Have been at the forefront of numerous marketing innovations and milestones on behalf of the Busch Gardens, Kingsmill Resort and the Williamsburg destination.Successfully introduced Water Country USA as a new water park and helped build it into one of the top water parks in the nation.For Busch Gardens wore many marketing hats, guided the advertising function during a period of significant expansion and brand development.Helped redefine the Kingsmill brand and managed cooperative marketing between the resort and parks that produced significant growth in leisure room nights.

Work in promoting the Williamsburg destination.Helped develop the innovative Revolutionary Fun co-op program, which used 30-minute infomercials and direct-response advertising to sell vacation packages to the area.Continued to devote considerable time to destination marketing as part of the area’s Marketing Resource Task Force and involvement in several state and regional organizations.

Began as an operations area manager in Busch Gardens’ inaugural year of 1975.Advanced to games manager and park operations manager before moving to Water Country USA (which was then under separate ownership) as marketing director when that park opened in 1984.When Busch Entertainment acquired Water Country USA in 1992, was reunited with the Busch Gardens team, rising to the position of senior director of marketing. Recently dedicated a significant portion of time to leading the marketing program for Kingsmill Resort.

In addition to time in Williamsburg, served in marketing and operations roles at Walt Disney World, Opryland USA and other attractions.

Work History

Work History
2009 - Present

Contractor - Executive Director/Administrator

Williamsburg Area Destination Marketing Committee
  • Financial - Manage cash flow ensuring expenditures follow approved budget and financial procedures.  Provide monthly financial reporting, cash flow analysis and develop recommendations for the board.  Direct  independent accounting firm to provide quarterly financial reports in a timely manner with the completion of the annual audit.

    Administrative - Serve as Secretary and primary officer, contract administrator for all agreements entered into on behalf of WADMC.  Advise Executive Board of issues and recommendations with any agreements.  Serve as liaison with the Williamsburg Area Chamber & Tourism Alliance in performance of developing and implementing the annual WADMC Marketing Plan.  Organize and maintain regular meetings and reporting to the executive board and full board.  Respond to and resolve, as directed, inquiries and complaints to WADMC and report these to the board. Promote WADMC goals and position to community stakeholders.

    Establish and maintain a positive relationship with the local media through interaction as needed, attentiveness and accuracy of information and responses.

    Marketing – Direct strategic development of the Destination Marketing Plan insuring financial goals are met following the intent of the enacting legislation.  Serve on advisory groups and WADMC Marketing Committee.  Communicate all WADMC notifications and updates, as appropriate, to its membership.  Maintain WADMC website with current information.  Organize and maintain key promotional tools used to advance the business and policies of the committee.

Jan 1992 - Jan 2009

Sr. Director of Marketing

Busch Gardens
  • As Sr. Director of Marketing, directed brand management with creative advertising agencies for TV, Radio, Print, Out of Home, POS and Online.. Managed in house media planning & buying agency to develop media strategies in local and tourist markets. Directed Strategic Marketing planning process & budget development.  Total expense budget responsibilities $15,000,000 for Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and Kingsmill Resort. 


  • 2001-2008 record attendance and revenues produced by redefining the Busch Gardens Brand to be less product focused and more experiential during new major attraction launches. This was balanced with :15 TV to increase frequency for retail offers resulting in new record season pass sales. 
  • Established Busch Gardens' attendance records and admissions revenue 1994 – 2008.
  • Increased Kingsmill Resort & Spa Social Room nights and revenues from 2004 to 2007 by 28%. Reintroduced brand as casual luxury using new color pallet, photography and positioning in Magazine, Retail and e-commerce.
  • Organized the Williamsburg area into a unified destination with a substantial cooperative marketing budget by leveraging media budgets of both parks with other area attractions, increasing television media budget by 20% at no incremental cost to Busch Gardens.
  • Pioneered direct response 800# vacation packages known as Revolutionary Fun and use of long form electronic media to sell the package. Created 30:00 infomercials selling 50,000 vacation packages per year nationwide for the destination increasing tourist visitors.  Leveraged sales, public relations and promotions staffing from other area attractions, transforming Revolutionary Fun cooperative advertising program into a cooperative marketing program.
  • Produced a 62% increase in Water Country USA’s attendance by developing combination-marketing programs after the purchase of Water Country USA in 1992. Significantly reduced media spending by combining Busch Gardens and Water Country USA media schedules with split :30 TV spots.
  • Redefined how the theme park industry works with travel wholesalers, forming a cooperative advertising alliance with Liberty Travel Go/Go Worldwide Vacations.

