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Brainstorming for a Proposed KINGS COURT Club


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In today's 5@5, someone asked what we, as fans, can do to promote the park & make it an all-around better place? The response:

"... Our most loyal fans could be our best ambassadors. I used to work for a sports team that had an “ambassadors club”. They would come into the office at night and make calls on behalf of our ticket sales team. It was a way to harness their passion and it made a difference. You can do the same thing with word-of-mouth marketing. We’re trying really hard to improve our email and Facebook numbers. Your referrals are appreciated and could be extremely valuable. I welcome any other ideas you may have."

So, I got to thinking... What ideas do I have? On the very extreme of the spectrum is The Kings Club. Simply a way for fans of the park to really come together and talk about the inner workings, the things to improve, and the things that have improved! Perhaps its "out of the question," but I'm sure at some point, so was the idea of a park having a Twitter or a daily Q&A session where nothing is off limits! Quite simply, the club could be half fan-club, half-volunteer work where a small group of folks could be 'on the inside.' Imagine:

1.) MONTHLY MEET-UPS with a park "big wig" to discuss areas of improvement and throw ideas back & forth - perhaps the team behind the 5@5? I'm sure things are busy enough, but it's an idea! And during the off-season, the meetings can continue at local restaurants.

2.) AFTER-HOURS WORK to enact some of the cheap & easy ideas discussed in #1 (what immediately comes to mind - cleaning gum off of The Racer; hanging up camouflage netting inside The Crypt, gardening in the Tower Gardens...)

3. ADVERTISING. As was suggested in the 5@5, it might be phone calls, creating advertisements in Photoshop, distributing coupons... To be the official Kings Club would mean to spread the word, to encourage people to visit, and to create lasting memories for those who do! Perhaps even greeting people as they enter & just giving them a smiling face & an answer to any questions... Things like that really separate parks & give people an incredible first impression.

4. "SNEAK PEAKS" - a lights on ride of Flight of Fear, Boo Blasters & The Crypt; a night-time walk around Adventure Express... Even a walk-through of the Backlot Stunt Coaster tunnel with the lights on (what's in there?! Even on the few times that the house lights are on, I can't make it out.) would make us feel special & be so much fun!

5. ORGANIZING UNIQUE EVENTS. I, for one, know that I have a ton of art I've done of Kings Island, as do a lot of others. Much of it is very good. Hosting a "Kings Island Art Show" in the International Restaurant one evening would be a thrill for the Club members, and anyone from the park who decided wander up and check it out. Or a Kings Club Road-trip to Kings Dominion!

For me, Kings Island has been a part of my life for eighteen years (make it 19 years when I celebrate my birthday there April 24th...) and it would mean the world to me to be able to say what I want to say, to praise the park where it should be praised, and to help out, knowing that it's actually worth something. I can sit & rave about the landscaping for days to my friends, but to say it to someone who actually LISTENS, and who can actually DO SOMETHING where needed - that would be so great. Especially if *I* could be the one to do it! To know that, even in the smallest way, I've improved the park!

So, what are your thoughts on such an idea? Out of the question? Realistic? Also, be sure to discuss it (if you can!) on Kings Island's Facebook board since that's where those who can make things happen are more likely to read.

ummm.... not to be a party pooper.... but aren't we, KIC kinda like that? Just saying....

I love the idea of sprucing up the park, but some of these ideas sounds kind of like the 'Kings Club' could be used a little bit too much by KI as free labor. I don't mean to poop on the parade, but there is red tape here that needs to be worked with.

(what immediately comes to mind - cleaning gum off of The Racer; hanging up camouflage netting inside The Crypt, gardening in the Tower Gardens...)

Stuff like cleaning gum should be done by the park. KI loves the idea of a helpful band of volunteers because it means that things may get done for free. They are a money-making business. The goodwill of park lovers shouldn't be directed toward jobs that should be done by park workers. ON the other hand, (and this is just an off-the-cuff example) the 'Kings Club' could do something like provide McDonalds gift cards to park employees that go the extra mile to find time to pick off gum here and there. Something indirect that rewards park employees instead of giving volunteer man hours to such tasks.

