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Mar 8, 2022
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I think we all have different lines of what “mistreated” is too. I feel especially with the case @CoasterTalkBob has, I wouldn’t be driven away unless that happened 3-4 times in a row. Maybe part of that is just me being understanding.
With what I've experienced with BGW in the past two years it's really been building and it's reached a point of cancelling my pass but I'm not saying I'll never return to BGW -- and a lot of that is only because of a positive experience I had at Sea World Orlando. I'm actually a very understanding person and I am usually the part of the group that is telling people to calm down about stuff but I've hit a point where I just don't have a desire to go back to BGW right now because it's just not at all enjoyable and it's a stupid amount of money (even if I have a "free" ticket). A lot of this is the games they played with the Platinum Pass over Covid and then just the poor operations I have experienced last year with a couple weekends ago being the crescendo that just made me lose the desire and then to have GR tell me they are going to get in touch with me via email with a comp ticket only to have them do absolutely nothing but ignore me..... I was a with a friend as I left BGW (who was one of the biggest defenders of BGW in the past) and I even asked her on the way out if this is really just me in that I have bad luck with the park or is it really bad and she said she has had enough of them as well.

I think with BGW it's coming down to how much people desire to keep the past in the present. What I mean is BGW was such an amazing park who really seriously cared about their guests and it was a park that was absolutely worthy of the admiration and support that it received but it's not that park anymore and a lot of the people who remember the park that it used to be don't want to let it go and they tend to still look at the park through the rose colored glasses. The difference is at what level people tolerate before those glasses are shattered. My glasses had been loosing their tint over the last year and a half but 2 weekends ago was when they were absolutely shattered.

So, to be clear.... if my experience two weekends ago was completely isolated I really would have chalked it up to just a really bad day.... but it wasn't.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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First off…..not opening Pantheon last year to save it to draw in crowds was bullshit. It’s open now but a rarely see super long lines like I have for other new past coaster and that’s with the single train and slow operation of dispatch. The park overall
now sucks, seems like 90% of everything is closed can’t find drinks or food and it’s not getting better. I remember back to a few years ago we went many nights always during the weekdays and would arrive about 7pm and stay till 10pm when the prk
closed. We would catch the last coaster of the night then head to the front of the park to get a dessert at Squires or the Funnel
Cake place then sit and enjoy the park for a half hour or so. Everything g in England was open till 30
minutes past park close. Now the only food place open at all is the candy store and that closed up exactly at park
close. It’s just now that Busch Gardens is was 5 -10 years ago. Even before Covid things were changing but Covid seemed to allow them
to charge the same at the gate but take
away everything inside and not many people
question it or they give them
a pass because (insert excuse here). Attendance is way down, you can see that just looking at the parking lots, and the reason it’s down is because guests aren’t getting the Busch they know.
 
Mar 8, 2022
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First off…..not opening Pantheon last year to save it to draw in crowds was bullshit. It’s open now but a rarely see super long lines like I have for other new past coaster and that’s with the single train and slow operation of dispatch. The park overall
now sucks, seems like 90% of everything is closed can’t find drinks or food and it’s not getting better. I remember back to a few years ago we went many nights always during the weekdays and would arrive about 7pm and stay till 10pm when the prk
closed. We would catch the last coaster of the night then head to the front of the park to get a dessert at Squires or the Funnel
Cake place then sit and enjoy the park for a half hour or so. Everything g in England was open till 30
minutes past park close. Now the only food place open at all is the candy store and that closed up exactly at park
close. It’s just now that Busch Gardens is was 5 -10 years ago. Even before Covid things were changing but Covid seemed to allow them
to charge the same at the gate but take
away everything inside and not many people
question it or they give them
a pass because (insert excuse here). Attendance is way down, you can see that just looking at the parking lots, and the reason it’s down is because guests aren’t getting the Busch they know.
Honestly struggling to follow exactly what you're saying but I do agree that things were on a slight downward slope before covid that accelerated during and after covid. I do think they used it as an excuse to accelerate changes they they already intended on making.

As for Pantheon not opening last year, I understand the reason for doing that but I don't know if they fully considered the ramifications of leaving the ride sit nor the damage that it did to the passholders that were promised things that they never got (my two years of membership during Pantheon's supposed opening still has yet to allow me to ride it even after provided with their solution to that problem). It also was a horrible idea for them to keep changing the date without making solid plans.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Honestly struggling to follow exactly what you're saying but I do agree that things were on a slight downward slope before covid that accelerated during and after covid. I do think they used it as an excuse to accelerate changes they they already intended on making.

