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and Team / Co
Jul 22, 2013
Arlington, VA
I got the news from KD, so I am posting it here.

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion Proclaim Region

Virginia’s Gateway to Family Thrills

Partnership is the first in 15 years between the two competing theme parks

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion are joining forces for the first time in 15 years to increase Virginia’s voice in the crowded Northeast tourism market. In partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond Region Tourism and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, the parks will outline the plan for marketing the 75-mile corridor from Richmond to Greater Williamsburg as Virginia’s Gateway to Family Thrills.

News conference announcing partnership and details of the marketing plan to increase tourism in the Richmond and Greater Williamsburg markets

May 5 at 10 a.m.

State Capitol Grounds near the Bell Tower

Scott Clemons, director of marketing for Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia
Dan Dipiazzo, vice president of marketing for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia

Representatives of American Coaster Enthusiasts, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond Region Tourism and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance will be available for interviews following the news conference
I just wanna say I'll be driving thru Richmond that day and recently got a film degree if you want a rep there who isn't completely attached to the site.
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I just got back to the office after this morning's media event in Richmond.

First I want to say how welcoming the KD people were. They are truly great to work with.

Moving on, we will be posting the video and the press release later today, but I wanted to share my impressions first.

The emphasis was on family-friendly attractions. Even the ACE representative talked about children's rides. The were clearly targeting families with children in Pennsylvania and New York.

Apparently they have received matching money to market to NY and Pennsylvania and mentioned getting families to visit Virginia instead of Orlando.

I think they did a good job of presenting the partnership together, and I hope this is advantageous to both parks.

Anyway, sorry this post is so disjointed. I wanted to get some thoughts down, between work projects.
Here's our full recording of the announcement. It is well worth your time to check out if only because there's no telling when BGW and KD will be standing side by side presenting their parks like this again.

Basically two different regional tourism agencies (The Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance and Richmond Region Tourism) have teamed up with both Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg to start pushing the Williamsburg/Richmond area as an alternative to an Orlando vacation for people in the northeast. The main focus of the campaign will be joint online advertising for both theme parks and both water parks.

In addition to the advertising push, KD and BGW announced the availability of two new ticket options: the Virginia Thrills Ticket and the Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus. The first option costs $106 dollars and gives you one single-day ticket to Kings Dominion and one single-day ticket to Busch Gardens. The second option, the Virginia Thrills Ticket Plus, costs $135 and includes two tickets to Kings Dominion and two tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and/or Water Country USA. Both versions of the Virginia Thrills tickets must be used within a seven day period.

Anyway, all that said, below I've included the full press release from today's announcement.

<iframe src="" width="100%" height="600"></iframe>

Lastly, but certainly not least, another huge thanks to Kings Dominion for inviting us out to the event today!
This is so cool.

The only thing I dislike is how they are marketing Soak City as a standalone park like Water Country USA. The wording makes it seem like upgrading to the "Plus" pass grants you admission to two more parks, when really it's only one, since Soak City is included with admission to Kings Dominion.

Perhaps I'm reading too far into this, but it seems to straddle a fine line between clever marketing and false advertising.
I don't think it is fair to call it "false advertising."

They had to find a way to jointly market the dry and water parks without emphasizing the differences too much. It probably would look bad to highlight that KD's water park is included in the ticket price, while BGW's is not. This promotion is a result of extensive negotiations, I am sure, and the final language would reflect the advertising needs of both parks.
But he said the tallest. This seems like some pushy marketing.

It's like me saying,"Dominator is the tallest coaster between 160 and 162 feet!"

Except in this instance I would be correct in using a technicality to market Dominator, while KD straight up falsified their statement. I305 (I still love you), in reality, is the shortest (height), slowest giga coaster on the east coast, and the world...
Technically he is right. Intamin coined the term 'giga' which makes I305 the only giga coaster on the east coast. B&M does not use the intamin terminology, Fury is considered a hypercoaster by their standards. The mis-labeling of a coaster by enthusiasts means nothing to a marketing team. B&M calls fury a hypercoaster. Intamin calls i305 a giga coaster. What everybody else calls them makes no difference to them.
A giga coaster, no matter who it was coined by, by its very definition is any roller coaster between the heights of 300 and 399 feet. Carowinds is calling F325 a giga, by its definition it is a giga. Fury 325 is a giga coaster, and therefore the claim that I305 is the tallest and fastest giga coaster on the east coast is just plain deceiving.

Edit: How fitting that my 300th post should be one arguing about coasters that are 300+ feet tall!
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I think that the important point is that they are working together. Focusing on a minor mistake that the VP of Marketing made, especially since he wasn't reading a script, just derails conversation.

Whether or not i305 is the tallest giga coaster on the East Coast is simply a minor point in the scheme of things, and arguing over semantics takes attention away from a huge shift in marketing policies in both parks.

I think an interesting question is how long this partnership will last and whether it will remain limited to marketing to families in the Northeast.
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