Page 1

Volume XXXVI, Number 4 • March/April, 2016

Railroads page 4

The West page 19

Student Travel page 34

Volume XXXVI, Number 4 • March/April, 2016

Railroads page 4

The West page 19

Student Travel page 34



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Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 3




here is nothing like a train adventure to see the sights, learn history and enjoy a fascinating journey.

Some railroads will take you to the top of a high mountain peak, others will wander along track past scenic wonders you cannot view from anywhere but a train. Best of all, many scenic railroads are historic and nostalgic, offering visitors a look at


times past and an escape from our fastpaced modern life.

Mount Washington Cog Railway MarshďŹ eld Station, New Hampshire The Mount Washington Cog Railway, the ďŹ rst mountain climbing cog railway in the world, will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019. Starting this summer, The Cog will kick off a three-year program of special events, including a U.S. tour of The Cog's original Old Peppersass engine (which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year) culminating with a public anniversary bash in the summer of 2019. Considered a must-do for visitors to New England, The Cog has been bringing passengers to top of the highest peak in the Northeast

way and facts about the unique climate and

ets in advance is strongly recommended. The

since 1869.

geography of Mount Washington accompa-

Mount Washington Cog Railway is located

nies the ride.

in the heart of New England on Base Station

Upon their arrival to Marshfield Base Station, visitors can grab a bite to eat,

At the summit, there is approximately one

browse the gift shop, visit the Cog Railway

hour to explore, take in the spectacular

just six miles from Route 302 and historic

Museum or watch the trains arrive and

panoramic views, and visit the historic 1853

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. For infor-

depart at the platforms while enjoying the

Tip Top House and the summit marker. A

mation and tickets, visit TheCog.com or con-

view of Mount Washington and the valley

complimentary pass to the Winter Weather

tact The Cog at (800) 922-8825 or (603)


Museum is included with the purchase of a

278-5404 (in New Hamshire). For group

Road, MarshďŹ eld Station, New Hampshire,

The Cog Railway provides a sense of

Cog ticket. Here visitors can learn about the

Information, visit the groups page online,

adventure and history as it makes the spec-

record-breaking weather that has made


tacular climb up a three-mile-long trestle to

Mount Washington one of the most visited


the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washing-

places in the world.





Broadmoorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pikes Peak

ton. No matter the weather â&#x20AC;&#x201C; sun, rain or

Whether examining the history and mem-

snow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this once-in-a-lifetime experience is

orabilia of The Cog at MarshďŹ eld Station or

Cog Railway

available May through November.

exploring the fascinating weather and

Manitou Springs, Colorado

Passengers may choose to ride The Cog

ecosystem of the mountain at the summit's

Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pikes Peak is a mountain of

in a historic coach powered by a vintage coal-

Mount Washington Observatory, visitors will

legendary size and legendary tales. Early

ďŹ red steam locomotive or the more modern

ďŹ nd plenty to thrill and entertain at the Mount

Spanish explorers called it â&#x20AC;&#x153;El Capitanâ&#x20AC;? for

and eco-friendly biodiesel engines. Guests

Washington Cog Railway.

its vast length and height. Those who make

are encouraged to ask questions and take

Tickets for Cog Railway excursions can

it atop this famous peak can see the same

photos of passing trains as a lively and infor-

now be purchased online at TheCog.com.

panoramic views of the Great Plains and the

mative guided tour of the history of the rail-

Due to the popularity of the rides, buying tick-

Continental Divide which inspired the iconic

4 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

    song â&#x20AC;&#x153;America the Beautifulâ&#x20AC;?. Centuries ago you had to make a long and treacherous climb by foot to the summit of Pikes Peak to see



can include boxed lunches (for groups of

those sights. However, today this feat can be done in an easier and

15 or more) at a cost of

fun fashion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on a ride aboard Pikes Peak Cog Railway.

$11.80 each. Food is

This unique journey begins at the historic depot in Manitou Springs,

also available at the

Colorado located at the base of Pikes Peak. The track for this round trip


journey is 8.9 miles long and climbs up to 14,115 feet elevation. Slowly

Groups should arrive

and steadily, the cog train moves past panoramic views, which include

at least 40 minutes

canyons, streams, ancient rock formations, waterfalls and pristine for-

prior to the departure

est. Incredible wildlife such as playful marmots and majestic Bighorn

time. Passenger loading begins 20 minutes before the scheduled

sheep can be spotted frolicking, sunning or foraging in the rugged, sur-

departure. All reserved groups are seated together; tickets will be

really beautiful landscapes. Once you get to the higher elevations, you

given to the group leader to pass out. Parking for buses can be

will see old mining towns like Cripple Creek and Victor. On clear days,

accommodated at the base depot; you can phone for more infor-

you can even see the skyline of Denver from the summit.

mation. To learn more about the railway, its history and excur-

Once the train arrives at the top of Pikes Peak, you will have about 40 minutes to explore, admire the views, take photographs or check




sions, go to cograilway.com. Phone (800) 745-3773 for reservations and group information.

out the summit house, which offers food service and seating. Then

On June 30, 2016, the Broadmoor's Pikes Peak Cog Railway will

it is time for the downward journey back to the base. Overall, the

be celebrating 125 years of service and operation. On this date in

round trip lasts a little more than three hours.

1891, the first train made the trip to the summit of Pikes Peak.

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway runs year-round, weather permitting. A group rate is offered to groups of 25 or more and all groups

Since that time, the railway has taken millions of passengers on this scenic and unforgettable journey.

must have reservations. A comp ticket is offered to the driver or

Join the railway in celebrating this momentous occasion

escort. Fares must be pre-paid two weeks in advance. The ride

throughout the year. Continually check the Web site throughout

Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 5

    the year for events and do not miss an opportunity to ride one of the original steam engines that made the first trip to

 $   #% 

the summit.

The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad New Hope, Pennsylvania This railroad dates back to 1891 at a time when trains were the main mode of transportation. Today, it offers year-round passenger trains featuring a 45-minute, ninemile round trip journey through the beautiful hills and valleys of historic Bucks County. Passengers can choose to be seated in a ďŹ rstclass parlor car, an open-air car, a traditional 1920s car or the operating cab of the locomotive. Coming soon, a caboose will be added to the train.

The New Hope & Ivyland Railroad sta-

New Hope Valley Railway

Once onboard, enjoy the live narration,

tion is located at 32 West Bridge Street, New

reflecting the many interesting facts and

Hope, Pennsylvania. For more information,

New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR) begins

happenings along these rails throughout

phone (215) 862-2332. Also, ask about char-

a new season on Sunday, April 10, 2016, and

the past 100 years. Each passenger train is

tering a train and group accommodations for

concludes with Santa train rides the ďŹ rst two

pulled by an authentic steam locomotive

special occasions.

weekends in December.

or vintage diesel locomotive. This railroad strives to add special rides to its schedule, making your railroad experiences unique and varied. In spring come out to ride the Easter Bunny Express or the Wildflower Express. The Easter Bunny Express ride will take a scenic springtime ride with the Easter Bunny. The Wildflower Express train ride allows children to beautify the railroad by providing them with Wildflower seeds to throw out at a designated place on the tracks. They will also receive a free ticket to come back and ride again to see the flowers they planted. The railroad has many other excursions throughout the year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Grapevine Express, Evening Star Dinner Train, Family Dinner Trains, and one of the most popular, Murder Mystery Dinner Trains. Visit the New Hope & Ivyland Railroadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web site at newhoperailroad.com for tickets, schedules and detailed information about each excursion.

6 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

Bonsal, North Carolina

• Scenic & Historic Railroad • 4 +- hour round trips or a one-way trip. • Tour Professionals’ discount on fares. • Complimentary ticket for the Tour Escort. • Trips can include full meal service.

    New Hope Valley Railway, the Triangleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Train enthusiasts and others can enjoy a

train, straddles the historic towns of Bonsal

one-hour ride along eight miles of track rid-

and New Hill, North Carolina, 30-minutes

ing behind a real locomotive. Visitors to the

Visitors are encouraged to NHVRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web

southwest of Raleigh, off U.S. Highway 1, Exit

railyard learn about railroad history, watch

site at TriangleTrain.com to view the detailed

89. A real train takes passengers on one-hour

the outdoor G-Scale garden railroad, visit the

ride schedule, train departure times and to

scenic rides through the woods in covered,

outdoor North Carolina Railway Museum,

purchase tickets.

open-air train cars. The organization was

view railroad equipment and visit the gift

chartered in 1983 as the East Carolina Chap-

shop for a souvenir. A food truck is also at

ter of the National Railway Historical Soci-

the rail yard during most ride days.

are ride days held the second Wednesday of the month, May to November.

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroadâ&#x201E;˘ Romney, West Virginia

ety and soon began its all-volunteer oper-

During operating months, weekend ride

The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

ated public train ride days. Also available are

days at the railroad are typically the second

located in the eastern panhandle of West Vir-

opportunities to operate a locomotive, host

Sunday and last Saturday of each month. The

ginia is the most scenic excursion train in the

a birthday party in a historic caboose and

Strawberry Festival on April 30 and the Brew

country. Although the area is completely rural

visit the North Carolina Railway Museum, G

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choo Oktoberfest on September 24 are

in nature, it is a short distance from major

Scale model garden railroad and gift shop.

new events for the 2016 season.

  !  !

metropolitan areas. The station located at a

Other themed, special events include

historic farm just north of Romney, West Vir-

additional Brew â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Choo beer and wine

ginia is 25 miles south of Cumberland, Mary-

nights, reenactment ride days, military appre-

land on WV 28-S and 45 miles west of Win-

ciation, ice cream social, grandparentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day,

chester, Virginia via US-50 and WV 28-N. The Potomac Eagle has been operating

Track or Treat Halloween Express and Holi-

since 1991 utilizing antique diesel locomo-

day Santa Trains. Weekday ride days for tour groups and

tives, 1920s open window coaches, open

others are held the fourth Friday of each

sided observation car, open top gondola

month April to September, and new this year

observation car, and the Classic Club service


Enjoy a narrated excursion through a tranquil and pristine mountain valley along the South Branch of the Potomac River.

Eagle sightings occur on over 90% of all excursions! FOR INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS

304-822-7464 304-424-0736

www.potomaceagle.info See our website for schedule and special events

Potomac Eagle Wappocomo Station Rt. 28 North, 149 Eagle Drive â&#x20AC;˘ P.O. Box 657 Romney, WV 26757 8 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

Open Window Coach Seating & Observation Cars, Snack Bar, Open-Air Gondola Car, and First Class Seating with Climate-Controlled Lounge & Dining Cars

Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 9

    on 1950s lounges Chessie Club and Eagle


Canon. The Class Club car features a full meal served on ofďŹ cial â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chessie Chinaâ&#x20AC;?, beverages and is climate controlled. The coaches are standard heavy weight cars from â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Golden Ageâ&#x20AC;? of mainline passenger railroading. They have comfortable ďŹ&#x201A;op over seats, various table arrangements and windows that open. Gas stoves provide limited heat, which is rarely needed. Three of the coaches have been made into dining cars which are primarily used for groups utilizing the railroadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive catering services. Most of the schedules depart Romney at 1 p.m. You may enjoy the premium Classic Club service, full dinner to box lunch service in the coach table cars or the a la carte snack

Grapevine Vintage Railroad

1920s Victorian-style coaches and experi-

bar car. Passengers may also bring their own

Grapevine, Texas

ence train travel as it was in the glory days

lunch, including small coolers. Alcohol is not

Experience the glory days of train travel

of the expanding West. Pull into the Fort

allowed or smoking of any product. On long

from the days of the expanding West. When

Worth Stockyards Station and you will be

distance trips to Petersburg, passengers can

visiting Grapevine, hop aboard the Grapevine

right in the middle of the Stockyards

take a break during the layover and breaks

Vintage Railroad to step back in time to the

National Historic District where the Old

are offered on special photo trains.

early 20th century. Ride the rails for a true

West comes alive.

The train follows the South Branch of the

railroad experience for the entire group.

For those who want to experience the

Potomac River and traverses an American

The Grapevine Vintage Railroad travels

train but do not have time for the full excur-

Bald Eagle habitat located in the isolated

along the historic Cotton Belt Route

sion, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad offers

canyon known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Troughâ&#x20AC;?. These beau-

between Grapevine and the Fort Worth

a short round-trip excursion in Fort Worth

tiful creatures have been sighted on all but

Stockyards. The train is pulled by one of

from the Stockyards to 8th Avenue along the

three trips last year. From 2008 to 2014 eagles

two locomotives â&#x20AC;&#x201C; "Puffy" (circa 1896), the

historic Chisholm Trail. Phone ahead for

were sighted on every trip.

oldest continuously operating steam engine

schedule and fare information.