As for Pantheon not opening last year, I understand the reason for doing that but I don't know if they fully considered the ramifications of leaving the ride sit nor the damage that it did to the passholders that were promised things that they never got (my two years of membership during Pantheon's supposed opening still has yet to allow me to ride it even after provided with their solution to that problem). It also was a horrible idea for them to keep changing the date without making solid plans.
I really wish you could sit with Kevin and he had the ability to be 100% transparent on why that call was made and who set those dates. I really got to feel if it was his call it would have opened summer 2021.
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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I really wish you could sit with Kevin and he had the ability to be 100% transparent on why that call was made and who set those dates. I really got to feel if it was his call it would have opened summer 2021.
I really wish Kevin would go “undercover” and walk the park with me one day to see how screwed up it is for guests right now.

Back to Pantheon, look at VC opening during Covid and it brought in huge prk numbers. Maybe Kevin should have worked with the Seaworld park and BGT park to try harder to convince upper management, and maybe they did. Either way IMO it was a huge mistake the way they did it and I think BGW was the only park it really really hurt. My visits to SWO and BGT last year the parks were very busy where at BGw was limping along…..and not much has changed.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I really wish Kevin would go “undercover” and walk the park with me one day to see how screwed up it is for guests right now.

Back to Pantheon, look at VC opening during Covid and it brought in huge prk numbers. Maybe Kevin should have worked with the Seaworld park and BGT park to try harder to convince upper management, and maybe they did. Either way IMO it was a huge mistake the way they did it and I think BGW was the only park it really really hurt. My visits to SWO and BGT last year the parks were very busy where at BGw was limping along…..and not much has changed.
This is all why I said that. Given it was a chain wide thing I really think that it was 100% out of his hands to do most of this. And it could be a hard spot for him with of either stay and be forced to do something he doesn’t agree with or leave a place he loves and see a yes man just do whatever.
 

Zachary

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Sep 23, 2009
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Attendance is way down, you can see that just looking at the parking lots, and the reason it’s down is because guests aren’t getting the Busch they know.

My impression from earnings calls is that attendance is still booming.

I agree with you that the park experience is down the tubes right now and it is seriously impacting my visitation and spending patterns. That said, the balance sheets still seem to sound good to investors and until that changes, I don't think SEAS corporate will flinch.

And to address the corporate vs local management question, it is my impression that a lot is being dictated from above right now. I'm not saying local management isn't responsible for a lot of the park's current issues (they very much are), but the BIG things are almost certainly out of their control these days.

My impression of SEAS corporate right now is that they're basically acting as a steamroller. Have your own ideas based on your experience with your park? Too bad. Get out of the way or get crushed.
 

horsesboy

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I really wish Kevin would go “undercover” and walk the park with me one day to see how screwed up it is for guests right now.

Back to Pantheon, look at VC opening during Covid and it brought in huge prk numbers. Maybe Kevin should have worked with the Seaworld park and BGT park to try harder to convince upper management, and maybe they did. Either way IMO it was a huge mistake the way they did it and I think BGW was the only park it really really hurt. My visits to SWO and BGT last year the parks were very busy where at BGw was limping along…..and not much has changed.
I actually have to disagree quite a bit with this. I am at the park at least once a week some times even more then that. Attendance has been visibly higher many days then what I recall from 2019. Are there things I am not happy with at the park sure but honestly looking at things that I see and things that I hear from other guests I see a decent improvement from the rightfully critiqued situation last year. It's not the old BGW bit I honestly don't believe that it's in over bad shape for the current world environment and honestly don't know that things could possibly be done to the level that some enthusiasts seem to want them at given the current world situation.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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I think undercover boss should be the corporate group, but anyone's anecdotal opinions should be tempered with as much hard data as possible.

In the case of the earnings call, unless SEAS wants to open themselves to legal liabilities with inaccurate statements, I would presume they're correct in presenting attendance figures.

Additionally, if Kevin didn't have the authority to open the coaster without corporate approval, then his hands were tied.

That's not too say overall quality hasn't gone downhill under his watch, but I'd also question if some of the hiring and training decisions were also out of his hands or in the least he was given minimal budget support that really doesn't provide for full hi-quality staffing.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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My impression of SEAS corporate right now is that they're basically acting as a steamroller. Have your own ideas based on your experience with your park? Too bad. Get out of the way or get crushed.
This is my impression from my last two visits I had. Just random, but it really seams as though SEAS is trying to gear up for something huge (prioritizing profits, staying low on pay, the rumored CF buyout). I think they are really trying to poise themselves for something really big that they need cash on hand for soon to put down. But that’s a different conversation for a different thread.

As for Pantheon, about a week late here but I got to ride it last weekend. Everything I wanted and more. Didn’t get walk of shamed but had a teen that checked my harness and kept jamming on it and pulling on it until it went red, the ride op at the booth released, then the older worker came by to check mine and I was good to go. Had similar experiences at Apollo, InVadR, and Nessie. Talked to guest services on my way out how I was unhappy that despite not being a really big guy, that the teen ride op workers seemed to keep trying to play with my harness to get a red light and when I got an older ride op they checked it properly for a green light. I ended up getting $10 in Busch Bucks card as an apology. I gave it to a kid on their way in (I was leaving). That was honestly kinda disrespectful to try to force a sensor to get a walk of shame, and I for sure wasn’t the only person on every ride to get that treatment.
 

