Attention, theme park managers: Your customers are NOT the enemy
Published: September 13, 2006 at 12:26 PM
As one of the founding investors in the Hard Rock Park I have to laugh at the "know it all" contributors to your page. What makes them "experts" and have they ever invested in anything?
And my response:
Well, they *are* your potential future customers.
I would think that would merit them some respect, even if they were totally wrong about your plans for this park. After all, everyone I've met on this site is looking for a good time and good value from a theme park visit... and to be treated well by the people to whom they are giving their hard-earned money.
Which makes them "experts" in my book.
Thanks for writing,
And I'll add this: Theme Park Insider readers were perhaps the first to document Six Flags' financial problems, way back in 2002, a full six months before the story hit the mainstream financial press. So our readers, many of whom have worked at or for parks, are pretty smart about the business side of this industry.
Which brings me to my rant...
Let me make this as clear as I can to the industry executives who monitor this website, from Disney to Universal to Busch to Cedar Fair to Hard Rock:
We, online readers, are not your enemy. We are your customers, the people who put the money in your paycheck. We read and post on this site and other sites not because we hate theme parks, but because we love them. We talk about business issues and labor deals just as football fans talk online about salary caps, draft strategy and free agency. Sometimes we are correct. Sometimes we're full of it. But we're always thrilled to talking about something we love.
If people on this site disagree with or do not understand a management team's strategy or public announcements, they are gonna post about it. Just as people post about the great times and good things they've seen at parks, too.
Here's your choice: Join us, engage with us, share information with us. Or whine and moan because we're not sticking to your "script." But put yourself in our shoes for a moment as you read this. If someone is using this site to help make a decision about a theme park vacation (and thousands of people do, every single day of the year), which park do you think looks better on the site?
One that shares information, engages with its visitors and, by doing so, generates interest and excitement in the park?
Or, one that disparages the site and its visitors, thus signalling that, to that park, customers are more annoyances than valued guests?