Page 1

Volume XXXIX, Number 6 • July/August 2018

E nt er t a i nm e nt page 19

Ra il & Sa il page 4

Ga ming page 22

contents 4

JULY/AUGUST 2018 Volume XXXIX, Number 6






HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS, MUSEUMS & VETERAN-FRIENDLY If you are looking for ideas for your next veteran-friendly, student or senior tour, then look no further because these attractions are either historic or patriotic or both.

ESCAPE TO THE NORTHEAST Need a bus? How about a licensed step-on guide? Want to ride a wooden roller coaster or visit a film location? Read on.

REGIONAL ROUNDUP This new section unites attractions from across the country. Now you do not have to wait for the next issue to get information about more sites in your region.

And More 31 32 34



by Clairemarie Owens


Editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . . Larry Plachno Business Manager . . . . Nancy Ann Plachno Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . Dianne Billquist Typesetting/Page Layout . . . . Sherry Mekeel Office Asst.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicole Fehler Editorial Assistant . . . . . . . . . Tiffany Wilken Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064-9015 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site:

14 Features


22 Guides 4


RAIL & SAIL Whether traveling on the Great Lakes or through great wildernesses, these trains and ships offer great escapes.

GAMING Surf, sand, fun and sun – dining, lodging, shopping and gaming, Atlantic City has it all.

Specials 19


MUSIC, ENTERTAINMENT AND SHOWS Live performances fall somewhere between serendipity and rehearsed precision, particularly if they rely on audience participation.

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MOTORCOACH SEAT BELTS BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK Seat belts on motorcoaches is a rather recent development. Learn why they have been installed on newer buses but not older ones and the answers to several other questions.

Advertising Central/International – (815) 946-2341 West – (815) 946-2341 Midwest – (815) 946-2341 Northeast – (815) 946-2341 Southeast – (815) 946-2341


The Paramount Theatre’s marquee lights up for another evening of entertainment. Located in Anderson, Indiana, the Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom first opened in 1929. In 1989, it was nearly demolished but today stands restored and the proud owner of a Grand Page Organ. DALE PICKETT, ANDERSON/MADISON COUNTY, INDIANA VISITORS BUREAU. BUS TOURS MAGAZINE (ISSN 0199-6096) is published six times annually by National Bus Trader, Inc., 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064. Subscriptions, $15 (in US funds) annually, Canadian & International $20 (in US funds). Printed in U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Polo, Illinois 61064 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BUS TOURS MAGAZINE, 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064. Change of Address: Please send old mailing label (or old address and computer number) as well as new address. Advertising: Display advertising rates sent on request. Advertising deadline is the last day of the second month preceding publication. Founded in 1979, BUS TOURS MAGAZINE is the oldest independent magazine in the bus and group tour market. Circulation includes bus and group tour planners in the United States and Canada regardless of affiliation or whether commercial, private or corporate or group leader. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the written consent of the publisher. The name BUS TOURS MAGAZINE and the logo incorporating the passengers, bus and destinations are trade marks of National Bus Trader, Inc.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 3

Rail & Sail

Blount Small Ship Adventures


can give passengers the best vantage

to Montreal. During the winter, Blount's

and less than 84 other passengers. For more

point for viewing extraordinary locations.

small ships cruise Belize and Panama,

information, phone (800) 556-7450 or visit

One would think water and rail limit the

bringing passengers to remote cays for

travel experience, but these vessels prove

snorkeling and interesting villages away

the only limit to having a wonderful trip is

from tourist traps.

t is amazing how a small ship or a train

City to Chicago, as well as New York City

refusing to climb on board.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum

Blount’s seven-day New England program is a favorite among its loyal group of travel-

Blount Small Ship Adventures Warren, Rhode Island Blount Small Ship Adventures (BSSA)




cruising with BSSA’s friendly small ship crew




North Freedom, Wisconsin Tucked away in a valley between two swaths of the imposing Baraboo Range lies

company's headquarters in Warren, Rhode

Mid-Continent Railway Museum. The Bara-

Island, 25 minutes’ drive from Providence

boo Range is a 1.5 billion-year-old mountain

offers casual yacht-style cruising in the

and just more than one hour from Boston. A

range that has over the course of eons eroded

United States, Canada and Central America.

large lot located next to the boarding dock

down to become today’s rugged hills. Within

The company has a 52-year history of small

is able to accommodate cars and buses,

the region lies both buried iron and abundant

ship cruising, with itineraries ranging from

safely parked for the duration of the cruise.

sources of quartzite rock. The presence of

four to 16 days. Built differently by design,

Groups on board enjoy comfortable accom-

these resources brought miners to the area

Blount’s vessels are known to “Go Where The

modations, locally inspired cuisine, free beer

around the start of the 20th century, followed

Big Ships Cannot,” sailing less navigated

and wine with lunch and dinner and a unique

soon after by the laying of a new railroad line

rivers and canals of the United States and

BYOB policy.

to serve the budding industries. The mines

Canada. With a shallow draft and patented

Discover New England's colonial charm,

have long since closed and the quarry sees

retractable pilothouse, Blount is the only

rugged bays, sandy beaches and colorful

little business today, but the railroad line

overnight cruise line able to transit the his-

lighthouses that have individual stories long-

endures, carrying thousands of passengers

toric Erie Canal.

ing to be told. Explore the islands of Nan-

each year aboard antique passenger trains

The company’s unique itineraries offer

tucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island and

lovingly maintained by the volunteers at Mid-

exclusive sailings running from New York

Newport all from the comfort of a small ship,

Continent Railway Museum.

4 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Guide: Rail & Sail Visitors begin their journey at the North Freedom depot, an authentic 1894 Chicago & North Western Railway depot typical of those found in small towns across the Midwest. From there guests can enjoy a selfguided walking tour (guided tours can be arranged with advance notice) of the museum, which is filled with more than 40 restored railroad cars and locomotives dat-

Mid-Continent Railway Museum

ing from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum includes an outdoor rail yard, two large indoor display sheds, a water tower and other traditional railroad

out their First Class car fleet and offer

Wilmington & Western Railroad


onboard dining tickets for dinner trains,

Wilmington, Delaware

The highlight of the museum comes

brunch trains and more.

All aboard Delaware’s time machine, the

when visitors board the train for a 55-

Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s location

Wilmington & Western Railroad, the state’s

minute, round-trip ride in some of the

in south-central Wisconsin puts it in the middle

oldest steam tourist railroad. Bus tour

museum’s historic railcars. During the ride,

of a region abundant with group-friendly

groups will be treated to one of the most

uniformed conductors collect tickets and

attractions. Nearby destinations include Ho-

historic and scenic train trips in the eastern

share historical information about the train

Chunk Casino, Circus World Museum, House

United States, riding on restored vintage

and railroad as the train makes its way

on the Rock and the many activities found in

passenger cars behind historic locomotives.

through farmland, forests and the remnants

Wisconsin Dells. Mid-Continent is open May

Tour groups will experience the golden age

of what was once a mining boomtown. On

through October. For more information, phone

of railroading, as they chug across spectac-

select days, Mid-Continent’s volunteers roll

(800) 930-1385 or visit

ular bridges, clickety-clack through lush

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 5

Guide: Rail & Sail tall forests, wind through narrow rock cuts

sights as Brandywine Springs Park, origi-

The Wilmington & Western Railroad

and whistle past historic homes in the beau-

nally a popular resort that brought many

(WWRR) began operations in 1872, extending

tiful valley of Red Clay Creek. Much of the

tourists to the area by rail; historic mills;

20 miles to Landenberg, Pennsylvania and

line’s 10-mile route follows the path of Red

scenic farms and even a covered bridge.

moving goods between the mills along the

Clay Creek, taking passengers past such

Red Clay Creek and the Port of Wilmington. The Great Depression and the advancement

Wilmington & Western Railroad

of autos and trucks caused such a decrease in passenger and freight service that by the 1950s, the route had been cut in half, going only as far as Hockessin, Delaware. The shortened line was revived in the 1960s as a scenic tourist train. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and honored by the Delaware State Legislature as “Delaware’s Operating Railroad Museum” in 2007, WWRR will transport bus groups back to a time when steam passenger trains rolled majestically through the land and steam whistles echoed off the hills. Tour operators can choose between two ride options: a 1.5-hour round trip departing at 12:30 p.m., or a 2.5-hour round trip departing at 2:30 p.m., each with a 30-minute layover. All

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Warner Winery and Tasting Room

There’s more to experience in

PAW PAW Paw Paw offers group travelers the perfect hub to Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan attractions. Find great value with a charming downtown and affordable lodging options. Explore the area and plan tasting trips to over 20 wineries, visit beachtowns along Lake Michigan, and enjoy authentic restaurants.

