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Marriott's GREAT AMERICA bumper stickers

Share your memories of working at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA in Gurnee

Marriott's GREAT AMERICA bumper stickers

Postby MGA1 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:37 pm

Who else remembers the Marriott's GREAT AMERICA bumper stickers the parking lot guys used to paste on every car in the parking lot? It was a plain white background with a small Marriott's (in Old English font in black) in the upper left corner just above the big words GREAT AMERICA in the signature red and blue colors and then the word Gurnee in black ink was below in the lower right corner.

I was always amazed at how many people actually visited Great America every year. Where ever you drove around Chicago and the suburbs, you could always spot several cars/trucks sporting their "Great America" bumper sticker....and people seemed to leave them on their bumpers all summer.

It was almost like a status symbol saying "I've been to Marriott's GREAT AMERICA" this summer." What a great free advertising gimmick for the park!
"...and enjoy the rest of your day here at Marriott's GRRRREAT America"
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Postby steven » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:10 pm

I remember the bumper stickers but I was never there when they would apply them to cars in the parking lot. I always had to buy them. I also think that Guest Relations had some to give away that were not the same as the ones that were sold.

Six Flags Over Texas was one of the first to do the "free" bumper stickers in the parking lot. Many didn't appreciate getting the bumper stickers and later they added a sign at the toll plaza instructing you on what to do if you didn't want the bumper sticker applied to your car. I think you were instructed to leave your sun visors down or something like that to indicate that you didn't want the bumper sticker.

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Postby jonrev » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:08 pm

I would've been p*$$ed to find any bumper sticker stuck on my car, a clever marketing idea though.
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Postby MGA1 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:10 pm

The "free" bumper stickers that the parking lot crew applied in Gurnee were different than the bumper stickers they sold in the merchandise shops. As Steven mentioned, if you didn't want a bumper sticker placed on your car, you were suppose to leave the sun visors down.

Back in 1976-1978 pretty much every car/truck still had real chrome bumpers, so it was really easy to peel it off with out damaging the bumper since there wasn't any paint on them.
"...and enjoy the rest of your day here at Marriott's GRRRREAT America"
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Postby Tech Services 1 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:11 pm

Would you believe I still have a half case full of those original bumper stickers?
I snagged them out of the garage of the old Ritter estate on the west side of I-94 (the temporary offices for Great America during the park's construction). A few of us techs went over there to remove anything of value when the park was preparing to demolish the site, and I found a few cases of the stickers. I couldn't let them all get thrown out- they were too cool!
I used the stickers for a few practical jokes in the office, but saved the rest, and they're in my garage to this day.

I tried scanning one, but it's too long to fit on my scanner's bed. I guess I could post a picture of two-thirds of a bumper sticker . . .


-PPG
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Eegads, has it been that long?
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Postby Papas » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:06 pm

jonrev wrote:I would've been p*$$ed to find any bumper sticker stuck on my car, a clever marketing idea though.

I wouldve been p*$$sed to find stickers on my Rue Le Dodge ride specific sign as well as all the Ragin Cajun aiphones and hotdog stickers all over the place.
...oh wait :P
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Postby yankee Clipper91 » Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:11 pm

Hey Tech Services 1 do you think that you would give the bumper stickers away to any of us?
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Postby HoneyBunny » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:28 pm

I would be interested in buying one or 2. :)
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Postby MGA1 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:03 pm

Tech Services 1 has the best archive of old Great America stuff! The only thing I have saved is one Marriott's Great America key chain & one picture of myself working at the Barbara Mandrell concert in 1981 :cry:
"...and enjoy the rest of your day here at Marriott's GRRRREAT America"
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Postby yankee Clipper91 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:15 pm

Do you think that he will give us some marriotts stuff?
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Postby Tech Services 1 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:56 am

Well there seems to be some interest in my old bumper sticker cache!

I've often thought about selling them, but at the same time I hate to give them up. If you think about it, these are likely the only original MGA bumper stickers still in existence! Then I looked at how many I have, and figured what the heck, I could part with some of them.
The main problem here is mailing the darn things without any damage; they're almost 15" long. I checked the post office this morning, and it's going to cost close to $2.50 for the big envelope and postage. And I'll have to cut a piece of cardboard to stuff in each envelope to protect the sticker.

So let me propose this-
(And Steven please let me know if this is OK with you- I don't know what your rules are about conducting "business" on this site)
Send me $3.50, and I'll mail you a sticker. Toss an extra buck at me and I'll send you two stickers.
Does that sound fair? Surely these have to be collector's items. I would bet the new Six Flags bumper stickers cost at least 3.50.
I'm not gonna retire on the proceeds, but at least it will cover my gas to the post office! :D

If this sounds like a fair deal to everyone, and Steven's OK with it, send me a private email and I'll give you a mailing address.

(And I should clarify for you Santa Clara park fans-
These stickers are the original Marriott's Great America logo on a white background, but in the lower right corner are the words Gurnee, Illinois in parentheses, in red lettering.)

Let me know what you think!

-PPG
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Gurnee park '81 - '86

Eegads, has it been that long?
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Postby Tech Services 1 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:02 am

MGA1 wrote:The only thing I have saved is . . . one picture of myself working at the Barbara Mandrell concert in 1981 :cry:


I mentioned that concert in a post a couple years ago. That was the first day I was promoted to Permanent Employee status, and I had to work that concert in my new, starched, dark blue uniform. Man, it was HOT! :o

You have to post your picture. I would flip if I could find myself in the background! :D

-PPG
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Eegads, has it been that long?
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Postby steven » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:12 pm

Hi,

Thanks, Tech Services 1 for asking. I don't see any problem with allowing you to sell some of the vintage MGA Gurnee bumper stickers. I hate to see the remaining stock broken up, though! How about taking some pictures of the remaining supply of stickers before sending any away?

Again, I don't see any problem with you offering them for sale to others on here. The main point, however, is that everyone has to realize that the transaction is between the buyer and Tech Services 1 and NOT GREATAMERICAparks.com. GREATAMERICAparks.com assumes no responsibility for the transactions!

Regarding that Barbara Mandrell photo, I believe that MGA1 emailed it to me for posting on the site. I hadn't figured out the best place to put it yet. So it never appeared. I guess I could go and post it here in the forum now and put it in a better place later.

Steven
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Postby Tech Services 1 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:35 pm

I posted a pic of the case o' stickers in my Misc. Stuff photo album:
http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... =60&pos=19

Still here and still sticky after 30 years! :D


-PPG
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Eegads, has it been that long?
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Postby Glorfindel7 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:01 am

Oh Yeah, I remember that sticker now....

I remember trying to take it off my dad's old Plymouth Valiant and how it was so sticky it was IMPOSSIBLE to take off the bumper without breaking it :D

But at the time I didn't know that this wasn't the "official" sticker, I thought he purchased it at the gift shop :lol:
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