Today I had to visit Knott's Berry Farm to perform a site inspection. Site inspections at theme parks are always fun, since you get a little bit of time to goof off, in addition to the plain and simple fact that you're NOT AT WORK. Our visit to the Disneyland Resort last month was awesome and really inspiring and made us all sell Disney event as incentives, which is way cool. Knotts, however, was a challenge.
First, it took me speaking with more than 10 people and call backs over a week to finally reach someone who knew what I meant by "site inspection". Then, when I finally found the one person, she was very hesitant about helping me... insisting that there was no reason why I would need to see the banquet halls and group areas if I wasn't booking a group right away. There was no clearer way for me to explain than what I repeated a hundred times : If I am going to consider booking a group and spending $10,000 there, I want to see the place first.
So today I went with 2 of my favorite co-workers and got the Bum's Rush tour of the facilities. The lady was nice enough, I suppose, but did nothing to upsell the property or point out the finer points. In fact, more than once she walked us dead center into an embarrassing situation for herself. On top of that, she claimed that since she's in Marketing that she has no idea what's going on inside the park (WTF?!) and didn't know the names of the rides, gave us poor - and incorrect - information AND booked our tour on the same day that there was a concert hosted by KIIS fm, the local Top 40 station, including such minor artists as Ashlee Simpson (!!) and JC Chasez (!!!). She seemed as surprised as we did at the extraordinary amount of tweens that were clogging up the few available walkways, trying to secure a primo viewing spot for the show (still hours away).
But this is Knotts... people who really don't care about their jobs, who aren't looking to attract more crowds, gain profitable business, or even be polite. And, excuse me, but it doesn't take a certified event planner to see that an August afternoon, during heavy construction and traffic constriction, several ride closures, difficult navigation through the parks AND a concert series just don't mix. Fortunately, no one at Guest Relations is getting paid more than $8 an hour, so they could care less how long you complain about long lines, expensive admission prices, and crowded walkways. So yak away all you like about how unhappy you are... no one is listening. And until someone does, Knotts will get none of my business.