fyi's, thoughts, and a question concerning holiday world

Saturday, July 17, 2004 12:09 PM
as many of you already know my wife and i live about an hour away from holiday world in western kentucky.

i just wanted to give you an update on some things my wife and i have noticed at the park in the last several weeks.

the crowds - has there been a significant increase in attendance this year. consistently in our three visits this week (July 11 - 17) on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday the crowds have been extremely large. we've been parking in the overflow legend lot since the end of may. i was told that the line for zinga at one point last weekend reached 1.5 hours?!?

water problems on tuesday - when we arrived at the park on tuesday there was a sign up stating that the town on Santa Claus had issued a boil water warning. this warning meant that Holiday World was not able to serve their free fountain beverages...this didn't stop the park. they actually went and purchased enough cans of soda, tea, lemonade, and bottled water to cater to all of the guests that day. simply unbelievable.

major storm on tuesday evening - when preparing to leave the park on tuesday evening a major storm rolled through spencer, warrick, and vanderburgh counties that caused at least one tree to fall close to where the beginning of the new walkway is (next to the exit of the raven) does anyone know if there was more significant damage to the park? i know that many of the surrounding areas were hit pretty hard.

what's going on with roundhouse? - the ride has been down all season. is there a part that hasn't come in? is it going to be removed?

food, food, and more food - here are a couple fyi's

-if you like sweet tea make sure to get it at Jungle Jake's in splashin safari...it's freshly brewed.

-if you are a barbeque person at a picnic catered by the park don't miss out on their catered barbeque...it's from moonlight barbeque in owensboro, ky it's considered some of the best bbq in the region.

and one quick question: do you think there is any chance of the two pizza places in the park offering garlic butter or marinara sauce to go with the thick pizza crust? holiday world's pizza is just AWESOME....i would love to see those condiments available for guest...or even to purchase with the pizza.

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 12:49 PM
Yes, we're busier this year. Up 24% at last count. Look for added capacity in 2005. (By the way...that's really not an "overflow" lot. The Legend Lot is a second parking lot.)

Zinga is the most popular ride in Splashin' Safari, so it does have the longest lines. (Do you like the new conveyor system?) We have tips on our website about how to beat the crowds...such as staying in the dry park during the midday hours, when the lines are quite reasonable. (The Raven was a walk-on when I walked by early-afternoon on Tuesday. I was with a TV crew, though, so I didn't get to ride. :()

The boil order was lifted the next morning. Whew!

The storm was scary--incredible straight-line winds and heavy rain. We opened the next morning after a massive early-morning cleanup.

And...the Roundhouse replacement piece needed to be custom-made. It's not back in service yet, but we hope it will be soon.

As far as suggestions for foodservices, please fill out a Comment Card (which you can pick up at the front gate as you leave for the day) or email us from our website. Our owners and staff of directors read all of the comments and emails, so that's the best way to get your voice heard.

Thanks, Paula

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 2:05 PM
Paula,

Holiday World never ceases to amaze me with the hospitality shown to your guest. That is just so awesome. 24% increase is amazing as well! Other parks should be taking note. Treat people friendly and like a guest in your home and they will come back...in droves.

Increased capacity in 2005? Hmmmmmmm...... Planning my trip now. :)

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 2:08 PM
Wow! 24% is insane. I guess the improved weather in the Midwest has helped out a little... but that is still crazy. Increased capacity sounds... intriguing.
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Saturday, July 17, 2004 2:14 PM
24%???? UNREAL

And so many other major parks can't even maintain the same attendence as the previous year. This just goes to show you (them) MANY things.

So Paula, the "fear of terrorism, high gas prices, bad weather, and slow economy" have really hurt you too, huh? ;)

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 3:20 PM
We've had our challenges this season...what with the flash flood, several *huge* storms, the water boil advisory...we've all learned not to say, "What's next?"

There was a hilarious theory posted on ARN&R a while back...that Will had ticked off a gypsy and she had put a curse on us.

Oh, btw, the Roundhouse is back up. Whoo-hoo!

Paula

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 3:25 PM
Even though I'm sure you've heard this a MILLION times, I've not seen a post about the potential for an SRM someday in the future. How does that look to the Koch's and yourself? If there is another one, I would assume that it might be run significantly different? Sorry if it's still a sore subject.

Rob - gotta know...

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 3:37 PM
Frankly, we haven't even talked about it. Yes, it is an incredibly painful topic.

I would think we'll know one way or the other sometime in the fall.