Here, too, you can recapture a bit of his-

in the South, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vinny,â&#x20AC;? a vintage diesel

Throughout the year, the Grapevine Vin-

tory. This area was surveyed by Lord Fair-

locomotive from 1953. Passengers step

tage Railroad offers several fun-ďŹ lled train

faxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agents, which employed the young

back in time as they ride in the authentic

events, such as the Jazz Wine Trains, Day

George Washington. The French and Indian War and the Civil War left their marks in the valley. The narrator highlights these locations along with recent events, eagle sightings and general doings of the railroad, which is also freight hauler. Bring your group and a camera and see you on board. For more information visit potomaceagleinfo.com. For information on group offerings and policies phone (304) 424-0736. The Romney station provides ample space for motorcoach parking; advance arrangements are strongly encouraged. 10 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016


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Bring your group together for an unforgettable Nashville experience aboard the General Jackson Showboat â&#x20AC;&#x201C; complete with delicious dining options, scenic cruises on the beautiful Cumberland River and worldclass entertainment. Exclusive use of the entire showboat is available and groups can take advantage of existing entertainment and menus or allow our expert event planner to create a custom cruise event to your speciďŹ cations. Contact us at (615) 458-3932 for more info.

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    Out With Thomas, North Pole Express, Christmas Wine Trains and more. Check GVRR.com for more information on these


seasonal train rides.

Atomic Age. On-board car hosts tell stories of the area, detail the importance Oak Ridge played in the Manhattan Project during World War II and how the railroad served the com-

Excursions depart from the Historic Cot-

munity. After leaving the K-25 area, the trip

ton Belt Depot, located at 705 S. Main St.

winds through the beautiful hills and valleys

in Grapevine. Starting in February through

of the East Tennessee area. Part of the route

Memorial Day weekend, trains depart

was even featured in the movie October Sky.

Grapevine on Saturdays and Sundays at 1

The excursion trains are pulled by 1960s-

p.m. and return to Grapevine at approxi-

era diesel locomotives and passengers ride

mately 5:45 p.m. Memorial Day weekend

in beautifully restored 1940s-era passenger

through Labor Day Weekend, trains oper-

coaches (with modern heating and air con-

ate Friday through Sunday. The fall season

ditioning added). An open-air concession car

resumes the Saturday and Sunday sched-

has souvenirs and snacks for sale. It also con-

ule. Discounted rates are offered to groups

tains artifacts and displays that give addi-

of 12 or more (1 p.m. round trip only). Pri-

tional information about the area and the

vate charters and coaches are also invited.

work done at the National Labs in the area that were involved in the Manhattan Project.

For more information on special events,

Southern Appalachia

The volunteer corner reviews some of the

phone (817) 410-3185 or visit GVRR.com.

Railway Museum

current projects that the museum members

To book a group or private event contact

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

are involved in, including coach and loco-

pricing and private charters or coaches,






   ! !   

$  ! ! "!"    #  ! ! "

!      ###"! ! 


The Southern Appalachia Railway

motive restoration.

Museum is a non-proďŹ t, all volunteer orga-

Once a month, the museum hosts dinner

nization located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

trains in a restored 1920s-era Southern Rail-

The museum and its members are dedicated

way dining car. A local chef serves a formal

to the preservation, restoration and opera-

dinner for guests as they enjoy a leisurely

tion of historical railroad equipment, espe-

ride through the countryside, and experience

cially that of the Southern Appalachia region.

the train as it would have been in the early

The museum sponsors the operation of the

part of last century. Additional dinner trains

Secret City Excursion train, which operates

may be chartered to ďŹ t group schedules.

April through December, and features special events for the holiday seasons.

The railway museum borders one portion of the Oak Ridge site of the multiple-site Man-

Trains depart from the East Tennessee Her-

hattan Project National Historic Park which

itage Center and travel through the former K-

is set to open soon. Located not far from the

25 plant, an historic Department of Energy

railway, visitors can see the American

facility which was pivotal in ushering in the

Museum of Science and Energy and arrange for tours of areas of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Reservation and the Y-12 New Hope Center. Additional historic tours of the once-secret city of Oak Ridge can also be booked. The Southern Appalachia Railway Museum welcomes groups from all over the country. Special rates are available; phone for more information and to book large groups. The museum phone number is (865) 241-2140.



visit secretcityrailroad.com. 12 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016



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2 Trains â&#x20AC;˘ 1 Ticket! RIDE CASS SCENIC RAILROAD & THEE CHEA CHEAT AT MOUNT MOUNTAIN TAAIN SALAMANDER SALAMANDERâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;ALL â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ALL IN ONE TRIP! Depar Departs ts Elkins and Cass â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;May May thru October! Over Overnight night lodging, Dining, Attraction & Enter Entertainment tainment Options available at both Destinations. Call: 866-653-3852 Ext. 109 | Mtn-Rail.com

All Trains Operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 13


  our group cannot help but have a

IMAX Theatre, a free multimedia light and

Tropicanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shops are a perfect variety to

great time when they visit a casino

sound show on the boardwalk, live table

fulďŹ ll any shopperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs. They have fash-

resort. Whether you stay a few hours,

games and slots, a spa, indoor and outdoor

ion for ladies, gentleman and children. Fun

overnight or even several days, visitors will

pools, and more. Plus, Tropicana recently

items and souvenirs can be found at the gift

have an array of appealing diversions to keep

added AtlantiCare Life Center Fitness, a two-

shops, plus delicious treats in Godiva, Mrs.

them entertained. High-action gaming,

story state-of-the-art ďŹ tness center.

Fields, and Lick, the ultimate candy shop for


superb restaurants and bars, incredible shop-

Accommodations include 2,079 guest

ping, spectacular live shows, exceptional

rooms with ocean or city views and more than

If you love the nightlife, check out Tan-

lodging and many other fun amenities and

250 suites with spacious ďŹ&#x201A;oor plans. Compli-

goâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lounge and 10 North Lounge, both of

activities are all waiting at a casino resort.

mentary wireless Internet access is available

which are located in the center of all the

Win, lose or draw, your group will have a

in all guest rooms. All North Tower hotel rooms

action. Tangoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s provides exciting live enter-

thrilling time during their stay.

were completely renovated in 2015.

tainment to keep the good times rolling all

kids of all ages.

Dining options include 24 restaurants and

night long. 10 North offers an upscale inti-

Tropicana Casino and Resort

eateries to choose from within the massive

mate setting with cozy ďŹ replaces and a

Atlantic City, New Jersey

property. Restaurants include upscale dinning

unique cocktail menu. If you are looking for

like Fin, Il Verdi, Carmineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s of New York and

a retro fun time, check out Boogie Nights. It

beach and boardwalk of Atlantic City, is

The Palm. There are also casual meal choices

is the Ultimate â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s and â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s dance club

proud to be one of New Jerseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest hotels,

at Broadway Burger Bar, Chickie and Peteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

where you can get your groove on with an

with 2,079 guest rooms and suites. Tropi-

Crab House and Sports Bar, Fiesta Buffet, Cuba

â&#x20AC;&#x153;outta-sightâ&#x20AC;? evening.

cana has 24 restaurants and eateries, 25

Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar, Hooters, P.F.

Tropicana provides a vast variety of

shops, 18 lounges and nightclubs, daily enter-

Changâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s China Bistro, Tony Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Perryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza,

nightlife entertainment options. Make the

tainment choices from the showroom to

Casa Taco and Tequila Bar and more.

most of your night and try anything from a

The Tropicana, located on the famous

14 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016





OVER $50 MILLION IN RENOVATIONS The all-new TTropicana ropicana featuring $50 million in renovations including renovated North North TTower o ower casino and hotel rooms, the all-new AtlantiCare LifeCenter Fitness, new retail shops in The he boardwalk daily y. Quar ter and the spectacular free Multimedia Light and Sound Show on the Quarter daily. Plus, the possibilities are endless with 24 restaurants, 25 shops,18 bars, IMAX Theatre plus bluemercur y makeup, skincare & spa all under one roof. bluemercury

night trip, call our For immediate assistance and to book your day or over overnight Department at 1-888-275-1212. Tour o Department Tour Call now to customize packages for your groups.

MORE FUN. MORE V VALUE. ALUE. A MORE V VARIETY. A ARIETY Y. 1-800-THE 1-800-THE TTROP ROP | TTROPICANA.NET ROPIC ANA.NE T | BRIGHTON BRIGHTON AND AND BOARDWALK, BOARDWALK, ATLANTIC ATL ANTIC CITY, CIT Y, NJ NJ 08401 08401 M Must ust bbee 221. 1. BBet et w with ith yyour our head, head, no nott oover ver it. it. Gambling Gambling Problem? Problem? Call Call 1-800-GAMBLER. 1-800-GA MBLER.

    traditional nightclub at Providence and Anthem, to a sports bar like

and waterfront of Mystic Country. The resort offers single day and

Hooters, A Dam Good Sports Bar and Chickieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Peteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to a karaoke

overnight charters to groups of all sizes.

bar at Planet Rose. Looking for an authentic experience? Have a pint at RiRa Irish Pub, or salsa dance the night away at Cuba Libre.

Upon arriving to the enclosed bus entrance, your group will be greeted by a representative who will explain all the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings

Bluemercury Spa brings to the Quarter at Tropicana the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

and distribute key packets, coupons and other various comps. Incen-

hottest spa concept. Pure and natural, Bluemercury features more

tives for groups with a ďŹ ve-hour stay include food vouchers for Sea-

than 10 different facial treatments and dozens of spa treatments. The

sons Buffet and gaming vouchers for select games. Packages on lesser

location at the Tropicana is one of the largest spas in New Jersey.

stays can also be arranged with a representative.

For information about booking your group experience at the

Drivers can park at the free 24-hour, on-site parking facility, relax

Tropicana, phone (800) 843-8767. You can visit their Web site at

at the lounge located next to the bus lobby and grab a bite using their


provided free food voucher. Group leaders are also provided with special incentives including vouchers and Momentum Dollars.

Mohegan Sun

The overnight group lobby area is located next to the hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ele-

Uncasville, Connecticut

vators and main lobby. Overnight groups consist of 10 or more rooms

Indulge in every experience and feel full of life at Mohegan Sun,

available Sunday through Thursday year-round and can be reserved

one of the most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shop-

with a deposit two months prior to arrival. Rooms are booked in

ping destinations in the United States. Situated on 185 acres along

advance to assure availability and a contract is generated. Groups

the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun

that reserve 20 or more rooms will receive one complimentary dou-

is home to three world-class casinos, more than 300 table games,

ble room.

5,000 slots, a 10,000-seat arena, 1,200 luxury hotel rooms, 40 shops,

For more information on day or overnight charters, contact Stephen

30 restaurants, 20 bars and clubs, 18 holes of golf and a luxury spa.

Olender at (860) 862-8988, e-mail at solender@mohegansun.com or

Planning a bus trip to Mohegan Sun could not be less worry-free,

visit mohegansun.com/charter. For all other inquiries, contact Mohe-

with a location within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and

gan Sun Bus Marketing at (888) 770-0140.

Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops

Casino Resorts


in Southwest Louisiana Lake Charles region, Louisiana The casino gaming industry has never been stronger in southwest Louisiana with each of the four area casino properties having plans for improvements and enhancements. Boyd Gaming Corporation announced a $45 million expansion of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel in Vinton, Louisiana, slated for completion by the end of 2016. The centerpiece of the project is a new hotel tower, featuring 167 additional guest rooms and suites. Boyd Gaming also plans to redesign all 200 existing rooms at the property, providing a fresh new look. The property will also redesign its food and beverage facilities. The newest casino in the area, Golden Nugget, Lake Charles, which opened in December 2014, is adding a 300-room hotel tower to the resort by the end of 2016, bringing the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room count to 1,040 rooms. Each of the additional rooms will be more than 500 squarefeet and will contain a ďŹ ve-ďŹ xture bathroom with two sinks, walk-in shower, oversized tub and a separate toilet. Currently, the 25-story hotel and casino features 740 luxury rooms and suites, a 30,000square-foot gaming ďŹ&#x201A;oor with 1,600 of the newest slot machines, 70 table games, and six live action tables in the poker room and a worldclass spa. The property also offers 12 renowned restaurants and eight boutiques and gift shops.

16 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016


Sign up your group for a bus charter today

BONUS $30 CASINO INCENTIVE PACKAGE* Monday – Friday Package consists of: One $15 Meal/Retail Credit and One $15 Free Bet Coupon Meal/Retail credit can be used in any restaurant, a full buffet or shop at Mohegan Sun.

BONUS $25 CASINO INCENTIVE PACKAGE* Saturday – Sunday Package consists of: One $15 Meal/Retail Credit and One $10 Free Bet Coupon Meal/Retail credit can be used in any restaurant, a full buffet or shop at Mohegan Sun.

Group Leaders receive an additional $30 PACKAGE Contact Stephen Olender at 860.862.8988 or solender@mohegansun.com or visit mohegansun.com/charter to get your next outing on the road today. *In order to receive package, bus group must stay for a minimum of 5 hours. Packages and offer subject to change without notice. mohegansun.com


!( $*#' (& '#$

tion of property suites with sophisticated dĂŠcor, state-of-the-art technology and indul-

, )& '#$ '$&(

gent bathrooms. The ďŹ ve-star amenities include multiple oversized LED Keurig brand coffee machines and more. In late 2014 the property unveiled two new retail outlets, a new restaurant and completed the expansion of Asia. The 26-story casino resort also offers 1,000 casually elegant rooms and luxLocated adjacent to the Golden Nugget

ury suites, 30,000 square feet of non-sop

All these improvements help to make

Lake Charles, Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Auberge Casino Resort Lake

Vegas-style gaming with 1,600 slot machines,

southwest Louisiana a premier casino resort

Charles has also had a signiďŹ cant amount of

83 table games, and seven live poker tables,

destination of the South. For more informa-

renovations and expansions. In August 2014,

eight innovative restaurants and 10 uniquely

tion on Southwest Louisianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s casino prop-

Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Auberge completed a $20 million renova-

sophisticated shops and boutiques.

erties visit VisitLakeCharles.org/gaming.

The Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Lake

$!# )(

Charles completed a $15 million tower hotel milestone renovation in August 2013. The remodel, which began in March 2012, includes nine parlor suites, 240 junior suites, the hotel lobby, the Lakeside Ballroom, the VIP Platinum Lounge and ďŹ tness center. Additionally, the property introduced the new

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815.220.7386 www.starvedrocklodge.com www .starvedrocklodge.com 18 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

Farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pick Buffet in January 2015.

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  Bear Lake, Utah

Kick off your boots and take a stroll along

May 2016 Conestoga Ranch will begin offer-

Bear Lake is often called the Caribbean

the white sandy beaches of Bear Lake. Gar-

ing Dutch oven buffet lunch options to bus

of the Rockies for its intense turquoise blue

den City Beach is free and located by the City

groups larger than 20 between the months

water. This majestic lake is 22 miles long

Park at Lido Point Road in Garden City, Utah.

of May and October, by reservation only.

and straddles the Utah/Idaho border with

The breathtaking views of the lake are best

Group tours are welcome to explore the

excitement and adventures waiting on both

enjoyed with your toes in the sand. Do not

Minnetonka Cave, 10 miles up St. Charles

sides of the state line. As visitors catch their

forget to grab a famous raspberry shake,

Canyon, St. Charles, Idaho [(435) 245-4422]

first glimpse of the lake, they marvel at its

made with locally grown berries, from one

and view the fairyland rooms of gleaming

color and wonder what makes the lake so

of the quaint downtown restaurants of Gar-

stalactite and stalagmite formations, one

blue. The unique color is due to the

den City.

after another. Minnetonka Cave is located

reflection of the limestone deposits sus-

New to the Bear Lake Valley is the excit-

on the Cache National Forest and is the

pended in the lake. Each season lends its

ing Conestoga Ranch [427 W. Paradise Park-

largest commercially developed limestone

own characteristic to the lake. Year-round,

way, Garden City, Utah (844) 464-5267], a

cave in the state of Idaho.

enjoy a number of recreational and cul-

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Five Star Glamping Resortâ&#x20AC;? with wagons

Stop by the National Oregon/California

tural activities.

and tents based on 19th century designs. In

Trail Center, [320 N. 4th St. Montpelier, Idaho Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 19

      (866) 847-3800] and take a moment to step back in time as you are guided by a wagon master and live cast of pioneers whose dialogue and stories will make the adventure come alive. The Center interprets the story of the pioneers who braved the arduous, sixmonth, 2,000-mile journey across the unsettled American West from Missouri to the Oregon Territory. It will be the most fun you will ever have learning history. Still looking for a place to eat? Stick around at the Oregon Trail Center and eat a hearty, home-style meal in your own covered wagon at the Scenic Trails Chuck Wagon restaurant, 320 N. 4th St. Montpelier, Idaho (866847-3800). This is a themed dining experience with 10 circled wagons enjoying an evening meal at sunset. Tables and seating in each wagon is enhanced by large screen monitors that reflect scenes from the trail. Jeff “The Chef” Trevitz and his staff prepare and serve only the best cuisine with one of his specialties being prime rib. Maximum seating capacity is 80 patrons. The facility is designed to support special reservation-only group events including dinner concerts together with the Allinger Community Theatre, tour buses, conventions and large group gatherings. Stop by Cooper’s at Bear Lake West, four miles north of Garden City in Fish Haven, Idaho [(208) 945-2222] for a delicious meal and breathtaking views of the lake. Seated in their sunroom, you can see beautiful Bear Lake end to end, or get cozy and warm by the fireplace. They can accommodate large family parties, reunions, celebrations, bus tours and more. With all these adventures and more, Bear Lake is sure to be a stop you will remember forever. Contact the Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau with any questions; phone (800) 448-2327, visit bearlake.org, or e-mail visitors@bearlake.org.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum Simi Valley, California The American Presidency comes alive at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and 20 • Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

      Museum. From Air Force One to historic photos and video to inter-

Visitors may also enjoy the Library’s outdoor grounds, where you can

active games to exquisite landscaped grounds, the Reagan Library is

stroll through a replica of the White House Rose Garden or the White

truly one of the most unique and beautiful travel destinations in south-

House West Lawn. Enjoy a meal in one of the Library’s two restaurants, Reagan’s Country Café and The Ronald Reagan Pub. Group

ern California. Wholly renovated in 2011, the galleries were designed to bring history to life. Where else in California can visitors walk onboard an


tours are encouraged to phone ahead and reserve seating. Group tour meal packages are also

actual Air Force One aircraft that flew

available, from sandwiches and salads,

seven U.S. presidents, touch an

to hot chicken and beef buffets, to the

authentic piece of the Berlin Wall,

upscale White House Lunch program,

or lay a hand on a real steel beam

which comes complete with linen

recovered from the World Trade

and china service and professional

Center after 9-11?

wait staff to attend to your group. Lunch

Visitors will not just learn about the

options range from $10 per person through

history of the American Presidency, but will immerse themselves in Ronald Reagan’s path to the White

the café, up to $54.95 per person for the White House Lunch program, and everything in between. (Price of museum

House. Starting back in his days as a sports radio announcer to his

admission and a docent for your group is included in the White House

years as a Warner Brothers movie actor and then the host of GE

Luncheon program pricing.)

Theater, visitors step into his shoes, through the use of Green Screen technology, and call a Cubs game, introduce a GE Theater and even act in a movie. Follow President Reagan to the White House and

Special Exhibits The Reagan Library features many world-class traveling exhibits.

deliver the Presidential Inauguration through the use of a

It is always best to go on the Library’s Web site at reaganlibrary.com or

teleprompter. Travel the world on diplomatic missions on board Air

to phone to see what exhibits may be open for touring during your visit.

Force One and Marine One. Explore the White House Oval Office

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is the exclu-

and the White House East Wing.

sive West Coast destination for Vatican Splendors: A Journey Through

A Once-In-A-Lifet Once-In-A-Lifetime O nce--In-A A-Lifeetime t me Exp tim Experience perieence • Limited Li Limiteed En Engagemen Engagement ngageemen nt • Opens Open ns M March h 6, 2016 2

A Journey Journey Through Thrrouggh Th h Faith Faiiitth and an nd d Art Art

Photo © Cittá del Vaticano

A 10,000 10 10,0 0,00 000 000 square squa squ squ ree foot ex exhibition xhibitio xxhi xhibition bitioon including nccludin cludingg an an extraordinary extrao extra extr ordinary rddinar dinary collection ccoollecti llection of of historical histor hist ical i al and an nd religious relligiou igiouus objects, oobbjects, jects, some som soome of whic hi h date d bac bback k to the th fir rst century rst ent y, y, and ndd w orks off artt by orks by Mic M Mi heelangelo, helangelo, nge Bernini, nii Guercino G rcii andd others. other ot rs. Objects Object Ob ts include ncll which first century, works Michelangelo, b e fragments fragmen agg nts of Sai n Peter nt Peter et too personal persona rs al items em off Saint in John John oh hn Paul Paul a II. III. This This hi exhibit exxh hibit it comprises com mprises se one on ne off the t largest laargest ges bone Saint Vaatican Va ti tica can an n collections collect colle collectioons ons eever v r too tour ver tour North N Noorrth rt America. Ame A mer erica. rica. ica. Many Ma Man ny items item mss have m ha have never never ne verr before before been been on be o public ublic view. ublic vie v w. From From room culture ccuulture ulture Vatican to history his h story ryy to t art, arrt, explore expl explor xp ree how hoow the t Papacy Papacy apac pa has h impacted-and impac imp cted-and im d-an an been b n impacted impa iim acted edd by-the by-th he world world or throughout througho roug ou out the h centuries. cen nturies. uries rie i

Tickets T ickets ic e s include inclu incl i inc dee admission admis adm d ssion ion on to t the hee Reagan Reag Re R gan n Library. Library Libr Lib Li L ary. y. Touch Touc To ouch an authentic auuthentic henti n Wall, climb One piecee ooff the p the Berlin Be B rlliin n Wa W aall, alll, and cli al imb mbb aboard m abo abboaarrdd Air Air F Force orce On orce O n nee & Marine Mar M rine in ne One! One! On our A about Ask a ou ur group tour discounts. discounts. counts TThe he exhibition he exhibit exh bittion tiion tio on iss organized organiz orga org n edd and circulated circul circula cir late ated edd in conjunction con ccoonju juunction nction cttion on with wit w th the tthhe Congregazione Congrega Congreeg zione Congr onnee per l'Evangelizzazione l'Eva l'Ev l Eva vaangelizzazione anggelizza angelizzazion gelizzazzi nee dei dei Popoli Pop Popoli of o the he Vatican Vatican aticcan C at City ity ty State. State. e Exhibitions TThe hee exhibition eexhibitio hibitionn is produced rooduced duced byy Evergreen EEvvergree ergreen Ex Exhibitions hibbitions itions in association assssociatio ociation with with thh the Ronald Ronal Rona Ro Ronalld Reagan Reagan Presidential Pr P esidential siddential entia Library Librar Lib Libr braarry and Museum. Museeum. Muse eum. eu m.

For F orr more m re information inform i nfo f mation ma ttii on visit i sit i t www.REAGANLIBRARY.com www w .R R EA E AGANLIBRAR GA GA AN NL N L IB LI B RA R AR A RY RY.co . co om or o r call call l 805-577-2 805-577-2704 805 8 577 27044 THE TH H E REAGAN REA R GAN G AN LIBRARY L IBRAR IBR RAR RY ∙ 40 RY 0 Presidential Presid Pree sid den dential entiall Drive, Driv ve, Simi Siimi Valley, Valle y, California Caaliforrnia 93065 9 306 3065 65 Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 • 21

      Faith and Art. This 12,000-square-foot exhibition, comprising one of

15 or more. All groups 20 persons or larger must make a reservation

the largest Vatican collections ever to tour the United States, includes

whether or not they elect to have a tour guide. Groups must use one

an extraordinary collection of historical and religious objects, some

form of payment for the entire group.

of which date to the ďŹ rst century, as well as works of art by Michelan-

Open seven days a week, the Reagan Library is only closed on

gelo, Bernini, Guercino and others. The exhibit will be open from

Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day. With more

March 6, 2016 through August 28, 2016.

than 100,000 square-feet of exhibit space, it is recommended that you

From the opening theater experience, where visitors will become

plan for at least a half-day visit to the Reagan Library. The Library is

immersed in the grandeur of the Vatican, to the closing object of a

wheelchair accessible. Audio wands (in English, Spanish and Hear-

cast of Saint John Paul IIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand (which guests may grasp), visitors

ing Impaired) are available for a separate charge. For a complete list

will encounter the art, history and culture of the Vatican with unprece-

of museum admission pricing and exhibits, visit reaganlibrary.com.

dented access and insight. This special presentation of art and objects includes many never before on display in North America, and some not on view to the general public, even in Rome. Following its time at the Reagan Library, the items will return to

Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum St. George, Utah

the Vatican, from which they cannot be absent for more than one

Come encounter some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most fascinating animals at

year. Visitors to the Reagan Library will feel transported to the Vati-

the Rosenbruch World Wildlife Museum. Nestled in the heart of beau-

can, from the underground catacombs where the remains of Saint

tiful southern Utah (only 90 minutes north of Las Vegas), the Rosen-

Peter were discovered to the magniďŹ cent papal chambers found above

bruch World Wildlife Museum features more than 300 different

ground. From the sights and sounds of the grand Basilica to a touch-

mounted species from all over the world.

able cast of Saint John Paul IIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand, the exhibition is a multi-sensory

The Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum is a ďŹ rst-class experience

experience. It is a true â&#x20AC;&#x153;insidersâ&#x20AC;? view of the Vatican, including its

designed to create a total sensory experience. The museum contains

spiritual, artistic and ceremonial treasures.

a two-story moun-

In the new exhibit POPnology, visitors will learn how the science ďŹ c-

tain pathway (suit-

tion technology of our childhood became reality. Did the producers of

able for handicap

Star Trek invent the smart phone? What science ďŹ ction today will become

access) that winds

reality tomorrow? POPnology takes us from fantasy to reality â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the dri-

through the plains of

verless car, gaming stations and tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toys, robots, drones, 3D

Africa, the forests of

printers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and so much more. POPnology examines the past, present

North America, the

and future of technologies that have been, and continue to be, inspired

mountains of Asia

by popular culture. This exhibit runs mid-October 2016 through mid-

and many other great

April 2017. For exact dates, visit reaganlibrary.com.

locations. Along your

Christmas Around the World includes 26 exquisitely decorated trees representing the 26 countries that President Reagan visited while in


journey, you will see more than 300 ani-

ofďŹ ce, as well as a White House tree. Decorations encompass the bright

mals of wildlife placed in replicas of their natural habitats, two live

and festive colors of the Caribbean, the crystals of the Nordic countries

waterfalls and rotating exhibits.

and the traditional decorations of England and Europe. Of particular

Each tour features a personal audio tour that allows guests to enjoy

note is the Vatican tree decorated entirely with white ornaments fea-

entertaining and educational facts about wildlife and wild places from

turing a life-size white peacock that adorns the treeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s branches. The fea-

around the globe. The tour provides guests the opportunity to hear

tured tree is an elegant reproduction of President and Mrs. Reaganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

ďŹ rsthand experiences and adventures from the founder of the Rosen-

White House tree complete with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reagan Redâ&#x20AC;? decorations and dozens

burch World Wildlife Museum, Jimmie Rosenbruch.

of hand-blown glass ornaments. This exhibit runs mid-November through the beginning of January. For exact dates, visit reaganlibrary.com.

