Jump to content

Don Helbig


IndyGuy4KI

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Delirium13 said:

I wish Don all the best. A huge loss for the park.

I still look back fondly on a high school project I had where we had to interview a professional in a field we were interested in. Don, set aside the time to have me come to the park and talk with him. Our conversation on international street while the park was closed and being decorated for Halloween Haunt was an amazing experience. He may not remember, but it has stuck with me. Best of luck to him, a great ambassador for the park!

The dude can tell you how many slices of pizza he’s eaten in the past five years. Trust me, he remembers. 

  • Haha 14
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don will certainly be missed at Kings Island. The richness of details and encyclopedic knowledge of everything KI he brought to his role was of course second to none. Wherever he lands next is going to be lucky. Too bad he didn't get the big send-off he deserved.

Hopefully Coasterstock continues for many years to come, but there will be some pretty big shoes to fill. As most people here know, the connection Don built with the KI community was extraordinary; he made it a point to genuinely get to know as many fans as he could. The countless hours of preparation plus very early mornings and very late nights never went unnoticed, even when the end of the event consisted of 20 people sheltering from torrential rains under the main gate after midnight. There's a reason it has sold out faster every single year.

His legacy at Kings Island will be a tough act to follow.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Orion-XL200 said:

Will miss Don Helbig in his role....what a class act! Extremely talented in story telling, guest relations, and being a good human being. 

Can't say the same for Chad, who for some reason remains.

 

Why do you dislike Chad so much?

Chad’s a great guy, and awesome at KI! It’s always fun running into him and having discussions with him at the park.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, gforce1994 said:

Why do you dislike Chad so much?

Chad’s a great guy, and awesome at KI! It’s always fun running into him and having discussions with him at the park.

He literally sucks at communicating, which is bad for a communications director. So odd that until recently when he was called out for not being out in the park he all of the sudden is able to be seen in the park. 

Grain and Grill opening at 4 pm. He left the park at 130 pm. No coverage or even a post showing the excitement of a new restaurant opening. 

Cargo Loco opening, where was he?

Sol Spin opening, showed up after the ride opened. 

It is interesting that you say running into him is fun. I'm assuming he knows who you are. I have seen several tweets, comments online that people don't know who he is or what he does at the park. That's an issue for the "face" of the park as their top communications person. 

Those who attended coaster stock, when was he seen? Anywhere that he could be thanked. Meals and behind the scenes tours. Outside of those two things, was never seen at ERT, out in the park, etc. .

How can a communications director be good at their job if they aren't available or seen?

Chad has been a downgrade from what the park had before in Don. As posted in another thread, it looks like the tweets are now written by a 12 year old and/or are copying someone else's homework. Don wrote blogs that did amazing storytelling. When is the last time Chad wrote a blog? 

My point is not I don't like Chad, it's the quality, professionalism and talent we are used to is gone. It is the fact that the park doesn't have a competent spokesperson anymore. 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, gforce1994 said:

Why do you dislike Chad so much?

Chad’s a great guy, and awesome at KI! It’s always fun running into him and having discussions with him at the park.

Besides taking a selfie with you, what has most impressed you about how PR has been operated over the past five years? 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Besides taking a selfie with you, what has most impressed you about how PR has been operated over the past five years? 

First off he’s able to conduct media events, provide tours of new areas or events to media, and etc. Just a few weeks ago during the opening of Sol Spin, he was providing tours to local radio hosts.

Second he’s knowledgeable about the park, which is critical for success in a role. 

I have seen Chad frequently at the park.  I think he does an exceptional job at his role .

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think people have the right to be frustrated over these things. Don did a lot to help make our park great and promoted the heck out of hit. What @Orion-XL200 and @BoddaH1994 said aren’t inaccurate and aren’t a slight in him personally, but rather are comments about his communication skills or the possible lack there of. I remember when we weren’t getting a ton of information about Adventure Port for a while and Chad was tweeting about how there were Panda Expresses in Germany.
 

Almost every time I’d be at the park I would see Don, either engaging with employees, talking with guests, or simply walking around. I know just seeing someone in passing isn’t a good judge of character, and I’m not at the park everyday to really see who’s where but when you see more of one person and less of another, you get a good sense of who’s more involved and who isn’t. 
 

