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All uphill at the gates
By LIZZY ROSS
TAMPA - Thanks to SheiKra, the tallest vertical drop roller coaster in the United-States, Busch Gardens' attendance increased by 4.9% in 2012 as more than 4.3 million guests visited the amusement park last year
.

"This is the best ride ever!" exclaims Steven, one of the SheiKra riders. "I've been on this ride over fifty times and I freak out every single time!"

Busch Gardens needed a boost in an attempt to reverse a four year decline in attendance. In 2000, more than five million guests passed through the gates but numbers continued to shrink in the years that followed until the introduction of the infamous new ride. SheiKra was unveiled in May of 2005 after an extensive marketing campaign targeted at roller coaster enthusiasts of all ages. The $13 million thrill ride received praises across the board, just as planned. James Zoltak, editor of Amusement Business explained "A major new ride almost always guarantees a bump in attendance, unless it's a dud." The fact SheiKra features a unique 200-foot vertical drop may have something to do with it's popularity!

"Looking ahead to 2014, I can tell you that there's going to be enough new, exciting attractions and events to keep people coming back again and again throughout the year" said Dan Brown, the park's general manager.

Although Busch Gardens has not announced any new attractions for 2014, Brown is confident his turnstiles will keep spinning as locals continue to flood their Temple Terrace gates seeking adrenaline rush.

"We come here for the animals" shares Wendy Claske as both her sons impatiently tug at her jacket. Busch Gardens is proud to showcase more than roller coasters and free beer sampling, the Tampa based amusement park also features an extensive array of wildlife exhibits where guests can immerse themselves in the culture of the African continent. Busch's self-guided walking tour features scenic habitats of lions, hippos, hyenas, meerkats, vultures, a Nile crocodile, baboons, giraffes and more.

More than a zoological extravaganza, Busch Gardens has become a most popular Central Florida amusement park among locals and visitors alike. It is unclear if low attendance affected Anheiser-Busch however we can safely extrapolate recent figures to show 2013 will be a good year for the amusement park industry.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
http://www.BuschGardens.com
By phone: 1-888-800-5447

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Motivation, A La Carte!
By STEVE LANGE
TAMPA - When Daniel St.Pierre came up with the concept behind the National Motivation Network, success was guaranteed. After all, who would not want to try out a free motivational service by phone, email or text message, right?

St.Pierre and a friend were discussing the popularity of eBay and researching a way for both investors to capitalize on the trend. That's when motivation was brought up.

"Why not sell motivation on eBay," shares Daniel St.Pierre, owner of the company. It made perfect sense. Within a few days the business model was setup, soon thereafter the catchy website ensued.

Developing content for the site was St.Pierre's responsibility, and he far surpassed his goals by producing informative white papers, provoking ebooks and inspirational MP3 podcasts currently available for free on iTunes. But, there's one aspect St.Pierre could not predict; The fact Americans are lazy and unmotivated, thereby lacking the necessary will to jump on board a motivational train.

What's in store for the National Motivation Network? According to St.Pierre, "the sky is the limit!" He admits it's been challenging getting Americans to sign-up, but he is also grateful the growth of the company has not been so overwhelming he's had ample opportunities to spend time on other projects, such as ministry work, being a father and husband and more recently, of all things, farming land he purchased in Brooksville, FL.

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