Learn more and arrange your group’s lodging at Oak Cove Resort

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 7

Guide: Rail & Sail seating is coach, on typical train seats, with

also charter a train for a special event; ask

snacks and soft drinks available for sale;

for details.

passengers may bring their own food. The

Wilmington & Western Railroad, 2201

train is accessible to guests in wheelchairs

Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, Delaware,

via a lift, provided the passengers can then

is located on Route 41, six miles northwest

navigate a few steps to a regular train seat.

of Wilmington and 40 miles south of Philadel-

Restroom facilities are available aboard

phia. For more information, visit online at

the train., phone (302) 998-1930 or e-mail

The railroad operates on a set schedule most weekends and holidays, rain or shine, March through December (Sundays only during May and June), with special events, holiday trains and dinner trains slated throughout the year. “Tour groups are partial to our longer ride, especially during October and November, when the fall foliage is spectacular,” says Carole Wells, spokesperson for WWRR. Fares range from $10 to $22 per person, with special events and charters costing slightly more. Bus groups of 25 or more receive $1 off the ticketed price for scheduled trains, with comps for the bus driver and escort. Groups can

8 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018


istoric and veteran-friendly

attractions offer more than per-

formances, artifact displays

and house tours. They offer guests an opportunity to be part of a tradition, a tradition that has called some to serve their nation and others to safeguard their community’s heritage. Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum Stevenson, Washington `

Come experience 15,000 years of history

at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. Located in the middle of the

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum

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

The first floor introduces the culture of the

First Peoples – the Cascade Chinook, the impact of contact with other cultures, the emigration struggle to the West, early community development, transportation and the harvesting of resources. The grand gallery

Historic Attractions, Museums and Veteran-Friendly Locations

compares the Native American technique of dip netting for fish with the mechanical device, the fishwheel. Interest in the history

outdoor exhibits, which include a diesel loco-

from the door. Buses park in a designated

of the timber industry is stimulated by the

motive, cedar log carvings, logging equip-

bus area located on-site. Groups will be

massive Corliss steam engine and a 1921

ment, a portion of the Broughton flume and

greeted in the museum upon their arrival.

Mack log truck. Hanging in the grand gallery

an interpretive kiosk. There is also an art

You can contact the museum by phone at

is a 1917 JN-4 Curtiss airplane, affectionately

gallery that hosts a variety of temporary and

(800) 991-2338 or by e-mail at info@columbi-

known as the “Jenny.” This type of plane was

changing exhibits. The museum store offers For more information, visit

commonly used in mail deliveries, crop-dust-

a selection of souvenirs, gifts, books and col- or

ing and daredevil stunts called barnstorming.

lectibles that pertain to the Gorge and the


The mezzanine level emphasizes natural

history and culture of the region.

history with displays about geology, botany

Group reservations are required at least

and entomology. An exciting explanation of

24-48 hours in advance. The group rate is

the geological creation of the Gorge is pre-

$6 per person for groups of 10 or more. Dri-

sented in a 12-minute program in the main

vers and escorts are comped. Payment is

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Washington, D.C. Veterans groups traveling to Washington,

theater. The theater comfortably accommo-

accepted in the form of cash, check or credit

D.C. can re-experience military pageantry

dates 45-60 people. The second floor galleries

cards. No deposit is required. Tours are gen-

and inspiration by attending a free concert

tell the stories of real people who left their

erally 45-55 minutes in length and take

by The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” It

mark on local communities and concludes

place during the regular museum hours of

has been the premier music organization of

with an eight-minute DVD program, a light-

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tour arrangements

the U.S. Army since 1922 and provides musi-

hearted approach to the past and the future

can also be made before or after regular

cal support for the leadership of the United

of the Gorge. This theater seats 24.

hours upon request.

States, and for a wide spectrum of national

Other exhibits to explore include: the Spir-

Passengers are picked up and dropped off

and international events, public diplomacy,

itual Quest Gallery, the Rosary Collection and

at the front visitor entrance located 50 feet

community and international relations, Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 9

Feature: Historic Attractions recruiting initiatives and music education

tory through live vignettes and entertainment

performances are free and no tickets are


by some of the Military District of Washing-

required. Note: These concerts are suscep-

The U.S. Army Band presents free con-

ton’s premier ceremonial assets that include

tible to rain, so visit for

certs all year and performs at a few special

The U.S. Army Band, The Old Guard Fife and

updates. There will be no performance on

events in a variety of venues. Bus passengers

Drum Corps, and The U.S. Army Drill Team.

the Fridays of June 29, July 6 or August 17.

U.S. Army Band Pershing’s Own”

Twilight Tattoo will run most

Not to be missed on Saturday, August 18

Wednesdays, May through

at 8 p.m., the Band’s annual 1812 Overture

August 1 in 2018. Pre-cere-

Concert will be presented on Fort Myer’s

mony music begins at 6:30

Summerall Field (with indoor venue in case

p.m., and the tattoo starts at 7

of rain). This is a D.C. summer concert staple

p.m. Performances are on

featuring The U.S. Army Band and aided by

Summerall Field on the Fort

the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3d

Myer portion of Joint Base

Infantry Division (The Old Guard) on the cli-



mactic ending of the 1812 Overture with live

Arlington, Virginia. The tattoo

cannon-fire. For ease of entry, reach out to

will be brought indoors in case

Jen Maly at if


you want to bring a group. For a full schedule




Bleacher seating is on a firstcan attend Twilight Tattoo, an hour-long mil-

of performances, visit

come, first-served basis.

Bradford House

itary pageant featuring soldiers from the 3rd

Most Friday evenings, June 1 through

U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) and

August 31 at 8 p.m., The U.S. Army Band per-

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Tour

forms a “Sunsets with a Soundtrack” concert

It was rare to have a stone house in fron-

groups will get a glimpse into American his-

on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol. These

tier America late in the 18th Century, but the

10 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Washington, Pennsylvania

Feature: Historic Attractions Bradford House in Washington, Pennsylvania

is the oldest structure in Washington and one

After undergoing many changes in own-

is such an example. Built in 1788 by David

of the oldest in western Pennsylvania. It is

ership and usage over the decades, the

Bradford, a prominent lawyer in southwest-

the centerpiece of a rich local history that a

house was acquired by the Pennsylvania

ern Pennsylvania, it played an important role

group of loyal and dedicated citizens actively

Historical and Museum Commission in 1959

in the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794. This house

work to preserve.

and underwent an extensive restoration. It

Bradford House Museum

is now a valuable and historical jewel. The

Tour Hours: The Bradford House may be visited seven days a week (except holidays) by appointment with 48 hours notice.

Bradford House in 1965. Ownership was

House was formally dedicated as a museum

A National Historic Landmark

in ceremonies held in the garden of the

transferred to the Bradford House Historical Association in 2017.

Open Wednesday - Saturday: 11 AM - 3 PM Contact Us to Schedule Your: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Homeschoolers School Charter Bus Tastes of the 18th Century Tour* Scents of the 18th Century Tour* Photography Session* ...Let’s Work Together to Meet Your Needs! *Additional Charges Apply

Bradford House

Bradford House invites you to enjoy a tour of the house and the

175 S. Main Street Washington, PA 15301 (724) 222-3604

garden leading



recently constructed log kitchen. They

offer a variety R

Re Reeve Reev Ree Reeves M Mu Mus Muse Museu Museum

Groups of ten or more are welcome anytime by appointment.

Reeves Museum 325 E. Iron Ave. Dover, Ohio 44622 (330) 343-7040 Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 11

Feature: Historic Attractions of tour options such as: Taste of the 18th

ford House at or

Century Tours, sampling period-appropriate

(724) 222-3604.

terms as President of the United States in

treats; Scents of the 18th Century Tours, making potpourri sachets; Wine Sampling

Reagan was elected to the first of two

1981. Local friends and supporters formed

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Preser-

Dixon, Illinois

vation Foundation in the early 1980s to

Tours, partnering with local wineries; Whiskey Sampling Tours, partnering with

"All of us have a place to go back to;

purchase and preserve the house on Hen-

local distilleries; and Historic Tours, pro-

Dixon is that place for me," Ronald Reagan

nepin Avenue. It was added to the National

moting the history and heritage of the David

once said of his childhood home. Born in

Register of Historic Places in 1982, as the

Bradford House.

