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Michael Rielly

Why Bass Pro Shops’ longtime Santa won’t be back this Christmas

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Michael Rielly

Why Bass Pro Shops’ longtime Santa won’t be back this Christmas

July 19, 2017
WTVR
by   Caroline Coleburn  

EXCERPT:

Christmas is going to be a little different this year for families whose traditions include visiting Santa at Bass Pro Shops. Paul Davis, who spent the last nine years as the Bass Pro Santa in Ashland, will not be there anymore.

“Unfortunately this year, the corporate office made the decision to make all stores use a Santa service located in Chicago,” Davis explained in a Facebook post. “The store wanted me to return as their Santa this year and had me contact the owner of the [Santa] service. I have spoken with the owner of the service on several occasions and we were unable to come to an acceptable agreement on contract terms.”

20187074_10212749642711886_1647578779_o.

 

Davis said he was disappointed, but held no ill will toward the people at Bass Pro.

“I can only say good things about the store, the management, and the employees,” he said. “Most of all to the great and loyal customers that returned year after year to visit with me. They have been great to me for all of these years.”

Cassandra Petrosky is one of Davis’ loyal fans.

Her children, who have autism, considered Davis both Santa and a friend.

“He was so nice to them, took his time with them and listened to them, even though sometimes it’s hard to understand them when they talk due to speech delay,” she said. “Every year they saw him, they would run up to him with excitement and give him hugs.”

She said her boys never rushed to other “mall Santas.” She said Davis got her children to open up and talk about things that were not even Christmas related.

“To them, he is the real Santa,” Petrosky said.

Davis said his relationship with Bass Pro began in 2008 with a phone call.

Someone from the store called Davis and asked if he wanted to be the store’s Santa that year.

“I said I would be happy to come in and discuss it,” Davis recalled. “I came in on the appointed day, and trying to be stealthy, stood behind a boat to observe their operation. While standing there the assistant manager approached me and asked if I would be their Santa. Stressing that I was not there to step on anyone’s toes, he said that he had to have the store’s best interest as his motivation. I said yes and that was the beginning of a nine-year relationship.”

...

SOURCE: http://wtvr.com/2017/07/19/bass-pro-ashland-santa/

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Santa Bill Reiller

I saw this yesterday.. It is a shame they could not come to terms.

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Felix Estridge

The terms they could not come to was the fact that the new service seriously undercut the existing service's contract and now will not pay what the Santas were used to receiving.

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Santa  Kevin

:angry:

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Nick Hudson

I'm sure its the same as my corporate company, do more with less and they take the easy way out and hire a placement company. That is the reason I parted ways with placement company's.

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Santa Bruce Geron
1 hour ago, Felix Estridge said:

The terms they could not come to was the fact that the new service seriously undercut the existing service's contract and now will not pay what the Santas were used to receiving.

That what it appears to be, but also Bass Pro signed on with this other company. It is a two way street, here. It's very sad to see that the customer losses out in the end. We all know the importance to many families in having a consistent Santa to visit with each year.

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Santa Gordon

First, Bass Pro Shop did not sign off with an agency, They approached the various agencies that serve as their preferred performer providers (their term, not mine) and offered these contracts to the people now booking the chairs for them. Second this is the latest change in a long chain of changes going back 10 years now.  Yup! Back in the day you could walk into any BPS and pitch your offer and walk out with anywhere from a $!2000 to $28,000 contract working direct. Then BPS corporate decided to look aat what that free picture was costing them and most of the locations had to go through one of the providers. Not all but most. Then last year you could no longer work in the store and be hired to be their Santa. Now they have made it clear they want all of their locations filled by the agencies they have under contract to do that. 

The landscape in this industry is constantly changing. If you can't change to take advantage of the new possibilities, then as of 3 days ago, "Them were the Good Old Days".

 

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Santa Marty
7 hours ago, Felix Estridge said:

The terms they could not come to was the fact that the new service seriously undercut the existing service's contract and now will not pay what the Santas were used to receiving.

This happened in the past also, when the photo companies took over the Malls, the salaries were cut almost in half when that happened.  The biggest issue here is the fact than even at a lower value contract for 2017, is the distinct possibility of the Santa NOT even getting the amount they have contracted for because of the integrity of the owner of the company (Cindy).  Her mode of operation have borne this fact out quite well.  One might think the not honoring her contracts is part of her business plan.

