What was the General Electric era of Universal like? | Inside Universal Forums

What was the General Electric era of Universal like?

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Aug 12, 2021
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As the title says, before Comcast took over. I keep hearing bad things about GE’ handling of Universal, though I don’t know the reasons why.

EDIT: Correction- I keep hearing that GE was a poor owner of Universal. I don’t know what they did that made them hated.
 
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Just edited the first post. Only thing I know was that PortAventura lost the “Universal” part of it because Universal under GE was in debt or something. So what, was it like the Eisner era of Disney when he kept cutting corners? Something else?
 
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In terms of maintenance yeah they let things go by the end. In terms of attraction lineup IOA was about equal and USF...well, I've said my peace there. Not to mention price.

IDK, I just kind of roll my eyes every time someone says the late '90s and 2000s in general were a bad time for fans.
 
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In terms of maintenance yeah they let things go by the end. In terms of attraction lineup IOA was about equal and USF...well, I've said my peace there. Not to mention price.

IDK, I just kind of roll my eyes every time someone says the late '90s and 2000s in general were a bad time for fans.
Step Brothers Dale GIF by reactionseditor
 
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You have to also put into perspective there was an economic downturn in 1999, the stock market was rough with the first tech bubble burst and the housing bubble burst. The previous owners of Universal sold it off to GE in rough shape.

GE was infamous for their corporate strategies under Jack Welch of cost cutting and efficiency (it's half the jokes in 30 Rock before they were acquired by Kabletown), and saw no value in the parks as a "non core asset"
 
Half of the restaurants were closed. It was over a decade between my first and second visits to Green Eggs & Ham. Wimpy's, Dagwood's, Capt America diner always closed as well. Shops too, tho less noticeable.

On the flip side, so desperate for people to just walk in the gates, all the bars offered happy hour specials.
 
It was around this time lots of pieces of universal were sold off.. minority stake in port aventura, Lockheed land where epic is now, the plot by MIB that got turned into apartments. Lots of cost cutting, the opposite of Comcast who has been a great owner and happy to invest. Very safe and risk averse
 
I wasn't really giving them credit for that so much as saying they made fewer decisions I vehemently disagreed with (on an attractions level) than current ownership has.

They did plenty of stuff I didn't like (in all categories).
So because GE didn’t close the rides you prefer - you’re willing to overlook the penny pinching and corner cutting and less investment that was happening? (Which I would put more on Blackstone’s efforts)

Cuz that’s how it’s coming across… lol
 
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So because GE didn’t close the rides you prefer - you’re willing to overlook the penny pinching and corner cutting and less investment that was happening? (Which I would put more on Blackstone’s efforts)

Cuz that’s how it’s coming across… lol
There's no overlooking!

The question of this thread is "What was the General Electric era of Universal like?" Part of my answer to that question is that I liked the content of one of the parks a lot more than I do today. That's not excusing anything, it's supplying personal context and nuance.
 
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There's no overlooking!

The question of this thread is "What was the General Electric era of Universal like?" Part of my answer to that question is that I liked the content of one of the parks a lot more than I do today. That's not excusing anything, it's supplying personal context and nuance.

Fair enough. I guess we approached the topic at a different angle. I was thinking in terms of GE’s impact to the Resort during their tenure.
 
I loved it! Free tickets just for watching a commercial during the superbowl!
Drinking on Scooby! We'd lie about which state we were from (half the time the survey taker would suggest one) and assess different faucet type or refrigerators or whatever, or watch a 45-minute NBC pilot, and get paid $20 -- $40 in Scooby bucks. Which we'd save and use on $4 beers during happy hour at the bar to go further. More than once got a nice little buzz and didn't pay a dime that day.

Also it should be stressed Disney fans, as a general rule, were scared to go to UOR pre-Potter. They stuck to EPCOT and PI. So it was a crowd of irreverent locals looking to escape the Pixie Dust. You can't really quantify that, but you felt it while you were there.
 
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Blackstone was the real boogeyman of that ill fated duo. They've always been a lecherous investment firm. And look at what they did to Sea World/Busch Garden parks after Universal was taken over by Comcast.....And not to discount the damage done by a close to bankruptcy Vivendi prior.