If you want people to continue to come to your park and spend money, you have to be engaging and communicate with your audience effectively. Chad might not be a bad communicator for the park, but we haven’t seen anything that proves that yet. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, he seems friendly- but from a professional standpoint, things could be executed better than they have been. To be clear, it’s not just people on here that are frustrated, there are tons of people on social media like Facebook and Twitter that feel the same way.

With Don gone, I think there’s a huge hole that’s going to be hard to fill.

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/13/2023 at 11:16 PM, Orion-XL200 said:

He literally sucks at communicating, which is bad for a communications director. So odd that until recently when he was called out for not being out in the park he all of the sudden is able to be seen in the park. 

Grain and Grill opening at 4 pm. He left the park at 130 pm. No coverage or even a post showing the excitement of a new restaurant opening. 

Cargo Loco opening, where was he?

Sol Spin opening, showed up after the ride opened. 

It is interesting that you say running into him is fun. I'm assuming he knows who you are. I have seen several tweets, comments online that people don't know who he is or what he does at the park. That's an issue for the "face" of the park as their top communications person. 

Those who attended coaster stock, when was he seen? Anywhere that he could be thanked. Meals and behind the scenes tours. Outside of those two things, was never seen at ERT, out in the park, etc. .

How can a communications director be good at their job if they aren't available or seen?

Chad has been a downgrade from what the park had before in Don. As posted in another thread, it looks like the tweets are now written by a 12 year old and/or are copying someone else's homework. Don wrote blogs that did amazing storytelling. When is the last time Chad wrote a blog? 

My point is not I don't like Chad, it's the quality, professionalism and talent we are used to is gone. It is the fact that the park doesn't have a competent spokesperson anymore. 

Spoken like a true lecturer of public communications I see.

You say he wasn’t at Sol Spin, he was. 
You say he wasn’t at CoasterStock, he was.

Everyone taking photos of the same structures doesn’t mean he’s copying someone else’s tweets. 
 

Also, he was at ERT:

What’s your definition of “sucks at communicating”. He has gotten the story across nearly every time there’s a press release and or news story.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This really took me by surprise. I'm really sad to see Don leave. I was able to meet Don last August at KI with a buddy of mine and he was super nice and even follows both of us on Twitter now which is really cool.

 

This is my first year working at Kings Island and I have seen Don around the park a lot this year. There have been times where I have wanted to go up to him and ask him some thing about the park and the Attractions Group Podcast, but I'm a very shy person and it's hard for me to walk up to someone I don't know or hardly know and talk to them. I really wish I would have now.

I wish Don the best in the next chapter of his life and career. He has done a lot for Kings Island and I thank him for that. 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/13/2023 at 11:41 PM, gforce1994 said:

First off he’s able to conduct media events, provide tours of new areas or events to media, and etc. Just a few weeks ago during the opening of Sol Spin, he was providing tours to local radio hosts.

Second he’s knowledgeable about the park, which is critical for success in a role. 

I have seen Chad frequently at the park.  I think he does an exceptional job at his role .

So the bare minimum? Please look up what a communications worker does.

 

Edit: Anyone find the timing of this a bit fishy? 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all who have expressed their feelings about Don no longer working at KI. Don has been an instrumental part of the history at Kings Island, not only as an employee but as a park enthusiast. He became an employee almost right after Cedar Fair bought the park.  He has showcased his knowledge and his love for the park, guests, and enthusiasts alike. This is a very emotional subject for all KI enthusiasts brining about negative and positive feelings forward. As the park's biggest supporters (KIC members), we are also just as passionate about its success going forward.

We all want to see that position filled with the same enthusiasm, passion, and love Don demonstrated every day. Even though we know that is going to be a tall order to fill, let's hope they can find that person. From here on out, this threads subject will be about Don and not get into other subjects or people. 

Thanks KIC Staff.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

So how long do we have to wait to see Don in ki's hall of fame or whatever they call it? Lol if anyone is deserving of it, it is definitely him. I loved talking to him any chance I got when I used to work at the park. Such an awesome person and I wish him the best of luck in his next chapter.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

Agreed. I was surprised not to see him pictured in the Hall of Fame when I walked through that area of Tower Gardens recently.

