Page 1

Volume XXXVI, Number 6 • July/August, 2016

On the Move

Old West


page 4

page 16

page 22



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Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 3


f you love to travel, then you love to

move. Transportation comes in many forms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; planes, trains, buses and auto-

mobiles immediately come to mind as the most common for long distances. However other forms such as bicycles, segways, trams, trolleys, zip lines, horseback or even walking are a few of the options you can explore while creating a transportation-themed tour. Anything that gets your group from point A to point B is on the list of possibilities. Here are some creative destinations and attractions that you can incorporate in an â&#x20AC;&#x153;On the Moveâ&#x20AC;? tour.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum


North Freedom, Wisconsin The museum grounds can be toured free

Take a trip to small town America and

the freight room once was. Also on the

experience the Golden Age of Railroading at

museum grounds are a crossing shanty, a

of charge and are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5

the Mid-Continent Railway Museum. The

crossing tower, a section shed and a water

p.m. Train excursions leave at 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

museum has numerous displays of classic

tower. Buildings replicated to look like they

and 3 p.m. when the railroad is open for daily

and restored train and railroad equipment

are from the turn of the 20th century house

rides. Groups can make special reservations

as well as a running preserved vintage rail-

the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s collections and artifacts.

for train rides during the week in May, Sep-

road that offers a seven-mile roundtrip train ride.

Visitors can experience an old-fashioned

tember and October.

train ride at the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heritage railroad.

Food is available at the museum on week-

The museum strives to collect, restore

The one-hour journey passes through the

ends. Arrangements can also be made with

and preserve railroad items from the 1880s

former mining community of La Rue, Wis-

a cafĂŠ located in North Freedom to supply

to the mid 1910s. This era is what the

consin and turns around at a rock quarry for

box lunches for groups to enjoy while they

museum calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Golden Age of Railroad-

the return trip. The railroad excursions run

are visiting the museum grounds. The cafĂŠ

ingâ&#x20AC;? because of the common use of trains for

seasonally â&#x20AC;&#x201C; daily from early June through

can also accommodate group meals at their

long distance transportation of both people

Labor Day, and most weekends in May, Sep-

location in town.

and goods, and the enormous growth of the

tember and October. There are also special

Bus passengers are dropped off and

railroading industry during that time. Cur-

themed trips during the year that include

picked up at the depot and there is space for

rently they are restoring two locomotives and

Autumn Colors, Pumpkin Express, Santa

buses to park in the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overďŹ&#x201A;ow lot.

have 11 locomotives in their collection. They

Express and Snow Train in February.

Arrangements can be made for staff to greet

also have the largest collection of wooden

Group tours are welcome to take a train

the group upon arrival. The ticket agent,

passenger cars in the U.S., the only surviv-

ride and tour the museum grounds. Reser-

brakeman and train conductor are available

ing wooden boxcars built by Mather Stock

vations should be made a minimum of sev-

to make sure all the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs are met.

Car Company and the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last remain-

eral weeks in advance. For train rides, a 25

For more information visit midconti-

ing ďŹ sh car (a type of stock car which trans-

percent deposit of the ticket value of the seats The group sales contact is Nancy

ported live ďŹ sh).

blocked is requested  at the time of booking.


Kaney who can be reached by e-mail at

The 1894 depot at the museum was orig-

Two weeks prior to the visit, a ďŹ nal passen- and by phone

inally property of the Chicago and North

ger count and complete payment will be

(608) 522-4261 or (800) 930-1385.

Western Railway and located in a town called

requested. There is no penalty if the ďŹ nal

Ablemen (now Rock Springs), Wisconsin. It

count is less than the number of seats

was moved to its current location at the

blocked at the time of reservation. The cost

museum in 1965. The depot consists of two

is $16 per person for groups with 20 to 39

As the New River Train slices through the

seating areas separated by the ticket ofďŹ ce

people and $15 for groups of 40 or more. The

New River Gorge this October, it will signify

as well as a gift shop, which is located where

bus driver and group leader ride for free.

the 50th year of a passenger railroad tradi-

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

New River Train Huntington, West Virginia

Eagle sightings occur on over 90% of all excursions!

9>A<DB>$3;D:E=% 8E:@C)6)7:B: >E%BA:%B; 1=>BIE%?6D<:EF% BC:D6F>A<%@G?F>'<6G<: @B9:?%D6>?DB69%9>EC?6HE BC:A%FB%F=:%CG7?>8&

5:E;A>?>:=($64 &-+2'$0,-).1./ GGG*FE:@CDE:B:*<DB

Open Window Coach Seating & Observation Cars, Snack Bar, Open-Air Gondola Car, and First Class Seating with Climate-Controlled Lounge Cars Enjoy a narrated excursion through a tranquil and pristine mountain valley along the South Branch of the Potomac River. FOR INFORMATION AND RESERVATIONS

304-424-0736 • See our website for schedule and special events Potomac Eagle • Wappocomo Station Rt. 28 North, 149 Eagle Drive • Romney, WV 26757

MAKE YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE A MOUNTAINRAIL ADVENTURE! Perfect P erffe ect for fo or families, fa amilies, day trips, trips, or vvacations! acations! See web-site web-site for fo or all excursion exxcur c rssion options. op

CALL: 866.653.3852 • MTN-RAIL.COM


CPXZQP\X_W2DXXY2HLSUZXLO2b2CPXZQP\X_W62@XUXZLOX2b24===529:;7;<<< ___8QPXZQP\X_WUXXYZZ8NXV Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 5

   tion that started in Huntington in 1966. The

of Hinton â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a town built by the railroad to serve

even though its on the same route. The route

New River Train is a long-standing railroad

local industries on the New River.

passes waterfalls, over top bridges and along-

tradition that gives passengers a unique per-

Once in Hinton, passengers disembark

side tight rock cuts as part of some of the best

spective of southern West Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scenic

for a local street fair that features local food,

scenery east of the Rockies. The New River

New River Gorge. Operating from Hunting-

entertainment and novelties that are distinct

Gorge is a majestic destination in itself, but it

ton to Hinton and returning each third and

to the culture of southern West Virginia. Home-

is most enjoyable from the passenger train

fourth weekend in October, the New River

windows of this annual tradition.

Train takes riders through some of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Whether you elect to ride coach class or

most scenic regions by rail.

experience luxurious rail equipment that has

The New River Train is a tradition like no

been restored to pristine condition from the

other. Beginning in Huntington, passen-

mid-20th century, riders can step back in

gers follow the route of the former Chesa-

time and experience the golden age of rail-

peake & Ohio railroad mainline east

roading. Premium class, which places pas-

toward West Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capital city of

sengers on historic railroad passenger cars

Charleston. Skirting along the banks of the

from all across the country, will offer unique

Kanawha, the train passes the state capital in

views of the gorge and even includes multiple


Charleston and continues east, slowly tran-

meals and refreshments throughout your trip.

sitioning from residential communities into

This class of service is a popular attraction and

the wilderness of southern West Virginia. The

baked goods, arts and crafts, and other attrac-

it is sure to sell very early as part of the 50th

scenic train ride offers beautiful views of pop-

tions make Hintonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual Railroad Days

anniversary celebration in 2016.

ular tourist attractions, such as Kanawha Falls,

street festival a popular event. After a three-

Come and experience the New River

Cotton Hill, Hawks Nest, the New River Gorge

hour layover, passengers return to the train

Train experience in 2016 and be a part of

bridge at Fayette, Thurmond, Glade Creek,

and disembark for Huntington on the same

the 50th anniversary celebration. Tickets

Sandstone Falls and east into the small town

route. The trip back home offers different views

are selling quickly. Excursions will operate



thru the gorge 50th Anniv ersar y

New Ne N eew w River R Riv iive vver eerr

Tra rain rai ain in in


RIDE INTO THE PAST! Take a 55-minute, 7-mile round-trip journey through rural Wisconsin countryside aboard 100-year-old railcars! View railroad displays and restored railway equipment!

Group rates available Ample bus parking Free picnic area On-site lunches can be coordinated with local restaurant

2016 201 20 016 EXC EXCUR EXCURSION XCUR RSION DA DAT DATES AT AT TES E October 15 â&#x20AC;˘ October 16 â&#x20AC;˘ October 22 â&#x20AC;˘ October 23 Four, 300 Mile Long RRound ound TTrip rip Ex cursions Thr ough The Ma jestic & His toric, Four, Excursions Through Majestic Historic, Grand Canyon Canyon of the Ea st, The NNew ew River River Gorge! Gorge! Grand East,

Self-guided tours of museum displays

Coach: $1 Coach: $ $149 149 9â&#x20AC;˘H Heritage erit itag it tta a eC Coach: Co o ch: $179 oa oach: $ 7 â&#x20AC;˘ Pre $17 Premium: re um: $ remi $269 269

Guided tours available with advance notice

All cars enclosed, heated, and air conditioned! Please visit our website website site for foor more information! information! C Collis ollis P P.. H Huntington untington R Railroad ailroad Historical Historical Society, Society, Inc. Inc.

