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SeaWorld Orlando. Branding Blunder

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment

This past Christmas I was in Florida “recharging my batteries” anticipating a new year with new challenges. While visiting SeaWorld, I wanted to get a picture in front of a recognizable landmark that would make it clear this is SeaWorld in Orlando, not a local aquarium. Usually, these landmarks are located in front of the park entrance. To my biggest surprise SeaWorld has none. I could not find any noticeable SeaWorld signs (ticket counters do not count!). What a branding blunder!

In addition to this, SeaWorld Orlando has a lot of room for improvements in operations management. Its neighbor DisneyWorld is a good example, how flawless operations management should be. I understand that DisneyWorld has more resources, but it has a lot more to manage. SeaWorld Orlando is a great theme park and it is worth to spend a day or two there with the family, but it can achieve a lot more with relatively little effort to attract more visitors and thrive competing with other parks around.

I have another story to tell from my vacation in Florida. This story is not over yet, but this is good story and a good teachable moment for me. Stay tuned.

One More Note from Florida

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

This is not related to Florida per se, I just found out about this in Florida.
While I was looking for a hotel in Fort Lauderdale I stopped at a Courtyard hotel in the airport area. They were sold out. But they did not say that there is a Fairfield hotel just around the corner. That hotel appeared to be almost empty. Both chains belong to Marriott. I wish Marriott had better integration and could direct customers to other Marriott hotels in the area if they do not have any rooms available.
Later I found out that the Courtyard and Fairfield chains operate as separate entities. So what does Marriott do itself?

Categories: companies, travel

Florida Notes

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

While being on vacation in Florida, I decided to post a couple of observations.

The first is an example of some efficiency. Florida is a popular place to spend the rest of your life after your retire. Now imagine a town with all residents over, say, 20. Such a town does not need schools, hence, would need noticeably less tax money.

The second is an example of inefficiency – the “Move Over” law. For those who is not familiar with it – this law requires to change a lane and reduce your speed by 20 mph when you see a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights. For example, if you drive in the right lane win an 65 mph zone and see a police car on the breakdown lane, you are supposed to slowdown to 45 mph and move to the second lane. The purpose is clear – avoid accidents when police officers on duty get killed by cars passing by. If you look at a bigger picture, the goal is to have the minimum traffic accidents while accommodating the maximum capacity. In general, it all comes down to the maximum capacity. So how does the “Move Over” law help to prevent fatalities on the roads? My observations say the effect is totally opposite. Changing lanes means merging. This is in addition to accident sightseeing. This creates even more hazardous conditions. In one case north of Miami a police officer stopped a car for speeding. This turned into 3 accidents with even more severe consequences. In the other case, while driving on I-95 northbound in the Melbourne area I spotted a police car on the breakdown lane. When I got there, there were 4 (four) police cars (one of which was hit from the side), 2 fire trucks and 1 one medical emergency car. I understand the law is designed to prevent fatalities, but does it actually prevent them? Have any studies been done?

As I was writing this post, I learned that this law was introduced in Massachusetts in 2008, but not yet enforced the way it is enforced in Florida.

Categories: travel