The museum also features a unique gift shop ďŹ lled with wonderful gifts of wildlife products and stunning southern Utah memorabilia for both children and adults, making it easy to ďŹ nd the perfect sou-

Tour Groups Tour groups should book ahead by phoning (805) 577-4066. The visitor services department will book your reservation, greet your bus

venir. With advance notice of at least two weeks, guests are welcome to watch an IMAX-style movie in the 200-seat theater on a 17-foot screen. Ample bus parking is located on-site

and collect your payment upon arrival. Bus parking is available on-

With advanced notice of two weeks, the museum also offers extended

site in the parking lot, free of charge. Groups of any size can be accom-

hours to help better accommodate your groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schedule. Come learn,

modated, but tour guides (docents) are available only for groups of

explore and discover at the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum today. For tick-

22 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

      ets and reservations visit rosenbruch.org or phone (435) 656-0033, Ext. 3.

Discover the life cycle of approximately


500 tropical butterďŹ&#x201A;ies from South and Central America, Africa and Asia in a 4,000-

PaciďŹ c Science Center

square-foot butterďŹ&#x201A;y house. Glance at

Seattle, Washington

weather happening all over the world at Sci-

PaciďŹ c Science Center in Seattle, Wash-

ence On a Sphere and learn about complex

ington hosts several special exhibitions annu-

environmental processes on an illuminated

ally and is home to permanent interactive

six-foot sphere. Explore the outer reaches of

science exhibits, a tropical butterďŹ&#x201A;y house,

space with a newly updated projector sys-

a salt water tide pool, a colony of Naked Mole

tem in the planetarium with sharper images

Rats, a planetarium, two state-of-the-art

and data sets from NASA and the European

tickets for specially ticketed exhibitions. Tick-

IMAXÂŽ Theaters, a Laser Dome theater, and

Space Agency. Experience one of many

ets must be reserved in advance and payment

Wellbody Academy that explores personal

acclaimed IMAX documentary or feature

is due upon arrival; prepayments are accepted.

health and wellness. The Studio and The Por-

movies on one of the two largest IMAX

PaciďŹ c Science Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cafĂŠ offers a variety

tal to Current Research showcase cutting-edge

screens in Washington state, equipped with

of food and beverage options; bulk box

research from scientists and leading institu-

cutting-edge projection technology. Immerse

lunches are available upon request and must

tions in the Puget Sound region. Topics of

yourself in 15,000 watts of digital sound in

be ordered in advance. Bus greeting and on-

these exhibits rotate every six months. Past

the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest and longest operating

site guides are not available. Bus drop-off and

exhibits have explored neuroscience and

Laser Dome. Both laser shows and feature

pick-up zones are located on Second Avenue

memory, the human microbiome, Arctic ice

IMAX movies are available in the evenings.

and John Street. Bus parking maps are avail-

melt and food allergies. PaciďŹ c Science Cen-

PaciďŹ c Science Center offers a discounted

able upon request; street parking is available

ter also offers engaging demonstrations and

group rate and one complimentary exhibit

around the Science Center, along with desig-

live stage shows with the science interpre-

admission ticket for group leader or driver.

nated bus only zones. Contact the Group Sales

tation team.

There may be limitations on complimentary

ofďŹ ce at (206) 443-3611 to learn more.

PaciďŹ c Science Center | Seattle, WA


World Wildlife Museum and Gift Shop

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, it is borrowed from our children

St. George, Utah

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Groups of 10 or more save! Call us at (206) 443-3611 to plan your visit today.

PaciďŹ c Science Center is committed to providing accessibility for all guests. For detailed information about our facility and services, please visit paciďŹ csciencecenter.org.


C]\aPRaU_XT\SZf`aPUUPa =<>?>?8::<< ]_cX`Xab`]\ZX\TPaddd9_]`T\Q_bRW9]_V K]`T\Q_bRWN]_ZSNXZSZXUTHb`Tb[P\SFXUaLW]^ ;@<>LC]\cT\aX]\PZCT\aT_D_XcT )8 '.46/.+8,0$"#%! Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 23

      Canyonlands By Night and Day

hour delicious Cowboy Style Dutch oven din-

will travel is calm and tranquil. You will have

Moab, Utah

ner at their facility in the evening (times vary

plenty of opportunities to take photos of the

with the setting of the sun). Then you will

surrounding beautiful red rocks and do not for-

unique to do in beautiful Moab Utah, then

board the Moab Queen II and head up river

get to have another drink. After guiding the

Canyonlands By Night and Day has just the

as the evening darkness

boat to a shady spot where there is a natural

adventure for you. This experienced company

grows. Once you arrive at the turn around spot,

acoustic cliff wall, the captain will turn off the

has been running tours in the Moab area for 49

40,000 watts of light shine on the canyon walls

engine and you can enjoy live Western enter-

years. Come celebrate with them and enjoy

as the shadows come to life with a recorded

tainment. The entertainment will not stop as

their brand new building on the Colorado River.

program. Your group will hear stories about

If your group is looking for something

you drift back to the dock where a CowboyStyle Dutch oven dinner will be waiting for you.

Do you have a limited amount of time in Moab?

Canyonlands By Night and Day can

That is no problem. Check out the package

accommodate groups of up to 144 people on

deals at canyonlandsbynight.com/packages

their boats. They have a dining facility

for the best deals in the beautiful canyon

that can seat 280 people. One driver


and escort comp is offered per reser-

Group favorites include the Daytime Jetboat/Sound and Light Show

vation. Group rates are available;

Combo. You can choose either the

contact the group sales department

morning or afternoon three-hour fun run jet boat trip down the Colorado River. The trip is on completely ďŹ&#x201A;at water.


for information. A $500 deposit is due 90 days in advance of the visit and the ďŹ nal count and payment due 30 days in

During the excursion you will explore arches,

advance. Dining options include the Cowboy-

petroglyphs, fossilized seabed, Thelma and

Style Dutch oven dinner with the boat tours.

Louise Point and Dead Horse Point State Park. The Sound and Light Show begins with a one-

the formation, creation and history of the area

They also feature breakfast, lunch and dinner

from the perspective of the Native Americans,

options for groups.

Catholic Conquistadors and Mormon pioneers.

Buses are greeted at the facility and step-

Typically you are out on the river a little more

on guides are available 24/7. They feature on-

than two hours for the sound and light show.

site bus parking at their facility. Canyonlands

There is also a Sunset Jetboat/Sound and

By Night and Day has special bus parking at

Light Combo package. The photo opportuni-

the front of their building with convenient side-

ties are endless on the Sunset trip. Your jour-

walks for guests. Simply look for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bus

ney will glide down river on the calm water

Parkingâ&#x20AC;? sign up front closest to the building.

section of the Colorado River approximately

For more information phone (435) 259-

20 miles, showing you amazing sights and

5261 or e-mail Manager Mallory Burton at

wonders. The Sunset trip is great for photog-

Mallory@canyonlandsbynight.com. The Web

raphy as the walls come to life with the sunset

site is canyonlandsbynight.com.

colors. Arches and petroglyphs are a few of the hidden gems along the way. Like the Daytime trip, you will return for the Cowboy-Style Dutch oven dinner and the Sound and Light Show.

24 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

Logan, Utah Logan, Utah, is an undiscovered treasure where you can experience hands-on living

Another favorite group option is the Jetboat

history celebrating a century of the Ameri-

â&#x20AC;&#x153;unWineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d and Dineâ&#x20AC;? Combo. You can choose

can West, internationally renowned theater

either the morning or afternoon three-hour,

performances and explore the beautiful

calm water jetboat trip down the Colorado

Wasatch Cache National Forest. Logan is also

River. Once you step on board the unWineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d

conveniently located on the route between

and Dine boat, a friendly bartender will hand

Salt Lake City and Yellowstone and Grand

you a choice of wine, beer, water or a soft drink.

Teton National Parks.

Once everyone is aboard, the boat captain will

Step off your motorcoach and step back in

turn on the motors and slowly glide the large

time to discover what true Western life was

open boat up river. The section of the river you

like from 1820 to 1920 at the American West

*/24;29/+33505:7 7/+./78956+792-26+9/245:7 $"#% (/+./78):7;/=!85</+7/ +,3/95,/99/7:4./789+4. =5:74//.8+4.15<95,/99/7 8/7;/=5: '595& %%%#!"# !'  !# $& Volume XXXVI, Number 2 â&#x20AC;˘ November/December, 2015

Rail and Sail page 4

The Midwest page 20

Gaming page 28

Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 25

      Heritage Center. Your tour begins with a guided visit through authen-

ductions in Loganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1923 Ellen Eccles Theatre. The company presents

tic American Plains Bison herd. Join your host and board a comfortable

grand opera and Broadway musicals in repertory with full orchestra,

wagon that will take you right into the herd to see these majestic ani-

along with more than 100 concerts, lectures, classes, backstage tours

mals up close. Listen to their story and take plenty of pictures.

and more from July

Next, explore the origins of the American West with your host at the Mountain Man/Native American venue. Swap tall tales with a

through the ďŹ rst week in



mountain man, throw tomahawks, write with a quill pen, practice

Right around the

ďŹ&#x201A;int and steel ďŹ re-building skills and watch a black powder riďŹ&#x201A;e demon-

corner is the 1913 Caine


Lyric Theatre, home of

For a taste of the West, a wagon will take you to Deanneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Opera

one of the Lyric Reper-

House to enjoy a delicious chuck wagon-style Dutch oven meal and

tory Company, one of

live entertainment featuring toe-tapping cowboy music.

the only true remaining

The AWHC Visitors Center boasts large ample restrooms, a his-

repertory companies in the nation. The same lead performers star in

toric exhibit that illustrates regional heritage of Native Americans,

a rotating schedule featuring a musical, a mystery, a drama and a com-

mountain men, pioneers and farmers, a jaw-dropping view of Cache

edy. The Caine Lyric offers a splendid and charming view of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Valley and the Wellsville Mountains and a small gift shop. Adven-

theater past.

tures can be customized.

Catch a free concert at Noon Music at the Tabernacle in down-

Each summer Logan becomes Utahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heart of the Arts with two live-

town Logan every weekday mid-May through July. The longstanding

performance theaters exploding with great shows. Ticket prices are unbe-

popular series presents a variety of performers from ďŹ&#x201A;utes to harps

lievably affordable, the scenery and costumes are spectacular and the

to banjo to barbershop. It is something different every day. Concerts

performances are brilliant. Each summer Logan rolls out the red carpet

usually last about 45 minutes. The 1891 Tabernacle is a beautiful

for Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talented musicians and

example of early Mormon pioneer architecture.

performers. They come from the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most prestigious venues such as the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway to perform four Mainstage pro-

Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway (US Hwy. 89) is 43 miles of uncrowded scenery, through Logan Canyon, one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last unspoiled places. This is the route to Jackson and Grand Teton National Park. Your journey takes you past dramatic limestone cliffs, colorful ďŹ elds of wildďŹ&#x201A;owers and the Logan River on the way to the breathtaking turquoise waters of Bear Lake. From June through mid-October your

Experience 15,000 Y Years eears off Histor History! ry! y **%-&#%( b )'+( 23,000 square feet to explore b *"$!$,$*($*#) Meeting and event rentals

+6- group 097<8ra 9+;.: b %+524? Family and tes #+5 !-"85 b '8.6 Open 10am 5pm-+24? daily

www.columbiagorge.org 990 SW Rock Creek Dr. Stevenson, WA

group will love exploring the Rocky Mountains with a group combo package at Beaver Creek Lodge. Your group will have the best of both worlds. First, saddle up on horseback like a true cowboy. Riders of all experience levels love the beautiful mountain trails with spectacular views, friendly horses and experienced guides. If your passengers would rather take a self-guided hike, they can do that too. Logan boasts group-friendly national hotel chains, festivals all year long, Saturday gardeners market and even a self-guided Signature Products Tour highlighting foods and goods made here and shipped all over the world. Do not forget great options for dining at locally-owned restaurants like Angieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diner where the servers wear shirts that say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where the Locals Eatâ&#x20AC;? and everything is homemade, Beehive Grill with freshly brewed root beer, Hermâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the cinnamon swirl cream cheese pancake is as big as a platter, or the 1914 Bluebird, which is the longest running restaurant in



the state. Bring your group to Logan, Utah, to discover their own adventures in an unforgettable taste of charming Americana. Let the friendly staff


at Explore Logan help you customize your experience. Contact Julie

(926;260 )876:79.,? ;1. $2;? 7/ );.=.6:76 +6SPONSORED BY The City of Stevenson and Skamania County Chamber )3+5+62+ $7<6;? &7-0260 *+>.:of Commerce

Hollist at Julie@explorelogan.com or (800) 882-4455, or visit explorel-

26 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

ogan.com for more information.


