Page 1

Volume XXXVIII, Number 6 • July/August, 2017

Vet e ra n -F rie n dly page 13

Ga ming page 26

H i st o ri c a l A tt r a c ti o n s page 21

contents 4

JULY/AUGUST 2017 Volume XXXVIII, Number 6




on a more intimate level with their destination.





ESCAPE TO THE NORTHEAST This region of the U.S. is home to bustling cities and quiet rural communities, idyllic beach communities and mountainous regions, modern metropolises and quaint small towns.

VETERAN-FRIENDLY LOCATIONS Across the nation, attractions and museums provide tour groups with insights into the invaluable contributions made by members of our American armed services, both past and present.

ESCAPE TO THE SOUTHEAST Known for many things, the Southeast region of our country is a tour planner’s paradise, from its mild, humid climate, stretches of sandy, coastal beaches and unique wildlife to its many historic sites, rich antebellum homes and distinctive cultures and cuisines.

HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS AND MUSEUMS Learning about the history and culture of a particular city or region can help motorcoach groups to connect

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




Guides 4


RAIL AND SAIL Scenic railroads and excursion boats give motorcoach tour groups unique perspectives of the regions they visit, with rides through old-growth forests, over mountainous terrain or across rural farmland and cruises down winding rivers or across clear lakes .

GAMING Gaming sites are all-in-one destinations, offering tour groups gaming excitement, first-rate lodging, worldclass amenities, delicious dining options, top-notch entertainment and exclusive shopping.

And More 32 34


by Dr. Charleen Jaeb


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


An F-104 Starfighter soars to life in front of the Stafford Air & Space Museum, located along Route 66 at Interstate 40 and Exit 84 in Weatherford, Oklahoma. The museum’s newest outdoor display, just outside the museum’s front entrance, has already become an iconic monument for the region. One of the most revolutionary aircraft ever built, the Lockheed F-104 points majestically six stories straight up into the sky. STAFFORD AIR & SPACE MUSEUM. 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, 2017 • 3


our planners cannot go wrong when they book their passengers on a

scenic train ride or cruise. By seeing

the region from rails that transported settlers, workers, products and goods; or from a major body of water that has played a vital role in an area’s formation and history, perspectives are heightened. Taking advantage of rail and sail opportunities helps to provide tour groups with a more memorable and immersive experience.

C&O Railway Heritage Center Clifton Forge, Virginia Motorcoach tours traveling through the Roanoke Region of Virginia can explore the state’s railway history at the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railway Heritage Center. A visit here will inspire and delight tour passengers and leave them with an understanding of the heritage of American railroading. Owned and operated by the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, the center’s indoor and outdoor displays reveal the history of the C&O: the people, places and technology. It is the essential American tale of how our

Rail and Sail

C&O Railway Smiths Creek Yard

nation grew, how we lived and worked and

museum is an O-scale operating model train

mugs, home décor and more. Also available

how twin rails of steel connected us all.

of the original C&O route, presenting key

are items featuring Chessie the railroad kit-

The exhibits include scale models, rolling

locations along the line, with explanations

ten, the Chesapeake & Ohio’s marketing

stock, preserved railroad equipment and

of why towns were built where they were

mascot. Chessie’s first appearance was in the

replica railroad structures. The grounds are

and how they grew with the railroad.

September 1933 issue of Fortune magazine,

arranged to present the story of American

Outside in Smiths Creek Yard, tour pas-

in an ad with the slogan, “Sleep Like a Kitten.”

railroading and the C&O Railway in a walk-

sengers will be escorted through restored

As her popularity grew, Chessie became the

through format. Open 10 a.m to 4 p.m., Tues-

railroad equipment. They will walk through

darling of millions and one of the most

day through Saturday, the Heritage Center

cars furnished with 1940s décor that reveal

endearing and successful corporate symbols

welcomes motorcoach groups, offering dis-

how luxurious railway travel once was in the

in American history.