Browse the gift shop inside an 1894 depot! &HUWLĂ&#x20AC;FDWHRI([FHOOHQFH winner

4.5 out of 5 stars

(608) 522-4261 or (800) 930-1385 Less than 20 miles from Wisconsin Dells! E8948 Museum Road, North Freedom, WI 53951 6 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

P.. O. P O. Box Box 393 â&#x20AC;˘ H Huntington, untiington, WV 25708

P Photos hotos by: by : Chase Chase G Gunnoe, unnoe, Ryan Ryan Lewis, Lewis, & Joe Jooe Rosenthal Rosenthal

866-639-7487 866-639-74 86 6-639-77487 8 www ww www.N ww. w.New ewRiv ive verT rTTra rain.coom

8?NOLH*NI*;H*?L;*QB?H*M?LPC=?*G;NN?L?>,,, 4HDIS*1ONB?HNC=*8;CFLI;>*2OCMCH?*1<I;L>*:CHN;A?*8;CFLI;>*4KOCJG?HN, 6OH=B*;H>*3CHH?L*4R=OLMCIHM*1P;CF;<F? $2)',%.3%5)4*13+316241* 13/13) #%33%5)(4')0,')8'634,104 "8'634,104%7%,.%&.)9)%33160( !1/2.,/)05%395,'-)54%7%,.%&.)*135163)4'1354%0(&64(3,7)34 2;FF*.+0--+98157/-*IL*PCMCN*QGML,=IG*@IL*GIL?*CH@ILG;NCIH*IL*NI*G;E?*;*L?M?LP;NCIH*NI>;S,


Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 7

   October 15- 16 and October 22-23, 2016. For more information visit

Four of the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seven covered bridges are historic, designed and built in the 1860s and 1870s by Reuben L. Partridge, using a design he

The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society is a Huntington, West Virginia-based nonproďŹ t historical society that operates

patented in 1872. Three of these are still in use and maintained in excellent condition by the Union County engineer.

several passenger railroad excursions and special trips throughout

The Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway connects the covered bridges,

the year. The society also preserves railroad history and equipment

providing 40 miles of spectacular views. The byway passes and crosses

in the Tri-state region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

the Big Darby Creek, one of the Midwestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most biologically diverse aquatic systems and goes by parks, nature preserves, century farms,

Union County, Ohio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Minutes from Columbus and

cemeteries and historic homes.

Miles from the Ordinary Only 30 minutes from downtown Columbus, Union County, Ohio, spans a wide range of one-of-a-kind adventures for bus tour groups â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Explore Agriculture Like You Have Never Seen It Before

from lunch on a covered bridge, to a diverse menu of agritourism

Tours of a variety of specialty farms and other agriculture-related

attractions to cultural activities and fascinating explorations of

destinations in Union County reveal that there is a lot more to Ohio

advanced manufacturing, including Union Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest employer,

agriculture than corn and soybeans. These include central Ohioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Honda of America Manufacturing.

only medicinal herbs grower; aquaponics operations that raise ďŹ sh and produce, using earth-friendly practices; a berry farm; a company

Complimentary Bus Tour

that ships ďŹ&#x201A;ower bulbs around the world and local wineries.

Planning Services

RainFresh Harvests (, Plain City, grows pro-

The Union County Convention and Visitors Bureau is always ready

duce year-round, using solar and wind energy to power its green-

to work with tour planners to map out itineraries tailored to each

houses. The farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biointegrated greenhouse features areas for worm

groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tastes and interests. The Union County CVB also offers pre-

composting, herb drying, food processing and an aquaponics sys-

planned one-day, two-day and three-day packages.

tem, which combines the raising of produce and ďŹ sh with the waste

Another popular feature provided by Union County: friendly, knowledgeable step-on guides, who accompany tours from start to ďŹ nish.

of the ďŹ sh supplying nutrients for the plants. Featured crops include fresh herbs, salad greens and specialty vegetables such as heirloom tomatoes, peppers, winter squash and cucumbers. The farm also

Where Else Can Tour Groups Dine

raises red raspberries, blackberries, Asian pears, apples and orna-

on a Covered Bridge?

mental ďŹ sh.

Union County is well above average among Ohio counties for its

Fresh Harvest Farm (, Richwood, grows pro-

number of covered bridges â&#x20AC;&#x201C; seven. Also, Union County offers tour

duce and ďŹ sh through aquaponics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a system that consumes less than

groups a unique

two percent of the water required in traditional farming, while using

experience you can-

70-90 percent less energy and producing eight times the vegetables


not ďŹ nd elsewhere:

in a given amount of space. Doug and Jeni Blackburn established the

a gourmet lunch or

farm in their retirement, in answer to the growing desire of their

dinner, served on

friends and co-workers for locally-grown, chemical-free food, avail-

elegantly set tables,

able year-round.

on a covered bridge, surrounded

Mockingbird Meadows (, Marysville,


is central Ohioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only community-supported agriculture (CSA) grower

peaceful, picture-

of medicinal herbs. Named Homestead of the Year by Mother Earth

perfect Ohio coun-

News, the family-owned and operated farm provides shares of raw

tryside. The setting

honey and fresh healing herbs that are grown on the farm. Mock-

of this memorable

ingbird Meadows offers workshops on traditional foods and natural

experience, the Pot-

healing and provides herbal consultations.

tersburg Bridge, also

Mitchellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Berries (, Plain City, offers guests

serves as the centerpiece of the annual Covered Bridge Bluegrass

a down-on-the-farm experience. Parts of the farm have been in the

Festival ( held each September. This sig-

family for 200 years. The farm grows strawberries, black raspberries,

nature experience is made complete by bluegrass musicians and sto-

summer red and fall red raspberries, as well as edamame soybeans,

rytellers who entertain during the meal.

red peppers, pumpkins and gourds.

8 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016





advanced technology developed by Honda.

The Marysville Art League at Houston House

(, Marysville, is a

American Honda Motor Co. Inc., which

Gallery, Marysville (

family-owned and operated company that

launched U.S. auto manufacturing operations

Tour this historic home built in 1872 and now

ships ďŹ&#x201A;ower bulbs and perennials to cus-

in Marysville in 1982, is now Union Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

the home of the Marysville Art League. The art

tomers around the world, including presti-

largest employer. Groups can tour the Honda

league offers a wide range of art classes, includ-

gious locations like the White House. Tours

Heritage Center as well as seeing Honda in

ing Cupcake and Canvas, a popular choice of

cover the wholesale distribution operations

action in tours of the auto manufacturing plant.

tour groups. Each participant is guided step-

Phoenix Bat Company (,

by-step through completing a painting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fol-

and the adjoining retail store, the Dutch Mill Greenhouse.

Plain City, manufactures wood bats used by

lowed up by a delicious gourmet cupcake.

Four wineries call Union County, Ohio,

little leaguers to major leaguers, like Triple

A menu of dining choices, includes

home. Two of them provide tours, Bokes

Crown winner and American League MVP

regional favorite Der Dutchman Restau-

Creek Winery ( of

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. The

rant in Plain City. Der Dutchman Restau-

Raymond and Dalton Union Winery

company uses the most advanced model of

rant is a fixture in Plain City, a popular

( of Marysville.

the most advanced lathe in the bat industry,

gathering spot for residents and people

turning its signature bats from premium

passing through. It serves wholesome, deli-

grade woods in just two minutes. Phoenix

cious home cooking for breakfast, lunch

Bat Company is the only Ohio company

and dinner.

See High-Tech Manufacturing in Action Union County also is home to many leading high-tech manufacturers. Union County

approved to make bats for the big leagues.

CVB can arrange tours at the following: The Honda Heritage Center (hondaher-

To learn more or begin planning a Union County group tour, contact Tina Knotts, Union

That Is Not All

County tourism director at (740) 972.4297 or, Marysville, showcases Hon-

The Union County CVB team can ďŹ nd, 227 East Fifth

daâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success in North America throughout the

even more experiences for your groups and

Street, Marysville Ohio, 43040. You can visit

last half century with displays featuring his-

excellent places to dine. Here are just a cou-

their Web site at

torical, current and future products, as well as

ple of suggestions:


Dine on a



The Union County Convention & V Visitors isitors Bureau Bureau Tourism T ourism Director, o Director, Tina Knotts 937.642.6279 U tknotts@unioncounty 227 E. 5th St. Marysville, Ohio 43040

10 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

• 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.


Nestled in the verdant and serene Valley Center, Keys Creek Lavender Farm is San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only USDA-certiďŹ ed organic lavender farm. Visitors can stroll through eight and a half fragrant acres of more than one dozen varieties of lavender. In addition to being a working farm, Keys Creek hosts English High Teas, tours, healing retreats and several classes and workshops. At the distillery, visitors can see lavender blossoms distilled into the essential oil used to produce more than 59 lavender products sold in the Farm Store. Their walking tour is approximately 3045 minutes and includes a discussion about the growing and uses of lavender. Visitors learn about the different varieties that are growing on the farm, as well as the other plants distilled for use in the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s products. Included is a table top distillation demonstration and a visit to the commercial distillery where they extract the essential oil

Hidden Gems in San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

lush garden trails, restful vistas, ponds,

Inland North County

waterfalls, ďŹ&#x201A;owering trees, majestic palms

Guests will see the ďŹ elds in various stages

during the harvest season.

Most know San Diego for its sparkling

and the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest bamboo collection.

as the farm is preparing new ďŹ elds and har-

coastline, but just a short drive from the

Thanks to San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mild climate, 4,000

vesting other ďŹ elds. Tours vary in time

beach is a largely undiscovered side of San

plant species from all over the world thrive

depending on the size of the group and the

Diego - a wide open area of rolling hills and

here. The gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse topography pro-

question-and-answer session. They can cus-

winding country roads. San Diego North

vides a variety of microclimates from a desert

tomize a private group tour, with sufďŹ cient

Country Inland region offers an abundance

landscape to a tropical rainforest. Popular

notice, if some visitors have mobility issues.

of activities and attractions ranging from

areas include a subtropical fruit garden, bird

Private tours require a minimum of 20 peo-

beer tasting along the Hops Highway and

and butterďŹ&#x201A;y gardens, interactive childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

ple at $15 per person. Tour buses are wel-

at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens

garden and native coastal sage preserve. San

come with advance notice and by reserva-

to golďŹ ng at more than 40 courses carved

Diego Botanic Garden offers a $1 discount

tion only. Learn more about the farm and

out of the natural landscape; hiking miles

off regular admission prices for groups of 12

their products by visiting You

of mountain trails; casino gaming and the

or more. They offer a variety of group tours

can contact them by phone at (760) 742-3844.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park where visitors

that include docent-led and self-guided

At Wild Wonders in Bonsall, visitors can

can virtually venture to the wild plains of

options. Docent-led tours must be booked

tame their curiosity for wildlife by getting up

Africa and Asia.

at least 30 days in advance and prepayment

close and personal with 150 animal ambas-

The following are some top hidden

must be made two weeks before the tour

sadors including parrots, desert tortoises, an

gems in San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s North Inland that are

date. Contact for

alligator, wallaby, foxes, groundhogs, bob-

sure to make a visit to the area fun and

more details on group tour options and poli-

cats, monkeys and a Siberian lynx. Tour


cies. There is free on-site parking for buses.

groups are assigned their own personal guide

For more information visit or

led by a professional biologist and animal

phone (760) 436-3036.

trainer. In addition to providing guests a

Located in the foothills of Encinitas, San Diego Botanic Garden is a 37-acre oasis of 12 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016


The Exhibition

How Pop Culture Reshapes Technolog This exhibit is great for tour groups of all ages – from the young, to the young at heart! Transport yourself back to the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and learn firsthand how popular culture from those decades inspired the technology of today and for the future! Interactive! takes us from fantasy to reality – the driverless car, gaming stations and tomorrow’s toys, robots, drones, 3D printers – and so much more!