Paula

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 4:07 PM
i didn't even miss SRM this year. as a local who frequents the park several times a month i've quickly realized that what holiday world/splashin safari is doing for the regional community is MUCH more significant than what they do for the enthusiast community.

let me explain. i'm a youth director at a church about an hour away from the park and for several lower class families that i have acquaintances on a weekly basis Holiday world is their only vacation each year...a one day trip to the park. the park continues to offer free days for the military or discounted gate admissions that allow families with both low and high incomes to enjoy a day at the park without breaking their budget.

holiday world's approach to offering family fun at a family friendly price is giving families the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other in a safe & clean environment.

for me personally, watching a family spend a day together laughing and interacting at an amusement park when it wouldn't otherwise be possible is so much more significant than any type of extended ERT i could ever dream up.

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 4:38 PM
Yes, we're busier this year. Up 24% at last count.

Hmmm..the same year Raven graces the cover of S&D's 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar. Coincidence? ;)

mOOSHIE

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 4:48 PM
No, Moosh. It's no coincidence. You and S&D have single-handedly increased Holiday World's attendance to record numbers.

Congratulations!

I hope the folks at HW give you some kickback for that. ;)

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Saturday, July 17, 2004 4:55 PM
LOL John. To anyone who thought I was serious, relax...I'm not taking any credit. That belongs with the awesome folks at Holiday World ;)
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Saturday, July 17, 2004 5:54 PM
Why wouldn't their attendence increase? It only takes one trip to HW to hook you. HW will be an annual trip for us each year.

This year my son and I had two "newbies" with us. One of those was my coasterbuddy, TheRealCP, who told me over and over while in the park how much HW reminded her of Disneyworld on a slow day. She absolutely loved the park. She has never been a water park fan, but HW's policy of allowing shorts and t-shirts to be worn instead of a bathing suit gave her the opportunity to test her fear. She rode the three largest slides, including Zinga! and spent time in the wave pool, and enjoyed it.

I also want to thank Paula for the no smoking policy. I went hours without a cigarette at times because I was enjoying myself so much and didn't want to take the time to find the nearest smoking area. But when I felt the need for one, those deck areas were so nice, it was like being rewarded for smoking. That's a dilemma.

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Monday, July 19, 2004 10:49 AM

Mamoosh said: Hmmm..the same year Raven graces the cover of S&D's 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar. Coincidence?

All joking aside...we're big, big believers that it's every "little" thing that adds up to success. So yes, Moosh and Carrie do play a part in this.

So if anyone complains after a busy Saturday in August, I'll be sure to give them your phone number. :)

Thanks, Paula

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Monday, July 19, 2004 11:37 AM
LOL...fine with me, Paula ;)
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Monday, July 19, 2004 12:23 PM

Johnathan said:
for me personally, watching a family spend a day together laughing and interacting at an amusement park when it wouldn't otherwise be possible is so much more significant than any type of extended ERT i could ever dream up.

Johnathan's comment made me think about how much fun I've had at all the SRM's I've been to--I specifically remember having to wait in a long line for the Bumper Boats and having an absolute blast with all of my closest coaster buddies (no one seemed to mind waiting because time didn't matter--being together was what mattered).

SRM for me was not just about the "extended ERT," but more about spending two days with my closest friends and having the time of my life at the friendliest park in the world. Nothing has come close in comparison...


NEIL, who just realized why the winter time no roller coaster riding events are so much fun...

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Monday, July 19, 2004 12:59 PM

Johnathan said:

the park continues to offer free days for the military quote]

I didn't know that. I was planning a trip out there in the beginning of August. Would you happen to know or know how to find out when these free days are? I didn't see anything on their website about them. Maybe Paula knows...


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Monday, July 19, 2004 2:38 PM
Just goes to prove that bigger isn't better. While the corporate them parks put profits first and cut corners to increase their short-term earnings but hurting attendance over the long run with the lack of service and lack of quality, Holiday World does it correctly by treating their guests correctly and reaping the profits with increased attendance in the long run!
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Monday, July 19, 2004 5:50 PM
MFM--

The free offer (Military Family Appreciation Days) was over the Memorial Day Weekend. Once we were past the weekend, I removed the information from our website.

We have a Military Discount throughout the season...just show your military i.d. at the ticket booth to get it (the discount amount varies, depending on when you visit).

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Monday, July 19, 2004 5:53 PM
I'm just curious, as I'm sure many are, what form the increased capacity will take.

Curiouser and curiouser. ;)

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