counts and docent-led tours. These tours

U.S. The knowledgeable docents are happy

Groups who wish to dine on site can bring

usually run one hour and include all major

to explain life on the railroad from inside a

picnic lunches to enjoy at the center’s out-

exhibits, but the length may be tailored to

1949 caboose, and how mail and packages

door picnic pavilion, or arrange for a catered

your group’s interests or needs. All groups

were delivered across the country before air-

meal to be served inside Gadsby’s Tavern, a

require advance reservations.

planes and FedEx. Passengers can climb into

restored C&O dining car. Also, a number of

Tours begin inside the restored 1895

the cab of a real locomotive, sit in the engi-

bus-friendly restaurants are available in

freight depot, where informative panels and

neer’s seat and look out over the tracks. They

Clifton Forge.

displays give bus passengers the history of

can also tour a combined passenger/bag-

C&O Railway Heritage Center is located

when, how and why the railroad was built –

gage car, a dining car and several cabooses.

at 705 East Main Street in Clifton Forge. Rich

the struggles and triumphs as the railroad

Following their tour, passengers can

in railroad history, Clifton Forge grew up with

was extended from Virginia’s Tidewater

browse in the gift shop, which offers train-

the C&O and became a major maintenance

Region across mountainous terrain to reach

themed gifts, from clothing, posters and

facility for its steam locomotives. It is now

the Ohio River Valley. Also within the

prints, metal signs and model trains to books,

served by Amtrak three days a week. Its Com-

4 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Guide: Rail and Sail served by Amtrak three days a week. Its Commercial Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, encompasses 77 buildings in a variety of popular architectural styles, including Classical Revival, Mission/Spanish Revival and Italianate. Known for its mountain views and clear streams, Clifton Forge is part of the Alleghany Highlands, an area nestled in the southern tip of the Shenandoah Valley. It is conveniently located within the region: Roanoke, Virginia is just one hour south via US Highway 220 south; Lexington, Virginia is about 30 minutes east via Interstate 64 East; and Shenandoah National Park is about one hour northeast via I-64 East & I-81 North. To learn more about bringing your group to the C&O Railway Heritage Center/Museum, visit or contact the center at (540) 862-8653 or

Kansas Belle Dinner Train Ticket options include dinner only or dinner and entertainment,

Kansas Belle Dinner Train

which includes murder mysteries, melodramas or special musical

Baldwin City, Kansas

shows. For motorcoach groups interested in a truly immersive expe-

The goal of the USO, created in 1941, is to boost morale and enter-

rience, the World War II USO Show is the perfect choice. Actors from

tain America’s military personnel. The goal of the Kansas Belle Dinner

the Theatre Lawrence Troupe, dressed in period attire, perform comedy

Train is a nostalgic trip back to that era, on a 22-mile round-trip train

skits and songs from the 1940s.

ride aboard restored vintage railcars, listening to swing and Big Band

The scenic railway originally operated in Fremont, Nebraska, from

music. With a weekend schedule that offers three- and five-course

1988 until 2012, when it was moved to Baldwin City. “After 24 years,

meals, bar service and live entertainment, the scenic railway provides

track conditions required us to shut down in late fall of 2012, and we

bus tour planners with an exceptional outing for their passengers.

reopened in Baldwin City in late January 2013,” explains Bruce Eve-

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 5

Guide: Rail and Sail land, president and manager. “The concept for the USO show dates back to 1990. We thought of it to commemorate the 50th anniversary of U.S. involvement in World War II, which was observed from 1991 to 1995. We expected it to run its course by 1995, but we schedule more of them now than ever.” The train departs from the 1906 Baldwin City Depot, restored to its original glory, with a ticket window, restrooms and spacious waiting area. Tour passengers listen to Big Band music and watch a slide show of historic trains as they wait to board one of four restored dining cars from the 1940s and 1950s. The Maple Creek, a 1942 Canadian National Railways car, seats 56 and is most often used as the main theater and entertainment car. Two other Canadian National cars, the 1947 Rose Creek and the 1955 Fontanelle, along with a 1947 Pullman called the Marais des Cygnes River, round out the train’s four dining cars. All have been lovingly restored with décor kept as historically accurate as possible, and together, the cars provide a seating capacity of more than 175. For the World War II USO show, the main performance/dining car is set up to resemble a USO show, with decorations extending into a second “canteen” car, which is outfitted with WWII memorabilia, uniforms, original advertising, vintage newspapers and more. Food is catered by the 23rd Street Brewery, and the train has two gallies and two cash bars. Menu selections, which are pre-ordered, always include four main course options: red meat, fish/seafood, fowl and vegetarian.