 Winnipeg, Manitoba The prairie city of Winnipeg is in the throes of a golden era. The Canadian Museum for

tives, and its groundbreaking architecture

a 360-degree film and serves as a space for

make the CMHR an attraction for national

storytelling and discussion on Aboriginal

and international visitors.

views of humanity’s responsibilities to each

Human Rights, the first national museum

Much has been made about CMHR’s

built since 1967, and Journey to Churchill, a

wow-inducing design. The 24,155-square-

• Canadian Journeys is the museum’s

$90-million dollar zoo exhibit, recently made

meter building is an architectural and con-

largest and flagship gallery. A 96-foot screen

their debuts, solidifying Winnipeg’s reputa-

struction wonder. The content is created to

tops a suite of 18 exhibit niches that relay

tion as Canada’s go-to destination in 2016

inspire as well. Eleven dynamic galleries have

human rights stories using objects, text, dig-

and beyond.

been designed by master exhibitor Ralph

ital media, sound and art. Floor stations chal-

Appelbaum Associates, four of which are

lenge visitors through an activity with col-

listed here:

ored lights that shine on them, and as they

The newly-opened Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the first national

other and to the land.

museum built since 1967 and the first estab-

• Indigenous Perspectives is one of the

interact, ultimately form a vibrant rainbow.

lished outside of Ottawa, Canada’s capital.

most dramatic galleries in the museum. A

• Breaking the Silence explores the role

Both its narrative, which showcases the con-

circular theater of curved wooden slats, with

of secrecy and denial in many atrocities

cept of human rights from multiple perspec-

a woven basket-like appearance, showcases

around the world such as the Ukrainian Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 • 27

     Holodomor, the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the Rwandan

" !

genocide and the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia. • Rights Today brings visitors face to face with contemporary human rights struggles and action, featuring an interactive wall map, a tapestry of human rights defenders and a media literacy theater. The journey through the museum is a visual metaphor for the spiritual transition from darkness towards light. Visitors enter an earthy, subterranean space and make their way up through the galleries along an illuminated ramp of Spanish alabaster. The journey culminates in the 100-meter Tower of Hope, flooded with natural light. Guests descend via a glass elevator to the final experience – the calm Garden of Contemplation. This basalt rock-strewn space of light, greenery and water is for quiet reflection. Another new Winnipeg attraction sets the world standard for Arctic zoo exhibits. Journey to Churchill opened July 3, 2014 at the Assini-

raw wilderness. The exhilaration of British Columbia reminds you of

boine Park Zoo. The sprawling 10-acre permanent exhibit showcases

what it feels like to be alive. Here, you are wild at heart.

northern Manitoba, allowing visitors to connect with arctic species and landscapes, including going “nose to nose” with a polar bear.

In the southeastern corner of British Columbia, the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains rise in parallel with those of the Purcell, Selkirk

“This is certainly the largest zoo project in Canada in the last 25

and Monashee ranges. In between are valleys, rivers and lakes that

years,” said Don Peterkin, chief operations officer of the Assiniboine

have enabled human existence for thousands of years. With incom-

Park Zoo. Journey to Churchill will be the number one polar bear Arc-

parable scenic beauty around every turn, this is British Columbia’s

tic exhibit anywhere in the zoo world.”

Mountain Playground.

Visitors to Journey to Churchill travel through three distinct zones.

Major rivers include the Kootenay and the Columbia, North Amer-

In the boreal forest-like Wapusk Lowlands, watch snowy owls swoop

ica’s fourth largest, which from its source in the Rocky Mountains,

above, while caribou and musk ox graze and arctic fox play in grass-

circumnavigates the region in a wide arc. Tributaries such as the Kicking Horse River and the Elk, Salmo and Lardeau rivers generate some

lands. Gateway to the Arctic’s showcase piece is the Sea Ice Passage, an

of the best whitewater conditions on the continent.

underwater viewing tunnel for watching polar bears and ringed seals

This is the birthplace of adventure tourism. Visitors come to the

frolic. In separate pools divided by an acrylic wall, the predator and

Kootenay Rockies for a rich palette of recreational activities that

prey are still able to see and smell each other. Visitors to this zone

include world-class climbing, river rafting, wildlife viewing, hiking

also experience the 360-degree Aurora Borealis Theater.

and more.

Churchill Coast offers a re-creation of the famous northern Man-

Typically, July and August are the best months for most outdoor

itoba town, and here visitors can watch polar bears congregate, just

activities and for lazy days at the beach. During the fall, nature trails

as they do along the Hudson Bay coast. The attached International

come alive with fabulous displays of gold and crimson, and any time

Polar Bear Conservation Center (IPBCC) is a world-class research

of year is perfect for a therapeutic soak in a natural hot springs pool.

facility caring for orphaned and at-risk polar bears. Visitors dining at

Most hot springs in Canada occur in British Columbia, and the Koote-

the Tundra Grill restaurant are able to watch polar bears roam. The

nay Rockies are blessed with numerous hot springs ranging from

Polar Playground contains ice caves, super slides and a wall-sized

wonderful resorts to wilderness backcountry pools.

icicle xylophone for children. For more information about these and other Manitoba attractions visit tourismwinnipeg.com and travelmanitoba.com.

From a pristine freshwater environment on Kootenay Lake to the highest peaks of the Kootenay Rockies, Canada’s natural treasures are protected forever in provincial and national parks. Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, together with Mount Assiniboine Provin-

Kootenay Rockies Region

cial Park, have been recognized by UNESCO for their “outstanding

British Columbia, Canada

universal value,” and are included in the Canadian Rocky Mountain

British Columbia is the kingdom of abundance – a land of giants.

Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. With four national parks and

It is a wild place where nature, not man, creates the boundaries.

more than 75 provincial parks distributed throughout the Kootenay

Glaciated mountains have a gravitational pull that is surprising and

Rockies, you will find vast areas of unspoiled wilderness and every-

unforgettable. Amidst this nature are multi-cultural urban centers of

thing in between.

extraordinary beauty, offering a dichotomy of refined civilization and 28 • Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

EXPLORE THE KOOTENAY ROCKIES The history of Western Canada is forever tied to the railway and the East Kootenays are proud to have 3 heritage locations helping to preserve that history all within a one-hour drive of each other.

Photo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Andrew Penner

The city of Kimberley is home of the historic Sullivan Mine and the Underground Mining Railway. Join the Mining Tour and ride the rails through the beautiful Mark Creek Valley as you listen to the history of Kimberley and the Sullivan Mine. The Cranbrook History Centre, located right in the heart of Cranbrook, houses the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, a collection of 28 railway cars of which 17 are currently available for tours to the public. Fort Steele Heritage Townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steam train ride is an astonishing experience, putting you in the seats of earlier adventurers who saw this spectacular countryside for the ďŹ rst time more than 100 years ago.

Learn about life as a miner at the Underground Interpretive Centre as our guide describes hardrock mining and demonstrates some of the equipment used in the Sullivan Mine. Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;É&#x201E; $)$)"É&#x201E;*0-.Ć&#x2C6;É&#x201E;ųųĆ&#x2C6;ŲŲÉ&#x201E;(Ć&#x2021;É&#x201E; ĹłĆ&#x2C6;ŲŲÉ&#x201E;+(É&#x201E;)É&#x201E;ĹľĆ&#x2C6;ŲŲÉ&#x201E;+( Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;É&#x201E;+ )É&#x201E; & ).É&#x201E; from May 21 Ć&#x152;É&#x201E;É&#x201E;+ )É&#x201E;$'4É&#x201E; 0'4É&#x201E;ĹłÉ&#x201E; to September 5

250-427-0022 www.kumr.ca

A visit to Cranbrook starts with a journey back in time. Climb aboard the vintage railcars of the Trans-Canada Limited. Railway heritage at its ďŹ nest!

ŴšŲĆ?ŜźŝĆ?žŝųź cranbrookhistorycentre.com

The Heritage Tourism Marketing group gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Regional District of East Kootenay and Columbia Basin Trust which supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin.

Fort Steeleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steam train ride is an astonishing experience, putting you in the seats of earlier adventurers who saw this spectactular country side for the ďŹ rst time more than 100 years ago.

250-417-6000 www.fortsteele.ca

     Every town and city in the region has a fascinating story to tell.

Fort Steele Heritage Townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s [(250) 417-6000, fortsteele.ca] steam

Along your travels, discover the rare scenic beauty and warm, friendly

train ride is an astonishing experience, putting you in the seats of

people. Hike the trails of mountain parks or wander the streets of

earlier adventurers who saw this spectacular countryside for the ďŹ rst

quaint downtowns. Follow one of the circle routes that wind their

time more than 100 years ago. The train runs through the summer

way through the region.

season. It leaves Fort Steele Station for a 20-minute circuit through breathtaking scenery, stopping halfway at a viewing platform that offers a unique perspective of the town site of Fort Steele and the Kootenay and St. Mary rivers below. The Fort Steele Steam Railway is an operating museum, which interprets the experience of branch-line rail travel to the logging, mining and ranching communities of the East Kootenay. In addition to riding on the steam train, visitors are invited to look at the historic railway equipment and stationary steam engines displayed outside the engine house. The vintage locomotive â&#x20AC;&#x153;1077â&#x20AC;? is a source of fascination for visitors and for Hollywood; it has been used in several movies shot north of the border. The Kimberley Underground Mining Railway, the Cranbrook His-


tory Center and Fort Steele Heritage town are ready to welcome your group bus tour. Phone ahead so they can prepare for your arrival.

The history of Western Canada is forever tied to the railway and

For everything you will want to know before you arrive and while

the East Kootenayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s are proud to have three heritage locations help-

on the road stay connected with KootenayRockies.com or download

ing to preserve that history â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all within a one-hour drive.

the Kootenay app.

The city of Kimberley is home of the historic Sullivan Mine and the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway [(250) 427-0022, kumr.ca]

For a Kootenay Rockies travel package phone (800) 661-6603 or e-mail info@kootenayrockies.com.

Join the Mining Tour and ride the rails through the beautiful Mark Creek Valley as you listen to the history of Kimberley and the Sullivan Mine. Learn about life as a miner at the Underground Interpre-

strates some of the equipment used in the Sullivan Mine. Take a short




huge compressors and generators that powered the mine. Board the


walk to the Sullivan Mine Powerhouse for a guided tour featuring the


e Keepers ous th

tive Centre as the miner guide describes hard rock mining and demon-

ble Points Lig Sa h


ia t

four lights one mission Preserving Lake Michigan Lighthouses

io n

train again to learn more about Kimberley and enjoy spectacular scenery and glimpses of the occasional wildlife as you travel back to the station. Explore the Orpheum Theatre, the North Star Schoolhouse, the Minerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cabin and the Caboose as part of your adventure into history. The Cranbrook History Centre [(250) 489-3918, cranbrookhistorycentre.com], located right in the heart of Cranbrook, houses the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, a collection of 28 railway cars of

BIG SABLE LIGHT Open May 8 - Oct.30


LITTLE SABLE LIGHT Open May 27 - Sept. 26


which 17 are currently available for tours to the public. Highlights of the collection include the seven cars of the 1929 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trans-Canada Limitedâ&#x20AC;? (a classic â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jazz Era Art Decoâ&#x20AC;? design), two cars of the 1907 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soo-Spokane Trainâ&#x20AC;? (a deluxe example of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Edwardian Art Nouveau Eleganceâ&#x20AC;?), and the 1887 â&#x20AC;&#x153;PaciďŹ c Express,â&#x20AC;? a Victorian-era train representing the ďŹ rst transcontinental service in Canada. Also featured at the Cranbrook History Centre are the Cranbrook Museum, the Royal Alexandra Hall, the Cranbrook Archives and a Model Railway exhibit.

