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In ref to outsourcing.... Before the company was sold they used to outsource the maintenance dept to source one but after the sale they decided they could do the maintenance in-house cheeper and better. Well while at the park recently it amazed me how many rides where going down that day due to maintenance related issues. I do believe Blackstone may need to look into outsourcing a few things againg at the park not just entertainment for it seems the once high standards set by busch beer isnot there anymore.
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While this is true (the company is One Source, by the way), Busch Gardens rehired almost every person that worked for OneSource so the expertise in maintenance that had been at the park is still there. Maintenance is challenged due to the extension of the season with ChristmasTown. They are now on an extremely tight schedule to attempt to perform preventive maintenance on the rides during the offseason.
You also cannot say one particular day was in relation to the decision. We would need yearly numbers to compare.
For what it's worth, I believe the landscape/horticulture department was outsourced until the sale of the parks but is now done in house.
gardener14 said:
For what it's worth, I believe the landscape/horticulture department was outsourced until the sale of the parks but is now done in house.

You are partially correct. The companies the park was with for years were thrown to the curb on favor of cheaper plant acquisitions and growing some in house. The park's horticulture staff has essentially always been the install crew.
I believe contracting outside companies can be good, and should be done but it shouldn't be overdone because when does it become a product not of Busch Gardens if all they have is contracting companies. I also say it can be good because before the park contracted Elaut to run the arcade, the park was terrible with operating their arcades solo. Basically, they split 50/50 and Elaut comes in sets up their arcades, water squirters on the rides, and RC boats and trucks. Not a bad deal.

I know the big ones are:

Oak Island for Entertainment,
Elaut USA for Games
Kaman's for Retail
Hall of Names for Retail
Many others for retail . . .

Retail is the biggest.
I would like to put in my 2 cents for the Christmastown show "Gloria" which I think is the best originally produced show BGW has made and I have heard that comment also from most of the guests whom have seen it.

gardener14 said:
For what it's worth, I believe the landscape/horticulture department was outsourced until the sale of the parks but is now done in house.
huh?? Busch's lanscaping was never outsourced. That is their pride and joy. Um They won Best Landscaping 18 years in a row from their own staff. They've always proudly done that all their own. What a dumb thing to say.
Hmm, I thought the discussion in the early days of the forum (I'm thinking information from Nora??? maybe???) was that after the sale, horticulture was outsourced. I do think the floral displays quickly got much less creative after the sale, and in the last few seasons there are noticeably fewer beds/displays as well. Ugh, one example, what they've done this season to the little rise across the tracks at the Festa Train Station. Was a pretty weeping willow, small annuals, some cannas and young banana trees. Some of those remain, but now the willow is gone and there's a small stand of scraggly evergreens. If a storm or something took out the willow, I wish they had replaced it with another willow, not anemic-looking pines.

I'm just going off the top of my head about the outsourcing of horticulture, though. Would love to get info to update my knowledge on what is in house and what is outsourced at this point.
Yes the landscaping was/is outsourced. I remember specifically seeing landscaping companies visit the park every so often last year. They can pride themselves on whatever happens in the park because it is considered theirs, it doesn't mean they didn't have help doing it.

The hurricane that we had last September I think, ripped the willow out of the ground, they did a poor replacement job with that. Other than that, I haven't really payed much attention to the weaker landscaped areas.
I made an account as I do like bgw and I want them to have good entertainment. I have personally seen/ worked with SG although I might not want to say how. The problem with outsourcing entertainment really lies in the logistics of everything. Outside companies may know how to produce a good show but they are expensive and do not have the experience of knowing specifics of the parks and venues that they have to deal with.

I have no doubt from experience that a seasoned technician in entertainment could be extremely more efficient when it comes to building/moving sets and setting up venues. Bgw has already in recent years been straddling a thin line of efficiency vs cost when it comes to this.

I noticed in the posts that a lot of these great shows were by outside companies. They may have been before my time, but I can tell you that SG tends to hate outside shows and anything that wasn't created by him. I don't want to get too deep tonight but I would say that Phil Raybourn was severely handicapped when it comes to creative control by SG and had a lot more respect among everyone. He was also more responsive to questions and seemed a bit more genuine. I'll update later. [/b]
From experience one of the major problems with BGW and SG is the emphasis on flashy things vs people. I'm sure you have all heard about his hatred for musicians and have seen the decorations he is so fond of. One might ask do guests rate a show higher because things looked cool or because the source material/actors were great? With limited budgets at a park like this these two become harder to make happen at the same time. I would point to gloria as a great example of this. Did it look cool? yes. But was the material worth it or all the effort and cost that went into putting it together? Trust me, and there were many things that were great about that show, but you have no idea how much money was burned to make it happen.

Then there is an issue of morale and conveying quality to guests. So say you managed entertainment for a theater, especially one where performers were underpaid. Your goal is to convey a pleasant atmosphere to the guests that the actors were so happy to be there and believe in what they do. (I have heard that disney does a great job at this btw) Now add a vp running the operations that on numerous occasions has make performers and technicians who work very hard cry. (I have seen this personally) Ask yourself how could an actor translate that experience to a positive one for a guest when they are upset inside? Really where performers and I mostly would find strength in a situation like that is to work hard because it would let your cast down otherwise. I would never ever walk off a show not mater how much management failed because there were too many people dependent on me and no one else to cover. This makes it more astonishing hearing that people would walk off this year and how bad things have gotten. These people get paid hourly so if a show is done then everyone is screwed.

I'm sure you have seen some of the illuminights shows. A lot of those were an example of outsourced people or pretty inefficient when it comes to labor. Now imagine the money for these were put into the main shows. How good might they have been with extra resources. Is throwing more decoration and shows in peoples faces better with a limited budget?

These budgets were also always over run because of the nature of committing to a show in entertainment. People getting pulled to make other projects on time doesn't help quality either. More to update at a later time. Questions welcome.
entertainer1356, and all talent on this forum that has worked there, know you have our respect and support. Performers and shows make BGW that something extra special for us. We have enjoyed getting to personally know a few cast members over the years. Thank you all for taking the time to talk to us, for all the hard work and great shows you've done, and all the total junk you have had to put up with. We absolutely love live music and talented musicians. We GREATLY appreciate all of you.

We GREATLY disapprove of your treatment and entertainment's leadership and direction.

SO, back on topic. Thank you very much for the information. So much better than endless pages of speculation. I have my suspicions, but can you say which productions where his and which are by someone else? Was the someone else an outside source or someone inside the park, like performers? We understand anything you can, or can't, say may be sensitive to your position.
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