I received an e-mail response about the Busch parks from AB
I received an e-mail response about the Busch parks from AB.
I will cut and paste the e-mail I sent and the response I received….
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 10:21 PM
To: Vogt, Terri
I am part of a web site called theme park insider and many of us are wondering what is going to happen to the AB owned theme parks...
Good morning. Terri Vogt sent me your e-mail. I'm the head of PR for Busch Entertainment Corp.
We don't have an answer to your question right now. All of our parks are open and operating normally. We remain a division of Anheuser-Busch and nothing about our commitment to guest service and quality has changed. If anything does change we'll make sure the readers of ThemeParkInsider.com are the first to hear. Thanks for contacting us.
[Editor's Update: I've got something to say about this. Check out the first post in the comments. - Robert]
I've swapped many e-mails with Fred over the years, and what he wrote is what I have heard from every single source within BEC: The parks are running normally and management expects that to continue, despite the corporate deal with InBev.
Brian, thanks for your post. I expected as much in a response though.
There was a news story a few days ago about a Las Vegas company spending billions to buy theme parks. They said they had made offers to some big names. I wonder if it could be Busch.
Merlin has no deal with Universal that I know of. (Blackstone has invested in both Merlin and Universal Orlando.)
Thank you for your time and effort Brian. As a lifelong fan of BGE and BCE, I truly appreciate it. As for the response, I'm also in PR and as some of you have pointed out, it's a typical response. However, in light of everything that must be coming into them now, a response just confirms that the BEC folks do care about park patrons and service - here's hoping it lasts.
I feel compelled to also add my "two cents" to this discussion. For years we have immensely enjoyed visiting BG - Tampa. Even though we live in metro Atlanta (only 20 mins. from SFOG), we actually had season passes to BGT and would make 2 to 3 short trips a year (of course this was around 2000-2002, when gas prices were not an issue). I will always remember what one employee said on an occasion when they were bypassing the fingerprint scan at the front gate. He quickly explained to us the importance of alleviating the long line, "because Mr. Busch would want it this way". Very well-run parks with a nice balance of family entertainment and incredible coasters. I still think Disney does it best, but at least Busch Gardens does it with a good balance of cost vs. value. I hope InBev and/or the future owners make the "right" long-term decisions. p.s. - Robert, nicely done interview on NPR.
The Merlin/Universal thing is complicated. As I understand it, Tussauds had some kind of licensing deal with Universal that was never really taken advantage of. I seem to remember the complications coming from the fact that the deal was with Universal Creative rather than the parent company... they still had to pay whoever owned the individual properties they intended to use. Which is why we saw all that wonderful UC stuff way back when (2003, I believe), like the Spiderman show and the Halloween specials, before Tussauds realised what a bum deal they were getting.
One thing to consider also is that the AB stockholders still have to approve the sale of the company to InBev. While there are a lot of employee owners, not sure if it is enough to affect the vote, but there is a lot of sentimental value to the American tradition of AB. I have a few shares myself and intend on voting against it, so we will see how it all turns out!
I live in Williamsburg Virginia and I have also been to all the theme parks on the east coast and don't want Busch Gardens to loose it's record of being one of the best parks from service to landscaping to cleanliness. The only other parks that come close are Disney parks so please start an online petition asking Disney to invest in the two Busch parks. I loath the thought of the park being bought by Paramount Kings Dominion and have the trash, gangs, cement jungle, horrible service personel that they have.
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