We could paint some details on the newer blank walls, so they look like buildings. Freshen up some faded older paint. Fix the curtains and windows in all the buildings so you can't see that they are fake facades with trees poking through the windows. Trim some trees in the fort, pain a new sign for the fort, plant some easy nice simple landscaping. I think it would turn out great.

Some of the things like making changes and dusting the Crypt may not be easy to orchestrate. Every addition to a ride has to be approved (even a sheet) and someone from the park would have to be on hand while things like dusting were done. So they'd have to pay personnel to be on hand while the volunteers came in. Even something like placing plants would have to be reviewed and approved.

Things like this may meet contention with the park:

For example, why use painted plastic to create a spooky fence, when you can collect real wood from an abandoned barn?
Some paint here, some plants there, a few scrap pieces of wood... Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but there are so many things at Kings Island that are easily improved.

Old barn wood would have to be replaced much sooner than painted plastic. We all know that whenever you replace something that people have come to expect at KI, they don't like it. New barn wood would have to be provided and re-stained as the old wood gave away or wore enough to not meet safety/building code. This kind of authentic theming is a feat that Disney might have the foresight and cash to support, but a park like KI might not like the idea of all that future maintenance, and depending on an outside organization to carry the responsibility.

We could greet people in the mornings with a smile and a "Welcome to Kings Island!" and answer any questions, pass out maps, and pretty much just give folks a really bright & cheery morning - something that Universal & Disney do every day, and it's epic and incredible and makes you feel special each and every time!
I LOVE this idea. I can't see the park meeting this with contention outside of liability and background checks to let people represent their brand outside of KI employment.

When you can detail specific projects, it is also easier to get grants or sponsorship donations. Taking on a few projects a year means that there is more focus and each project can be wrestled in red tape with the park.

I'm all for helping out the park, but we would have to focus on specific projects, and make sure that we're not providing free labor. I have created a 501c3 organization before, and there is a lot of legal implications when you form an independent entity that handles donations and works with entertainment businesses like KI. It can be kind of ridiculous at times, but when you play by the rules and get through all the complicated business, you come out on the other side with a lot of good works and happy people.

AMEN! Thats kinda what you're proposing... they have paid employees to do these jobs... heck Landscaping is a whole freaking department!! And when would this be done? in the late late evening when people have jobs/school the next day? when minors couldn't be out anyways, when they'd need to pay extra security to watch everyone? I mean I 100% totally agree with Alluna here, that it is a great idea! but logistically? not so much. it's way easier said then done. Having to orchestrate it, and get every detail figured in not so much...

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I'd volunteer to create a more appropriate selection of music for International Street! I'd volunteer to research and put together the songs! To me (and a growing list of others), The biggest sore thumb in the entire park is the absolute train wreck of noise that completely cancels out the visual beauty of the grand entrance. I'd also love to paint some murals on some walls (like the ones at the Gaylord Opryland Resort).

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I'd volunteer to create a more appropriate selection of music for International Street! I'd volunteer to research and put together the songs! To me (and a growing list of others), The biggest sore thumb in the entire park is the absolute train wreck of noise that completely cancels out the visual beauty of the grand entrance. I'd also love to paint some murals on some walls (like the ones at the Gaylord Opryland Resort).

I would volunteer to help on this! I think the music currently played on I-Street takes away from the whole experience.

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It sort of feels like a way to try and force yourselves into being KI's most important fans.

That said I would love to be a member. I think that, if anything, it should be difficult for people to become members, to keep the rift raft (probably extending to me :( ) out. Not saying people would have to be fanatics, but they would have to know a decent amount about the parks history, financial situation, past failed attempts, past succesful attempts, etc. etc. And there should be a fee.

I could see a group that helps the park, is knowledgable about the park, organizes rallies (taxes) in support of the park, makes donations of some talents, focuses on fun projects like "get 1,000 first time KIers to KI this year", having a major place in Kings Islands heart.

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^I think some at the park would already consider KIC members being KI’s most important fans.

What are you going to do, give people a test before they can become members of this group? What exactly do you mean by past failed/successful attempts?

I think your last paragraph pretty much sums up what KIC has done/could do…

Knowledgeable about the park…check

Organize rallies in support of the park…been there, done that

Make donations of some talents…see “knowledgeable about the park” Other wise get a job at the park if you think you can assist them

Get 1,000 first timers to KI this year…KIC can set this goal for themselves as a group. Start a topic and have members post how many people they have brought to the park that have never been there before.