Tickets include admission to the Reagan Library. Touch an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall, and climb aboard Air Force One & Marine One! Ask about our group tour discounts. For more information visit or call 805-577-2704 THE REAGAN LIBRARY ∙ 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, California 93065 Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 13

      dynamic animal adventure, Wild Wondersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; goal is to foster a desire

twinkling Andromeda galaxy graces the back wall. Inexpensive,

to preserve and learn about wildlife and the important role they play

guided tours are available Saturdays and Sundays. This is a desti-

on the planet. Tours are all behind-the-scenes guided tours, which

nation appropriate for charter buses. Getting printed directions and

last about one hour. Some of the terrain is hilly with wooden steps

maps is recommended as GPS connectivity can be unavailable in

that may be uneven. Closed toe, comfortable walking shoes are rec-

places. Palomar Observatory offers public guided tours, which are

ommended. Guests are also advised to bring water to drink. Tours

ticketed on a ďŹ rst come, ďŹ rst served basis. Self-guided tours are

must be arranged in advance. E-mail or

available to all guests. The Addison White Greenway Jr. Visitor Cen-

phone (760) 630-9230 for more information. You can learn more

ter includes a museum where guests can view exhibits and pho-

about Wild Wonders, their services, animals and special events by

tographs, which explore the mysteries of the stars and space. Learn


more at More information about Palo-


Visitors can ďŹ&#x201A;utter

mar State Park can be found at

over to the ButterďŹ&#x201A;y

Located on a four-acre panel surrounded by a wildlife preserve, the

Farms in Vista to expe-

rustic setting of the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas stirs artistic explo-

rience the magic of but-

ration and appreciation. Architecturally-striking, Lux redeďŹ nes the

terďŹ&#x201A;ies in a 2,000-

museum experience with San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only artist-in-residence program

square-foot vivarium,

that invites artists to live and work on-site, while producing a com-

the largest native but-

missioned work of art from start to ďŹ nish. This one-of-a-kind institute

terďŹ&#x201A;y free house in

welcomes visitors to not only see art, but also see art happen. Guests

southern California. Guests of all ages can meander among several

can stroll through expansive gardens featuring native plants, hard-

different butterďŹ&#x201A;y species, including Cloudless Sulfur, Cabbage

wood bridges, an amphitheater and commissioned on-site art instal-

Whites, Painted Ladies, Gulf Fritillaries, Anise Swallowtails and

lations. The institute offers adult classes, studio lecture series, yoga in

their most popular butterďŹ&#x201A;y, the Monarch. They offer educational

the garden and guided tours. Groups must make reservations at least

group workshops, which can be included with a visit to the vivar-

a week in advance. Contact for more

ium. Groups should register at least two week prior to their visit.

information or visit their Web site at You can reach

To learn more e-mail info@butterďŹ&#x201A;, phone (760) 613-5867

them by phone at (760) 436-6611.

or visit butterďŹ&#x201A; Experience the Old West at the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, a

Tucked away in Escondido, Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kit Carson Park, the kaleidoscope-colored Queen CaliďŹ aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magical Circle Garden beckons vis-

hidden gem of California History located in the heart of a landscaped

itors to discover

27-acre canyon in Carlsbad. Named after the late actor/owner Leo

the only Ameri-

Carrillo (who starred in the 1950s television series â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Cisco Kidâ&#x20AC;?),

can sculpture

the former working ranch is the perfect place for a picnic, to view dozens

garden and last

of brilliant peacocks and explore several historic adobe buildings includ-

major interna-

ing a magniďŹ cent Hacienda Compound and courtyard, Deedieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s House


(Leoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s private retreat), a cantina, carriage house, stable, the Olde


Hay Barn, blacksmith shop, plus antique windmills and a reďŹ&#x201A;ecting

famed French

pool. Entrance to the park is free; self-guided walking tour brochures

artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Inspired by Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mythic, historic and

are available in the parking lot. Information and photos of the walk-

cultural roots, the fantastical garden features nine large scale sculp-

ing tour can be found at Free guided

tures, a circular â&#x20AC;&#x153;snake wallâ&#x20AC;? and maze entryway bearing the bril-

tours are available Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sundays at

liant mosaic ornamentation that deďŹ ned Saint Phalleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s later work. A

noon and 2 p.m. To learn more visit their Web site at

towering sculpture of the mythical Queen CaliďŹ a standing on the back

or phone (760) 476-1042.

of a ďŹ ve-legged eagle commands the center of the garden, which is


project by

Popular for biking to the top of its majestic 6,142-foot peak, Palo-

open to the public on the second Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to

mar Mountain is home to Palomar Mountain State Park, featuring

noon. Groups of 10 or more must make reservations in advance. E-

forested hiking trails and fern meadows, a ďŹ shing pond and scenic

mail for details. Learn more about this whim-

coastal vistas. Nearby, the striking, Art Deco-style white dome of

sical attraction atďŹ as-magical-circle.aspx.

Palomar Observatory houses the eighth largest telescope in the U.S.,

Happiness is calling in San Diego. For information on San Diegoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

a sevenâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;story Hale Telescope pointing toward the heavens. Visi-

North County Inland offerings and more, visit the San Diego Tourism

tors can explore the free museum spotlighting massive photo of the

Authorityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web site at

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


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Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;¢ 15

The Old West

Experience Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone Country

tain man Redford portrayed in the 1972 self-

other attractions have adopted modern, inter-

titled film.

active displays and exhibits to help tell their

When travelers see the photo of a youth-

Old Trail Town is one of many attractions

ful, shaggy-haired Robert Redford wearing

that make Cody and the surrounding area a

white bellbottoms and carrying a coffin, they

prime destination for learning about western

are quite certain they are not in Kansas any-

Wyoming's significant role in establishing the

more. Hung on the ancient wall of a tiny pio-

culture and heritage of the American West.

stories, many other experiences are much the same as they have been for years.

Attractions The massive, world-renowned Buffalo Bill

neer cabin at Old Town Trail in Cody,

There is a distinct retro feel in many places

Center of the West houses five superior muse-

Wyoming, the photo shows Redford helping

in the town that believes in preserving a proud

ums under one modern roof, but the museum

to move the coffin containing the remains of

heritage – and introducing visitors to it. While

got its start in 1927 in a historic building

Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston, a moun-

many of Cody’s museums, historic sites and

across the street that now houses the Cody

16 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016




Town offers a built-in teaching moment. Astonished visitors are often



heard commenting about how small the houses were back then. The

Center of the

attraction also features the Mountain Man Memorial paying tribute

West is com-

to some of the pioneers that shaped the area and historic gravesites

prised of the Buf-

of prominent Cody residents from the 1800s. Discounts are available



for groups of seven or more. For details phone (307) 587-5302 or e-

Museum, Cody

mail You can view Old Trail Town’s Web

F i r e a r m s

site at

Museum, Whit-

Pahaska Tepee is where Buffalo Bill went to relax with friends such

ney Western Art

as Teddy Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1904, this hunt-

Museum, Draper Museum of Natural History and Plains Indian

ing lodge sits just outside the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Museum. The Center employs a variety of techniques – interactive

It was called Pahaska after the nickname given to him by the local

displays, life-sized vintage photographs, exhibits – to engage and

Indians; it means “long hair.” The rustic log lodge displays many gifts

inspire visitors. The center offers tour operator rates of $15 per per-

given to Cody by guests. The Pahaska Tepee offers lodging accom-

son for adults ages 18 and older. There is a designated bus drop-off

modations, a restaurant and bar, a gift shop and space for group gath-

area and a large bus parking lot on the property.

erings or retreats. Outdoor recreational opportunities are also avail-

The Center of the West offers packages that can include meals, entertainment and activities such as Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, horse-

able. For more information visit, phone (800) 628-7791 or e-mail

back trail rides, the Draper Museum Raptor Experience and guided tours.

If there is someone in a group who likes to see how things work,

Learn more by visiting For information on group

they will thoroughly enjoy a visit to the Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor

tours phone the group sales department at (314) 578-4114 or e-mail

Center. Water was as much a concern in the days of Buffalo Bill Cody

Debbie at

as it is in the West today. Cody foresaw that and convinced the U.S.