Jonesta6

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I think they are really trying to poise themselves for something really big that they need cash on hand for soon to put down.

With the way they're going, maybe it could also be capex expansions in every park, continuing their trend. Or maybe majority shareholders/board members are getting as rich as possible until these CX issues become detrimental to the bottom line.

But as you said, maybe that's for another thread
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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My impression from earnings calls is that attendance is still booming.

I agree with you that the park experience is down the tubes right now and it is seriously impacting my visitation and spending patterns. That said, the balance sheets still seem to sound good to investors and until that changes, I don't think SEAS corporate will flinch.

And to address the corporate vs local management question, it is my impression that a lot is being dictated from above right now. I'm not saying local management isn't responsible for a lot of the park's current issues (they very much are), but the BIG things are almost certainly out of their control these days.

My impression of SEAS corporate right now is that they're basically acting as a steamroller. Have your own ideas based on your experience with your park? Too bad. Get out of the way or get crushed.

I actually have to disagree quite a bit with this. I am at the park at least once a week some times even more then that. Attendance has been visibly higher many days then what I recall from 2019. Are there things I am not happy with at the park sure but honestly looking at things that I see and things that I hear from other guests I see a decent improvement from the rightfully critiqued situation last year. It's not the old BGW bit I honestly don't believe that it's in over bad shape for the current world environment and honestly don't know that things could possibly be done to the level that some enthusiasts seem to want them at given the current world situation.
The parks look busy but then again look how much is closed, the people that are there aren’t as spread out so what is open looks busy. Look at the parking lots, they never seem full like they did before.
 
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Mar 8, 2022
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I really wish you could sit with Kevin and he had the ability to be 100% transparent on why that call was made and who set those dates. I really got to feel if it was his call it would have opened summer 2021.
I don't for a second think any (or very little) of this has anything to do with Kevin. I think the problems are purely corporate and I think BGW gets the worst of it because they are more removed from the rest of the company and they have a seriously loyal fan base that corporate feels they have the power to take more advantage of than the other parks.
 
Mar 8, 2022
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My impression from earnings calls is that attendance is still booming.
Devil's Advocate..... the earnings calls, AFAIK, where lumping all parks together. Your statement could still be true while BGW is suffering.
For the record, I don't actually think that's the case (at least not yet). Too many people are still remembering the old BGW and giving big passes to the park.
I actually have to disagree quite a bit with this. I am at the park at least once a week some times even more then that. Attendance has been visibly higher many days then what I recall from 2019. Are there things I am not happy with at the park sure but honestly looking at things that I see and things that I hear from other guests I see a decent improvement from the rightfully critiqued situation last year. It's not the old BGW bit I honestly don't believe that it's in over bad shape for the current world environment and honestly don't know that things could possibly be done to the level that some enthusiasts seem to want them at given the current world situation.
I get the point you're trying to make but when other parks are doing quite well and doing things that treat their employees and their guests better it's kind of strange to declare this the result of the current world. I also kind of feel like it's ridiculous that those that feel taken advantage of and mistreated by the park are just "thoosies" who want things their way? I just want things I paid for..... and starting with the reduction of benefits for Platinum Passes in 2020 (after I was already in contract) followed by showing up to a park where things are closed all over the place I hadn't got anywhere near my money's worth out of SEAS. Personally I don't find it asking too much for a chance to ride Pantheon when I was promised such a ride for two years..... I also don't find it asking too much of a park to have at least half of their coasters running for me to ride when I visit the park. I've never once been angered by a coaster or two having issues and not having the ability to ride -- crap happens..... And I totally get that there are issues with Pantheon right now and I'm not upset with the fact that I showed up and couldn't ride it..... It's more about how the situation gets handled.
 
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vacoasterfan229

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I really wish you could sit with Kevin and he had the ability to be 100% transparent on why that call was made and who set those dates. I really got to feel if it was his call it would have opened summer 2021.
i’m guessing its not the park’s decision for when the new attractions open. especially in a pandemic.
 
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horsesboy

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i’m guessing its not the park’s decision for when the new attractions open. especially in a pandemic.
Usually it's a combination of the park and corporate but with the 2020 delayed rides getting pushed back to 2022 it was pretty much all corporate.
 