1911 in Tampico, Illinois, Reagan spent his

group restored it to its 1920’s appearance

In addition, tours can be built to accom-

formative years in Dixon, from

modate your specific needs. The Bradford

age nine through high school

House is available for guided tours seven

graduation. The family lived in

days a week, except major holidays. Motor-

five different rental homes in

coach drivers may drop guests off at the front

Dixon (the current executive

door; large groups are typically broken into

director of Reagan Boyhood

three smaller groups. Parking is free, but

Home, Patrick Gorman, grew up

phone for details about available options.

in the second of the five.), but the

There are several restaurants that can

house on Hennepin is the one

accommodate groups within walking dis-

Reagan and his older brother Neil

tance. Bradford House works together with

remembered best. It is the only

local restaurants, hotels and attractions to

Dixon home mentioned in Rea-

create the best possible experience for your


group. To schedule a tour, contact the Brad-

Where’s the Rest of Me?

12 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018



Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home

Feature: Historic Attractions based on Reagan’s and his brother’s rec-

funded solely by tour monies and dona-

ollections. The home officially opened to

tions. The site is a 501(c)3, so your dona-

the public on February 6, 1984, Reagan’s

tions are tax deductable.

73rd birthday. Both brothers were present at its dedication.

The home is open April through October, Monday through Saturday, from 10

Upstairs are three small bedrooms, and

a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

the first floor includes an entry hall, double

Both buildings are fairly small, so large

parlor, dining room, kitchen and pantry.

groups will be divided into smaller ones.

The boys were not allowed to play in the

Buses can park in the adjacent lot for free,

front parlor, but there is a loose tile in the

and passengers must walk a short distance

hearth where young Ron used to hide pen-

along paved walkways to the buildings.

nies. A 73-year-old Reagan put four pen-

Tickets are $8, with free driver and escort

nies here on his 1984 visit. Next, tour pas-

admissions. Active military personnel and

sengers can wander outside and peek into

first responders receive free admission;

the horse barn and view “Bessie,” a 1919

retired military personnel receive a dis-

Ford Model T, just like the one Reagan’s

count. Reservations for 10 or more should

father Jack used to own. Finally, visitors

be made two weeks in advance. Tour plan-

can stroll over to Reagan Park and sit for

ners should allot an hour for the stop, pos-

a moment of rest or reflection on one of

sibly longer for much larger groups. For

the benches. As you exit the park, you may

more information, phone (815) 288-5176

wish to stroll back to the Visitors Center to

or visit or e-mail Patrick

pick out some souvenirs or possibly leave a donation. Reagan Boyhood Home is

78'25 3/$&(

Gorman at ❑



Visit Historic Fort Belmont Jackson, Minnesota

Open Daily Memorial Day - Labor Day Fully Guided Tours Stockade, Sod House, Working Grist Mill, Museum & More (507) 847-3867

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 13

Escape to The Northeast

Huntington Museum of Art Cabell-Huntington Region West Virginia

along the magnificent Ohio River. Huntington

Museum, which is the only Smithsonian Affil-

is “Where Heritage Comes Alive!”

iate in West Virginia.

Through a nationwide contest hosted by

Huntington, the western gateway to West

The only amusement park in the state is

Frontier Communications, Huntington, West

Virginia, has a rich history of river and rail.

also located here. Camden Park is a throw-

Virginia, was named “America’s Best Com-

It was founded by railroad tycoon Collis P.

back to fun days on the midway and is home

munity” last year. “Come see us and you’ll

Huntington and is known for having the

to one of the few remaining wooden coasters

see why!” In Huntington, you can: Nuzzle up

largest inland port in the United States. Today,

in the country. The city also boasts the largest

to a kissing llama. Celebrate Appalachian

it is a diverse city with wide appeal, recently

indoor mall in the state and one of the few

Heritage in a variety of historic museums.

named a Certified Arts Community.

remaining glass factories, Blenko Glass. Ritter

Tour one of the few remaining hand-blown

Numerous museums are located here,

glass factories. Ride a wooden coaster at a

including the Huntington Museum of Art,

Park, one of the city’s many parks, is home to an award-winning Rose Garden.

100-year-old amusement park. Catch a show,

Touma Medical Museum, Museum of Radio

Huntington is also home to Marshall Uni-

have a great meal and visit unique shops.

and Technology, Marshall University Special

versity. The film We Are Marshall was filmed

Here, you can soothe your soul and liberate

Collections Museum and Heritage Farm

here and relates the tragic story of the MU foot-

your spirit in this Appalachian town, nestled 14 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

ball team, killed in a plane crash in 1970. Vis-

So much, so close!

No matter your interests, Huntington has something for everyone!

Let your folks nuzzle a llama, celebrate Appalachian heritage in a variety of historic museums, catch a show at the Keith-Albee Theatre, or enjoy great meals and local shopping! Take advantage of one of our popular itineraries, or let us customize one for you!


THE REAL HATFIELD AND MCCOY FEUD Adventure through actual feud sites on the real Hatfield and McCoy tour. From romantic entanglements to property disputes, learn how two families’ mountain pride led to the most famous feud in American history. MOVIES, MINERALS AND MINING TOUR Stops include a wide array of fun from Blenko Glass, one of the finest glass-making facilities in the world, to Hillbilly Hot Dogs, a restaurant like no other featuring gourmet hot dogs with quirky, down-home charm. Visit actual “We Are…Marshall” movie set locations and the Marshall University Memorial Fountain before heading over to West Virginia’s only Smithsonian-affiliate, Heritage Farm Museum & Village!

C AB EL L C OU N T Y | V I S ITHU N TIN GTO N W V. O RG | 304. 525. 7333

Contact Anna at to set up your visit to Huntington! Visit us online for a complete listing of Cabell County’s attractions, events and festivals.

Escape to The Northeast itors can view the Memorial Fountain on campus that stands as a reminder of the resilient

Jim Dykes

omy, the OurBus Partnership Program is a revenue driver, giving charter buses the oppor-

university and community that had to rebuild

tunity to own and operate OurBus routes, lev-

their lives afterward. For more information,

eling the playing field to compete with the


Megabuses and Greyhounds of the world. By partnering with OurBus, charter bus

Jim Dykes

companies can gross up to $400,000 a year,

Licensed New York City Tour Guide

per bus (when operating seven days per

“Many people forget that New York City

week). The new partnership program will

was the new nation's first capital. In fact,

drive a reliable revenue stream to charter

George Washington was sworn in as presi-

buses and widen their footprint in the U.S.

dent on this very spot on April 30, 1789,� says

by offering intercity and charter line runs.

New York City step-on guide Jim Dykes dur-

Leave the heavy lifting to OurBus, who

ing a tour for a group of adults and students

will handle customer service, marketing, PR

from Florida. “We were all around New York

and branding initiatives to support new

City and the kids were surprised at how much

routes under the partnership program. Our-

history is in New York. One young woman

Bus takes a flexible, creative and swift

said she had no idea New York was so full of history from the Revolutionary War.�

approach to ensuring that their bus partners New York Tours, Wall Street Walks, Rich and

will have consistent ridership on their

New York is a city of so many things, includ-

Famous Tours, and tours of Central Park,

buses. For example, they use crowdsourcing

ing famous skyscrapers, the new World Trade

Brooklyn and much more. Dykes is on Trip

to determine where they can serve trans-

Center, Broadway, the Statue of Liberty and

Advisor, Facebook and Twitter. If you would

portation "deserts" (locations with limited or

Ellis Island. It is also a center for fashion, finance

like to retain his services, contact him at (917)

no intercity transportation options), plan

and wonderful cuisine, but many visitors do

576-7170 or

"pop-up" routes for special occasions and

not realize the history that abounds all over

offer seasonal and fun promotions for groups

New York's five boroughs. “For example,� says

OurBus Charters

Dykes, “New York has many National Land-

and Partnership Program

marks, including the Empire State Building, the Plaza Hotel and Grand Central Terminal.�

and frequent riders. Moreover, they are offering bus compa-

While many small- to mid-sized charter

nies access to their technology platform,

bus operators are struggling in a down econ-

which is licensed out and can be tailored to

So many famous people who contributed to the United States and world history have lived in New York over the centuries. In addition to George Washington, hundreds of famous people resided in New York City at important times in their lives. “I do many walking tours of neighborhoods as well as step-on tours for bus groups, and I always tell people to read the plaques on buildings,â€? Dykes says. “New York has fascinating plaques commemorating long-forgotten events and people. The office of Nicola Tesla has a plaque, the building where J.P. Morgan's office stood is marked, also the building where John D. Rockefeller ran his business long before Rockefeller Center's construction.â€? Dykes also offers Harlem Tours, Architecture Tours, Greenwich Village and SoHo Walks, Broadway History Tours, Haunted 16 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