While the fun Cody Dug Up Gun Museum has only been open for

government to build a dam to help conserve that precious resource.

seven years, it houses a collection of relic guns and weapons through-

The dam is located six miles west of Cody. You can learn more at

out American history – and all of the collection has been found – dug up or phone (307) 527-6076.

from the ground or discovered lying in dry streambeds. This is a must-

Hailing from Nashville, singer Dan Miller and his band have been

see for travelers interested in guns and history. More than 900 items are

entertaining locals and visitors to Cody for 12 years. Dan Miller’s

on display. For more information go to or

Cowboy Music Revue will be performing their first season at the Buf-

phone (307) 587-3344.

falo Bill Center of the West in 2016. Performances include a mix of

The place to be at 6 p.m. in the summer is outside the historic Irma

songs harkening back to the days of cowboys on the trail, poetry and

Hotel to watch the supremely entertaining Cody Gunfighters engage in

laugh-out-loud jokes; the timeless songs and endearing stories are

Western skits that always end of up in a gunfight, generally over a damsel

vintage. Guests will be treated to a great dining experience along

in distress. Here you can learn about gun safety and enjoy a classic – and

with the performance at this top-notch venue. Learn more at

free – Cody experience performed by a fun-loving and slightly wacky

group of locals. Check out the Cody Gunfighters Web site at The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is situated at the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp, home to some 14,000 Japanese-

About Yellowstone Country Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

American citizens – mostly from California – who were interned there

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill's Cody/Yellowstone

following Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Opened in August

Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buf-

2011, the Interpretive Center includes thoughtfully presented exhibits

falo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was dri-

that explore that difficult period in the country's history. Group rates are

ven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its

available. Groups must fill out an application with their information and

broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and

types of activities they are interested in to make a reservation. For more

thriving Western culture host nearly one million visitors annually.

information visit or phone (307) 754-8000. You can also e-mail for information at Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West is an enclave of 26 frontier buildings (one used by Butch Cassidy and his gang); Old Trail

The Park County Travel Council Web site ( lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. You can phone the Park County Travel Council at (800) 393-2639. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 17

  Columbia Gorge

explanation of the geological creation of the Gorge is presented in a

Interpretive Center Museum

12-minute program in the main theater. The theater comfortably

Stevenson, Washington

accommodates 45-60.

Come experience 15,000 years of history at the Columbia Gorge

The second ďŹ&#x201A;oor galleries tell the stories of real people who left

Interpretive Center Museum. Located in the middle of the National

their mark on local communities and concludes with an eight-minute

Scenic Area in Stevenson, Washington, the museum is ideally situated to interpret the natural and cultural history of this beautiful region.

DVD program, a light-hearted approach to the past and


the future of the Gorge. This theater seats 24 at a time.

The ďŹ rst ďŹ&#x201A;oor introduces the culture

Other exhibits to explore include the

of the First Peoples â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Cascade Chi-

Spiritual Quest Gallery, the Rosary Col-

nook, the impact of the contact with

lection and outdoor exhibits, which

other cultures, the emigration strug-

include a diesel locomotive, cedar

gle to the West, early community

log carvings, logging equipment, a

development, transportation and the

portion of the Broughton ďŹ&#x201A;ume and an

harvesting of resources. The grand

interpretive kiosk. There is also an art

gallery compares the Native American

gallery which hosts a variety of temporary

technique of dip netting for ďŹ sh with the

and changing exhibits. The museum store offers

mechanical device, the ďŹ shwheel. Interest in the history of the timber industry is stimulated by the massive Corliss steam engine and a 1921 Mack log truck.

a selection of souvenirs, gifts, books and collectibles that pertain to the Gorge and the history and culture of the region. Group reservations are required at least 24-48 hours in advance.

The mezzanine level emphasizes natural history with displays

The group rate is $6 per person for groups of 10 more. Drivers and

about geology, botany and entomology. Future exhibits will include

escorts are comped. Payment is accepted in the form of cash, check

displays to further the study of Gorge ďŹ&#x201A;ora and fauna. An exciting

or credit cards. No deposit is required. Tours are generally 45-55 minutes in length and take place during the regular museum hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tour arrangements can also be made before or after regular hours upon request. Passengers are picked up and dropped off at the front visitor entrance

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 990 SW Rock Creek Dr. Stevenson, WA

located 50 feet from the door. The buses are parked in a designated bus area located on-site. Groups will be greeted in the museum upon their arrival. You can contact the museum by phoning (800) 991-2338 or by email at More information can be viewed online at


     "$% !"!  "! 

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(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

18 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

#" & !   ! #!"  " " "! "" "$% !"  #  "    #!  #! "  !!    % " "  !"  # !&"!  # "!  !#!!   "!  "  ! $  #!"    


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spec·ta·cle a. something that can be seen or viewed, especially something of a remarkable or impressive nature • A spectacular 12-acre history museum near the Riverwalk in the heart of downtown Naperville with lots of shopping and restaurants. • Featuring a Victorian Mansion, blacksmith and print shops, one-room schoolhouse, chapel, special events and more. • Group rates available. DeBrand offers tours of their chocolate kitchens as well as a café style chocolate shop. Call Corporate Office, M-F 9-5 PM, to reserve your tour! Located off I-69, Exit 316, North Fort Wayne, IN.

(260) 969-8335

• Senior group discount for Oktoberfest event. Webster St., Naperville, IL 523 S. Webster 630.420.6010 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 19


Niagara Falls State Park Niagara Falls, New York Established in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is the model from which all other state parks were created. Its breathtaking beauty is only the beginning. For more than a century, Niagara Falls State Park has played host to visitors who have come from all over the world to watch water and gravity inspire and amaze. Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience is by far the most memorable ever â&#x20AC;&#x201C; largely because of enhanced access to the history, geology and beauty of this special place. Here, you can witness the intensity of the falls from inches away at the Cave of the Winds tour, meet the legends and marvel at the myths at the Niagara Falls Adventure Theater and cruise the powerful churning waters near the base of the falls during the Maid of the MistÂŽ boat ride. Thundering waterfalls take center stage at New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Niagara Falls State Park, but at the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest state park, that is just the beginning. This leading New York attraction is located just 30 minutes from Buffalo and is home to jaw-dropping natural beauty, miles of trails and fascinating historical sites just waiting to be explored. It is


the perfect destination for your group tour or nature retreat. There is so much to do at Niagara Falls State Park â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one day just will not be enough to see it all.

Niagara USA Discovery Pass Enjoy ďŹ ve great attractions and save up to 29 percent with a Niagara USA Discovery Pass. Save with an all-in-one admission to the major attractions in and around Niagara Falls State Park including: â&#x20AC;˘ Cave of the Winds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Feel the Power â&#x20AC;˘ Maid of the Mist â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Explore the Roar â&#x20AC;˘ Niagara Gorge Discovery Center â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Discover the Past â&#x20AC;˘ Aquarium of Niagara â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sea Life at See Level â&#x20AC;˘ Niagara: Legends of Adventure Movie Purchase of the Discovery Pass also includes one day of unlimited transportation throughout the park in the comfort of the Niagara Falls Scenic Trolley, discount admission to Old Fort Niagara, free gifts at Artpark State Park and the New York Power Authority, as well as additional savings on attractions, dining and shopping all across Niagara USA. Extend your stay and explore even more. These passes are available for purchase by groups.

Cave of the Winds A thrilling walk on Niagara Fallsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; wild side, the spectacular Cave of the Winds tour takes visitors into a stormy mist zone, where â&#x20AC;&#x153;soaking up the experienceâ&#x20AC;? takes on new meaning. 20 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

WHERE DINING REACHES NEW HEIGHTS. With the roar of Niagara Falls in the background, Top of the Falls Restaurant ser ves up wondrous views of Horseshoe Falls along with its classic American cuisine. And, for couples, families and groups of up to 80, the friendly staf f will help make your dayy in the park feel like any thing but another day in the park. N ia g ar a Fal l s S t a t e P ar k . co m | 716.278.0340 716. 278 .0 3 4 0


The journey begins with an elevator ride

â&#x20AC;˘ Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike

Niagara Falls Adventure Theater

175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge.

â&#x20AC;˘ Upper Great Gorge Hike

Geared-up in souvenir rain ponchos and spe-

â&#x20AC;˘ Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hole Rapids

gara Falls with Niagara: Legends of Adventure,

cially designed sandals, guests follow

â&#x20AC;˘ Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike

the feature presentation at Niagara Adven-

Behold the myths and mysteries of Nia-

wooden walkways along the Niagara River

ture Theater. This 40-minute ďŹ lm, by Acad-

to the Hurricane Deck, just a few breathtaking

emy Award-winning producer Keith Merrill,

feet from the torrents of Niagara Falls. Here,

delivers a captivating story of Niagara Falls

rushing Bridal Veil Falls creates tropical

explorers and daredevils via historic footage.

storm-like conditions. Nowhere else on Earth

The thunder of the Falls and the timeless

gets you closer to the falls.

Maid of the Mist A favorite Niagara Falls State Park attrac-


beauty of the park unfold in full-sensory splendor on the Adventure Theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 45-foot screen with Dolby Digital surround sound. Top of the Falls Restaurant

tion for more than 150 years, the Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist tour begins at the Observation

Tempt your palate at Top of the Falls. With

Tower, where guests don souvenir rain pon-

modern American cuisine and classic dishes,

chos and board the double-deck Maid of the

this Niagara Falls restaurant offers a one-of-a-

Mist tour boat. From there, the dramatic passage ferries past the base of American Falls

kind dining experience. A peak dining venue Aquarium of Niagara

within Niagara Falls State Park, Top of the Falls

and on to the basin of Horseshoe Falls,

There is an ocean of discovery to expe-

Restaurant offers spectacular waterfall views.

through roiling waterfall whitewater and mas-

rience at Niagaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other â&#x20AC;&#x153;wet wonder.â&#x20AC;?

Located on Goat Island, overlooking Terrapin

sive rock formations. The Maid of the Mist

More than 1,500 aquatic animals live at the

Point, this Niagara Falls restaurant delivers a

returns guests to shore with newfound appre-

Aquarium of Niagara, representing ecosys-

memorable dining experience with panoramic

ciation of the power and grandeur of Niagara

tems ranging from the Great Lakes to coral

views of Horseshoe Falls through ďŹ&#x201A;oor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor dining decks.

Falls. Tickets for Maid of the Mist are available

reefs. Highlights include more than 40

separately, or as part of the value-added Nia-

exhibits starring California sea lions, Peru-

gara USA Discovery Pass.

vian penguins, seahorses, sturgeon and more.