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Guide: Rail and Sail The three-course option comes with salad,

nam, the Gulf War, and we attract a lot of

ican Lakes, is more than 32 miles long and

entrée and dessert, and the five-course option

recent and currently active military. We make

varies in width from one to three miles. It

includes appetizer and soup. Coffee or tea is

a special point to recognize all veterans and

was originally named Lac du Saint Sacrement


active duty personnel onboard.”

(Lake of the Holy Sacrament) by a French

Group rates are available for parties of

For more information on scheduling your

Canadian Jesuit priest in the mid-1600s. It is

16 or more, and dates may be arranged,

group’s outing on the Kansas Belle WWII USO

the lake James Fennimore Cooper refers to

depending on actor availability for shows.

Show Dinner Train, visit online at

as Horicon in his novel The Last of the Mohi-

Buses drop off at the front door of the depot,

cans. The British general who built Fort

and park for free in the ample lot, and

phone (785) 594-8505, (800) 942-7245[RAIL]

William Henry renamed it Lake George, after

escort and driver are comped. Train cars

or e-mail

his sovereign King George II, during the French and Indian War (1754-1763).

are climate controlled and partially handicap-accessible, although space may limit the number of wheelchairs. Some wheel-

Lake George Steamboat Company Lake George Village, New York

Located in Lake George, New York, the Lake George Steamboat Company has been

The Lake George Steamboat Company is

in business for more than 200 years. Its fleet

equipped with restrooms, but they are not

the oldest continually operating transporta-

is made up of three large ships – the Mohican,


tion company in the U.S. With its fleet of three

the Minne Ha Ha and the Lac du Saint Sacre-

As the number of WWII veterans dimin-

large steamboats that operate daily, the com-

ment – each offering narrated cruise tours of

ishes, Eveland believes the USO dinner train

pany offers bus tour planners a variety of

beautiful Lake George.

helps to keep their memories alive, as well

cruise options for motorcoach groups.

chairs are available for use. The train is

The Mohican is the oldest continually

as foster pride in our current military. “I’m

The Lake George Region, located in the

operating tour boat in America. The orig-

gratified to see more young people attending

Adirondack Mountains of southeastern New

inal Mohican, a 93-foot wooden-hulled ves-

the USO show,” he says. “Of course, it appeals

York State, is known for its stunning natural

sel, operated from 1894 to 1907, when it

to an older crowd, but younger groups are

beauty, charming towns and rustic villages.

was replaced with a steel-hulled vessel,

joining in. We get veterans from Korea, Viet-

Lake George, nicknamed the Queen of Amer-

also named Mohican. That ship has under-

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 7

Guide: Rail and Sail gone several modifications and renovations since, the last one in 1967. In June 2008, the Mohican was placed on the national Register


of Historic Places, the third active passenger vessel to be so designated. In May 2017, she began her 109th year of operation on Lake George. The Minnie-Ha-Ha is a sternwheel steamer in the mold of a Mississippi riverboat, built in 1969 on Lake George. It is a favorite for kids and families, with its red paddle wheel dipping into the water, authentic steam calliope playing merrily and glass-enclosed engine room allowing passengers to see the working engine. The Lac du Saint Sacrement, the largest cruise ship on New York

Cruises vary in length and content, so tour planners are sure to

State inland waters, was built by the Steamboat Company and

find the right one for their group’s needs. All points of interest are

launched in 1989 to accommodate large groups for lunch and dinner

announced during the narrated tours. Specialty offerings include fire-

service and entertainment during moonlight cruises.

works cruises, pizza cruises as well as lunch and dinner cruises, and

The Lake George Steamboat Company offers great deals for motorcoach tours and student tours. Buses pull right up to the ship’s gangway for loading and pickup, with easy access for handicapped pas-

the company offers sample activities to pair with moonlight cruises and other tours. Receptive services are available. Lake George Steamboat Company, 57 Beach Road, Lake George,

sengers and an elevator to the second deck on the Minne Ha Ha and

New York, operates daily, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., May through October.

on the Lac du Saint Sacrement. Free bus parking is offered directly

Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate; reservations are

across the street from the ships. All boats have a cocktail bar, gift

required. A deposit is due two weeks after the contract is made, and

shop and handicap-accessible bathrooms. Groups are seated together

the balance is due two weeks prior to the cruise.

for lunch and dinner buffet cruises, and the Lac Du Saint Sacrement has musical entertainment and dancing.