—”¢£ž¥¨ž• ’žœ”“¨Â›Â˜ÂĽÂ”¢—”¥”

ŒžÂŚÂžÂĄÂ›Â“ĹœÂ’Â›Â?¢¢Â?ÂŁÂŁÂĄÂ?Â’ÂŁÂ˜ÂžÂ?¢ĹĄÂ?ƧƍIJƤƤƤ¢ ¤Â?¥”•žž£ ÂœÂ¤Â˘Â”Â¤Âœ“”“˜’Â?£”“£ž£—”Â—Â˜Â˘ÂŁÂžÂĄÂ¨Â?Â?“Â?ÂĄÂŁž• Â’ÂžÂœÂ”Â“Â¨Ä˛žÂ&#x;”Â?˜Â?–¤–¤¢£ƌƤƼƏIJÂ?Â?“£—”¤’˜››”Â?›› Â”Â˘Â˜ÂĄÂ?Â?ŠÂ¤Â˘Â”Â¤ÂœÄ˛£ŒžÂ–Â˜Â•ÂŁ¢—žÂ&#x;¢Â?Â?“ÂœÂžÂĄÂ”Äś Â?ÂŁÂ˜ÂžÂ?Â?›žœ”“¨”Â?£”¥Ĺž¥–


Escape to The Northeast

individual needs. The platform offers dual

- Boston; White Plains - Stamford - Boston;

applications for drivers and customers – real-

New York – Syracuse; and Washington -

time tracking of buses for passengers and an

Ocean City, Maryland.

app to help drivers navigate.

OurBus tailors their partnerships to fit

The company uses analytics and crowd-

each individual bus company because no

sourcing – fielding requests from existing and

two companies are quite the same, and each

potential customers – to determine where to

company has different objectives and goals

launch new routes. By downloading the free

to meet. OurBus works closely with the bus

OurBus app from the Google Play Store or

company to agree on metrics to determine

Apple App Store, OurBus customers have the

the success of the program, by taking into

ability to: eliminate the guesswork – track

account the number of riders and the growth

OurBus status via mobile phone; eliminate

of the route. For more information on the

the hassle – no need to wait on long, slow


lines at the station to purchase tickets; and




eliminate the stress – knowledgeable bus dri-

OurBus also offers charter bus services,

vers and OurBus transportation planners

partnering with bus operators for private group

share travel updates with customers in real-

transportation, whether it is for corporate or

time and via social media.

family travel, or a special event. Interested tour

There are several bus companies that






have been recently welcomed to the OurBus

to or fill out information

Partnership Program. OurBus has partnered

online at Once OurBus

with bus companies on the East Coast and

receives information from the prospective bus

Florida for the following routes: Miami - Fort

operator, a team member will reach out for

Myers - Tampa; New York - White Plains

further trip details and pricing.

18 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Paramount Stage

Music, Entertainment and Shows


hatever your tour’s destina-

Oak Ridge Boys and other artists record their

to save the theater. The Paramount has been

tion, chances are you will

music. Located in the recording studios are

restored to its natural splendor, featuring a

find a gorgeous theater or a

more than four decades of memorabilia, pho-

magical night sky complete with hundreds

sassy restaurant that puts on live shows

tos, Grammy and Dove Awards. Groups can

of twinkling stars. It is also home to one of

nearby. With plenty of seating and first-

enjoy lunch or dinner in The Commons, an

three Grand Page organs remaining in the

class productions, these venues will have

ideal meeting space with full meal packages.

United States.

your groups thoroughly entertained.

How do you make an ordinary baseball

Enjoy an evening of dinner, live Standard-

weigh more than 4,000 pounds? You paint

bred racing and casino action. Hoosier Park


it. The World’s Largest Ball of Paint in Alexan-

Racing & Casino takes great pride in being

County, Indiana

dria is a famous roadside attraction. It has

the luckiest, friendliest and most fun desti-

Anderson/Madison County is located in

more than 25,000 coats of paint, is now more

nation in Indiana. Hoosier Park has 172,000

east central Indiana, 35 miles northeast of Indi-

than 14 feet in circumference and weighs

square feet of fully integrated gaming and

anapolis, along Interstate 69, Exit 226. Bus tours

more than 2.5 tons. The Ball of Paint has been

racing entertainment.

are invited to experience the warm, friendly

listed in the Guinness Book of World Records

For a tour of these attractions and more,

atmosphere of Gaither Family Resources and

twice. Groups can paint the ball and become

contact Maureen Lambert, CTIS at the Ander-

Music Studio in Alexandria. Alexandria is the

part of history.

son/Madison County Visitors Bureau at (765)

hometown of world-renowned gospel recording artists Bill and Gloria Gaither.

The Paramount Theatre and Ballroom in

643-5633 or

downtown Anderson is one of a few existing

Boulder Dinner Theatre

Groups will be able to shop and browse

atmospheric theaters designed by national

the vast selection of hand-chosen items, gifts,

architect John Eberson. This theater has been

(BDT Stage)

books, jewelry and all current releases from

a centerpiece of arts and culture for more

Boulder, Colorado

the Gaither Gospel Series. Tour the Gaither

than eight decades. Almost set for demolition

Since 1977, BDT Stage has been entertain-

Recording Studios where the Gatlin Brothers,

in 1989, a group of individuals rallied together

ing patrons with four Broadway-quality shows Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 19

Special: Music a year. Its professional directors and live musicians have set a standard of excellence that few

BDT Stage

can emulate. Members of the company have performed on stages all over the country, from New York and Chicago to Hollywood. They have been cast in sitcoms and feature films. Some have even been nominated for Academy Awards, but they all call BDT Stage “home.” With lavish sets and costumes and live musicians for every performance, BDT Stage’s full-scale, live theater productions are the best ticket value in town. Past and current productions include Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The musical Disenchanted! will return in 2019 for a run lasting from mid January to the end

shrimp cocktail, and typical dessert items

of March. Thereafter, Disney’s Beauty and the

include cheesecake, ice cream and various

Beast is scheduled for May through August.

pies. Alcoholic drinks, such as wine, beer,

Bread, salad, and most dinner items are

mixed drinks, and cocktails, are served, as

covered in the cost of the ticket, but premium

are many non-alcoholic beverages. The gra-

meal items, like prime rib, may be ordered

tuity is calculated separately.

at an additional cost. Appetizers and desserts

With special rates for groups of 12 or more,

are optional and also available at an addi-

BDT Stage offers the best entertainment value

tional cost. Appetizers range from soup to

along the Front Range. Seating is available for

20 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Special: Music up to 274 guests, which means the theater can

to contribute something to the performance,

and inappropriate clothing are prohibited.

easily provide an affordable, unique experience

quite an achievement considering the venue

The staff suggests guests arrive 30 to 15 min-

for any special occasion. The group sales

accommodates 170 people.

utes early.

department is available by phone on Tuesdays,

Appetizers are served at a buffet, followed

Agatha’s is located at 161 Peachtree Cen-

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., or Wednesdays, Thurs-

by a course of soup and then salad. The

ter Avenue in downtown Atlanta and can be

days and Fridays, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Holiday

fourth course, the entrée, is made to order.

easily reached via I-75/85. Buses can drop

hours may vary. For more information, visit

While selections vary, the restaurant offers

off passengers at the front door, and the For group reservations, contact

two dishes featuring chicken and two fea-

restaurant is handicap accessible. Up to two

via phone at (303) 449-6000, ext. 6 or e-mail

turing fish. Three more dishes provide diners

motorcoaches can park along the side of the


with their choice of beef, pork, or vegetarian

building. Additional bus parking on Ellis

meal. A glass of wine is also part of the din-

Street is available with advance notice. For

Agatha’s: A Taste of Mystery

ner, and desserts are freshly baked. Guests

more information, phone (404) 584-2233 or

Atlanta, Georgia

are encouraged to bring food storage con-


For more than 30 years, Agatha’s has

tainers because the restaurant does not pro-

served comical mysteries with freshly pre-

vide carryout boxes, and those with food

pared dinners. Their plays are written for the

allergies can have their needs addressed.