30 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

P.O. Box 673 â&#x20AC;˘ Ludington, MI 49431 â&#x20AC;˘ 231-845-7417 â&#x20AC;˘ www.splka.org

New, Improved and Different Morse Farm


Montpelier, Vermont Morse Farm has more than 200 years of maple experience. The Morse familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight-generation maple experience is shown via colorful video and live presentations in the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Woodshed Theater and Sugarhouse. The farm offers samples of Vermont Maple syrup, jams, jellies and more. An outdoor museum includes an antique replica of the Vermont State House. A gentle maple trail leads right to the trees where it all begins. Visitors delight in Burr Morseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soft sculpture and tree elves. Vermont specialty foods, produce in season and a full array of craft and gift items are available for purchase. There is beauFor winter cross country ski enthusiasts

tiful scenery, farm animals, antique trac-

Selections purchased by guests can be

tors and much more to see outside. -

mailed or carried out. Allow an hour for

or those that want to try it out for the ďŹ rst

this unique stop.

time, they have the Morse Farm Ski Center,

There is something unique about every season here at the Morse Farm.

offering rentals, day passes and lessons to groups of any size. Come inside for a hot

Spring sugaring season is a great time to

maple coffee and warm up on the ski deck.

visit Vermont. Stop in to the sugarhouse

Hot soup, chili and local bakery products are

while they are boiling (generally March to

offered for a light lunch.

early April). You will be greeted by an unfor-

Morse Farm is open seven days a week,

gettable smell of Vermont maple hanging in

year-round. Tour groups are always

the air.

welcome (reservations required mid-Sep-

In summer treat your group to their

tember through mid-October). Sugar on

award-winning maple â&#x20AC;&#x153;creemees,â&#x20AC;? soft serve

snow is available for $4.97 per person,

maple ice cream that Yankee Magazine calls

maple creemees $2 per person. Driver and

the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best in New England.â&#x20AC;? They are serving

escort visits are complimentary. For more

up this delicious frozen treat year-round, but

information visit morsefarm.com, phone

it is extra tasty on a hot summer day. They

(800) 242-2740 or e-mail them at

also offer the Triple Maple Sundae â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maple


creemee with maple dust and maple syrup. Milkshakes, iced coffee and chocolate ice

National Park Service Centennial

creams are also available. Bus promotions

to be Celebrated Through the

are offered during the summer months;

Regional Partnership Parks100

phone for details.

32 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

2016 marks the Centennial of the

The fall leaves will take your breath away.

National Parks Service (NPS) and through-

The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Redâ&#x20AC;? tree is just behind the store

out the year, NPS will engage in a broad

and is always their ďŹ rst maple to show color

public campaign called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Find Your Parkâ&#x20AC;? to

in the fall.

reintroduce national parks, monuments,

         to not only experience the popular national parks, but to encourage them to venture out of the well-traveled zone and Explore Five MoreÂŽ parks and outdoor recreation areas. There will also be several Centennial celebrations and special events taking place throughout the region that visitors will be encouraged to attend.

Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Moving to Branson in 2016 The iconic 15-story Ferris wheel formerly featured at Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Navy Pier will be the newest attraction to Bransonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Highway 76 at

%!  # #&

The Track Family Fun Parks in 2016. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Branson will be a great new location for this amazing Ferris wheel,â&#x20AC;? said Brian Murphy, COO of

recreation areas and historical sites to a new generation of Amer-

Navy Pier. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a landmark here for many years, and we are happy

icans. Parks100 is a newly founded committee of more than 25 orga-

to know that it will continue to attract thousands of visitors each year

nizations in what is known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grand Circleâ&#x20AC;? region of Arizona,

to such a family-friendly destination.â&#x20AC;?

Nevada and Utah, that has joined forces to celebrate the National

During its 20-year history in Chicago, the Ferris wheel helped make

Park Service's centennial in a new way. The committee has created

Navy Pier a top tourist destination. The Track Family Fun Parks antic-

a community, locally and online through Parks100.com, to help vis-

ipates the Ferris

itors explore the Grand Circle area and ďŹ nd all types of parks, as

wheel will con-

well as local centennial events, suggested itineraries, educational

tinue to draw both

resources, visitor centers and hidden gems.

repeat and new

Realizing the potential of a Grand Circle partnership with the

visitors to the

Centennial celebration, several tourism organizations established

Branson commu-

the group as a way to raise awareness on the unique and beauti-

nity. It is antici-

ful location of the region. Maria Twitchell, Cedar City/Brian Head

pated to begin

Tourism Bureau executive director, is the chair and committee

operating in the

members consist of representatives from Bryce, Zion and Great

summer of 2016.

Basin National Park, Cedar Breaks, Parashant and Vermillion Cliffs

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very

National Monument, Utah State Parks, the Bureau of Land Man-

excited to be the

agement, Dixie National Forest, Southern Utah University and local

new home to this

tourism bureaus including Iron, GarďŹ eld, Washington, Kane and


Page, Arizona.

wheel,â&#x20AC;? said Craig

&( # ##$ '


â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the theme of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Find Your Park,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; the Centennial is all about

Wescott, president

making connections with outdoor places and celebrating the unique

and CEO of The

bond communities have with the special places preserved within the

Track Family Fun Parks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our hope is that adding this unique attrac-

national park system,â&#x20AC;? said Twitchell. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No where else in the world is

tion, which is enjoyed by people of all ages, will enhance our guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

there an area surrounded by so many outstanding national parks,

experience during the time they spend in Branson.â&#x20AC;?

monuments, state parks and recreation areas than here in the Grand

This Ferris wheel, which was modeled after the ďŹ rst Ferris wheel

Circle region. The Centennial presented us with a unique opportu-

built for the 1893 Chicago Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Columbian Exposition, stands 150

nity to collaborate as an area, to inspire visitors to explore more parks

feet tall and can hold 240 passengers in its 40 gondolas. At night, the

and celebrate our hidden gems.â&#x20AC;?

Ferris wheel shines with 16,000 lights, making it a beautiful addition

The national parks in the area continue to draw millions of visi-


to the evening skyline.

tors from around the world each year; the surreal scenery and extra-

Guests of The Track Family Fun Parks will be enjoying the iconic

ordinary events are unforgettable. In the shadow of these parks are

Ferris wheel, a $2.5 million investment, as part of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 35th

hidden treasures, amazing opportunities for adventure and a com-

anniversary. For more information about the Ferris wheel moving to

pletely new world to explore.

Branson, visit explorebranson.com/news/branson-ferris-wheel. For

Parks 100 is a Web site, print and social media campaign that will help travelers in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grand Circleâ&#x20AC;? area of Arizona, Nevada and Utah

more information about The Track Family Fun Parks, visit their Web site at bransontracks.com/ or phone (417) 334-1612. Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 33



inding places that are educational, entertaining and engaging

unique treasures in the quaint downtown. Make plans today to

for students can be a fun endeavor for a tour planner. There

come play and stay. For more information visit cityoffulton.us or

are so many quality attractions that cater to learners from

phone (815) 589-3925.


youngsters to seniors. When you are looking for something for your student group, be sure to check out these great experiences that nurture growing minds.

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate World Hershey, Pennsylvania Make your student trip sweeter with Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate World

Fulton, Illinois

attractionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interactive educational tours. Explore the many wonders

Explore the Mississippi and experience superb Midwest hos-

of chocolate from the cocoa bean to candy bar creation process, to

pitality when you come visit this charming and historic commu-

tasting the many ďŹ&#x201A;avors of chocolate and hearing about Milton Her-

nity. Educational opportunities abound for students whether you

sheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy. Students of all ages will enjoy engaging all ďŹ ve senses

meander along the river on Fultonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dike or explore the authen-

in their chocolate adventures. Lunch can be added to your itinerary

tic, fully operational Dutch windmill. Student groups will find

including prearranged options in a private setting or vouchers in the

something at every turn. Plan your Fulton adventure with a visit

food court for a more ďŹ&#x201A;exible option.

of the state-of-the-art Windmill Cultural Center and travel back

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate World offers three educational tours for every

in time as you hike through the 12-acre Heritage Canyon, an 1800s

grade. Tours require 20 students minimum and are available Mon-

village. After exploring the history, take them to dine on freshly

day through Friday. Set up your tour on hersheys.com/chocolate-

prepared food at Krumpets Bakery and CafĂŠ and then shop for

world or phone the group sales team at (717) 520-8981.

34 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016


Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate World 101 Tour is recommended for high

World Little Learners is

school students and costs $14 per student. Students will see how

recommended for pre-

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chocolate is made from bean and bar and experience other

school through second

chocolate wonders. They will discover ďŹ&#x201A;avor proďŹ les in different

grade and costs $6 per

chocolates in an all-new chocolate tasting experience, and explore

student. In one hour your

Chocolatetown, USA on a trolley tour through the town of Hershey

little learners can see how

where they will learn about founder Milton Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and legacy.

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chocolate is

The 101 Tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.

made from bean to bar and explore other choco-

Kitt Peak National Observatory

late wonders. They will

Tohono Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;odham Nation, Arizona by Bill Buckingham,

help the Hershey product characters


Kitt Peak Observatory Visitor Center manager

chocolate in the 4-D


Photo courtesy of P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF

Chocolate Mystery, discover the ďŹ&#x201A;avors of milk chocolate in a mini tasting and then enjoy sweet chocolatey stories.

Situated upon a nearly 7,000-foot peak in Arizonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Quinlan Moun-

Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate World Educational Expeditions is recom-

tains is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest collection of optical and radio telescopes

mended for third through eighth grades and costs $10 per student.

in the world. Astronomers from across the U.S. and around the world

Explore Chocolatetown, USA on a trolley tour through the town of

utilize the telescopes to push the boundaries of knowledge of the

Hershey and learn about the founder Milton Hersheyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and legacy.

cosmos. Located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona on the

Discover the chocolate making process and help the Hershey prod-

Tohono Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;odham Reservation, Kitt Peak National Observatory wel-

uct characters save the chocolate in the 4-D Chocolate Mystery. Expe-

comes visitors, as well as astronomers.

ditions last approximately 90 minutes.

'16 ,$


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

2)1,+ ,2/'0*

 1& 1/##1 2)1,+        444!'16,$$2)1,+20 Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 35

       As visitors ascend Arizona State Route

about which visitors frequently rave. The

The Visitor Center offers night programs to

386 toward the summit of Kitt Peak, they

daily guided tours explore the three largest

satisfy nearly all interest levels for stargaz-

move from the sights, sounds and scents of

structures on the mountain. The 200-feet-

ers. All programs require advance registra-

the Sonoran Desert through progressively

tall McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope is the ďŹ rst

tion. The Nightly Observing Program pro-

more alpine ecozones. Dramatic vistas of the

tour of the day, commencing at 10 a.m. Cur-

vides up to 50 visitors, aged eight or older,

desert and surrounding mountain ranges

rently the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest telescope solely

with no experience an opportunity to learn

await the visitor at the multiple roadside pull

dedicated to observing the nearest star, its

some of the constellations, explore the sky

outs located along the 12-mile, well-kept

striking structure is a true Kitt Peak icon.

with binoculars, and view through one of the

state highway. The air takes on the scent of

Starting in the Visitor Center at 11:30 a.m.,

Visitor Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three telescopes. A light din-

Pinon pine and the wildlife, ďŹ&#x201A;owers and other

a guided tour of the 2.1-meter telescope gets

ner and dramatic sunset viewing kicks off

plants are quite different than those of the

underway. A real workhorse of astronomi-

the evening.

Sonoran Desert below.

cal research, this telescope was instrumen-

The new Dark Sky Discovery program

Arriving at the 12-mile highway marker,

tal in many advances and discoveries. Most

offers guests 14 years and older some

travelers arrive at the observatory campus.

recently, Caltech assumed operation of this

knowledge of astronomy and stargazing

Large, white hemispherical structures safe-

telescope and has installed the ďŹ rst and only

experience to view in a very small group

guarding large telescopes and other unusual

robotic adaptive optics camera on this

setting multiple faint objects â&#x20AC;&#x201C; star

structures dot the mountaintop. A few hun-

renowned telescope. Utilizing an ultraviolet

clusters, nebulae and galaxies. The small

dred yards further and the Kitt Peak National

laser installed alongside the telescope, this

group size provides a more personalized expe-

Observatory Visitor Center is the ďŹ rst stop for

device removes nearly all the blurring effects

rience with the opportunity to interact with

all visitors to the observatory. Ample, free,

of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s atmosphere, sharpening

the telescope guide and ask more questions.

designated bus parking is very near to the

images and revealing detail not possible in

Both the Nightly Observing Program and

Visitor Center. Containing an auditorium,

many other Earth-based telescopes.

the Dark Sky Discovery program begin before

exhibits and a gift shop, the Visitor Center is

The ďŹ nal guided tour of the day takes vis-

sunset and last approximately three hours.

the starting point for the three guided tours

itors to soaring heights as an elevator deliv-

Guests depart the mountain in a caravan,

offered daily as well as special private group

ers them to a viewing gallery in the towering

leaving at the same time under controlled

programs. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45

four-meter Mayall telescope. The structure

conditions that preserve the dark working

p.m., except certain major holidays.

towers 18 stories over the mountaintop and

environment for the research astronomers who are observing in the large domes.