8 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Learn more at or phone (800) 553-BOAT (2628) or e-mail

Escape to The Northeast Atlantic City, New Jersey As one of the most unique resort destina-

Atlantic City Skyline

tions on the East Coast, Atlantic City offers the best in gaming, along with stellar attractions, tax-free shopping, exciting nightlife and delicious dining – the perfect stop for motorcoach tour groups. Tour passengers can stroll along the world-famous iconic Boardwalk, with its eclectic shops, amusement parks and stunning ocean views, pick up some souvenirs and original saltwater taffy, and experience why more than 18 million visitors come to this seaside city every year. Atlantic City has everything you need to provide your tour group with unforgettable experiences. AC is celebrated as one of the best shopping destinations on the East Coast, where your

gers, from popular brand-name eateries and celebrity chef hotspots to local favorites.

passengers can visit upscale, high-end retail

Atlantic City museums and historical sites

spaces such as the Latin-themed The Quarter

offer bus tour groups glimpses into the city’s

at Tropicana, with more than 40 exclusive bou-

storied past and views of its current arts cul-

tique stores. At Tanger Outlets The Walk, they

ture, from African-American heritage, folk

can shop for incredible deals on more than 100

tales and works of art to sensational exhibits

top brands. Bass Pro Shops, adjacent to Tanger

at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and sea creatures

Outlets, has 85,000 square feet featuring a two-

at the Sea Life Museum.

visit to Atlantic City. For information, visit online at or contact an Atlantic City specialist at (609) 449-7151 or

Jim Dykes, Step-on Tour Guide New York City, New York Jim Dykes is one of New York City’s bestknown licensed step-on tour guides, provid-

story waterfall and 13,000-gallon freshwater

Tour groups can see the tallest lighthouse

ing “insider’s tours” of the Big Apple for

fish tank, painted murals and spectacular taxi-

in New Jersey; indulge their inner child at

motorcoach groups, with a special emphasis

dermy, in addition to its huge selection of out-

Steel Pier or Central Pier Arcade; go dolphin

on history and celebrities. His winning per-

door retail merchandise. Gardner’s Basin is a

watching or cruise with Atlantic City Cruises;

sonality and depth of knowledge have earned

hidden gem, with shops, waterfront dining and

take a Trolley Tour; or visit the Atlantic City

him five-star ratings on TripAdvisor.

water activities.


A professed history lover, Dykes pos-

Gaming is a big part of the Atlantic City

Of course, the Atlantic Ocean presents

sesses a wealth of information about all

allure, and tour passengers can try their luck

endless opportunities for recreation – free

aspects of NYC – its past and present, its

at slots and table games at four great casinos

protected beaches, swimming, parasailing,

neighborhoods and architecture, celebrity

right on the Boardwalk, and even more casi-

kayaking and more. Atlantic City has every-

homes and hotspots and more. His stories

nos on the marina just minutes away. AC is

thing a motorcoach tour group could want,

are not only entertaining and informative,

the Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore,

right within walking distance.

but they reveal a true New Yorker’s appreciation of the city, which seems to resonate

with entertainers, comedians, concerts and

The experts at Meet AC, the convention

shows that will have your passengers laughing

and visitors authority for Atlantic City, are

and singing all night long. The Quarter has 11

ready to assist tour planners in scheduling

The funny and charming Dykes, who is

nightclubs that feature everything from eight-

an overnight stop. The Group Tour staff can

also an actor and a writer, concentrates on

ies music and karaoke to burlesque shows,

customize itineraries, liaison with group-

the history of New York City and the great

with his clients.