Niagara Gorge Discovery Center

Visit Now Niagara Falls State Park is a true American

Outside, the vibrant Whaling Wall, created

experience. Plan your trip now and make mem-

Experience the Niagara Gorge Discovery

by famed environmental marine life artist

ories that will last a lifetime. Visit

Center, a showcase of the natural and local

Wyland, gives a glimpse of the underwater for more information

history of Niagara Falls and the surrounding

world waiting inside the Aquarium of Nia-

and to buy tickets. You can phone the park at

area. The Discovery Center features informa-

gara. Aquarium admission is available sep-

(716) 278-1796. The contact for group tour

tion on the natural and local history of the Nia-

arately, or as part of the value-added Niagara

information is Mary Dugan, park manager, who

gara Gorge, plus hands-on interactive displays,

Falls USA Discovery Pass.

can be reached at

a 180-degree multi-screen theater experience and a towering rock climbing wall complete with fossils and geological formations.

Hiking Trails Niagara Falls hiking starts at the Niagara Gorge Trailhead Center, gateway to the best hiking and biking trails in the region. The local Niagara Gorge Trail System offers challenging sections of steep stairs to climb and rocks to scramble over. Guided Niagara Gorge hiking tours are offered mid-May through October. Hiking experiences include: Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 21


      asino trips are popular with bus groups and have been for

fort foods that will leave your mouth watering for more. Experience

decades. A tried-and-true staple of many tour itineraries, a

Carano family dishes plus an assortment of freshly barbecued and

visit to a casino for a day of playing or a stay at a casino resort

smoked meats, seafood, salads, pastas, desserts and more.


for a full entertainment experience are golden tickets for any tour

LBV Steakhouse is second to none. LBV offers a sumptuous menu

planner. High action slots, table games, racing and the thrill of the

of steaks, chops and seafood in an intimate setting. Simple sophis-

excited cheers as someone hits the big jackpot or makes a lucky dice

tication and culinary creativity at their best await your guests.

roll are things that keep the exhilarating experience of gaming fresh and exciting every time.

If fun is what you are looking for, you will find that in the Downs Clubhouse and Lounge. This little hideaway is located on the second floor which overlooks the mile-long oval track to enjoy great food,

Presque Isle Downs Erie, Pennsylvania

the best Happy Hours around and the best in weekend entertainment. Presque Isle Downs and Casino welcomes all groups, small and

Are you looking for the “in” place for excitement? The thrill of live

large. A day or night at Erie’s casino is the perfect way for a group of

gaming action can be found at Eldorado Resorts Presque Isle Downs

friends to have a fun-filled entertainment experience. Presque Isle

and Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania. Craps, blackjack, roulette, Let It

Downs and Casino can accommodate all of your group’s needs.

Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Spanish 21, Three Card Poker Texas Hold’em,

Groups can enjoy free parking and admission, state-of-the-art AV

Mississippi Stud, Mini-Baccarat and live poker action are available.

and an array of dining options. You and your tour guests will have a

If slots are your game, you have come to the right place from pen-

fantastic time at Presque Isle Downs and Casino. You can bet on it.

nies to $100 games and everything in between including the latest progressives for your winning action. The excitement of live thoroughbred racing can be found every

Presque Isle Downs and Casino is located off of Interstate 90, Exit 27 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Visit or phone their group travel team at (814) 866-8774.

May through September. Simulcast racing is offered year round from racetracks across the U.S. You will find the most amazing dining experiences at Eldorado’s

Potawatomi Hotel and Casino Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Presque Isle Downs. The buffet is more than just your normal buf-

Celebrate Potawatomi Hotel and Casino’s 25th anniversary with

fet – it is an experience. You will discover made-from-scratch com-

food and drink specials, events and gaming offers in the heart of Mil-

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016





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    waukee. Throughout the years, Potawatomi has grown to more than

casinos in Illinois. It will be a surprising destination for group

150,000 square-feet of gaming space, featuring 2,700 slot machines,

tours, as it is reminiscent of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Las Vegas casinos. With more

100 table games, a 1,440-seat bingo hall, off-track betting and much

than 1,000 slots, 24 table games, a live poker room and a high

more. Guests enjoy world-class entertainment at the 500-seat North-

limit slot area, groups will find the action second to none, as

ern Lights Theater, plus free music and comedy at Bar 360 and The

Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is an annual award winner for Best of Slots and Best of

Fire Pitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side bar almost nightly.

Gaming readers poll as published by Casino Player Magazine.

Seven unique restaurants provide amazing variety without ever

Overnight tours will ďŹ nd the accommodations in the 205-room

leaving the property. Enjoy all-you-can-eat, freshly-prepared food

hotel to be luxurious. The hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s modern amenities, indoor pool and

at The Buffet. Dream Dance Steak offers a twist on the traditional

ďŹ tness center, salon and day spa and exceptional service will create

Wisconsin steakhouse with seasonal menus and more than 600

an unforgettable experience. The casino hotel also offers a unique

wines. The Fire Pit Sports Bar and Grill features 34 HDTVs (includ-

Aqua Range and putting green. Guests can practice their golf swing

ing jumbo screens) and serves tasty sports bar fare. Locavore


by driving ďŹ&#x201A;otation golf balls out into Wicks Lake, next to

boasts a globally-inspired

the hotel. A ďŹ&#x201A;oating target

menu with local, sustainable

green makes for challenging

foods. Menomonee Valley

fun, as well. Dining at Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casino

Food Court offers quick, convenient bites. RuYi is an

and Hotel offers a variety of

authentic Asian restaurant â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

delicious choices, ranging

and now a sushi bar â&#x20AC;&#x201C; empha-

from a deli and casual dining

sizing noodle and rice dishes,

experience, to an expansive


buffet and high-end steak-



house. Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parent com-

sashimi. Wild Earth Cucina Italiana boasts old-world ďŹ&#x201A;avors of traditional Italian dishes and

pany is Delaware North, who among other enterprises, pioneered

reinvented classics.

sports concessions. You will ďŹ nd Delaware North operating all the

Just steps away from the casino action, Potawatomiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 19-story lux-

food venues at such places as Lambeau Field, Busch Stadium, Tar-

ury hotel features one-of-a-kind views of Milwaukee. It has 16 suites

get Field, Great American Ball Park, TD Gardens, Met Life Stadium

with expansive living areas, large master bedrooms and bathrooms

and more.

and generous amenities. The 3,000-square-foot top-ďŹ&#x201A;oor presiden-

Customized motorcoach tour plans are developed to meet the

tial suite is the largest of its kind in Milwaukee. Special events, gam-

needs of the group traveler, with subsidy, meal and free play options

ing, dining, bars, live entertainment and accommodations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are

available. Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s provides itinerary suggestions to groups interested

all here, under one roof.

in packaging all the wonderful tour options available in the Quad

Groups can receive some great special packages, which can include play rewards, food and beverage coupons and more. Phone the Travel and Tour Department at (414) 847-7910 or e-mail Tour& for details.

Cities area of Rock Island, and Moline, Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, along with surrounding communities. For booking information, contact Hollie Myers, tour and travel manager, at (800) 477-8946 or by e-mail at:

For more information visit or phone (800) 729-7244.

    Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casino and Hotel Rock Island, Illinois In the birthplace of riverboat gaming and, where three casinos still operate in relatively close proximity to one another, Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casino and Hotel stands alone as the only original operation of the three and is the first land-based casino of the three. Conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 280 and Highway 92 in Rock Island, Illinois, Jumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casino and Hotel features a state-of-the-art, one level casino with more than 40,000square-feet of gaming space, which makes it one of the largest 24 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

    Mystic Lake Casino Hotel Prior Lake, Minnesota

Mystic Lake features nearly 600 recently remodeled, luxurious hotel rooms and

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, the premier

recently broke ground on a new nine-story

gaming facility in the Midwest, continually

hotel tower with 180 additional rooms, nearly

creates new, fun and exciting entertainment

all of which will capture a stunning view of

experiences for its guests. Located 20 min-

The Meadows at Mystic Lake championship

utes southwest of Minneapolis, Mystic Lake

golf course. When the project is complete,

has one of the Midwestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest gaming ďŹ&#x201A;oors

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel will be the second-

featuring slots, blackjack and bingo. Guests

largest hotel in the Twin Cities metro area.

are invited to taste their way through distinc-

Mystic Lake is located in RiverSouth â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

tive restaurants and bars, pamper themselves

Land of Big Fun. River South is a collabo-

at The Spa, see some of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest stars

ration between four of Minnesotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest

live on stage in the Mystic Showroom and

entertainment destinations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Canterbury

laugh out loud at the Mystic Comedy Club.

Park, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Valleyfair

Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160; Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;ÂŤ/Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;  Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;ÂŤ /Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â?Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;t Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â?Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x153;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;t UĂ&#x160;/Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Â?Â?iĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x160;/Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192; Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160; MustMusical M See UĂ&#x160;7>Ă&#x152;iĂ&#x20AC;Ă&#x160; Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x192; Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160; atinees! UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x2022;Â&#x2C6;`i`Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x17D;iĂ&#x192; Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;-Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;ÂŤĂ&#x192; UĂ&#x160; Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;} Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;7Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x160;/>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;} Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;"Ă&#x203A;iĂ&#x20AC;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;}Â&#x2026;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;*>VÂ&#x17D;>}iĂ&#x192; Ă&#x160; Ă&#x160;

and the Renaissance Festival â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which are


located just four miles apart. Through this collaboration, guests will be able to cheer, scream, taste and explore their way through RiverSouthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unique attractions and experience thrills for the young and the young at heart. For more information about bus tour group

815.220.7386 www

specials offered by Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, phone (952) 445-9000.

'87;4201; 76 '<,,.::!

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


any people are looking for tours that offer them a chance to connect with their faith or spiritual-

ity. This niche travel market is increasingly popular with group tours and there are travel companies and tour operators all over North America that specialize in this type of travel. There are attractions located throughout the world and many of the most inspirational are located in the United States and Canada. Religious music, art, plays, shrines, holy sites, historic missions and places of worship are just a few examples of the types of attractions faith based tours visit.