Guests are presented with multiple

a 360-degree viewing gallery located 140 feet

options on how to spend their time on Kitt

up provides tour participants with stunning

The range of options for daytime touring

Peak. When volunteer stafďŹ ng and weather

views and photo opportunities of the entire

and nighttime viewing experiences meets

permit, safely viewing the Sun through two

observatory campus. The Mayall telescope is

most interest levels and abilities. However,

telescopes is also an available experience

the largest optical telescope operated at Kitt

since the observatory operates on a rugged

Peak. It is has played critical roles in the

Arizona mountaintop, all tour operators

advancement of humanityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s understanding of

should thoughtfully plan in advance their trip

stars, galaxies,and other objects of interest.

with Visitor Center staff. Information about

The tour climbs a ďŹ&#x201A;ight of steps to a glass-

directions, weather, dress, fees, accessibil-

walled visitor gallery where the telescope may

ity, reservation policies, food and more is



36 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

be viewed and photographed.

available 24/7 at noao.edu/kpvc. For those

Separate group tours at ďŹ&#x201A;exible times are

without Internet access, the Visitor Center

available, as are group discounts. Comp tick-

can be reached at (520) 318-8726 from 9:30

ets for drivers can be arranged in advance.

a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pick-up and drop-off is located very near to

For more than half a century, Kitt Peak

the Visitor Center. Information is located at

National Observatory has helped the United

noao.edu/kpvc. The staff contact for day-

States maintain world leadership in the ďŹ eld

time and evening private group programs is

of astronomical research. The dark starry


skies of Arizona have beckoned professional

Of frequent interest to guests is the oppor-

astronomers and casual stargazers for more

tunity to enjoy the observatory after sunset.

than a century. Visitors to southern Arizona

       who would like to start their own astro-

and the popular music of today, the one-

groups to visit Brucker Hall during the day to

nomical journey should add Kitt Peak to their

hour military pageant tells the history of the

experience a video presentation about the

â&#x20AC;&#x153;must seeâ&#x20AC;? list.

U.S. Army in an outdoor setting. Summer

band, sit in on open rehearsals and talk with

guests to the District can also bring an

musicians and conductors. Depending on

The U.S. Army Band

evening picnic and enjoy elements of the

the musical mission load, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ownâ&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ownâ&#x20AC;?

Army Band perform on the West Side of the

can create a special concert event (groups

Arlington, Virginia

U.S. Capitol for the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weekly Sunsets

of 250+), as these Soldiers do love to inspire,

with a Soundtrack concerts.

educate and entertain.

There really is no bad time to visit Washington, D.C., because there is always some-

At summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s end, the 1812 Overture Con-

December is especially busy for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Persh-

thing going on: the Cherry Blossom Festival

cert is not to be missed. Performed at the

ingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ownâ&#x20AC;? kicking off the holiday season

in the spring; summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fourth of July ďŹ re-

Sylvan Theatre located at the base of the

with the dazzling American Holiday Festi-

works at the Washington Monument; Octo-

Washington Monument, it is a D.C. summer

val at DAR Constitution Hall, followed by

berfest and Halloween events in the fall; hol-

concert staple featuring several performing

the Army Blues performing A Stan Kenton

iday events, Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day

elements of The U.S. Army Band, culmi-

Christmas and the Duke Ellington Nut-

festivities in the winter. No matter what time of year


you plan your visit, a performance by The


nating with the climactic end-

cracker, plus concerts by the Army Chorus,

ing of the 1812 Overture

Army Voices and other chamber groups

highlighted by live

throughout the D.C. area. In the winter

cannon-ďŹ re from

months, The Army Band hosts several

the Presidential

annual instrumental workshops at Brucker


Salute Battery of

Hall: The Army Band Tuba-Euphonium

Band â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

the 3d Infantry

Workshop, the American Trombone Work-

Ownâ&#x20AC;? should be

Division (The Old

shop and a Strings Workshop where spe-


on your itinerary. Based on historic Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia,

Guard). The fall heralds the start of the Army Bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concert

many of the 250 superior instrumentalists

series at Brucker Hall, the Army Bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head-

and vocalists that comprise the 11 musical

quarters and location of their 375-seat con-

cialists, educators and musicians from around the world gather together for a several days of recitals, master classes, bringyour-instrument tutorials and concerts. All Army Band concerts are free and open

elements of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ownâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Armyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

cert hall. Visit usarmyband.com for links to live

to the public; however, some of their larger

premier musical organization â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have stud-

concert Web streams and archival videos of

off-site concerts require free tickets. If you

ied at the most prestigious music schools and

these great musicians in indoor performance.

are interested in attending an Army Band

conservatories in the country. They perform

November brings Veterans Day obser-

event, go to usarmyband.com to view the

symphonic band and orchestra classics as

vances with multiple uplifting concerts at

events calendar. For information on how to

well as blues, jazz, big band, Broadway, rock,

venues throughout the area. This time of year

schedule a group visit contact The United

country and your ever-popular patriotic

is also the start of student tours that arrive

States Army Band Operations OfďŹ ce at

favorites. Free concerts are presented

at the Army Band. From September through

u s a r m y. j b m h h . m d w. l i s t . t u s a b -

throughout the year in venues ranging from

May, many teachers schedule their student


their home stage inside Brucker Hall on Fort Myer, to D.C.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DAR Constitution Hall and the Kennedy Center, to suburban venues like The Music Center at Strathmore (Bethesda, Maryland) and The Hylton Performing Arts Center (Manassas, Virginia), as well as in and around museums and monuments throughout the Metro area. From April through July, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ownâ&#x20AC;? performs Twilight Tattoo most Wednesday evenings on Fort Myer. Showcasing costumed re-enactors, specialty units Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 37

       Ghostly Manor Thrill Center Sandusky, Ohio by Laura Klages Your student group may have been to trampoline parks, skating rinks, bounce house parks and haunted houses but never will they see an indoor venue with the plethora of entertainment attractions that Ghostly Manor Thrill Center in Sandusky, Ohio has. It is no wonder why the amusement center has been on The Travel Channelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Places Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve Ever Beenâ&#x20AC;? series and recognized by Forbes magazine. Located just a hop, skip and a jump (2.2 miles) from the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point, sits a unique animal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a year-round haunted house and


family fun park, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. The family-friendly entertainment cen-

House, XD 4D Motion Theater (ďŹ ve differ-

gym and a snack bar with a full menu and

ter is perfect for groups and has a little

ent rides), roller skating (roller blades and

they are still expanding.

something for everyone: Wizardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Journey

razor scooters available), a booming

If your group is going to Cedar Point, Kel-

mini golf (indoor), Ghostly Manor Haunted

arcade, bounce houses, three-level jungle

leyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Island or one of the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water parks (such as Kalahari or Maui Sands) in Sandusky, Ohio, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center makes a great addition to the trip. The entertainment center stays opened late, is not affected by the weather and ďŹ ts into any itinerary. Ghostly Manor Director of Operations Billy Criscione says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We provide maximum ďŹ&#x201A;exibility for any group of any size; call a year in advance or the day of. Groups can choose one attraction and stay for one hour or choose a Thrill Pass and make an entire day trip out of it.â&#x20AC;? As a planner, you never know

712 W 2nd St. Davenport, IA JDKFRUJÂ&#x2021;

when it is going to rain and scheduled outdoor venues will close. Rain or shine, Ghostly Manor is open and is the foolproof place to bring a group large or small. You will be â&#x20AC;&#x153;wowedâ&#x20AC;? the second you pull up to the building. The exterior of the building appears to be a castle with a giant fearsome dragon bursting out of the façade. Any student group will legitimately ďŹ nd Ghostly Manor Thrill Center beyond compare to any

Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm & Sundays: 12pm - 4pm

indoor attraction center. Phone Billy at (419) 626-4467 to inquire about Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.

38 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

THE CURIOUS TOUR PLANNER Number 12 of a Series “The Curious Tour Planner” is a question and answer column that provides simple answers to simple questions involving bus and group tours. It is patterned after a very successful similar column in our sister publication, NATIONAL BUS TRADER, that has run for about 20 years with more than 200 installments. We will accept reasonably simple technical or operating historical questions on bus and group tours and their operations by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone. Unless otherwise indicated, the simpler questions will be answered by our editor, Larry Plachno, who has owned buses and planned tours for more than 50 years. If our staff is unable to answer them, we will call upon our panel of experts. Names and addresses should be submitted with your questions, but we will withhold names from publication on request. We reserve the right to modify questions to make them more useful to our readers. Q. Are we going to have problems again with show dates in 2017? –– Several Readers A. We seem to go through this every year because many of the major bus shows are scheduled for the first few weeks of the new year. As a result we sometimes have some conflicts in dates. At least part of the problem recently has revolved around the joint United Motorcoach Association/National Tour Association (UMA/NTA) Travel Exchange. When originally announced a few years ago, this was praised as a great idea. The hotels, restaurants, attractions and convention and visitor bureaus of NTA would meet with the tour planners and operators. Adjacent would be the bus operators and bus industry suppliers. Hence, the entire bus and bus tour industry “food chain” would be under the same roof at the same time. Following several joint annual events held early in the year, some of the NTA members suggested that they would rather see their gathering timed for later in the year. This would actually make more sense for them since most tour planners are finalizing their summer tours in November and December and tend to lock up their summer catalogs right after the first of the year.

Hence, the NTA elected to move away from joint dates with UMA and “do their own thing” at the end of the year. For 2016, UMA and NTA were together in Atlanta from January 31 to February 4, but the coordination between the two events was much less than in previous years. Original plans were for NTA to reschedule their next event to December of 2016 in St. Louis. It turned out that this was impossible to reschedule quickly. As a result, UMA and NTA will again find themselves together in St. Louis from February 26March 2, 2017. This presents a conflict with Heartland Travel Showcase which will be in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from March 3-5, 2017. The American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace will again be earlier in the year, this time January 14-17, 2017 in Cleveland. Travel South will again be later in the year on March 11-15, 2017 in Branson, Missouri. According to what information we have, NTA and UMA will go their separate ways the following year with NTA in San Antonio from December 14-18, 2017 and UMA in San Antonio a few weeks later from January 7-11, 2018. NTA will move their dates up even more in 2018 when they will be in Milwaukee from November 4-8, 2018. Q. Has the slumping Canadian dollar had any impact on travel and tourism? –– Tour Planner A. The information we have is that the exchange rate has reduced Canadian tourism coming into the United States. While there is an increase in tourism from the United States to Canada, the experts say that this has been limited because U.S. residents are generally not aware of the benefits of going to Canada because of the exchange rate. The Canadian dollar has plunged into a 12-year low as compared with the U.S. dollar. One recent figure I saw showed that people were required to put down $1.47 in Canadian money to get $1 in U.S. money. Several reasons have been given for the weak Canadian dollar. One of the most obvious is that the reduced price of gaso-

line has substantially impacted the Canadian economy where oil is a major export. This tends to have both pros and cons in regard to the Canadians. For example, the high exchange rate tends to reduce the number of Canadians shopping in the United States. Many Canadians regularly purchase certain items in the United States because of price. Clothing is a popular item. This is keeping more Canadians shopping at home and several Canadian stores have seen more customers. Some stores in the United States have seen fewer customers because of the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar. This is typical in border towns but even Saks Fifth Avenue has noticed a difference. Tourism into Canada from the United States has increased because of the exchange rate. One source mentions a 9.3 percent increase in inbound overnight trips by U.S. residents into Canada. But this number could increase substantially if more U.S. citizens become aware that their money will buy more in Canada. Q. Would there be any advantage to my tracking down current tours in my area to look for business? –– Hotel Group Sales Manager A. Probably nothing significant. Since tours are not regulated, there is no place where they are listed. Although you could always ask around or invest some money in research. My experience is that even if you did contact them, most companies running a successful tour annually or regularly are reluctant to change their successful itinerary except for a major reason – such as bad experience with a hotel or a closed attraction. Most would rather start over with a new tour. Finally, tour planners/operators need to be invited. Many if not most of us are paranoid about bringing a group where it is not wanted or cannot be accommodated. You need to do some marketing to break into this business. Answers not credited to other individuals are provided by Larry Plachno, Editor. Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 • 39

20 Tips For Bus Tour Planners by: Dr. Charleen Jaeb

20 Tips on Ohio Attractions

Because of the expected large influx of vis-

tom hardwood furniture stores, bulk food stores,

Why give 20 tips on visiting free, frugal and

itors to the Republican Convention July 18

Lehman’s Hardware (world’s largest retailer

famous attractions in Ohio? Is it because

through 21, the first 12 tips are places in Cleve-

selling non-electric appliances), Wendell August,

Cleveland is spending millions to spruce up

land or within a two hours’ drive. Lodging costs

Warther Museum, tours of Amish homes; and

for hosting the Republican Convention in July,

in and near Cleveland have skyrocketed when

in Berlin at Schrock’s Amish Farm and “Behalt”

Ohio is “Mother of Presidents,” the home of

the Convention will be here so you might con-

at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center

the largest Amish settlement in the world, or

sider staying outside Cuyahoga County.

in Berlin.

Ohio has all the attributes of my 20th tip which

1. Casinos were approved to be built in 2009

3. Cleveland’s Free Attractions: I have

describes places in most states that are free?

in Ohio. Currently Ohio has 11 casinos/or raci-

toured and recommend the Cleveland

All are reasons; however, the main motiva-

nos in or near Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colum-

Museum of Art, Federal Reserve Bank and

tion for choosing the Buckeye state is because

bus, Dayton and Toledo. They are free and one

Money Museum, Cleveland Police Museum,

of our condo neighbors in Florida who tell me,

of the most popular attractions of bus trips as

NASA Glenn Research Center, International

“Ohio is a state we drive through.”

the major destination or as a side trip. The min-

Women’s Air and Space Museum, Lincoln

imum age for gambling in Ohio is 18.