restaurant and often reference and parody

Agatha’s also offers slightly less expensive

pop culture. The four acts weave through the

three course luncheons and Sunday mati-

many courses served during the 2-1/2 hour

nees. Performances begin at 12:30 and 3 p.m.

program, and though not obligatory, audi-

respectively. Note matinee and luncheon

ence participation is a large part of the expe-

offerings are different from dinner selections.

rience. At the beginning of the night, random

Groups may also schedule a dinner perfor-

guests are given special parts and lines to

mance on Mondays. The dress code is casual,

perform, but all guests have an opportunity

so coat and tie are not required, but flip-flops


Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 21


Borgata Casino Atlantic City, New Jersey Atlantic City, the East Coast’s original place to play, offers world-renowned enter-

establishments, including Pandora, Coach,

delightfully tasty mix of gourmet restaurants

Michael Kors, Guess, Banana Republic Fac-

with an amazing array of internationally

tory, Yankee Candle and more.

acclaimed chefs. Atlantic City offers many

tainment, vibrant nightlife, the latest casino

For visitors who like to be entertained,

choices that are sure to please any picky

games and a shopper’s paradise with dis-

the nightlife options in Atlantic City are lim-

palate and price conscious visitors. Dishes

count outlet shopping. Experience Atlantic

itless. From country and rock to rodeos, box-

from all ethnic backgrounds, such as Mex-

City with an endless array of options.

ing and midget car racing, all are performed

ican, American, Italian, Vietnamese, Asian

under the bright lights at Atlantic City’s casino

Indian, Southern, Cuban, Mediterranean

properties or historic Boardwalk Hall.

and more, can be found at dozens of restau-

Atlantic City is constantly on the move with new visitor attractions like the Steel Pier Observation Wheel, which is the third

When the sun goes down, the action is

largest in the U.S. and stands 220 feet high

just heating up at the many nightclubs, such

with 40 climate-controlled gondolas. This

as Premier at Borgata, Boogie Nights at the

Complete Atlantic City information and

attraction will light up the ever-changing

Tropicana, Haven at the Golden Nugget and

knowledgeable staff are available to assist

skyline of Atlantic City and will be open

The Pool at Harrah’s. The variety of night-

you; Tour Atlantic City is committed to


clubs allows patrons the opportunity to dance

making every visit a memorable experi-

Of course, our favorite pastime is shopping, and it is tax-free. Do not forget about


and party the night away until the wee hours

ence. After all, it is always about the sto-

of the morning.

ries, and Atlantic City has many to share

the hottest shopping around – Tanger Outlets

When you come to Atlantic City, come

The Walk. The Walk has more than 100 retail

hungry because our culinary menu is a

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

rants throughout the city and along the

with visitors of all ages. For more information, visit

Regional Roundup & Murphy, Ann Taylor Factory Store, LOFT

league baseball team, the M-Braves (April

Outlet, Sunglass Hut, White House | Black Mar-

through September). Other nearby hotels

ket, Clarks Bostonian, Fossil, Journeys & Jour-

include: The Westin, Old Capital Inn, King

neys Kidz, The Children’s Place Outlet, Carter’s

Edward Hotel (Hilton) and Historic Fairview

Babies and Kids, several food and snack ven-

Inn. Visit for store directory,

dors as well as many locally owned boutiques.

sale and special event information and cur-

Each brand offers deep discounts of up to 65

rent Outlet Express Train schedules.

percent every day. Shoppers can also enjoy huge savings using the VIP coupon book. Guests will discover different parts of Mis-

Airborne & Special Operations Museum


535, as well as walking around the Center, where architectural signage depicts the five

role in America’s military history. Today, the

Outlets of Mississippi

regions around the state (capital river, coastal,

city is probably best known as the home of Fort

Pearl, Mississippi

delta, hills and pines) and attractions in and

Bragg. It was also the site of the second Para-

sissippi by stopping at Visitor Services, Suite

Fayetteville, North Carolina The City of Fayetteville has played a vital

At 325,000 square feet, Outlets of Missis-

around the outlying regions (gaming, muse-

chute Test Platoon in 1941 and is the permanent

sippi is the largest outlet-shopping destina-

ums, famous authors). A grand marble

home of the revered 82nd Airborne Division

tion in the state of Mississippi. Located min-

homage to the Blues & Country Music Trails

and the famed Golden Knights parachute team.

utes from the capital city of Jackson, Outlets

is located on the outdoor Plaza adjacent to

Currently, motorcoach groups can tour

of Mississippi is the perfect stopping place at

the Food Court. These are all perfect settings

the Airborne & Special Operations Museum,

the Crossroads of the South (interstates 55

for selfies to send back home and to keep as

which opened its doors on August 16, 2000,

and 20, highways 80 and 49), and is also the

mementos of your visit. Children will also

the 60th anniversary of the original Test Pla-

perfect one-day stop while traveling between

enjoy a ride on the Outlet Express Train, Mis-

toon’s first parachute jump. The Iron Mike

Memphis/Nashville and New Orleans.

sissippi’s first shopping center train attraction.

Statue in front of the museum stands at 16’4″

Enjoy shopping at more than 80 leading

Outlets of Mississippi guests will find the

tall and weighs 3,235 pounds. Also outside

designer and name brand stores, such as

convenience of an adjacent Holiday Inn, and

is the Reflection Garden. The Sunken Garden,

Michael Kors, Coach Factory, Nike Factory

will also be within walking distance of Mis-

located at the center of the Reflection Garden,

Armour ® ,

Adidas, Banana

sissippi’s only Bass Pro Shop, Cavender’s, as

provides a quiet place to remember veterans

Republic Factory Store, Gap Outlet, Johnston

well as Trustmark Park, home to the minor

and a dignified place to retire U.S. flags.

Store, Under

Outlets of Mississippi

Inside the museum, the 5,000 square-foot, five-story-high open lobby area is accented by natural light that streams from glass walls and surrounding windows. A dramatic exhibit of two fully deployed parachutes illustrate the development of airborne operations, and a wall is dedicated to the individuals who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions while assigned to airborne or special operations units. The museum’s main gallery is designed as a self-guided tour through the history of airborne and special operations soldiers and their equipment. Arranged in chronological order, exhibits place visitors in 1940, the conception of the U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon, and move them through time to today’s

24 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Regional Roundup Airborn & Special Operations Museum

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and all federal holidays, except Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. A general admission ticket for the motion simulator costs $8.50 and can be purchased in the gift shop. Special rates are available for groups who wish to ride the simulator during their visit. School and military groups receive additional discounts but must schedule at least two weeks in advance to be eligible. The Airborne & Special Operations Museum Gift Shop features a variety of items. It is recommended groups allow two to three hours to tour the museum and its grounds. The museum also has three wheelchairs available for those who

airborne and special operations units. The

throughout the day that highlight U.S. Army

require them. For more information, visit

museum’s 235-seat Yarborough-Bank The-

Airborne & Special Operations history. Two To schedule a visit, phone Scott

ater puts tour groups in the center of the

motion simulator experiences are available

Pelletier, the Visitor Services coordinator, at

action, showing free admission films

for more11:22:56 adventurous tour goers. 5/2/2018 AM

(910) 643-2787.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 25

Regional Roundup


Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight Wings Over the Rockies

The Boeing Blue Sky Aviation Gallery Englewood, Colorado Denver-based Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum has announced the open-

facility will accommodate student and adult

to-the-nation campus offering visitors incred-

ing of its second location, Exploration of

tour groups and grant unparalleled access to

ible experiences and educational opportu-

Flight. On Saturday, July 21, 2018, the trans-

the airfield through tours, views and aircraft.

nities focused on aerospace. For more infor-

formative aerospace attraction will open on

Along with the robust array of interactive

mation on the Boeing Blue Sky Gallery, phone (303) 360-5360 or visit

the south side of Centennial Airport in Engle-

exhibits, the Blue Sky Gallery will include

wood, Colorado. The Boeing Blue Sky Avia-

incredible opportunities to experience flight

tion Gallery will open its doors after almost

first-hand. Sit in the cockpit of pilot-quality

a decade of planning and fundraising and

Redbird simulators; interact with the latest

will be the Denver metro area’s newest and

industry tech and even experience flight itself

most dynamic attraction.

through a partnership with flight school

The 19,000-square-foot facility will provide

Aspen Flying Club.

visitors with an in-depth look at the world of

The Gallery is open to the public Fridays

aviation. Open to the public three days per

and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and

week, the museum will grant guests access

Sunday, from 12-5 p.m., beginning July 21.

