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"You Gotta Have Heart."

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This is a sort of mini trip report posted by LeaderTips, a website that specializes in inspiring and furthering resources for leaders in the amusement industry. This article was appropriately titled, "You Gotta Have Heart." Basically, the author and his friends visited five parks in seven days: Holiday World, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Dollywood. What they came away with was that three of the five parks really had a good sense of what it means to entertain, and to put your troubles aside, chose your attitude, and create a magical experience for your guests.

Of those five parks, guess which two parks are not specifically praised for having values that they stick to, rules that they enforce beyond having them written in a handbook, and putting the guest experience first?

It's about what we've been saying for a while: Enforce the rules. Have a passion for exceeding guests' experiences. Go the extra mile to create a functional, enjoyable place to work and to visit. Create hospitality among guests. At my job, we learn four key principals: Play. Make their day. Be there. Chose your attitude. All are absolutely fantastic examples of what this writer found in his travels.

According to this casual, third-party observer with no personal interest in the situation, Busch Gardens, Holiday World, and Dollywood are shining examples. Kings Dominion and Kings Island are not.

This is a short article that deserves a full read!


And I'll close by spring-boarding off of the writer's final point - by asking if you think Mr. Kinzel is leading with his heart, or his head?

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Mr. Kinzel proved what he was about when he recommended an $11.50 per unit buyout for unitholders while negotiating for himself (and his son) multi-million dollar deals with Apollo...then doggedly tried to sell that self-dealing deal to others. Thank goodness for Q, the Knott family and others, who put a stop to that nonsense. Once a brilliant executive, Mr. Kinzel's time has come and gone...The sooner the company realizes that, the better off it will be.

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Holiday World gives out water and soda as well, and have not only seen that money spent elsewhere, but have also seen a decrease in the number of EMS calls.

Looks like Mr. Kinzel should rethink his pricing strategy. ;)

You are right about that for sure. I do nto suspect KI or any CF park will ever give away free sodas and that is fine by me. But if they would drop the price a few bucks. **sighs**

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The place at which I am employed (a school for children with special needs) has 20 oz. bottles (the same size as at Kings Island, I believe?) for $1.00. Not to say that's typical of most vending machines, and it's likely pretty marked down from most places because of the school atmosphere, but I'm sure the school is still bringing in revenue from that - so I would easily venture that a 20 oz. bottle costs less than a dollar to make & distribute.

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