National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods Indian River, Michigan The Cross in the Woods is one of Michigan's best known and most visited shrines. The shrine is located at 7078 M-68, two minutes west of Interstate 75 exit 310 (Indian River). The Cross in the Woods is staffed by Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart, St. Louis, Missouri Province. It was declared a national shrine on September 15, 2006. The highlight of the shrine is a large wooden cross



and bronze ďŹ gure of Christ. It is one of the largest cruciďŹ xes in the world at 51 feet high. The site also includes outdoor and indoor churches, numerous smaller shrines and a nun doll museum. The Cross in the Woods is open 365 days a year and the church built at this location holds masses every day, year-round. Each year between 275,000 and 325,000 people come to visit the Cross in the Woods Shrine. Motorcoach groups are welcome and encouraged to visit this unique site of inspiration and faith. The site also features a gift shop

Faith-Based Tours

offering a variety of beautiful religious items.

Museum of Contemporary

artists and the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faith traditions, and to

There is no charge to visit the shrine. Visit their

Religious Art at St. Louis University

serving as a forum for interfaith understand-

Web site for times and a schedule of events.

St. Louis, Missouri

ing. MOCRAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibitions demonstrate the

The church grounds are also open for guests

Saint Louis Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum of Con-

range of contemporary religious and spiritual

to stroll and enjoy the serenity from dawn to

temporary Religious Art (MOCRA) is the world's

artistic expression, presenting the work of

dusk. For more information and details about

ďŹ rst interfaith museum of contemporary art that

artists of regional, national and international

the fascinating history of the Cross in the

engages religious and spiritual themes. Since

stature. MOCRA has received substantial crit-

Woods visit or phone

its opening in 1993, MOCRA has been dedi-

ical acclaim in the popular and artistic media,

(231) 238-8973.

cated to the ongoing dialogue between todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

including being named by USA Today as one of

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

        Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top 10 reli-

meant to be. Shortly after coming here, she established the ďŹ rst con-



gregation of Sisters founded in the U.S. She also founded the ďŹ rst free

MOCRAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibitions are

Catholic school for girls, which was staffed by Sisters. Sadly, Seton

complemented by pub-

died in 1821 at just 46 years old. Many, many years later, in 1975, Eliz-

lic presentations and

abeth Ann Seton became a saint.

performances, including

When you come for a visit, your group can watch a 12-minute ďŹ lm

)')" $ $#("%$&&+ !  $)' &( ( an audio and video podcast called MOCRA ( $) ' # *&' (+

about Setonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and self-guide the museum to gain some back-

Voices, a series of conversations with thinkers and practitioners at the

ple, larger groups are welcomed by dividing the whole group into

intersection of contemporary art, religion and spirituality.

smaller sub-groups.

ground and perspective on her life. The theater seats up to 100 peo-

MOCRA welcomes group visits to the museum (a cap of 30 partici-

With a guide, your group will discover where and how Seton lived

pants is preferred), and the capable staff tailors visits to each group's

when she came to Emmitsburg. They will see the 1750s stone house

interests and needs. There is no charge for group visits, but groups are

where she ďŹ rst lived, which is decorated with period furnishings and

asked to contact MOCRA at least two weeks in advance, or as soon as

features a turn-of-the-century hearth kitchen. You will also see the

possible, in order to avoid scheduling conďŹ&#x201A;icts and to ensure that staff

White House, built in 1810 after Seton realized that the Stone House

docents are available. Since MOCRA is located on a university campus,

was not enough for all that she had in mind. Your group will also have

parking is limited. However, there are convenient nearby drop-off points

a chance to take in the awe-inspiring Basilica, made of Italian mar-

as well as designated bus parking on campus. Almost all of the museum

ble and mosaics, where Saint Elizabeth Ann Setonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remains are

is mobility accessible, with the exception of the balcony gallery.

entombed. All three of these sites are within easy walking distance,

MOCRA is located in midtown St. Louis, making it a convenient spring-

and the entire property is accessible for those with special needs.

board for exploring the rich religious fabric of the metro region. St. Louis

Group tour planners have appreciated knowing that the site is a 2016

abounds in notable religious architecture, from the Holy Family Log

Top 100 ABA Event. The museum exhibit, 40 Years A Saint, earned this

Church in Cahokia, Illinois (built in 1799 and the oldest church west of

designation. There is no admission fee for the museum or tour, but a

the Alleghany Mountains) to the Old Cathedral in the shadow of the Arch,

$10 contribution per person is suggested in lieu of admission. About

to the Cathedral Basilica with its magniďŹ cent expanses of mosaic, to the

two hours is needed for groups to appreciate the complete experience.

sleek modern lines of the Saint Louis Abbey and Temple Israel. The Shrine

Depending on the dining needs of your group, on-site catering is

of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois, is just one of a number of

available upon request. There are two outdoor picnic areas for groups

sites in the region popular with pilgrims and seekers.

who come with boxed lunches.

For more information phone (314) 997-7170, fax (314) 997-2999

For religious groups, they are happy to accommodate requests for

or e-mail mocra@slu.ede. You can visit their Web site at

a special Mass or service. Many of these groups have enjoyed visit-

or check them out on Facebook ( or Twit-

ing as a pilgrimage or retreat site; however, they wholeheartedly wel-

ter (

come visitors of all backgrounds. Many ďŹ nd hope hearing Setonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inspirational story. When they discover the misfortunes she experi-

The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Emmitsburg, Maryland

enced, and how she thrived despite those misfortunes, they realize that they can do it, too. Want to learn more? Visit the Seton Shrine online at

For an incredible spiritual destination that is unparalleled, bring your You can also contact Bridgett Bassler,

group to The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmits-

programs coordinator, who handles group tours for the Shrine. She can

burg, Maryland. Conveniently located along a major interstate (US Route

be reached at or (301) 447-7050.

15), the attraction is 10 miles south of Gettysburg and about 70 miles north of Washington D.C. It is easily accessible; there is plenty of parking for

( $#! & # $  #( ! ,( ## ($#

buses. What makes this attraction so special is the story behind it. At just 29 years old, Elizabeth Ann Seton was a bankrupt widow with ďŹ ve children to raise in 1804. At that time, women could not own property or sign contracts. Despite these challenges, Seton thrived, due to her unwavering faith in God. After working and living for a period of time in New York City and Baltimore, she came to Emmitsburg with her family, and she realized that this is where she was Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 27

New, Improved and Different Alcatraz East Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Welcome to the Big House. Alcatraz East, a new crime museum, announces they are scheduled to open in East Tennessee in fall 2016. The museum, which will give visitors the behind-the-scenes story to our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crime history, will be located at the entrance to The Island at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighbors at The Island include Paula Deenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Family Kitchen and Margaritaville Hotel, and will offer historic objects and activities for visitors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is going to be the place for the public to learn about crime history, law enforcement and all things related,â&#x20AC;? stated Janine Vaccarello, chief operating ofďŹ cer for Alcatraz East, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We look forward to being part of this community.â&#x20AC;? The museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s façade will be themed as a 19th century prison, which was always the desire of museum-owner, John Morgan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He was originally inspired to do this project after visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco over 20

" % 

years ago,â&#x20AC;? states Vaccarello, â&#x20AC;&#x153;So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only ďŹ ting and DUI interactive safety training. Arti-

FlyOver at Mall of America

Morgan previously owned the Crime

facts from the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extensive collec-

Bloomington, Minnesota

Museum in Washington, D.C., which per-

tion that will be on display include John

FlyOver America, a fully immersive ďŹ&#x201A;ight

manently closed on September 30, 2015,

Dillingerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death mask, Al Caponeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rosary,

experience, recently opened at the Mall of

allowing for the creation of a more ambitious

a Bonnie and Clyde collection, the Bronco

America. Using the most advanced ďŹ&#x201A;ight-ride

attraction he says will be even better than

from the O.J. Simpson chase, an FBI poly-

technology, the $20 million attraction pro-

the previously â&#x20AC;&#x153;must-seeâ&#x20AC;? D.C. museum.

graph machine, Al Pacinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s submachine gun

vides guests with a breathtaking aerial tour

The interactive museum will feature a

from the movie Scarface, items related to the

of some of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular land-

variety of ways for visitors to learn more

2012 Benghazi attack and the latest in law

marks and spectacular sights.

about criminal intent, criminal proďŹ les, the

enforcement technology.

ting that we create Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original vision.â&#x20AC;?

A must-see attraction for locals and vis-

penal system, victimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stories, crime pre-

There will be 20 different exhibit areas

itors alike, FlyOver America is a ride unlike

vention, law enforcement, forensic science

covering five themes for guests to explore:

anything Minnesota has ever seen, as riders

and our justice system. Spread over two

history of American crime, the conse-

are suspended in the air with feet dangling

ďŹ&#x201A;oors, the 24,000-square-foot museum will

quences of crime, crime scene investiga-

10 to 40 feet above the ground and immersed

include interactive displays on these subjects

tion, crime fighting and pop culture.

in a giant half-spherical dome screen. Dur-

This attraction will be located at the

ing the experience, guests feel like they are

Some of the interactive features of the

entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Park-

truly ďŹ&#x201A;ying as they enjoy a birds-eye view of

museum will be a CSI lab, a simulated shoot-

way, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. For more

varied locations stretching from Alaska to

ing range, safe cracking, digital ďŹ ngerprint-

information, visit

Hawaii to Maine. Special effects including

as well as original artifacts.

28 â&#x20AC;˘ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

         wind, mist and scents add to the immersive

tor general of the Canadian War Museum.

nature of the experience.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The stories they tell about day-to-day life at

Designed by a worldwide team of film-

Lemon Creek contribute enormously to our

makers, technicians and creative consul-

understanding of how people coped with

tants, FlyOver America was filmed using a

forced relocation, conďŹ nement, the conďŹ s-

state-of-the-art 6k resolution camera

cation of property, racism and other mis-

mounted on the front of a helicopter. The

treatment during and after the war.â&#x20AC;?