to interactive and educational exhibits; spaces

The hangar is located at 13005 Wings Way,

to watch airplanes at the second busiest gen-

Englewood, CO 80112. The Boeing Blue Sky

eral aviation airport in the nation and even

Aviation Gallery is phase one of Wings Over

listen to chatter from Centennial tower. The

the Rockies Exploration of Flight, a unique-


iFLY Indoor Skydiving Lincoln Park, Naperville and Rosemont, Illinois iFLY Indoor Skydiving creates true free fall conditions, just like skydiving, without having to jump out of a plane. iFLY’s vertical wind tunnel generates a wall-to-wall cushion of air, on which you safely float. There is no parachute, no jumping and nothing attaching you to planet earth. It is just you and the air, and it is the most incredible adrenaline rush. 26 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Regional Roundup Anyone from ages three to 103 can fly. iFLY is perfect for individual, first-time flyers and


accommodates groups of all types. iFLY offers a very nice, fully equipped and decorated party room conveniently located off the flight deck. Additionally, iFLY partners with local caterers to make your event complete. iFLY’s sales team coordinates your group visit from start to finish. Furthermore, iFLY utilizes the wind tunnel as a teaching tool for STEM Education field trips. Field trips are perfect for grades second through 12 because in an iFLY wind tunnel, science, technology, engineering and mathematics come alive for students. iFLY can accommodate groups with up to 175 guests. For additional information and to book your group visit, contact the location of your choice: The Naperville location at 1752 Freedom Drive, (779) 456-4359; the Rosemont location at 5520 Park Place, (779) 368-4359 or The Lincoln Park location at 800 W Scott St., (779) 368-4359. Visit for more information.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 27

Regional Roundup


and sand of the Sonoran Desert and melds to

Store at Taliesin West prides itself on stocking

the lower McDowell Mountains. Wright's desert

an immense collection of licensed products

masterpiece is not a museum but a living his-

and books. The outdoor waiting area features

torical site that serves to this day as the home

an outdoor café offering visitors an assort-

of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the

ment of light refreshments. For more infor-

School of Architecture at Taliesin.

mation, visit

Frank Lloyd Wright, the master architect who conceived NYC’s Guggenheim Museum and Pennsylvania’s Fallingwater, thought of Taliesin West as his winter home, workplace and architectural laboratory. Guides lead more than 110,000 guests through immersive tour experiences each year. The 90-minute

Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West

Insights Tour visits the Cabaret Theater,

Scottsdale, Arizona

Music Pavilion and Wright’s Private Office

linking indoor and outdoor spaces.

the world’s greatest architectural wonders –

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Located

located at 12345 N. Taliesin Drive (at the

in Scottsdale, Arizona, Taliesin West offers

intersection of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard

a broad range of tours and events.

and Cactus Road) in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is open every day except Thanksgiving,

Cleveland, Ohio



hing Bl





10th Ave 11th Ave

2 D


12th Ave 13th Ave 14th Ave

North Kiwanis Park


10th Ave

M iss iss

Discovery Trail


9th Ave N CLINTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE 7th Ave Nor th 6th Ave N orth 5th Ave N orth 4th Ave N orth 3rd Ave N orth 2nd Ave Nor th

gdale etery

Clinton CVB 721 S 2nd St Clinton, IA 563–559–2193


River View City Park




Willow Island





River v iew Dr

4th Ave South

6th Ave South

S 2nd St

5th Ave South

3rd Ave South


S 1st St


ipp i Ri ve r


S 3rd St

28 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018


S 4th St

Lauren Barnum | Sales Manager Phone: (216) 443-1000 EXT. 4409

ve Nort

8th Ave 9th Ave






13th Ave North

S 5th St

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown 629 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

1 7th A

16th Av e


6th Street

The Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown offers the largest standard rooms in Cleveland. Your tour group will love our 13 ft. grand ceilings and hardwood floors. We also have a complimentary full buffet breakfast included in the room rate, complimentary high speed wireless internet, a 24/7 fitness center, small arcade and billiards table. To make things even more bus tour friendly, we have a surplus of public gathering space accessible 24 hours to all of our guests. With the complimentary bus parking directly behind the hotel and being located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, we are exactly where your bus tour will want to stay!

N 3r d St

19th Av e

18th Av e



5th St

22nd Ave North


4th St

Holiday Inn Express Cleveland Downtown

Main Ave 23rd Ave North

Hardi ng S t

Taliesin West

inley St

days in the summer. The Frank Lloyd Wright


Christmas, Easter and Tuesdays and Wednes-

organic architecture in that it is built of the rocks

Roos evelt

Historic Landmark and a prime example of

N 2n d St

Taliesin West is Scottsdale's only National

h St

invites visitors to Arizona to explore one of

while exploring Wright’s talent for creatively

N 4t

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation



Historical Clinton, IA 1. Sawmill Museum 2. DE Windmill 3. Lunch at the Candlelight -With a river view 4. Lyons Shpping 5. Curtis Mansion tour & wine tasting Tea, lemonade, and water also offered

Find more tours offered in the area by contacting the Clinton CVB

Everyt hing You Al ways Wan ted to K now Abo ut Motorco ach Seat Be lts But Were Afraid to Ask by Larry Plachno



T OURS M AGAZINE has received

several questions regarding motorcoach seat belts. Hence, we have

put together this list of questions and answers

that will hopefully answer the questions that have been asked.

What is the current regulation on having seat belts on motorcoaches? The rule in the United States is that effective November 28, 2016 all new over-theroad buses and other new buses with a GVWR of 25,000 pounds or more (with certain exclusions) must be equipped with passenger lap-shoulder (three-point) seat belts. There are federal guidelines to ensure that this is done properly.

Why did it take so long for seat belts to be required? The primary reason why seat belts were not mandated earlier is because over-theroad motorcoaches have had an enviable safety record and are generally regarded as the safest form of land transportation. In many cases, over-the-road buses would also be safer than other forms of transportation if figured on hours of travel or trip basis and not on miles travelled. Major reasons for this safety record include: 1) Professional, licensed drivers. 2) The weight and integral construction of over-the-road motorcoaches minimizes damage when a conflict occurs with other vehicles. 3) Very important is the fact that over-the-road motorcoaches have come close to offering passenger compartmentalization for decades. Passengers are surrounded by seats to the front and rear as Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 29

Seat Belts well as a wall on one side. Hence, in the event of an accident where the bus remains upright, passengers are contained in their seating area and are less likely to be thrown around.

What caused the government to finally take action and mandate seat belts? Studies by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that the worst bus accidents are those where the bus leaves the roadway, rolls over and passengers are ejected from the push-out windows. Passengers who remain inside the bus are much less likely to suffer injury. Seat belts would prevent passengers from being ejected from the bus. The statistics strongly suggest two things. One is that buses are safer if they remain on the roadway and passengers are more prone to injury if the bus leaves the roadway. The second statistic is that passenger ejections from the bus are often fatal.

Do I need to worry about my tour bus being stopped by the police because of seat belts?

Do bus rollovers happen often? Have bus tours been involved in many major accidents? Statistically, there are an average of two serious motorcoach

The odds of being stopped for not having seat belts are somewhere between slim and none. If your bus was supposed to have seat belts, you can count on the manufacturer installing seat belts before the

rollovers each year and about 40,000 motorcoaches in operation in

bus was sold. The only remote possibility of a violation is if the bus

the United States. Hence, the odds are that this statistically might

was originally required to have seat belts but someone removed them.

happen to a bus once every 20,000 years – not very likely. Most of the rollovers happen on overnight charters or charters at unusual hours where the driver falls asleep because of fatigue or shift

I would be more concerned with state laws or local ordinances that require passengers to buckle up if seat belts are provided. We suspect that laws are in place in Minnesota, but we have yet to see any list

inversion and the bus runs off the roadway. This is much less likely to happen on bus tours where drivers get a good night’s sleep or on

Why did the government not require retrofitting seat belts on

scheduled route buses where drivers change their sleeping habits to

older motorcoaches?

match their schedules.

They gave a couple of reasons for this:

There are federal laws (known as HOS or hours-of-service laws)

• Between the time of gathering statistics to the implementation

that mandate how many hours a driver can be on duty or driving

of the seat belt mandate, motorcoaches had become safer because

before getting time off.

of new systems including adaptive cruise braking, lane departure warnings and other new driver safety systems.

Is there a requirement for passengers to wear motorcoach seat belts?

• Only 10 percent of bus passengers actually use the seat belts. The safety impact is actually minimal.

