Trend Letter Stories

Theme parks ramp up security. What to know before you go.

Concerns of domestic terrorism and gun violence continue to grow and theme parks are taking notice. Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, Universal Hollywood and SeaWorld recently installed metal detectors at park entrances. Disney will also cease selling toy guns and ban visitors over the age of 14 from wearing costumes. Recently, Busch Gardens banned a man of Scottish heritage from the park when he attempted to enter while wearing a traditional kilt. Visitors can also expect longer wait-times per attraction and for the increased security to become normal for the immediate future. (Source:, 12/17/15)


Rhode Island hires former Massachusetts tourism chief in rebrand effort.

In an effort to rebrand the smallest state in the country, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation hired Betsy Wall for the newly created position of chief marketing officer. Wall ran the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism for eight years. She served the Democratic governor before the new Republican governor of MA replaced her. Rhode Island’s Democratic governor jumped at the chance to hire Wall. With an annual salary of $135,000, Wall is expected to lead the effort for the creation of positive statewide branding and the attraction of new businesses.  (Source:, 12/26/15)


Yelp’s struggles and the evolution of online user reviews.

There is a love-hate relationship with online shopping experiences. Navigating anonymous reviews for insight related to online products has become the norm. Yelp is currently facing the dilemma of the anonymous review and their validity. In 2004, Yelp was one of the earliest companies to find success based on reviews of the service industry. But, recent losses in revenue are forcing Yelp to reimagine its model. As skepticism grows, Yelp must address issues ranging from removing unhelpful reviews, helping businesses with insights to improve their services and, perhaps most importantly, connecting reviews with people who actually engaged in the service they reviewed. (Source:, 12/26/15)

Joel Carter

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