Knowledgeable veteran Santas won't work with her, but there is always a new crop of guys that come alone year after year who are so star-crossed by the mere offer of being "A Mall Santa".  These are the guys she is counting on, and has been praying upon for years!

This is the sole reason she has changed her business name, to run away from her reputation.  BE WARE.

Please believe me when I say being a Mall Santa is NOT the epitome of the Santa Claus World.

 

Add INs... Gordon, Felix have Got it Right!  

Contracts will be of less value, but dealing with unscrupulous individuals who do not live up to contracts make Santa the real looser.

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Steelwheels
4 hours ago, Santa Marty said:

"...but there is always a new crop of guys that come alone year after year who are so star-crossed by the mere offer of being "A Mall Santa".  These are the guys she is counting on, and has been preying upon for years!"

It'll be interesting to see who takes the risk and signs on. 

Edited by Steelwheels
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Santa Marty
37 minutes ago, Steelwheels said:

It'll be interesting to see who takes the risk and signs on. 

Cindy has been doing this for years, and there always seems to be "fresh meat" for her to "burn" season after season.  

For all the "Santas" out there, many are not connected in anyway to any Santa groups, organizations, ClausNet members.  They don't even know such organizations even exist.  My guess is that it is a large percentage who just have never been invited, have no clue, don't know any other Santas and are just plain unaware that there IS someone acting un-Santa like out there.  These uninformed individuals will become fodder for the rip off canon season after season, newbies keep coming, get thrown into a Mall Chair with no experience, low expectations and stars in their eyes.

Santa Gordon explained it pretty simply to me some years back.  Its (Santa) business out there, you have to do your own information gathering, educate yourself and be aware.  

Inform yourself, and help fellow ClausNet-ers keep from getting burned.

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Steelwheels

Being fully informed is always good. I'm pretty sure that even with all the info out there some (new and old) will still sign on to do BPS. They'll be persuaded the opportunity outweighs the risk.

"Woohoo! Sign me up, sign me up!" <sarcasm>

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Santa Warren

For me I would be this particular agent even more then the pay.  Low pay received is better then bounced checks and no pay.  Also lack of communication when there is a problem.  As far as someone wanting to work at BPS for the season, I can understand the motivation.  Sometimes you need to get the experience and resume.  It is not for me, but could be for others.

 

As Gordon said, to paraphrase,  things are changing.   

Edited by Santa Warren
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Florida Kris Kringle

Hopefully, one of these days, all Santas will smarten up and demand the pay based on their worth, and not be willing to accept low pay. When that happens, companies will only have men in Party City suits and cheesy wigs and beards to choose from, and the public will go elsewhere to get the quality they deserve.

Don't sell yourself short...

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Elf Without Jingles

I'm sensing a trend with this particular controversy. Sometimes it would be more financially feasible to work on your own, as opposed to getting burned by these other Santa providers who would otherwise just leave both you and the potential consumer in the lurch.

It's a topic we'll need to continue to deal with as the weeks roll on. File this one, then, under "to be continued."

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Santa Laureate

The reputable Photo Companies are starting to become busier due to the "change" and because of it this Santa is starting in October with Santa Photos .  Not being a Santa for BPS is not going to change corporate decision especially after the purchase of Cabelas.  These stores will also be staffed under the same directive.

 

 

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Santa  Kevin

Really Sad!!

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Santa Marty
54 minutes ago, Elf Without Jingles said:

I'm sensing a trend with this particular controversy.

The trend is change, either you position yourself & adapt, or you do not.  To adapt you need to be as well informed as possible.  The only thing that is consistent is change.

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Santa Laureate

Having Been a corporate manager in the Rocky Mountian area. I had 6 different locations. I viewed each locations P & L,s (profit and loss statements). Here my job was to keep in contact with the fixed incomes verses the variable. I can change the variables but fixed are just that. The payout for Santas are variable cost as we have found out therefore they can be cut somewhat. Simple business practice. This cut in my opinion was due to the purchase of Cabelas.

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SantaJoe

This is frustration to say the least. I recently had a lunch conversation with a good mall Santa friend who was considering going private. The photo "N" Program he worked for years was scaling back his hours by a 1/3. Problem is, he is under contract for another 2 years.