There is no federal requirement for passengers to wear the seat

• The cost of retrofitting seat belts can be substantial. You cannot

belts, only that the motorcoach be equipped with them. However,

simply attach seat belts to existing seats; you have to replace the

there may be municipal or state requirements. For example, there is

entire set of seats at a cost that can exceed $25,000. Then you most

an old law on the books in Minnesota that requires passengers to use

likely have to modify the seat tracks that hold the seats to make them

seat belts if they are provided in the vehicle. There may be similar

stronger. In some cases you might have to beef up the bus structure.

laws elsewhere that we are not aware of.

• The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

However, a pre-trip announcement like they have on the airlines

declined to develop engineering criteria for retrofitting seat belts. To

is expected. This should mention the location and use of emergency

do this safely would require different engineering for each motorcoach

push-out windows, and note that seat belts are available and encour-

make, model and year. They declined to do this because of the cost

age passengers to use them. It can include mention of other items

and time involved. Many of these motorcoaches would be out of ser-

like the location of the fire extinguisher and availability of a restroom.

vice before they ever got the engineering completed.

“Stock” announcements are available on computer disks if the bus

As a final note, I might mention that your editor goes into court as an

driver does not wish to make the announcement, or if a foreign lan-

expert witness for motorcoaches being sued for not having seat belts.

guage is required.

Just ask if you need help in this area.

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Social Marketing for Tourism by catherine Heeg

From Time Suck to Time Savvy 13 Ways to Get More Social Fans Does your day start like this? • “Ohh, I need to post this cool photo on my business page. • Yikes, I should really get more photos on my sites and grow my social fan base. • Wow, this is an amazing video. Should I create one too or just share this one? • Hmmm…I guess it’s time to think about changing my cover photo again. • I should look to see what’s popular and create an ad. • Ah, look at the time, I’ve got to pull together that itinerary for the new group.” Sometimes it may feel like there are so many things on that “to-do” and “want to do” list that it is impossible to know where to start. What if you had a road map or calendar designed to grow your on-line social presence step by step? Whether you are just getting started or ready to gain even more traction, imagine how this would jolt you out of the time-suck mode into a time-savvy marketer. Let us explore some marketing tips you can use right now, today, pronto. It is easy to pick one tip each day and check it off your to-do list. You will quickly be on the road to gaining more fans who love you and are ready to become your super fans. (You know . . . those people who like, comment and share your content.) Novice Tips • Change your e-mail signature line and showcase your social presence. Invite readers to your social site by giving them a reason to join your conversation. How about saying something like this: “Do you want to learn more about cruising? ‘Like’ my Facebook page for travel tips and unique cruise destinations you may not have considered. Are you interested in the latest travel tips? Follow me on Twitter. Remember to hyperlink the bolded text above. • Create a post on your main social site inviting fans to check out your other social sites. For example, create a Facebook post inviting people to follow you on Twitter. Include a relevant photo or even the Twitter logo to attract attention.

• Start an advertising campaign to gain more fans. Is it worth your time and money? ( ) • Up your game with even more tips here. ( ) Intermediate Tips • Embed tweets and posts into your blog. What a cool way to gain more eyeballs and reactions on your social posts. When you embed tweets and posts, they are live and all “likes, comments and shares” will be attributed to the posts . . . even though the reactions occurred within your blog post. How cool is that. • Embed posts and tweets into your Web site. You have probably seen some Web sites where you can follow the company’s latest social feeds right on their Web site. It is an engaging way to draw Web visitors into the social conversation. • Elevate your social ads with a lead generation tool. Use a cool infographic, packing

list or travel tip guide as your lead magnet. Here is how. ( ) Advanced Tips • Create videos about your niche market or specialty. • Get even better at live streaming video. • Max out your advertising strategies by setting up highly targeted audiences and ( ( Are you counting and looking for the rest of the tips? Check out this infographic ( ) for an entire list of social marketing tips – plus two bonus tips. Do not flounder and waste any more time. Break out of “time-suck” mode. Mix up your marketing and gain more super fans. What other tips have you used to get out there socially, get noticed and grow your ❑ business?

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. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 31

20 Tips For Bus Tour Planners by Clairemarie Owens

20 Tips for Choosing a Tour Guide

guides looking for work have already contacted

him, I became aware that while he had

After the bus, the most important part of

you. You do not have to sit around and wait for

attended a tour guide professional school, he

any tour is the guide. While they can go by

the good guides to come to you. While good

was not correctly trained for the position.

many different names – tour guide, tour

old fashion word of mouth is still a great way

4) Certifications and Licenses. I con-

leader, tour manager, etc. – by definition a tour

to find guides, I just tell everyone who will listen

sider certifications to be different from school

guide is, “A person who provides assistance

that I am looking for guides. You can post on

and education. While I personally believe

and information on cultural, historical and

social media, like Facebook or message boards,

that education is the last important part of

contemporary heritage to people on tours

or contact tour guide associations and guilds.

any resume that I review, certifications are

while usually possessing an area-specific qual-

2) Tour Guide Associations and

the most important. Destination training and

ification issued and/or authorized by the

Guilds. American Tour Guide Association,

certification are the most important because

appropriate authority.”

National Federation of Tour Guides and World

cities like New York, Washington D.C. and

When a tour can range from 10-55 guests

Federation of Tour Guides are just a few

New Orleans, just to name a few, require

and last anywhere from a few hours to a few

national organizations that are great resources

guides to be certified to legally work within

weeks, this is no small feat. Unofficially, a tour

for finding tour guides. In addition, there are

their cities. I highly recommend that you ask

guide must be everything to everyone on the

hundreds of smaller state, regional and city

for a copy of this license to be sent to the

tour. Not only do they have to be a guide, they

tour guide associations that are very useful.

office for your records. I once hired a guide

have to be a babysitter, a negotiator, every-

If you are planning a trip abroad, there are

in New York City who did not have the proper

one’s best friend but most importantly a good

also associations for tour guides for almost

certification, even though he told me he did.


every city or country abroad. Tour guide asso-

The guide got a hefty fine for working illegally

Today, there are more guides than ever to

ciations and guilds are one of the best places

that the agency had to pay for.

choose from, all with different qualifications,

to find qualified guides because they verify

5) Legality. While we are on the subject

experience and expertise, but a stand out tour

certification, provide reviews and references,

of certification, it is important to use guides

guide is hard to find. If you are able to find a

and some even offer training.

that can legally work in the country that you

great guide, I guarantee they will continue to

3) School and Education. Many travel

hire them, especially in the United States,

work with you until either one of you retires. I

agents choose to get a formal education. While

where there has been a recent increase in gov-

have guides that I have been working with since

this is not mandatory, this education can be

ernment crackdowns. I cannot tell you how

I started in the industry and that have continued

helpful. These can range from actual under-

many stories I have about guides being

to work with me, even as I changed companies.

graduate degrees to professional training. Most

arrested mid tour from either the bus driving

Their knowledge and experience has been a

schools have a career department that you can

through an immigration check point or just

great help in starting my own company.

contact and that will help you get in touch with

having bad luck. At the worst, I have heard of

1) Finding Guides. If you are currently

available guides. I would just advise that you

jealous guides calling immigration on guides

working at a DMC, tour operator or have your

use new guides with caution. I recently had a

that they knew were working illegally.

information listed somewhere as a person who

new and inexperienced guide return from a

6) Experience. Tour guides are one of

creates group tours, there is no doubt that

tour that did not go well. After speaking with

the last few professions that truly require an

32 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

20 Tips apprenticeship, and on-the-job training is

9) Must love people. The type of peo-

12) Must be a storyteller. There are

the best way to learn. The first question in

ple who go on bus tours go because they are

only so many facts and documentaries a

any tour guide interview is: “How many tours

extroverts and because they want the tour

guide can share before the group loses inter-

have you been on?” Many large tour opera-

guide to be someone with personality who

est. During your initial interview, if you are

tors offer free training to guides and let them

is not only smart but also loves what they do

pushing your potential guide out the door or

shadow tours with experienced guides. This

and most importantly loves people. It is

trying to end the call while they keep talking,

is the best form of training a guide can get.

important to find a guide who loves people.

telling you story after story, that is a great

Smaller companies allow guides to pay their

A lot of potential guides are technically ori-

sign. Who does not love to hear a good story?

own way for this training, which is also

ented and intellectual, but they do not know

A story about where you are visiting is great

equally valuable but expensive. On-the-road

how to have fun or interact well with a large

and immerses you in your trip. Facts tell, but

experience is essential for any guide training,

group of people. No one wants to sit through

stories sell. Stories show that not only does

and I do not recommend hiring any guide

a boring lecture, particularly while they are

the guide have knowledge of a specific loca-

that does not have experience.

