Friday, June 5, 2009

Knowing People in the Industry

As in all elite cliques of society, name dropping is vital in determining ranking order among members. Enthusiasts often compete in a who-knows-who at their conventions and on their message boards (future post).

It is very common to read an Enthusiast's bragging about his personal tour of SFKK* with Jay Thomas, riding The Voyage with Jeff from GCII*, or having dinner with "the guys" from the gravity group. Only the elite of elite get to eat dinner with Gravity Group Engineers at Holiwood Nights. (Try to be seen with them.)

An often humorous display at Holiwood Nights is listening to Enthusiasts try to strike up conversations with park managers Pat Koch or Paula. These two ladies, along with most staffers at HW*, are tremendously friendly ladies who truly care for their guests. Everyone has a story about seeing Pat clean up trash or talking with park goers. However, most Enthusiasts like to think that they are unique from other Enthusiasts, and will seek out one of these two ladies at HWN to say, "Voyage was a little rough at the crest of the second hill...are yall aware of that?" or "Thanks for the splendid time Paula, we are always treated so well here." While these seem like innocent conversations, most Enthusiasts will make sure there are others around so that they can be seen and heard speaking to Holiday World royalty.

Both ladies, being the friendly people that they are, will smile and talk briefly, all while acting like they remember a guy's screen name from the URC. The Enthusiasts will leave the conversation triumphant not only that he got to speak with these icons, but he was seen and heard doing so. He will feel even more impressed since Pat remembered his name from last year's HWN, forgetting that he is wearing a name tag.

So, if you have friend in the coaster industry, or if you worked for a park and can name some mid-level park managers, use this to your advantage to get in tight with the eilite Enthusiast community.

On a final note, once an Enthusiast realizes he cannot be Robb Alvey when he grows up, he dreams of one day becoming Sparky.

*SFKK = Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom
*GCII = Great Coasters International Incorporated
*Holiday World


  1. KNowing people has its perks and advantages as well as dissadvantages.

    You take what they are willing to give and have to be very careful what you ask. They ususally cannot give out any information on future projects until a press release is authrorized by a park.

    Having dinner with them, Treat em like their a friend and not something special (Which they should be friends and not a source of info) DO unto others.

    They really enjoy praise when its deserve and sometimes will take into consideration things that annoy a guest such as how a boddy pannel will hit you in the shin durring latterals. or Size of riders and working on a system more accomidating to a wider range.

    These guys are tops in what they do but are normal guys, Often enthusiast themselves, Whats fun is just spending a day together and leaving buisness out of it.


  2. Chuck, you think some people over do it i ntheir relations to the industry guys and try to "get stuff out of it?" I guess this post is geared toward poking at those types, as well as myself.