Even though it says "Hall of Fame", those pictures are more of the "All-Stars" AKA as associates this year that provided great customer service and received compliments in guest services.  While some are long-time associates of the park, a few are first or second year employees.  This is different than the Hall of Fame that many of us remember that used to be behind the stroller rental area next to the Theatre (which ironically had a picture of Don on The Racer there yet not in the HoF) before the HoF was moved to the hall of HR.  Stay tuned if they combine them and add write-ups and pictures to the HoF that had public-facing Inductee ceremonies.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

Even though it says "Hall of Fame", those pictures are more of the "All-Stars" AKA as associates this year that provided great customer service and received compliments in guest services.  While some are long-time associates of the park, a few are first or second year employees.  This is different than the Hall of Fame that many of us remember that used to be behind the stroller rental area next to the Theatre (which ironically had a picture of Don on The Racer there yet not in the HoF) before the HoF was moved to the hall of HR.  Stay tuned if they combine them and add write-ups and pictures to the HoF that had public-facing Inductee ceremonies.

They HOF that you are talking about was originally done somewhere in the park. Showplace first year then front of the park the next year. They did the hand print thing and those blocks ended up in Tower Gardens in the planters. Then it was added to the wall to the left of the Kings Island Theater. TBH, it looked like a mausoleum. Then it disappeared and we would see things about it on various social media, as they made the ceremony private and I think they did a diner. This is why it’s in HR and not customer-facing. 
 

The people that were inducted was an odd choice. Gary Wachs and Dennis Speigel make sense because of their contributions to the park and the industry. But Carmen Electra didn’t even fulfill her contract in entertainment. All of her contributions to the world were after KI. They also had some talking head radio hosts inducted. About half were, “did you know they worked here???” inductions. This was obviously just a PR stunt, but there are dozens of people who should have been inducted but they decided to forego them in favor of people that had almost no impact on the park. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

They HOF that you are talking about was originally done somewhere in the park. Showplace first year then front of the park the next year. They did the hand print thing and those blocks ended up in Tower Gardens in the planters. Then it was added to the wall to the left of the Kings Island Theater. TBH, it looked like a mausoleum. Then it disappeared and we would see things about it on various social media, as they made the ceremony private and I think they did a diner. This is why it’s in HR and not customer-facing. 
 

The people that were inducted was an odd choice. Gary Wachs and Dennis Speigel make sense because of their contributions to the park and the industry. But Carmen Electra didn’t even fulfill her contract in entertainment. All of her contributions to the world were after KI. They also had some talking head radio hosts inducted. About half were, “did you know they worked here???” inductions. This was obviously just a PR stunt, but there are dozens of people who should have been inducted but they decided to forego them in favor of people that had almost no impact on the park. 

 

Yep, at this point, the names on the Haunt Tombstones carry more meaning and significance  ;)

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

 

Yep, at this point, the names on the Haunt Tombstones carry more meaning and significance  ;)

 

Not to downplay the people that are in there now. They’re all VERY hard working people that do make a huge impact! I’d take any one of them over Carmen Electra in the HOF. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

Not to downplay the people that are in there now. They’re all VERY hard working people that do make a huge impact! I’d take any one of them over Carmen Electra in the HOF. 

Oh yea absolutely.  Every one of the associates in the Tower Gardens display right now have busted their behinds to give great customer service and are deserving of the recognition.

I was implying more of the past "PR stunt" inductees LOL....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I wish Don best of luck on the next chapter of his life/career and I will always still go back in the KI blog posts to read his articles. He is one of the best authorities/sources on park history (along with "Shaggy" of course) and all around a wonderful guy that we will miss dearly. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Shawn Meyer said:

I wonder If he still visits Kings Island? Not trying to dig into anything here, just saying that he holds the record for most rides on racer. I hope he keeps that going. 

I think Don mentioned once that his Racer count has held steady for awhile and he was comfortable with the number it was at.  Maybe he will post the last time he rode it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was over a year ago.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...