open), and Alton Towers either fell to PC pressure to allow this certain group to "buy out" the park when it was supposed to be open or they fell to the pressure and lure of the thousand of dollars... I mean pounds... that they could make off this large group and saying the general public be damned.
Either way, it seems that Alton Towers dropped the ball on this one... badly. *** Edited 7/12/2006 5:16:48 PM UTC by SLFAKE***
If Cedar Point had a "Christian Fun Day" there would be nothing but protesters and the ACLU knocking down the door screaming about discrimination.
Im moving to Europe to live with Johnny Depp.
Christians in this country have their fair share of perks/government protections. WAY more than a country with freedom of religion should ever allow....
That being said, this is a very sad incident for the wedding party and it really is insulting that Alton Towers offered them only 2 comp passes.
Someone should be fired.
I've been to parks during "Christain Days", "Christian Music Days" etc. Sorry to dissapoint any FAR right conspiracy theorists (who are just as scary as the more wacky and more numerous kool-aid drinkers of the far liberal lefties), but there were no ACLU protesters or anything like that.
There was also no persons / organization going around telling people that they had to dress a certain way (as long as they adhered to the park's normal dress code), or had to stand in a certain line (as long as they did not buy a q-bot, flash pass, or what ever), that they could or could not ride with members of the opposite gender, or that they had to say their prayers before they ate their lunch (though considering the quality of the average park food fare, praying before you eat it is NOT a bad idea... not so much "Dear Lord thanks for this food", but more like "Dear God I hope this... stuff... doesn't kill me.") It was just (mainly) Christian Music played in specific areas (or in some cases) park wide either live or recorded, with a variety of church groups scheduling visits to the park on that day. IF you wanted to adhere to a modest dress code, say grace before lunch, stop and listen to a group playing, you could... but you were not FORCED to. If you wanted to paint your hair green, wear goth clothing, hum heavy metal music or satanic ritual chants under your breath, or pray to the great Gazoo before lunch (making a mental note to sacafrice an antelope to him when you got home) you could do that too (though you might have gotten some funny looks).
HAD the "Christian Organization" "Bought Out" the park... THEN they could have made the rules that would have made Oral "Send me your money BEFORE I pray for you" Roberts proud and made every one adhere to them.
IF the "Islamic Leisure" bought out the park... then they could make the rules... but if they Bought Out the park, then people that were not part of that "group" should not have been allowed in (as is standard with a buy out). If they did not buy out the park... then sorry... other guests should be able to wear what they want, ride with whom they want, and pray before lunch to Jesus, Mary, Jehova, Buddah, Elvis, Yoda, the Great Gazoo, or what ever Savior / God they choose.
Bottom line... Alton Towers goofed, either by bad planning and allowing a "Buy Out" on a day that was not previously designated as such (the leas of the offenses), the lure of thousands of thousands of pounds (or have they gone the way of the rest of the solicalist "utopias" and adopted the Euro?), or PC fears of insulting and offending those attending "Muslim Fun Day" at their park.
I wonder if they'll have a special on wine.
:) *** Edited 7/12/2006 4:40:02 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***
So again... If "Islamic Leisure" bought out the park entirely, and they are the ONLY group there that day so that ONLY their group is there (some parks may have one, two or more groups "buy out" certain days... people from the participating groups can get in, but no one else), then EVERY ONE there is there as part of "Muslim Fun Day" so they would be subject to the group's rules.
IF the park is not bought out, or bought out exclusively by "Islamic Leisure", then there is no way that another group who is there (if it is a case of one or more groups "buying it out") or the General Public, if it is not a buy out, should be subjected to their rules.
IF "Islamic Leisure" did not buy out the park, but put their demands... er... I mean "requests"... to Alton Towers as far as dress, guest actions, etc, and asked that it be conveyed to ALL guests that day... regardless if they are participating in "Muslim Fun Day" or not... and Alton Towers AGREED... then Alton Towers is flat out dead in the wrong.