on vacation.

tion, they show that the guide has first hand

7) Training. The second question in any

10) Must be charismatic. “Charisma

knowledge of and experiences with the place

tour guide interview is: “Who did you train

is seduction of the masses.” For most people,

that the group is visiting. A good story is the

with?” On-the-road experience is essential,

that can come naturally, but for others, it

difference between a traveler and a tourist.

but whom that training was with is equally

takes work, but it is not unobtainable for any

13) Must be a good communicator.

important. There are some guides, particularly

guide or aspiring guide. In most cases, groups

A tour guide is a liaison between the tour

older ones that have some bad habits and

will be diverse, where most people do not

planner, the clients, the vendors and anyone

unsavory tendencies that can be passed down

know each other, and the success of the tour

else involved in the production of the tour.

during training. I used to work with a guide

relies on the group all getting along. A guide

Since they are with the group, they are often

who learned on his formative tours how to

is what is going to facilitate that. Look at the

the first line of defense between the group

submit double and fake receipts in his expense

great leaders in history; a charismatic leader

and anything that could possibly go wrong.

report. Since he was friends with the owners,

can get a group to happily follow them any-

That is why it is important that any tour guide

I had to continue to work with him, but I would

where. Take advice from one of my favorite

that you work with is a good communicator –

spend hours checking and rechecking his

guides and one of the most charismatic peo-

not only with the guests but with you and your

expense reports for discrepancies. Only hire

ple I have ever known: Fred Ferry, “You

vendors as well. If your guide does not com-

guides that have had on-the-road training with

should be their best friend.”

municate with you or your guests well, it will

guides with good reputations.

11) Must be knowledgeable. You can

create a lot of problems. I stopped working

8) Reputation. In the travel industry,

find the most charismatic, people-loving

with a guide because he would not tell me

more valuable than your resume is your rep-

guide in the world, but if they are not knowl-

when there was a problem. I had to find out

utation, which is like a living CV. Bus drivers,

edgeable, they are going to loose the atten-

from the post-tour comment cards that the

other tours guides, past employers, hotels,

tion of the group. However, it is a fine line

bus was broken and that the guide spent the

restaurants, your competitors or bus tour

because, as I stated above, if they are too

whole tour arguing with the bus driver. The

planners and tour operators, ask everyone

technical, they are going to loose the atten-

whole situation could have been avoided if

you can about the guides that you work with

tion of the group. A good guide not only has

the guide had communicated better.

or plan on working with. I like to periodically

practical, geographical and historical knowl-

14) Must be organized. Any large-

ask about my guides from time to time just

edge, they also have knowledge of pop cul-

scale operation requires organization, not

to double check. Some people might be too

ture, fun facts and anecdotal stories that help

only from vendors (hotels, restaurants, parks

scared to out right say anything bad about a

keep the group attentive and engaged. For

and attractions) and the tour planner or tour

guide, unless they are horrible, or they per-

each guide, this can be something different.

operator but also, and probably most impor-

sonally had a really bad experience with them

No one knows everything; some people

tantly, the guides themselves. What good is

or refuse to work with them. You can usually

know about historical facts, others know

an itinerary if the group does not follow it? I

tell when someone is being honest or just

technical or cultural facts, but they genuinely

like to think of a tour group as one big circus,

polite, but a big red flag I have noticed is nick-

need to know what they are talking about.

and your guide is the ringleader. They are

names. It is very rare that any tour guide has

Unless it is a specialty tour, most people

responsible for making sure that everyone

a good nickname; they usually are the key to

would be happy to learn anything about the

wakes up at the right time, gets to each

why they are difficult to work with.

place they are visiting, as long as it is true.

attraction on time while having enough time Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018 • 33

20 Tips to stop for snacks and use the bathroom. A

ing of the tour or something beyond their con-

vendors. I had to stop working with a guide,

disorganized guide will delay your tour and

trol. A tour guide, like any good sales person,

who will remain nameless, because all the bus

create problems for everyone.

has to play with the cards that they are dealt.

drivers refused to work with him. He was polite

They are selling the tour package to the guests,

and a great guide, but he would never share

doubt, if you have been planning tours and

and that requires a good sales person to sell

his earnings, and he would steal tips.

working in this industry for any length of time,

the package, even when it is not perfect.

15) Must be calm in a crisis. Without a

you probably have a laundry list of horror sto-

20) A note on new and inexperienced

19) Must not be too money driven.

guides. I want to make a note about new

ries. People are inevitably going to get hurt or

Between their salaries, their per diem, their

guides. Sometimes you meet a potential new

fall ill, a vendor is going to “lose” your reser-

tips and the optional activities that they sell,

tour guide who does not have experience,

vation, something that should have been paid

not to mention all the meals and hotels that

who is fresh out of school, or who just decided

will not be paid, Death Valley is going to be too

are paid for, tour guides can make a lot of

that this is what they want to do. I am all about

hot to visit, a bus driver is going to quit or

money. They also spend a lot of money, sharing

giving people a chance, so in this instance, I

someone is going to get arrested. That is life;

their tips with the driver and other vendors,

think you should ignore tips 1-19 and just go

things happen, and you need to have a guide

buying drinks and gifts for the guests, etc. You

with your gut instinct. Most of us are in this

that understands that and can stay calm in a

want a guide who is motivated by money but

industry because someone gave us a chance.

crisis. Remember that you are part of a network

not to the point that they are unwilling to share

Sometimes it does not work out, but when it

and everything is fixable. It is important that

their earnings with their bus driver or tip their

does, it is worthwhile.

your guide understands this as well because the group is going to look towards your tour guide for guidance. The tour guide is what keeps a small hiccup from turning into 50 people on a tour bus having a panic attack.

Clairemarie Owens was born and raised in Los Angeles. After attending Boise State University, she travelled around the United States and Europe for a few years before returning to Los Angeles. She currently works as a tour operator where she plans bus tours in the U.S., Canada, Cuba and Africa for both American and international clients.

16) Must be patient. Whether it is taking time to explain a complicated historical event, answering questions that they have already

Advertiser’s Index

answered 100 times, repeating a story for the hard-of-hearing older couple that was not pay-

Airborne & Special Ops Museum . . . .26

Mohegan Sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

ing attention or stopping to use the bathroom

Anderson/Madison County VCB . . . .20

Mt. Washington Cog Railway . . . . . . . .8

again, a tour guide has to be able to take things

Atlantic City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

National Comedy Museum . . . . . . . . .16

slow and do it with a smile. There is no reason

BDT Stage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Old Sturbridge Village . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

for a guide not to be patient.

Blount Small Ship Adventures . . . . . . .5

OurBus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17

17) Must be professional. At the end

Bradford House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Outlets of Mississippi . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

of the day, a bus tour is a business, and it

Cabell-Huntington CVB . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Paw Paw in Southwest Michigan . . . . .7

must be treated as such. I am not saying that

City of Ft. Madison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Porthole Restaurant & Casablanca . . . .6

a guide has to wear a suit. To be honest, I

Clinton IA CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino . . . . . . . .35

Columbia Gorge

Reeves Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

believe that the standard guide uniform is a Hawaiian shirt, camouflage pants, crocks, a cowboy hat and some kind of turquoise jewelry, at least for guides in the western United States. I am sure guides in the Northeast have some kind of nautical variation. While appearance is secondary, all guides should be professional, meaning tour guides should be punctual, polite, competent and ethical. 18) Must be a good sales person. I cannot tell you how many conversations I have had with guides whose tours were bad because of the quality of the hotels, or the tim34 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2018

Interpretive Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad . . . .7

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home . . . . .12 Ronald Reagan

Dancing Horses Theatre, The . . . . . . .21

Presidential Foundation . . . . . . . . . .13

Delaware & Ulster Railroad . . . . . . . . .6

Starved Rock Lodge . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Fort Belmont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Trinity Cruises Company . . . . . . . . . . . .8

George Bush Library & Museum . . . . .11

Tudor Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Holiday Inn Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

U.S. Army Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Jacksonville Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

U.S. Naval Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Jim Dykes – NY Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Warren County Historical Society . . . .12

Maritime Aquarium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Wilmington & Western Railroad . . . . . .8

Mid-Continent Railway Museum . . . . .5

Windmill Farm & Craft Market, The . .18

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Bus Tours Magazine July/august 2018  
Bus Tours Magazine July/august 2018