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JayAre

1982 Activision Family Vacation

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The following information was provided to me by a former Activision employee:

 
One day in 1982, all Activision employees were called to a meeting room at a hotel near the company's headquarters; it was the only way to get everyone in one room.  Activision's President, Jim Levy, took the podium and announced that the company had been doing very well, and its employees had been working so hard, that he was taking the entire company to Hawaii.  Shortly thereafter, every employee (and a guest) was taken on an all-expenses paid (including drinks) 4-day vacation to Maui.  The event was dubbed the Activision Family Vacation.  Activities included sightseeing, horseback riding, golf, tennis, beach games, sampling Mai Tais, dancing and lavish dinners.
 
The employee went on to say that the trip was absolutely incredible.  And that working at Activision was the best job she ever had; the company really knew how to treat its employees and make them feel valued and appreciated.
 
I also found a Digital Press issue with the following comment that Garry Kitchen made about the trip:
 
"I remember one particular incident that occurred right after I started at Activision. Activision was flying all of its employees & their spouses to Hawaii for a vacation. One programmer, who I won't name, was adamant that it was nothing more than a scam & that they were going to have us in meetings, training, & seminars for the whole time we were there. He declined the trip & didn't come along. Naturally I jumped at the chance of going to Hawaii. When we got there & checked into our rooms, I found a sheet of paper on the hotel bed listing a series of meetings & seminars for us to attend. I thought to myself, "Son of a gun, he was right!" I caught up w/ one of the execs that was running things & asked about the meetings. His reply was "Don't pay any attention to that. We had to do that to make it look good for tax purposes. Have fun!" Needless to say, the programmer who didn't come was kicking himself when we got back."
 
One last thing.  I was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of items relating to this trip from the former employee.  One is a golf towel, and the other is a pair of Maui sunglasses with an Activision case.  I'm attaching pics of these items.

 

Aloha!

 

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That's funny!

Seriously, whole careers and businesses exist consisting of nothing but "business trips" of this nature, although it normally involves managers more often than programmers, in my experience.

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Spriggy/Bill, thanks.

 

Boy, I was just thinking about how much Activision must have spent on this trip.  I have an Activision corporate brochure which mentions that, in July of 1982 (which is roughly when this trip would've taken place), the company had grown to 131 employees.  And each employee was allowed to bring along a guest.  So you figure the following:  262 round-trip tickets to Hawaii, 131 hotel rooms for maybe 4 nights; plus food, drinks, activities and the specially-made souveniers.  And I'm sure there were other expenses.  Just goes to show how much money Activision was making those first few years.

 

It must have been a great place at which to work.  Kudos to the Gang of Four and Jim Levy for creating that kind of corporate culture.

 

david_crane.jpg

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16 minutes ago, JayAre said:

Spriggy/Bill, thanks.

 

Boy, I was just thinking about how much Activision must have spent on this trip.  I have an Activision corporate brochure which mentions that, in July of 1982 (which is roughly when this trip would've taken place), the company had grown to 131 employees.  And each employee was allowed to bring along a guest.  So you figure the following:  262 round-trip tickets to Hawaii, 131 hotel rooms for maybe 4 nights; plus food, drinks, activities and the specially-made souveniers.  And I'm sure there were other expenses.  Just goes to show how much money Activision was making those first few years.

 

It must have been a great place at which to work.  Kudos to the Gang of Four and Jim Levy for creating that kind of corporate culture.

 

david_crane.jpg

 

Absolutely.  I mean .... they had fricken towels made, which for me is the funniest thing.  Props. 👍  The interwebs mentions their earnings would have been around $60million US around that time.

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I just received this vintage photo album which was made to commemorate Activision's 1982 Family Vacation to Maui.  I'm sure many of you remember these vintage photo albums.

 

It's impressive how much merchandise Activision produced in the early 80s.  For this event alone, the company had the following items made:  golf towel, sunglass case, photo album, t-shirts, banners, visor, beach towel.  And I'm guessing there were other items as well.

 

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Here's a newspaper article regarding Activision's Family Vacation to Maui.  The event took place June 25-28, 1982; the article is from the July 21, 1982 edition of the San Jose Mercury.  Following the article, there are two bits of information relating to Atari.  Pretty interesting read.

 

Just click on the picture a couple of times to enlarge.

 

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