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horsesboy

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The parks look busy but then again look how much is closed, the people that are there aren’t as spread out so what is open looks busy. Look at the parking lots, they never seem full like they did before.
BGW has done a significant change in there bus arrivals and parking in past years the busses use to always park in England and some days would more or less take up that whole lot especially during the spring trips. The current policy is to unload them then send them over to the overflow lots to park. This has both freed up England for more car parking and allowed for a higher number of groups.
 
Mar 9, 2021
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My impression of SEAS corporate right now is that they're basically acting as a steamroller. Have your own ideas based on your experience with your park? Too bad. Get out of the way or get crushed.

This is true of many corporations in general in my experience. Sad that this is happening. Maybe it's nostalgia, but I remember the park being far, far different when I was a kid and AB still owned it.

This is my impression from my last two visits I had. Just random, but it really seams as though SEAS is trying to gear up for something huge (prioritizing profits, staying low on pay, the rumored CF buyout). I think they are really trying to poise themselves for something really big that they need cash on hand for soon to put down. But that’s a different conversation for a different thread.

As for Pantheon, about a week late here but I got to ride it last weekend. Everything I wanted and more. Didn’t get walk of shamed but had a teen that checked my harness and kept jamming on it and pulling on it until it went red, the ride op at the booth released, then the older worker came by to check mine and I was good to go. Had similar experiences at Apollo, InVadR, and Nessie. Talked to guest services on my way out how I was unhappy that despite not being a really big guy, that the teen ride op workers seemed to keep trying to play with my harness to get a red light and when I got an older ride op they checked it properly for a green light. I ended up getting $10 in Busch Bucks card as an apology. I gave it to a kid on their way in (I was leaving). That was honestly kinda disrespectful to try to force a sensor to get a walk of shame, and I for sure wasn’t the only person on every ride to get that treatment.

Yeah I mentioned this earlier, but I've had the same problem too with the tug of war with the restraints. I hope whatever the cause is for this gets resolved soon.
 
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Went to the park yesterday and I just need to vent a little. Okay, so it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. They actually opened the parking lot before 9 o'clock which was crazy. Crazy because nothing was open until the usual 10. Even M. Sweets was closed until 9:45. That is not my main gripe though. It has been brought up here repeatedly, but somebody needs to take some responsibility and fix the kiosks once and for all. Yesterday maybe 3 of them were working at 9:15 or so. I know for a fact that GS sets the time for those kiosks to turn on. You would think everybody would be on the same schedule when they are going to open the parking lots early. Of course, if it's like it has been several times this year the machines just plain don't work. We ended up leaving the park around 1 and the line for GS was back to the stroller rental. Wasn't sure why until I got to the kiosks, and they still weren't working.

My other biggest complaint is at the Brauhaus. The A/C hasn't worked for 2 seasons now. Last year the excuse was they needed parts and covid was holding things up. Okay. What's the excuse this year? For me I can walk in, buy a beer and leave. The ones who are really suffering are the employees who have to be in there for their entire shift. There is just no excuse for this to have gone on this long.

I 'm sure this will piss off the cheerleaders for BGW, but I lay the blame on one person. Kevin Lembke. If he can allocate money for new bars and rides than he can damn sure allocate money to fix things that are broken. Maybe it's time for a leadership shake up!
 

Jonesta6

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Went to the park yesterday and I just need to vent a little. Okay, so it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. They actually opened the parking lot before 9 o'clock which was crazy. Crazy because nothing was open until the usual 10. Even M. Sweets was closed until 9:45. That is not my main gripe though. It has been brought up here repeatedly, but somebody needs to take some responsibility and fix the kiosks once and for all. Yesterday maybe 3 of them were working at 9:15 or so. I know for a fact that GS sets the time for those kiosks to turn on. You would think everybody would be on the same schedule when they are going to open the parking lots early. Of course, if it's like it has been several times this year the machines just plain don't work. We ended up leaving the park around 1 and the line for GS was back to the stroller rental. Wasn't sure why until I got to the kiosks, and they still weren't working.

My other biggest complaint is at the Brauhaus. The A/C hasn't worked for 2 seasons now. Last year the excuse was they needed parts and covid was holding things up. Okay. What's the excuse this year? For me I can walk in, buy a beer and leave. The ones who are really suffering are the employees who have to be in there for their entire shift. There is just no excuse for this to have gone on this long.

I 'm sure this will piss off the cheerleaders for BGW, but I lay the blame on one person. Kevin Lembke. If he can allocate money for new bars and rides than he can damn sure allocate money to fix things that are broken. Maybe it's time for a leadership shake up!


While the buck theoretically stops with Kevin, I'd be curious if it's actual an issue with middle-management somewhere.

Yes, Kevin should have noticed these issues and had then rectified ASAP during one of his regular park walks.

However, is there also a chance that one of the location managers has assured him it will get done then never followed through for whatever reason... And that these issues have gotten lost amongst bigger picture items or a smaller budget handed down by corporate?
 
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