Recomended by

Kevin Crossett , Senior Communications Manager , Busch Entertainment Corporation worked indirectly for Dave at Busch Gardens

"Dave's years of marketing experience provided our company a key advantage over our competitors and served as a model that I continue to use when developing marketing plans for my department. The strategic and political skills he used when dealing with partner organizations within the Historic Triangle positioned our company favorably by leveraging limited community resources to the maximum extent possible." February 13, 2009

Marsha England , Manager, Media Strategy , Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate) worked directly with Dave at Busch Gardens

 "I have known Dave for several years and there is no better person to work with on any given assignment, Dave provides great marketing direction and so easy to work with. I highly recommend Dave as a marketing leader and team player, he made my job working on the Kingsmill Resort and Michelob ULTRA Open LPGA event a fun and rewarding advertising marketing - media experience. I wish Dave only the very best. ." January 13, 2009

Katy Hemme , Account Manager , Momentum Worldwide was a consultant or contractor to Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

"Dave was my primary client contact on both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kingsmill Resort & Spa for 4 1/2 years. He is a solid strategic thinker and a detail-oriented individual. One of his many strengths is his collaborative spirit - he is a true partner, working towards the best solution. Dave always has a positive attitude, and gets the job done." April 7, 2009

Rick McKeel , Director Marketing & Public Relations , Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association was with another company when working with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

"Dave was the face of Busch Gardens in the travel and tourism industry for many years. His leadership and generosity through Busch Gardens Williamsburg enabled the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to expand its services to scores of other travel attractions in the state that didn't have access to the same resources. It's no wonder that during the years Dave was involved with VHTA and state tourism that the industry grew to $15 billion in revenues." March 23, 2009

Ron Kuhlman , V. P. Tourism Marketing & Sales , Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau was with another company when working with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "I've known and worked in various partnerships with Dave for the past 18 years. During that time I have known Dave to be an honest and open communicator, mindful of his company's objectives and a fair business partner. Dave's steady personality will make him well suited in any high powered marketing environment. Please contact me if I can be of additional assistance." February 20, 2009

Scott Brown , Owner , Scott K. Brown Photography, inc. worked with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Over the last 16 years I have produced brand images for national and international campaigns under the direction of Dave Potter. His experience and immense depth of knowledge of the industry always amazed me. Dave's ability to take a turbulent project and smooth out the waves was always a pleasure to watch. I have come away from every project having learned a new skill set from Dave's toolbox knowledge." February 6, 2009

Jared Midkiff , Internet Coordinator , Busch Gardens Williamsburg reported to Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Dave is one of the most experienced and well rounded marketing individuals that I have had the pleasure of working with. He is highly skilled in brand management and advertising concepts (print, television, etc.) and also is an expert in strategic alliances and has an exceptional work ethic. His attention to detail and vast array of marketing knowledge makes him an excellent asset to any workplace environment." January 19, 2009

Lara Bernhardt , Brand Manager , Busch Gardens reported to Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "While I served as Brand Manager for Kingsmill Resort & Spa, Dave was an ideal Director. He gave solid and logical guidance when needed, while also allowing me the freedom to make my own choices and recommendations to continue my own development. Dave will be an asset to any organization for his own talents, as well as a management style that enables his team to grow." January 19, 2009

Laura Bristow , Sales Manager , Source4 was a consultant or contractor to Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Dave was a recent client for over eight years. His ability to work with others on a professional level, whether they were colleagues or corporate business partners, was to say the least astounding. His sound judgment, fairness and expertise sets him apart from other business professionals. Dave understands marketing strategies from a corporate perspective and would be a great asset to any organization looking to take their marketing initiatives to a new level." January 19, 2009

Ross Richardson , Director of Marketing Communications , Jamestown 2007 was a consultant or contractor to Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Dave is the consummate professional - knowledgeable, thorough and always willing to help. While his top-notch work is worthy of comment, it's also notable that he's a nice person to work with." January 15, 2009

Terry Herbert , Account Director , Momentum Worldwide was with another company when working with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Dave is excellent at managing large-scale marketing communication budgets and programs that often change at a break-neck pace. He is always on top of his game and is diligent in his pursuit of results-changing work." January 14, 2009

Sue Nichols , Sales Rep , National Ticket Company was with another company when working with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "I've actually worked with Dave since the early 1980's in different capacities and always found him to be honest, kind, and a very professional manager in various positions at two different parks over the years. He is a real asset to any company." January 14, 2009

Aneta Kuzma , Creative Development Rep , Busch Entertainment Corporation worked indirectly for Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "Dave is an accomplished professional and a fantastic, attentive supervisor. He possesses a phenomenal sense of humor that helps in getting through stressful times." January 14, 2009

Diane BeChamps , Vice President Strategy and Marketing , Virginia Tourism Corporation was with another company when working with Dave at Anheuser-Busch (Theme Park, Resort & Real Estate)

 "I have worked with Dave Potter for over 12 years and he is a thorough, expert marketer and has been a strong strategic partner for the Virginia Tourism Corporation. I'd am happy to endorse him and serve as a reference at any time." January 14, 2009