Electric Company, Rockefeller Park Green-

In writing this column I used Google, the AAA Tour Book, travel magazines, visitor

2. Amish Communities: Four million peo-

house, West Side Market, Little Italy with its

bureaus, recommendations of others, bus com-

ple visit Amish country annually. They are

free art galleries, Italian bakeries and restau-

pany tour books as well as my experience

located in northeast and central Ohio, both

rants, Lake View Cemetery which is home to

escorting and planning bus and family trips.

within a two hours’ drive from Cleveland.

the Garfield Memorial and Wade Memorial

Some destinations are free on certain days of

Geauga County has the third largest Amish set-

featuring a Tiffany-designed interior and the

the week, times of the year or for certain indi-

tlement in the world. Holmes County has the

Cleveland Zoo which houses largest primate

viduals; e.g. students, professionals, veterans,

largest Amish settlement in the world. I visit it

collection in the world and is free on Mondays

seniors, residents of a certain county or age.

several times a year. Amish people reject tech-

to residents of Cuyahoga County.

If you are planning to stay in one location for

nology in favor of a simpler lifestyle. They do

4. Cleveland Famous Attractions include

a number of days, you can use the Zip Code

not have telephones or electricity in their homes,

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Sci-

Radius Finder to find spots to visit within a cer-

travel by horse and buggy, and wear modest

ence Center, Cleveland Museum of Natural

tain radius of miles. Citizens older than 62 who

handmade clothing. Married men have beards.

History, Cleveland’s world-renowned Cleve-

purchased a non-transferrable Golden Age Pass-

Women wear caps. German is spoken in the

land Orchestra, and Cleveland Botanical Gar-

port prior to 2013 have a lifetime free admission

home and children finish education in the eighth

dens, The Nautica Queen and Goodtime III that

of Federal entrance fees for themselves and peo-

grade. Bus trips usually include a back roads

do sightseeing cruises on Lake Erie and the

ple in their car. The Golden Age pass is still valid

tour, shopping and end with dinner in an Amish

Cuyahoga River. The docked USS Cod Sub-

but is no longer sold. A somewhat similar Senior

home or restaurant. Holmes County has more

marine and Steamship William G. Mather can

Pass for $10 can be purchased in person by a

entrepreneurs than any of Ohio’s 88 counties.

be toured. Sports fans come to watch Cleve-

senior citizen with identification from a person

Popular stops in Amish country include bak-

land Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland

at participating Federal recreation sites or offices.

eries, cheese houses, quilt and craft shops, cus-

Browns and Lake Erie Monsters play. Outside

40 • Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

  of New York Playhouse Square is the coun-

Resort offers winter sports. Akron is a stop on

fans, history geeks, theater lovers and people

try’s largest performing arts center.

the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and is

who enjoy unique forms of travel. You can tour

the home of the Goodyear Blimp.

Cincinnati by carriage rides, river tours with

5. Transportation in Cleveland: Inexpensive transportation is offered by the Regional

9. Mentor, is 25 miles northeast of Cleve-

Ride the Ducks and BB River Boats. Historians

Transit Authority including Park-N-Ride buses

land nestled in wine country. It is home to

appreciate the National Underground Railroad

to and from suburbs to downtown Cleveland,

the James Garfield National Historical Site,

Freedom Center, Cincinnati History Museum,

the Waterfront Line and the Flats. Rapid Tran-

the home where our 20th President lived, the

William Howard Taft Historical Site and Hebrew

sit trains run from the suburbs and Cleveland

Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum

Union College. Sports fans can watch games

Hopkins Airport. There are many hassle-free

and Headlands Beach State Park. It is near

of the Bengals, Reds or take a Great American

businesses that charter deluxe motorcoaches,

The Holden Arboretum, Chalet Debonne

Ballpark Tour. Families love the zoo, Cincin-

mini buses, school buses, limos and inexpen-

Vineyards, Lake Metroparks FarmPark and

nati Museum Center at Union Terminal and

sive party buses. Lolly the Trolley provides city,

Kirtland (Mormon)Temple in Lake County.

nearby Kings Island amusement park.

10. National Parks: The 33,000-acre

14. Dayton: Located 211 miles southwest

6. Lake Erie Shores and Islands are approx-

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a short dis-

of Cleveland, Dayton’s primary claim to fame

imately 62 miles west of Cleveland and wel-

tance from the urban areas of Cleveland and

is its history with the aviation industry. It is the

come more than seven million visitors a year.

Akron. It offers free admission to bike ride

birthplace of aviation pioneers Wilbur and

Shore spots to visit include Cedar Point Amuse-

or walk the towpath trail following the Ohio

Orville Wright and is home to the famous and

ment Park, Lakeside (Ohio’s Chautauqua),

and Erie Canal. Visitors can purchase an all-

free National Museum of the US Air Force on

adjacent Marblehead with its lighthouse, mul-

day pass to ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic

the Wright-Patterson Air Force base and its

tiple free art galleries, Train-O-Rama, and

Railroad with its multiple stops. There are

attached theater, Dayton Aviation Heritage

access by bridge to Johnson’s Island Civil War

five national parks in Ohio.

National Historic Park, Boonshoft Museum of

public and custom sightseeing tours.

Prison for Southern officers. Sandusky has a

11. Toledo is a major western Lake Erie

Discovery (more than just a children’s museum

Merry- Go-Round Museum and prime vaca-

port 116 miles from Cleveland. Free attrac-

and includes a zoo, planetarium and hands-

tion lodging at Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari

tions are the Toledo Museum of Art, historic

on exhibits), Dayton Art Exhibit, Sunwatch

Resort and Conference Center. The Goodtime

Wildwood Manor House, Toledo Botanical

Indian/Archaeological Park, America’s

Lake Erie Island Cruises leave Sandusky for

Gardens and Hollywood Casino. Other well-

Packard Museum and Kitchen Aid.

sightseeing trips to Kelly’s Island and Put-In-

liked tourist stops are the Toledo Zoo includ-

15. Hocking County in Southeastern Ohio:

Bay. The islands can also be reached by Jet

ing an aquarium, Imagination Station and

Ohio’s scenic wonderland contains nine state

Express Boats and Miller Ferry Boat Line.

National Museum of the Great Lakes. It has

parks and forests for hiking, canoeing, horse-

7. Canton: My hometown is located 60

nine colleges and universities.

back riding and camping, Hocking Hills State

miles south of Cleveland. It is the birthplace of

12. Columbus: Ohio’s capital’s is 140 miles

Park provides spectacular rock formations

President William McKinley. Visitors flock to

south of Cleveland. You can visit German Vil-

and water falls such as Old Man’s Cave, Cedar

attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Hall

lage, Short North Arts District, Easton Towne

Falls, Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, opportunities

of Fame parade, McKinley Presidential Library

Center, governor’s residence, state capital,

to hike and ride the Hocking Valley Scenic

and Museum, First Ladies National Historic

Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is a

Railway and Hocking Hills State Park.

Site, Canton Classic Car Museum and the small

dynamic science center, Franklin Park Con-

16. Athens, Chillicothe, and Logan are

MAPS Air Museum at the Akron-Canton air-

servatory and Botanical Gardens. Columbus

cities in southeastern Ohio. Athens is the

port. Along the way we usually stop for a free

is a white collar city but has interesting facto-

home to Ohio University, Kennedy Museum

tour and samples at Harry London Candies.

ries to tour in the city or nearby such as Honda

of Art and The Dairy Barn Arts Center. Chill-

8. Akron, nicknamed “Rubber Capital of

in Marysville, Budweiser in Westerville,

icothe, Ohio’s first capital, attracts tourists to

the World,” and “City of Invention,” is located

Airstream Trailers in Jackson Center and Amer-

Tecumseh!, an outdoor drama depicting the

40 miles south of Cleveland. Akron’s points of

ican Whistle Corp. in Columbus. Their largest

trials of the Shawnee Native Americans,

interest include Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens,

employers are the State of Ohio, Ohio State

Adena Mansion and Gardens, Lucy Hayes

Hale Farm and Village, Cleveland Orchestra at

University, U.S. government, JPMorgan Chase

Heritage Center and self-guided tours at

Blossom, Akron Zoo, Akron Civic Theater.

and Nationwide Insurance.

Waters Edge Canoe Livery. Logan is the

Akron Police Department Museum, Seiberling

13. Cincinnati: Visiting Ohio’s Queen City

county seat of Hocking County. Lodging with

Nature Realm and American Soap Box Derby

located on the Ohio River across from Ken-

an indoor pool and indoor corridors is avail-

in July. Nearby Boston Hills/Brandywine Ski

tucky, is a bonanza for families, shoppers, sports

able at the Holiday Inn Express Hocking Hills. Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016 • 41

  17. Parades: Parades on the Fourth of July,

ter The Polar Express to the North Pole runs


St. Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, Labor Day, Christmas and

on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in

churches, temples, mosques, national and

Memorial Day are held in big and small cities

December. Large groups and bus companies

state parks, beaches, lakes and rivers, candy

yearly. They are free; however, bus tour plan-

can charter a railroad car. More than 500,000

makers and bakeries, colleges and universi-

ners should consider arranging places to sit

people gather on the riverfront of Cincinnati

ties, vineyards and wineries, county and state

or stand. My favorite parade is the Football

and Kentucky on the Sunday before Labor

fairs and festivals.

Hall of Fame parade in Canton that takes

Day to watch the P&G Riverfest with water

place this year on August 16.

skiing and ďŹ reworks.



Ohioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new tourist slogan is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ohioâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Find it here!â&#x20AC;? Hopefully, you will. Dan and I have

20. How to ďŹ nd free attractions in all

lived here our whole lives. My biggest chal-

are zoos or aquariums in Cleveland, Colum-

states: Here are mostly free examples: art

lenge writing this article was editing it down

bus, Akron, Dayton, Toledo and Cincinnati.

museums, greenhouses, federal reserve

to the space available. Let me know if you

In addition there is The African Safari Wildlife

banks, ofďŹ ces of mayors or governors, shop-

have enjoyed any free attractions in Ohio not

Park in Port Clinton on Lake Erie Shores, The

ping centers, ďŹ&#x201A;ea markets, holiday exhibits,

mentioned here. I will try to visit them. Thank

Farm in Walnut Creek in Amish Country and

parades on land or water, cemeteries, fac-

you for your comments and suggestions for

The Wilds Safari park, offering tours and zip

tories, casinos, war memorials, scenic won-

future articles. The suggested May column

line opportunities in Cumberland near

ders, sports-related tours of facilities, enter-

will be â&#x20AC;&#x153;20 Tips for Going Green.â&#x20AC;? My e-mail

Columbus. Stearns Homestead in Parma

tainment, native habitats, villages and craft

address is cdjaeb@wowway.com.

18. Bird and Animal /Eco Tours: There

allows visitors to explore their working 48acre farm, feed the animals and visit two

With degrees from four universities, Dr. Charleen Jaeb was a business professor at Cuyahoga Community College. After her retirement in 2000, she became a trip planner for the CCC

museum houses free. 19. Holiday Festivities: Cities and towns have free lighted displays. Summer tourist attractions such as Put-In-Bay on Lake Erie,

retirees and Middleburg Heights Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club, ďŹ lling as many as 15 buses each year. Jaeb and her husband escorted trips for Lakefront Lines in Cleveland, Ohio. She says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was wonderful and somewhat unbelievable in retirement to be able to do what you love to do and get paid for doing it.â&#x20AC;?

have â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christmas in Julyâ&#x20AC;? celebrations. In win-





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42 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / March, 2016

Advertiserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Index Bear Lake Valley CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

New Hope & Ivyland Railroad . . . . . . . .6

Bowers Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

New Hope Valley Railway . . . . . . . . . . .8

Cabell Huntington CVB . . . . . . . . . . . .44

PaciďŹ c Science Center . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Canyonlands by Night & Day . . . . . . .24

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino . . . . . . . .43

City of Aztec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad . . . . . .8

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center . .26

Presque Isle Downs & Casino . . . . . . . .2

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad . . . .9

River Lady . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Durbin & Greenbrier

Ronald Reagan

Valley Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Presidential Foundation . . . . . . . . . .21

Elk City CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum . . . . . . .23

Fulton Tourism Center . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Sable Point Lighthouse . . . . . . . . . . . .30

German American Heritage Center . .38

Skunk Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Ghostly Manor Thrill Center . . . . . . . .38

Southern Appalachia

Kitt Peak National Observatory . . . . .35

Railway Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Kootenay Rockies Tourism . . . . . . . . .29

Starved Rock Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Little Falls CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Train-O-Rama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

McLean County Museum of History . .11

Tropicana Casino & Resort . . . . . . . . .15

Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. . . . . . . . . . .42

Tulare Outlet Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Miromar Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

U.S. Army Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Mohegun Sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad . . . .9

Morse Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

Wildhorse Saloon/General Jackson . .11

Mt. Washington Cog Railway . . . . . . . .5

Wilmington & Western Railroad . . . . .12


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March/April 2016 Bus Tours Magazine  

March/April 2016 Bus Tours Magazine