and dining options from steak to seafood,

friendly hotels, attractions and restaurants

names that built it, from the Rockefellers and

frozen drinks to mojitos and much more.

and provide supporting literature and video

Vanderbilts to Trump. He works well with

Restaurant offerings in Atlantic City can satisfy

materials. They will do everything they can

group leaders and drivers and admits that

the cravings of a busload of hungry passen-

to ensure that your group has a memorable

much of his business comes from referrals. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 9

Escape to The Northeast “Bus drivers are the toughest audiences,

Dykes offers full-day, half-day and hourly

because they’ve already heard it all,” Dykes

rates, and is available by appointment. To

says. “So when a tour planner says, ‘My driver


says we have to use you in NYC,’ that’s a high or check him out on

compliment to me.”







YouTube. To secure Dykes as a tour guide for

Many may recognize Dykes because he

your bus group, contact him at (212) 928-

has worked through different agencies and


has appeared on television. The late Joan





Rivers had him as a guest on her NYC radio show and nicknamed him “The Celebrity Tour

Greater Bangor Region

Guide of New York,” because of his life as an

Bangor, Maine

actor and his tales of the rich and famous,

Located on the banks of the Penobscot

especially stories of the insane NYC real

River and known as the “Queen City” of

estate market.

Maine, Bangor offers a mix of urban culture and old world traditions – performing arts,

Motorcoach groups have enjoyed Jim Dykes’ step-on tours for more than 20 years, and he works with other guides if more than

Jim Dykes on tour

museums and fine dining alongside quaint shops, historic sites and nature settings. With so many options for group activities, Bangor

one bus in involved. New York City is “organized chaos,” according to Dykes, and he

ends and architecture of New York City come

is sure to provide memorable experiences

entertains as he explains how it all got this

alive for your bus groups.

for motorcoach tours.

way, from the Dutch and the British through

Dykes step-on tours are fun, fast moving

One of Bangor’s most distinctive land-

modern times. He makes the history and leg-

and informative. Group leaders and bus dri-

marks is its 31-foot-tall statue of Paul Bun-

vers recommend him because he is accom-

yan, located in Bass Park on Maine Street.

modating, easy to work with and loved by

Bangor also features a vibrant, walkable

the tour passengers. “I like to help people

downtown, where tour passengers will dis-

make memories,” he says. He is best at “High-

cover locally owned shops offering every-

lights of the Big Apple” tours, but he can also

thing from handmade chocolates to antiques

be booked to do in-depth walking tours or

and Maine gemstones. The Rock & Art Shop

NYC-themed lectures, from the history of

is a must-see, for its large selection of fossils,

Broadway, the World Trade Center and 9/11

jewelry, unique gifts, air plants and art

Memorial to Central Park and Wall Street.

displays. Downtown is also home to diverse

Dykes is well versed on the neighbor-

dining choices, from quaint coffee shops to

hoods of NYC, including Manhattan, Green-

local favorites ranging from pub fare to fine

wich Village, Chinatown, Harlem, Rocke-


feller Center, Fifth Avenue, Central Park,

Tour groups can visit several museums

Upper West and Upper East sides, the Flat-

that showcase Bangor’s history and its

iron District, SoHo, Tribeca, Brooklyn and

dynamic arts culture. The University of Maine

neighborhoods of the Rich and Famous.

Museum of Art features fine art from Maine

Many of his groups are treated to celebrity

and around the world. The Bangor Historical

sightings, both from the bus and during his

Society’s Thomas A. Hill House Museum con-

walking tours.

tains some of the most rare Civil War artifacts

Church groups, school groups, corporate

10 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

in the Northeast. The Bangor Historical Soci-

groups large and small, celebrities, families –

ety offers different guided walking tours that

Jim Dykes has done them all. If languages

highlight, among other things, Bangor’s

other than English are needed, Dykes knows

architecture and history, Mount Hope Garden

excellent multilingual guides from his years

Cemetery and the city’s 1911 fire. The Cole

on the board of the Guides Association of

Land Transportation Museum has exhibits

New York City.

of antique and vintage vehicles that include

Escape to The Northeast train cars, farm equipment, motorcycles and bicycles, snowplows,

sive range of resources

fire engines and more.