+') *&

FlyOver America creative team worked for

Ayukawa was born on June 26, 1930 in

more than a year filming at locations all

Vancouver, British Columbia to Kenji and

over the country, including notable Min-

Misayo Ishii. Following Japanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entry into the

nesota landmarks Lake Calhoun, Red Wing

Second World War in December 1941, the

and the Mississippi River.

Canadian government forcibly removed all

After being widowed in 1981, she began

FlyOver America is located in the south-

Japanese Canadians â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including the Ishiis

a new chapter of her life, studying Japanese

west corner of Nickelodeon Universe in the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; from the coastal areas of British Colum-

history and language at the University of Vic-

Mall of America, home to more than 520

bia. They were relocated inland to detention

toria, and completing a masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree and

world-class shops and attractions. Although

camps, road construction camps and prairie

a PhD focusing on the lives of Japanese immi-

there are no age restrictions to ride the attrac-

sugar beet farms. The government seized

grants. As a historian, Dr. Ayukawa wrote

tion, all guests must be 40 inches or taller.

their homes, businesses and most of their

extensively about the poverty, racism and

Admission is separate form Nickelodeon Uni-

personal belongings, and sold them to fund

violence that Japanese-Canadian women

verse attraction passes. For more information

the camps.

endured. Her publications include the land-

visit ďŹ&#x201A;

+($ &  " $

A seemingly typical teenager despite the

mark article â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Wives and Wise Mothers:

challenging circumstances, Ayukawa

Japanese Picture Brides in Early Twentieth-

included images of her friends and other res-

Century British Columbiaâ&#x20AC;? (BC Studies, 1995)

idents, as well as conditions at the camp. She

and the book Hiroshima Immigrants in

also documented activities such as theater

Canada, 1891â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1941 (UBC Press, 2008).

and musical performances and sports â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

After Dr. Ayukawa passed away in 2013,

Lemon Creek All-Stars won the Slocan Val-

her family offered the album and related pho-

ley baseball championship in 1942-1943.

tographs to the Canadian War Museum.

Some pages of her album resemble a school

The Canadian War Museum, located in

yearbook, with individual, autographed por-

Ottawa, Ontario, is Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national

traits of friends. Many of them added senti-

museum of military history. Its mission is to

ments such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;miss youâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;hope we meet

promote public understanding of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Canadian War Museum

again.â&#x20AC;? Other photographs document the

military history in its personal, national and

Ottawa, Ontario

experiences of her father at the Blue River

international dimensions. For more infor-

road camp. Most are meticulously captioned

mation, visit

The Canadian War Museum has acquired a photo album created by Michiko â&#x20AC;&#x153;Midgeâ&#x20AC;? Ayukawa (nĂŠe Ishii) when she was a

with names, dates and locations. After the war, the Ishii family, like other

teenager. She and her Japanese-Canadian

Japanese Canadians, were prohibited from

family were treated as enemy aliens and

returning to the British Columbia coast. They

forcibly relocated during the Second World

moved to an abandoned prisoner of war

War. More than 100 candid snapshots record

camp at Neys, Ontario before making a new

her life at the Lemon Creek internment camp

home in Hamilton. Ayukawa went on to earn

in the Slocan Valley, B.C., as well as before

bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and master's degrees in chem-

and after the war.

istry and married Kaoru â&#x20AC;&#x153;Karlâ&#x20AC;? Ayukawa in

â&#x20AC;&#x153;These rare photos add to our collection

1955. She worked brieďŹ&#x201A;y at the National

of visual material documenting the experi-

Research Council in Ottawa and later taught

ences of Japanese Canadians during the Sec-

chemistry at Carleton University and the Uni-

ond World War,â&#x20AC;? said Stephen Quick, direc-

versity of Victoria.




Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 â&#x20AC;˘ 29

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

20 Tips for Bus Tour Escorts

2. Know time of trip departure. Arrive at least half an hour early. Escorts should know

one who agrees with them. Handle major problems as soon as possible. 6. Check in all passengers before they board

Who escorts bus trips? Most of my read-

the approximate arrival time to destinations

ers. You may be the trip planner for your

and return home time. If you will be more

the bus. Verify their names and check spelling.

retiree, church or school group or community

than half hour late or early, notify you desti-

Tell them where they sit. If your trip is going

center, a paid escort for a bus or travel com-

nation host. On the way home, let your pas-

out of the country, check to make sure they

pany, an entrepreneur who sets up bus tours,

sengers know the time of arrival, especially

have proper ID for re-entry to the states (a pass-

a bus company employee who plans trips and

if it is more than a half hour different than

port or birth certificate with photo ID). Most

escorts FAM trips, a step-on guide in the tourist

the time scheduled.

casinos require photo IDs to collect bonuses

3. Walk through the bus before the pas-

and get a player’s card. Make sure if any pas-

line runs without a traditional escort on board.

sengers board. Check the restroom, bus clean-

senger needs medication they have it with them

Whether you do it as a vocation or as a part

liness, meet the driver and confirm paperwork.

and not packed below in the luggage.

time opportunity to travel, hopefully, this col-

Load your snacks, luggage, games and prizes.

umn will be a beneficial keeper.

Claim your seat up front near the microphone.

are correct. Put your phone number on the

4. Get to know your driver – your partner on

back of their name tag. Have extra name tags

sengers happy, safe, informed, on time, enter-

the trip. Ask how they would like to be intro-

and a felt tip marker in case there are errors

tained and motivated to take another trip with

duced, if they have any special preferences or

in the spelling of their name or there is a last

the escort and/or the company he or she rep-

requests and let them know yours. Your driver

minute substitute. It is a nice way to meet and

resents. According to my passengers, the most

can answer questions about how to run the

talk to passengers individually.

important action is to treat them the way you

DVD, CD player and microphone and adjust

want to be treated – kindly. Here are 20 tips

individual seats, lights and temperature. It is

ing speech. After all passengers are on board,

on making it happen, including the last very

best to ask when he or she is not driving. If you

smile and offer a friendly greeting. Introduce

wordy tip on how to get hired for free travel

are happy with the driver, consider requesting

yourself and the driver. Let them talk if they

as a paid bus tour escort.

him or her again on your future trips. (Not

choose to. Go over the basic bus rules. For

always possible but worth a try.)

example, “The bus will not move until every-

area where you live or a driver who makes

A good bus tour escort keeps their pas-

1. Make a bus checklist. Keep it in your

7. Hand out name tags and make sure they

8. Memorize or make notes on a welcom-

home or office with other items you take on

5. Have the names and phone numbers of

one is seated.” A safety video should be shown

bus trips such as: your badge, pen, markers,

all passengers and their seat assignments.

at this time if you have one. Give an overview

hand sanitizer, notebook, phone (iPhone rec-

Most tour companies have assigned seating,

of your itinerary and tell them if there are any problems to let you know.

ommended), DVDs, CDs, games, pencils, etc.

often based on when the passenger pays.

Include a reminder of things to accumulate

Escorts should inform passengers of their seat

9. When passengers exit the bus tell them

prior to the trip such as snacks, the list of

assignment when checking in and tell them

the time to return. An orderly way to leave the

passengers with phone numbers, seating

how seats are assigned if asked. If there is a

bus should be communicated. For example

arrangement, nametags for passengers and

problem, you might inform them when every-

door side off first alternating with driver side

trip itinerary.

one is on board that they can switch with any-

off first. If you are escorting a long trip you

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

  may suggest changing seats every day, Usually a seat advances two seats a day.

16. Decide when, where, how long to stay

energy levels, liking to have fun, the “strength

and what to do on rest stops. Most motor-

of Superman and the patience of God,” good

10. Count heads each time the passen-

coach stops include retail therapy, an oppor-

grooming ,willing to accept change, stressed

gers board the bus so you know everyone is

tunity for snacks and restrooms. Keep your

loved being with people over traveling, liked

on board. If you have a full bus it might be

schedule in mind. Although motorcoaches

being leaders and responsible for the wel-

easier to count empty seats. Make sure no

have on-board lavatories, most bus trips, espe-

fare of a group, knowledge of the destina-

one is in the restroom if the count is one

cially with mature passengers, stop approxi-

tions of where tours go, mature judgment

short. Do not leave without them (except in

mately every two hours because it is health-

and the vigor to bear up. One felt “the ideal

very rare instances.) Ask for passengers’ help.

ier and more comfortable for those on board

candidate is a recent widow, completely flex-

if the lavatories are used less frequently.

ible in her time still vigorous, who has feel-

11. Dress professionally. Wear clean, neat, comfortable clothes as well as a name tag

17. Carry important phone numbers with

ings within herself to give a great deal, to

and a watch. Follow your employer’s dress

you. This includes your employer, bus garage,

share and is herself well-traveled, very car-

code. Some tour escorts carry an umbrella

step-on guide, driver and places you are sched-

ing and understanding.” The people I inter-

or wear a bright or unique scarf, hat or jacket

uled to stop. These are necessary in case of last

viewed agreed and added a few tips of things

to set them apart as the leader.

minute changes and unexpected problems.

to avoid in the interview such as being late,

12. Share your talents with your passen-

18. You are the go-between the hotel or

not bringing the information required, smok-

gers. Most passengers will appreciate your

other stops. It is your duty to ensure pas-

ing, chewing gum, wearing scuffed up shoes

talents whether it is a beautiful voice and

senger get their room keys, know bus depar-

or being untruthful on their resume.

leading them in song, the ability to tell inter-

tures and where to put luggage when check-

I believe people at the interview who have

esting stories, teach them something like

ing out. Let passengers know your phone

a good appearance, smile, have a firm hand

how to take travel photographs or reduce

and room number. Arrange a welcoming

shake, good body language, mention a friend

pain and swelling of a bee sting with an

event in the hotel/motel where you are stay-

who is a respected employee of the company

onion, sharing a batch of cookies, or fluency

ing the first day or for multiple days.

and afterwards mail a thank you note with a

in languages. I usually took a group picture

19. Pick up flyers and brochures of the

copy of their resume to their interviewer

places you visited and return them to your

enhances their chance to be hired. Persis-

13. Know something about your destina-

employer. Up to date information is appre-

tence, prayer and being at the right place at

tion. You can get this from the Internet, your

ciated when planning future trips. Return trip

the right time help too.

company’s tour catalog, an AAA tour book,

evaluation sheets filled in by you and your

Serendipity: After turning in my column

library book, newspaper or personal experi-

passengers to your employer within a day of

last issue on “Going Green,” I attended the

ence. Have a short written commentary to read

returning from your trip. Keep in touch with

annual First Grade Concert at Normandy

on the coach. Possibly furnish them maps if

passengers. Let them know your future trips.