Having a major place in Kings Island’s heart – I believe we already are…see the first line of my reply.

Just reiterating what StalkerChick pointed out in her post on 4/22…

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I would still love it to happen, but the more days pass, the more negativity I feel. I really don't want to pursue it with my heart and soul if most people are saying "that's already what KIC does" and "you can forget actually doing anything physical" and such...

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I highly doubt this is going to go anywhere...IMO...

*Corba ducking for the incoming shoes...*

And the thing is, with people saying stuff like that I have absolutely zero interest in calling the park, setting up a meeting, discussing things with park representatives, and trying to work something out, taking up my time and the park's time... Especially because the people who have been less-than-enthusiastic would probably then try to sign up for it once it got off the ground!! So you're right, it probably won't go anywhere. The negativity around this is somewhat disheartening for myself as the person who was going to help plan it... If you're not in, then don't be in. No reason to drag down those who are enthusiastic?

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What? I thought someone was in contact with someone at KI about this? They seemed to be very positive about it in the 5@5? What happened there?? Did you speak with them? Did whoever speak with them?

No one is going to hold your hand. If you want it done, do it. People who are interested will hop on board and lend a hand if you can come back and go 'Here. I talked to So&So and this is what we have or can have.' Right now it is just a vague idea, a suggestion.

With my post here, I was trying to be realistic about the liabilities involved and exactly how things could get achieved. If you feel so strongly about it, then a message board of people on the internet shouldn't be enough to drag it down, even if they were all poo-pooing the idea, which most people here weren't. I saw a lot of people chime in and go 'yeah'.

Are you dropping the ball here? Because I'll pick it up.

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I'm certainly lot. I'm just letting people know that, for all those saying this isn't possible and it's not going to work and we're dreaming, I certainly don't plan to let you "live it down" when this project does get off the ground and suddenly all the nay-sayers become its biggest fan. ;)

And anything you do with a park is like bargaining. If someone who says "we're not gonna be able to do A, B, and C so let's just maybe give D a try and that's it" decides to "pick up the ball," nothing will get done. You have to talk to the park, discuss things, submit ideas, run through proposals, and work at it. If you come into it going "Yeah we pretty much can't do anything so can I get some ERT?" then nothing will happen.

Yes there's red tape, yes some things might be tedious... My point is, I would be willing to go through that if it means making the park a little nicer...

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Yah, there is a lot of red tape, but the park said they'd be willing to at least listen and help with the project That would have been the biggest obstacle of all!

If you need another pep talk, let me know and I shall pester you again. Your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries. Now get out there and make a difference!

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

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What don't you understand about the point of this is to bring now things to the table, bring up new suggestions, and improve the park as a whole? If people want to volunteer their time at the park (most of these people are at the park quiet often anyway) then they can if they want to.

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

Actually, a few of the things that have been mentioned the park employees do not do. Have you seen a park employees making improvements to The Crypt? Or maybe park employees working on the Tower Gardens waterfalls? This is the kind of thing we will try to do.

I myself will enjoy doing these things.

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

Actually, most of the things that have been mentioned the park employees do not do. Have you seen a park employees making improvements to The Crypt? Or maybe park employees working on the Tower Gardens waterfalls? This is the kind of thing we will try to do.

I myself will enjoy doing these things.

I agree with you Coney Island Rocks. It sounds like those who do want to be a part of something like this are interested in improving/enhancing the park.

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

Actually, a few of the things that have been mentioned the park employees do not do. Have you seen a park employees making improvements to The Crypt? Or maybe park employees working on the Tower Gardens waterfalls? This is the kind of thing we will try to do.

I myself will enjoy doing these things.

Ditto. I mean I'm sure its in someones job description to actually do this, but its farther down the list (*cough*like top guns paint job*cough*) But there are little things we would be able to do. and I'm stressing LITTLE things. planting a tree or 2 or some flowers, i could see that easily. mechanical work and heavy lifting regardless f exp or licenses... not so much. but like me and alluna both pointed out, yes there will be issues, yes it will take time, yes bring yourself down just a step or 2, cuz your hopes are starting to get a smidge high, but don't give up on everything like that. I mean you went from an appt to talk to them, to not doing anything, to agreeing to set up meetings? Thats one thing about your idea... if your gonna stick with it, stick with it.. your not, then get out now...