to assist you. The

A variety of outdoor recreational opportunities are available

GBCVB can arrange

within a 15-mile radius, including nature hikes in Bangor’s City

step-on guide service

Forest and along Orono Bog Boardwalk, or a leisurely stroll along

for tours of historic

Bangor’s Penobscot River Walkway. Bus passengers can also

Bangor or the city’s

indulge in an afternoon of pampering at one of several local spas;

connection to best-

Hollywood Casino

try their luck at Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway, with nearly

selling author Stephen

1,000 slots and game tables, live poker and harness racing; or tour

King, or assist your

local craft breweries and wineries, available both within Bangor

group in attending one of the city’s many festivals held throughout

and a short drive beyond.

the year. Its partnerships with top-notch and group-friendly accom-

Entertainment options include live theater by Penobscot Theatre

modations, restaurants and attractions – that together make the

Company inside the historic Bangor Opera House, concerts at the

Greater Bangor Region an engaging destination – assure your peace

Bangor Waterfront Pavilion and local performers at nightlife

of mind and the success of your group’s visit.

hotspots like The Sound Stage Lounge at Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway. Bangor is also ideally located to provide day trips for tour groups

The experts at Greater Bangor CVB are ready to help you to plan your group’s visit to the region. Based on your group’s specific needs, they will send out requests for proposals to their accommodation,

to some of the most authentic Maine experiences. Within a 90-minute

dining and attraction partners, compile the results and assist you

drive: Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park to the southeast; the

in choosing the perfect matches for your group. As the tour planner’s

scenic Midcoast region and islands to the southwest; and Baxter State

region-wide concierge, the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors

Park to the north.

Bureau can handle all the details that will make your tour run

The GBCVB’s membership network makes it a “one-stop shop” for group tour planning, offering the most complete and comprehen-

smoothly. To learn more about the Great Bangor Region, visit online at For information on bringing your tour group to Bangor, contact Group Tour Specialist Jen Snow at (207) 947-5205 or

Lewis County, West Virginia Bus tour groups traveling through West Virginia will want to stop in Lewis County, located in the heart of the state, “where heroes were raised, legends were born and memories are made.” The small, busfriendly town of Weston, set on the banks of the West Fork River, is the county seat and boyhood home of legendary Civil War hero Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Tour groups who visit charming “Stonewall Country” will find history, heritage and culture atop each hill and tucked into every dale. Tour groups will be in awe of hundreds of years of architecture represented in Weston, beginning with the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, also called the Weston State Hospital. Constructed between 1858 and 1881, it is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America, and is purportedly the second largest in the world, next to the Kremlin in Moscow. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. The hospital began accepting patients in 1864. Originally designed for 250 patients, at one time, it held 2,500. It was finally closed in 1994, but its long, staggered, rambling wings are now reportedly home to otherworldly inhabitants. The facility has been featured on a number Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 11

Escape to The Northeast Lewis County glass museum

of paranormal television shows, including SyFy’s Ghost Hunters and Travel Channel’s Paranormal Lockdown. Purchased by a private

moments in United States military history through the eyes of those who served. The museum features many personal photos,

contractor in 2007, the asylum is now open

mementos and first-hand accounts, along

for events throughout the year, including his-

with military and historical artifacts from

torical tours, paranormal tours, ghost hunts

colonial times to the present. A recent

and a month-long haunted house in October.

2,100-square-foot addition has created

The facility now covers a little more than 26

more than 18 new exhibits, featuring per-

acres, but it once encompassed 269, and tour

sonal and historical items from the Korean,

planners can also schedule Civil War, heritage,

Vietnam and Civil wars. It is located in the

photography and farm tours that include the

just minutes apart. Tour passengers can

Weston Colored School, which is listed on

original acreage.

observe the art of blowing glass as artisans

the National Register of Historic Places.