Anyone know if this is an Exclusive Buy Out or not? If it is... then it's just bad policy for Alton Towers (i.e. Even though this was originally an "open" day... taking the money and to hell with the other guests regardless of long range plans). If it is NOT... then it is even worse as far as I am concerned. If the park is open to another group (as part of a buy out) or to the General Public (if it is not a buy out) and Alton Towers is forcing them to adhere to the Muslim idea of what a perfect world is like... well... it might fly in PC crazed and apeasement happy Europe... but I don't think it would sit too well on this side of the Atlantic.
As for the "Catholic Fun Day" at GL.... it says "enjoy Catholic Mass..." etc. giving the impression that it is offered if you chose to attend... if you don't... you don't... its YOUR CHOICE. It doesn't say "If you are visiting the park, you are required to attend Catholic Mass" or "you must say 10 Hail Mary's before each Ride, and 5 Our Father's before each non coaster ride". *** Edited 7/12/2006 5:32:41 PM UTC by SLFAKE***
Disclaimer: I have no knowledge about the ogranization structure or operating policies and procedures of Alton Towers or its assocated hotel. The below scenario is just a hypothetical example of how this could have happened.
I believe what we have here is a lack of systems thinking, or even plainer an example of what happens in larger organizations when various departments do not share information with each other.
The ball got rolling when the happy couple to be called to set up a wedding package. They were probably referred to the Hotel. The Hotel would have the authority to reserve guestrooms and ballrooms for the party, as well as arange for any catering needs. The hotel might also have rights to sell theme park tickets and may even have a working relationship with the parks special events department for making any arrangements for in park activities. An agreement is made and everythign appears to be set.
Sometime later Islamic Leisure calls the park about a group buy-out day. They probably get referred to the Group Sales department. The Group Sales department finds an available day on their calendar, not having access to whatever arrngements the hotel may have made for the wedding party, and goes ahead and schedules the park buy out and works with Islamic Leisure on their event.
Two seperate departments each planning events for the same day, but at the same time unaware of what the other is doing. Everything appears to be going along just fine when, enter a third party:
The hotels reservation staff get notice about the new park buy out day, and decide to alert anybody who booked a room for that night about the buy out, and what it means to them. They post some letters out to whomever the rooms are registered to, maybe not knowing that those rooms are in a block for the wedding party.
Now according to the article the wedding guests, and wedding party itself did not know there was going to be a problem with their booking until they receive the letters from the hotel reservations office.
Heres where the fun begins, the wedding couple probably rang the park and got connected back to whomever their rep is in their wedding planning group, which I would think would likely be affiliated with the hotel. The hotel event planner tells the group that the hotel is happy to fulfill their end of the arangements so they don't see an issue. They talk with the park but its not their event, but here have a couple free passes for your inconvenience. You know the big corporate run around where nobody wants to take responsibility, most likely becuase no one department feels they are to blame, I mean each department did its job correctly.
SO this leaves the couples options as:
1. Cancel the wedding - But dates and places may have special signifigance so chaning date or venue may nto be an acceptable solution.
2. Go through with the plans, and adhere to whatever the special restrictions are - Again, no matter how nice they try to make the event, it will never be the wedding they dreamed of.
3. Explore legal avenues - the article was silent on this, so we don't know if this is being explored.
4. Contact the media and publicly embarass the park - Check, I think this is what happened. I mean they are no worse off than they were before, and now the park just may be willing to bend over backwards and do anything it can to make it up to them.
In regards to the buy-out - it does sound like Islamic Leisure was trying to be accomodating, saying "Hey you are welcome to use the park during our buy out, just follow our rules"
Sorry...I think this is upcoming episode of South Park just waiting to happen.
July 15th, at Gl, they are having Catholic Family days. Wonder if they'll have a special on wine.
Oh my. Images of the Flanders at Cedar Point.
"Hidely Ho...quick kids, lets get in line for Millenium Force!"
"Hooray...310 feet closer to god!"
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