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Elf Without Jingles
3 hours ago, Santa Marty said:

The trend is change, either you position yourself & adapt, or you do not.  To adapt you need to be as well informed as possible.  The only thing that is consistent is change.

Always good to know, Santa Marty. That's why I always try to reinvent myself whenever I can.

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Santa Gordon



Basically everyone that has read this thread to this point is fully aware of this particular situation regarding ONE agency working at the National level out of Chicago that operates under several names as does the owner. The question is What do you do with this?

In the past it was "Keep Quiet! No one wants to hear your problems!" and this agent relied upon that "Code Of Silence" in order to take advantage of people that were coming into the business. My suggestion is simple and has been my personal mission for over a decade. 

If someone or some agency is purposefully taking advantage of members in the community by breaching trust and/or contracts, they need to be publicly singled out, identified and have the Documented activities brought to the community for all to see. As long as the facts are documented, you are not telling anything other than the facts and alerting the rest of the community of the problems. 

To do otherwise is to give support to their activities. We say we are Professionals but part of being a professional is noting those that are not doing business as a Professional and injuring other members in the community by their actions. What this means is you become mentors to the newer members and advise them of the problems before they take the offer and fall victim to the same thing this year as has happened going back to 2010 in the case of Cynthia Maheras aka Cindy Claus.

May your season be Joyous!

Yours,

Gordon Bailey
satbobs.com

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Santa Gordon
4 hours ago, SantaJoe said:

This is frustration to say the least. I recently had a lunch conversation with a good mall Santa friend who was considering going private. The photo "N" Program he worked for years was scaling back his hours by a 1/3. Problem is, he is under contract for another 2 years.

Santa Joe,

If your friend has a multi year contract with a mall photo company and it has a set amount of compensation listed in that contract when written with raises listed ( a standard form) his hours being "scaled back" does not affect his pay. In fact it makes his pay better because he works less for the same money. If the hours are ramped up, then he loses money because he is working more but not compensated for the extra time. Way too often Mall Santas are called upon to do many more hours of work that are not described with in the terms of the contract as they are not negotiating an hourly rate but a lump sum for the run of the contract.

If he wants to get out of his contract he merely has to execute the escape clause in it to be free of the company he signed up with.

May your season be Joyous!

Gordon Bailey

satbob.com


 

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SantaJoe

Not if he is hourly? 

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SantaJoe
4 hours ago, Santa Gordon said:



Basically everyone that has read this thread to this point is fully aware of this particular situation regarding ONE agency working at the National level out of Chicago that operates under several names as does the owner. The question is What do you do with this?

In the past it was "Keep Quiet! No one wants to hear your problems!" and this agent relied upon that "Code Of Silence" in order to take advantage of people that were coming into the business. My suggestion is simple and has been my personal mission for over a decade. 

If someone or some agency is purposefully taking advantage of members in the community by breaching trust and/or contracts, they need to be publicly singled out, identified and have the Documented activities brought to the community for all to see. As long as the facts are documented, you are not telling anything other than the facts and alerting the rest of the community of the problems. 

To do otherwise is to give support to their activities. We say we are Professionals but part of being a professional is noting those that are not doing business as a Professional and injuring other members in the community by their actions. What this means is you become mentors to the newer members and advise them of the problems before they take the offer and fall victim to the same thing this year as has happened going back to 2010 in the case of Cynthia Maheras aka Cindy Claus.

May your season be Joyous!

Yours,

Gordon Bailey
satbobs.com

But isn't it such a slap in the face when this individual presents themselves as being such a "Santa" supporter, admirer and friend?

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Santa Gordon
3 hours ago, SantaJoe said:

But isn't it such a slap in the face when this individual presents themselves as being such a "Santa" supporter, admirer and friend?

Are you referring to Cynthia Maheras?  She has said a lot about how none of this is her fault. Currently she has a problem with her new web page which has pictures taken from other pages with out permission and since has been publicly called on it by several. Her response has been "Please send us the picture and we will remove it in 7 working days"  This is just another fraud and theft of copy written material. No apology or explanation.

Less a "slap in the face" more a theft on many levels so far. Friends like this the community does not need.

 

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