Groups can visit WVU Jackson’s Mill, boy-

masterfully blend traditional glassmaking

At Lambert’s Winery, situated on a beau-

hood home of “Stonewall” Jackson. This

methods with the best of modern techniques.

tiful hillside in its own hand-cut stone build-

1840s farmstead features a gristmill, black-

Each features an on-site store where pas-

ing, bus groups can tour the facility, enjoy a

smith shop, barns and outbuildings, slave

sengers can purchase these one-of-a-kind

tasting and visit the gift shop.

cabins and more. For nominal fees, demon-

creations. Tour groups can also learn more

The Lewis County Convention & Visitors

strations and programs can be arranged and

about the rich history of West Virginia glass

Bureau can help you to make the most of

customized to a particular group.

by stopping by the West Virginia Museum of

your tour group’s visit to Stonewall Country.

Once known as the hand-blown glass capital of the world, Weston now boasts two

American Glass, featuring a collection of

To learn more about Lewis County, West Vir-

more than 17,000 pieces.

ginia, visit online at,

charming studios, Appalachian Glass and

At the Mountaineer Military Museum,

West Virginia American Art Glass, located

tour passengers will experience unique

12 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017






Stafford Air & Space Museum Apollo X Space Suit

Stafford Air & Space Museum Weatherford, Oklahoma The Stafford Air & Space Museum, in Weatherford, Oklahoma, is named in honor of legendary test pilot and astronaut Lt. General Thomas P. Stafford, born and raised in Weatherford. His mother came to Oklahoma in a covered wagon and lived to see her only child fly to the moon. Stafford was among the second group of astronauts selected by NASA in 1962 and flew four historic space missions. For his efforts as Joint Commander of the U.S. and Soviet Apollo-Soyuz mission, Stafford received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, among many other awards. Named a Smithsonian Affiliate in 2011, the museum houses more than an acre of exhibits and showcases thousands of items representing the evolution of aviation and spaceflight. Examples include a 10-story Titan II rocket, actual space suits – including

Veteran-Friendly Locations

Stafford’s flown Apollo 10 pressure suit – an Apollo Command & Service Module, and one of the most impressive collections of rocket

sional and tour guides. Tour groups begin in

Open daily except for Thanksgiving,

engines in the world. Highlights are a gigantic

the Apollo Conference Room for a 15-minute

Christmas and New Year’s Day, the museum

F-1 from the Saturn V, a flown Shuttle Main

video and are then divided into groups of 25

is located at 3000 East Logan Road, just off

Engine and a flown segment of a Shuttle Solid

for an exclusive guided tour through the

Interstate 40 and Exit 84 on historic Route

Rocket Booster you can walk through. Air-


66. Buses can drop off and pick up passen-

craft displays include an actual Sopwith Pup,

Tours take 60 to 90 minutes; it is recom-

gers right at the museum’s front entrance.

an F-16 and a rare MIG-21. Full-scale replicas

mended to allot two hours so that passengers

The facility is handicap-accessible; wheel-

of the Wright Flyer, a Curtiss Pusher, the Bell

may browse the museum’s The Wright Stuff

chairs are available. Buses may park in the

X-1 and the Spirit of St. Louis can also be

Gift Shop. Group rates are $7 for adults, $5

museum parking lot.


for senior citizens and $3 for students age 18

While in the area, consider visiting Elk

The museum’s newest outdoor display

and under. Drivers receive a comp ticket. Vet-

City, Oklahoma and its National Route 66

has already become an iconic monument for

erans and active military get free admission

Museum Complex, featuring what has been

the region. Situated just outside the front

Memorial Day through Labor Day. Checks,

called the largest Route 66 sign in existence.

entrance, one of the most revolutionary air-

cash and credit cards are accepted, and

Located about 40 minutes west of Weath-

craft ever built, the Lockheed F-104

groups may pay ahead of time, or individually

erford on I-40, Elk City is another great his-

Starfighter, now points majestically six stories

or as a group on the day of the visit. No on-

toric stop for bus tours heading through the

straight up into the sky.

site dining options are offered, but the Apollo


The Stafford Air & Space Museum wel-

Conference Room is available for catered

To learn more about the Stafford Air &

comes bus groups of all sizes, for self-guided

meals or for groups that bring their own food.