School in Bay Village where 165 first graders

20. How to get hired as a paid bus tour

were on stage narrating, singing and dancing

of the group and gave it to them.

the opportunity for walking is planned. 14. Plan bus activities. Most riders enjoy

escort. A great resume can get you an inter-

to songs like “It’s Easy Bein’ Green,” “Earth-

a good movie, games of chance like bingo,

view. A great interview can get you a job.

lings Unite,” “Recycle Rap,” “ Shut it Off!” and

get-acquainted games, games of skill, good

Past experience is a good predictor or future

“What a Wonderful World.” My granddaugh-

music and a time for conversation, rest and

performance. Rather Frommer’s article “Tour

ter Lila Charleen was one of them.

silence. They also like to munch on snacks

Escorts Require Special Characteristics”

Thank you for your comments on this col-

like wrapped candy, cookies, stick pretzels

quoted what the top tour companies looked

umn and for suggestions for future articles.

and bottled water. On bus company tours

for. They include: Good communications

The September-October column will be 20

these are often supplied by the bus company.

skills, kindness and caring, prior experience

tips on “scary” trips. My e-mail address is

15. Know basic information about the

escorting trips as head of a group, high

company you work for and their policies. This can be found in your trip catalog, the Inter-

With degrees from four universities, Dr. Charleen Jaeb was a business professor at Cuyahoga

net and company literature. Bring some com-

Community College. After her retirement in 2000, she became a trip planner for the CCC

pany catalogs with you. One of your pas-

retirees and Middleburg Heights Women’s Club, filling as many as 15 buses each year. Jaeb

sengers might be considering chartering a

and her husband escorted trips for Lakefront Lines in Cleveland, Ohio. She says, “It was won-

bus, setting up a group tour, knowing about

derful and somewhat unbelievable in retirement to be able to do what you love to do and get

other tours or seeking employment.

paid for doing it.”

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 31

THE CURIOUS TOUR PLANNER Number 14 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. Do you know of any new trends in tourism destinations? –– Midwest Tour Operator A. I suspect that many trends may be local or regional. However, we did run across mention of some new trends that were published in the Pacific Northwest in early June. It mentioned food, wellness and marijuana. This report suggests that there are an increasing number of “food tourists” who make their travel plans around food and drink or make them part of existing travel plans. These people are reportedly more interested in exploring the gastronomic offerings in a given area than its cultural and historical attractions. This would tend to suggest that if you have enough customers, you might consider running a tour based substantially on eating and drinking along the way. We already know of several cities that have developed a reputation for food and particularly local cuisine. This might also suggest that some tours might be more attractive to these people if they highlighted the dining aspects of the itinerary. Another suggestion is that wellness travel has become one of the fastest-growing tourism categories today. This is actually 32 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016

nothing new since even the ancient Romans went to mineral baths and the Victorian British went to various Mediterranean locations. However, the big question is how to incorporate wellness into bus tours. While there are numerous health resorts and spas, they do not generally lend themselves well to bus tours. However, there are suggestions that this may become even more important in the future so it might pay to test the waters with one or more tours, or variations on standard tours, that would cater to those interested in this. Obvious examples would be a tour that offered organic meals, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes. Moderate physical activity such as hiking could be included. You might even consider including a class in stress reduction and healthy cooking. The third suggestion points out that Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have legalized recreational marijuana. This gives a new meaning to “Rocky Mountain High.” Some people in the industry call this “pot tourism” while others suggest the name “Canna bus tours.” Tours visit marijuana dispensaries, local growing operations and even cooking classes. There are some hotels that allow smoking on their premises. Using a bus probably has some merit because it keeps the participants from getting behind the wheel of their own vehicle. However, you would be well advised to make sure of the legalities involved. While recreational marijuana may be legal in these states, public consumption of it is not. Q. We are planning a tour to Yellowstone National Park. What should we tell our tour guide and passengers? –– California Tour Operator A. 2016 Marks the Centennial of the National Park Service. While Yellowstone is the first and possibly best-known national park, other national parks share similar problems and concerns. Based on what we have heard, our suggestion would be to advise your passengers to follow park rules and to exercise caution when out of the bus.

2015 was a record-breaking year for the park. For the first time in the park’s 144year history, they counted more than four million visitors, up 17 percent from the previous year. The greatest increase was in bus tours, which reportedly have doubled in the past five years. Some of the park staff and administrators have indicated that the visitors can sometimes be more of a problem than the bison, bears, elk and wolves. Recent incidents have put park officials on edge even before the real tourist season starts. This past March the park issued a press release to encourage visitors to mind their manners and keep a safe distance from the wild animals. There was also a letter drafted that went to nearly 100 different tour operators. Some of the more recent examples includes park visitors who found a wild newborn bison calf and put it into their vehicle. Not too long ago a visitor crashed a drone into Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Geologists are concerned that incidents like this could harm the hot spring by plugging its vents. As a result, drones are now grounded. Many of the visitors come from big cities and have never seen wild animals outside of a zoo. Combine this with the “selfie” craze and you can see trouble brewing. Park regulations require visitors to maintain at least a 25-yard distance from the bison and elk but a 100-yard distance from bears and wolves. There have been examples of visitors walking up to an agitated bison to take a selfie with the one-ton animal. Five visitors were injured because they approached bison too closely last year. In fact, more visitors have been harmed by bison in recent years than wolves. The wildlife is not the only problem as visitors will leave designated paths and boardwalks. Serious damage has been done to some of the sensitive crusts and organisms, particularly adjacent to the hot springs. Answers not credited to other individuals are provided by Larry Plachno, editor.

Social Marketing for Tourism by Catherine Heeg

13 Steps to a Sure Fire Integrated Marketing Campaign Marketing campaigns that reach your audience at the right time and in the right space can be really easy – or really baffling. It seems there are so many steps, strategies and tactics. Let us break it down into 13 easy steps that can be used over and over again, no matter your audience or offering. Tour operators and bus owners can use these steps when marketing a new tour, a new destination or even a new Web site. Destinations can leverage these steps to pull together an event or festival campaign or amplify a new contest. Suppliers will find solutions to market a new product, gain visibility or grow their email list. Are you like many industry pros who are continually looking for an easy-to-use template to power up your marketing? When you work through these steps, each and every campaign will almost build itself. Steps to an Integrated Marketing Campaign 1. Set specific goals. a. Do you want more fans, more bookings, more brand recognition? b. Clarify your goals with these tips. c. Have a clear start and end date to your campaign. d. Set a budget and timeline. 2. Get crystal clear on what you want to market. a. Laser-like focus on a new tour, event or special is more effective than a broad campaign. 3. Set up a team for each campaign. a. Consider which staff or outside support will be most valuable. b. Partnering with industry leaders can be a benefit. c. Can an intern or marketing professional help out? 4. Understand your target audience. a. Clearly define your audience demographics. 1. Here is how: b. What publications do they read online and offline? c. How do they want to hear from you? d. Where do they hang out on social media? e. What benefits resonates with them? f. What key words and emotions appeal to them? g. Study your social analytics to dial in to your current audience 5. Visuals and graphics matter a. Create a consistent visual look; i. Colors, style, font, photography, graphics b. Develop graphics in sizes unique to each platform; i. Here is a cheat sheet: c. Use your own high-quality photos or purchase from a reputable source. d. Include a clear call to action; book now, learn more, etc. i. Install Call to Action buttons on social ads

e. Would video help? It has been shown that 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. i. Video tips here: 6. Choose platforms that meet the needs of your audience. a. Did you know that 51 percent of people ages 50-64 use at least one social networking site? b. Clearly understand the dynamics and style of the social platform(s) you choose c. Incorporate marketing content and paid ads d. You may not need to use every social or traditional channel e. Make your selection based on where your audience hangs out i. Did you know that 56 percent of people over 65 years of age have a Facebook account? f. Reject options that do not have clear value to you and your audience g. Here are tips to size up your Facebook audience. 7. Use a calendar to plan your campaign a. Repurpose copy and graphics to meet the needs of multiple social and traditional channels i. Here are time-saving tips: b. Create weekly themes based on what you are going to market. c. Gather content related to each weekly theme: a news article, a blog post of yours, engaging video, cool infographic or series of photos. d. Plan out and write your weekly content. Lay it out on a calendar so that you can visually see how your messaging will flow. e. Construct a posting schedule. 8. Keep it simple – KISS! a. Avoid wordy copy and busy graphics.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2016 • 33


b. Use a style that compliments the medium; outstanding photos on all platforms, relevant # on Instagram, short and snappy text on Facebook, shareable content on Pinterest, short and fun video on You Tube, etc. c. Go for shareability. What is most likely to inspire fans to share your content? 9. Split test a. Design two pieces with a change in one of them to test its effectiveness b. Learn more about split testing in #4: 10. Launch your campaign a. Integrate across multiple social and traditional channels. i. Here is how: b. Schedule your messages at times when clients are present. 11. Track and Analyze a. Study the effectiveness of your ad copy, graphics, channel performance, timing and audience reaction. b. Here are tips on what to measure: 12. Monitor your results and tweak as needed. 13. Enjoy your success. Rinse, lather and repeat.

steps. When you let your own company style and personality shine through, you will find success. What are your goals for your next campaign? Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at and socially.


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Bus Tours Magazine July/August 2016  
Bus Tours Magazine July/August 2016