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

Actually, a few of the things that have been mentioned the park employees do not do. Have you seen a park employees making improvements to The Crypt? Or maybe park employees working on the Tower Gardens waterfalls? This is the kind of thing we will try to do.

I myself will enjoy doing these things.

Yes and yes to both questions. Just curious, who do you think is going to pay for the necessary supplies to "make improvements to the Crypt" and to "work on the waterfall" in the former Paramount Story?

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What's so hard to understand about THE PARK PAYS EMPLOYEES TO DO EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED? Whether or not it gets done to your satisfaction is another story. Besides, why not volunteer your time to a real charity that actually needs it? Just trying to bring people back down to reality.

Actually, a few of the things that have been mentioned the park employees do not do. Have you seen a park employees making improvements to The Crypt? Or maybe park employees working on the Tower Gardens waterfalls? This is the kind of thing we will try to do.

I myself will enjoy doing these things.

Ditto. I mean I'm sure its in someones job description to actually do this, but its farther down the list (*cough*like top guns paint job*cough*) But there are little things we would be able to do. and I'm stressing LITTLE things. planting a tree or 2 or some flowers, i could see that easily. mechanical work and heavy lifting regardless f exp or licenses... not so much. but like me and alluna both pointed out, yes there will be issues, yes it will take time, yes bring yourself down just a step or 2, cuz your hopes are starting to get a smidge high, but don't give up on everything like that. I mean you went from an appt to talk to them, to not doing anything, to agreeing to set up meetings? Thats one thing about your idea... if your gonna stick with it, stick with it.. your not, then get out now...

I agree Rachel. For some of the things you want to do, you'd have to have employees there in specific departments, and other employees, but the time these things would be done, would be pushing limits on people (working 9am-10 pm and then sticking around to watch people do improvements, proves the employees to be very tired and wanting to go home as well as employees only being able to work a set number of hours a week). Continue to talk to the park and jump down like Rachel said a step or two....you can only do so much as well as the park employees.

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I think maybe this group should steer itself in a different but similar direction. Perhaps instead of trying to go in and physically change the park, your group could instead act as a consulting group and suggest changes or improvements from a guest’s perspective. This would be one step beyond going to guest services and making a comment/suggestion. The group could continue to plan its marketing campaigns and answer questions at the front gate as mentioned in post #1(I believe this is what the KI marketing department likes most about your idea).

There is nothing wrong with going to the table with the park and suggesting something be changed, but chances are this group would not be the ones physically making the changes themselves. As AZ Kinda Guy is pointing out, there are already individuals on staff or entire departments at KI that handle almost everything that is being mentioned (theming, landscaping, clean up, etc).

With optimistic suggestions coming from this potential new group, and the resources already in place within the park to get it done, it seems like a win-win situation for both the park and its guests.

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But the thing is, those who are interested (us) do not represent the typical guest. We are enthusiasts, there's no way around it, and it would be difficult to convince anyone at the park that what we feel is the same as what a typical guest feels. We can go on and on and on about the Tower Gardens, but the fact of the matter is most daily visitors probably don't see it and think "lost potential." It seems to me that if we suggest covering up the paint cans and garage doors in The Crypt (even with simple camouflage netting, as is present in the antechamber), they'll say "Of course! That's so simple, and it would make a huge difference!" But... At what point does someone (no offense) get off their butt and actually do it? That's the kicker. It's cheap, it's easy, it's fast, but someone actually has to act. That's no always easy.

However, I do agree that that's the direction this group should take - suggestions and optimistic input. The problem therein is, how is that any different than asking rhetorical 5@5 questions (which we all do to try to get a point across) or starting a thread on the park's discussion board?

That's something to tackle. Perhaps if this were considered a "Live 5@5" where we were able to ask questions, suggest things, and get honest input, that would be for the best. Help out where we can, spread the word, and provide advice. I think that, if we were face-to-face, the questions would be polite and the answers would be realistic and sincere - those are two things that are sorely missing from the internet form of question asking.

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