Space Museum, visit online at staffordmu-

or guided tours. Tour guides are available at

Other restaurants nearby welcome large To schedule a visit for your tour

no additional cost, but must be booked two

groups, including Lucille’s Roadhouse, an

group, phone (580) 772-5871. Tour planners,

to four weeks ahead of time. The bus group

iconic Route 66 restaurant just three minutes

mention “Bus Tours 17” when booking your

will be greeted by both the front desk profes-

from the facility. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 13

Feature: Veteran-Friendly stop, and your group will receive 10 percent

troops. Outside its entrance is Iron Mike, a

sent-day peacekeeping and contingency

off in the museum’s gift shop.

16.5-foot-high statue dedicated to all para-


troopers, past, present and future. Inside, the

The museum’s 235-seat Yarborough-

Airborne & Special

5,000-square-foot, five-story-high open lobby

Bank Theater puts tour groups in the center

Operations Museum

area showcases a dramatic exhibit accented

of the action, showing films throughout the

Fayetteville, North Carolina

by natural light from the glass walls and sur-

day that highlight the U.S. Army Airborne

The City of Fayetteville has played a vital

rounding windows. It features two fully

& Special Operations History, with free

role in America’s military history since

deployed parachutes – a WWII era T-5 round


becoming the first city out of dozens named

chute and a modern MC-4 square chute,

Two motion simulator experiences are

in honor of Revolutionary War hero Marquis

which together represent the development

available for more adventurous tour pas-

de Lafayette, and purportedly the only one

of airborne operations. A wall in the lobby is

sengers. In one, a 24-seat viewing area

he every visited.

dedicated to the 77 individuals who have

Today, it is probably best known as the

received the Congressional Medal of Honor

home of Fort Bragg, one of the largest army

for their actions while assigned to an airborne

installations in the country. It was the site of

or special operations unit.

the second Parachute Test Platoon in 1941

The museum’s main gallery is self-guided,

and is the permanent home of the revered

with exhibits organized in chronological

82nd Airborne Division and the famed

order, starting in 1940 with the conception

Golden Knights parachute team.

of the U.S. Army Parachute Test Platoon and

Motorcoach groups who visit Fort Bragg

ending with today’s airborne and special

can tour the Airborne & Special Operations

operations units. Exhibits cover airborne and

Museum, which opened in 2000 to honor and

parachute operations during World War II;

preserve the legendary feats of these elite

the Korean and Cold wars; Vietnam; and pre-

14 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Iron Mike

Feature: Veteran-Friendly moves as much as 18 degrees in concert

items relevant to airborne and special oper-

heart of Historic Downtown Fayetteville,

with the film Army On the Move. It provides

ations, including books, coins, toys, cloth-

just up the street from a variety of local

an extreme taste of what the U.S. Army’s

ing and much more.

finest are trained to do, including skiing

The museum is open Tuesday through

shops and restaurants. Fort Bragg is easily accessible through the All American Gate,

with a Special Forces Team through snowy

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday

which is an eight-mile drive. The visitor

woods and covering a rooftop insertion

noon-5 p.m., and closed on Mondays and

coordinator will give tour planners

from a helicopter gunship. The other sim-

federal holidays. Note: It is open on Memo-

specifics for entering the Army base when

ulator, Experience the Legend, takes pas-

rial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s

booking the visit. Buses can use the traffic

sengers from World War II to modern day

Day. Admission is free; donations are gladly

circle to load and unload passengers at the

as part of prestigious airborne and special

accepted. A general admission ticket for

front door and park for free in the far rear

ops units as they “experience” some of their

the Motion Simulator is $8.50 and can be

of the parking lot.

missions. Among them: flying into Nor-

purchased in the gift shop. Special rates

The museum is accessible and designed

mandy on D-Day with the 101st Screaming

are available for scheduled groups who

for all to enjoy. Gently sloping walkways sur-

Eagles, and traveling in Southwest Kabul

wish to ride the simulator during their visit.

round the building, and a wide sweeping path

through a hot bed of action with the Ranger

School and military groups receive addi-

winds its way through the main exhibit area.


tional discounts, but must schedule their

The museum has three wheelchairs available

Outside, on the Hay Street side, is the

visit at least two weeks in advance to be

for those who require them.

Reflection Garden, surrounded by lush mag-

eligible. It is recommended to allow two

While at Fort Bragg, tour groups may also

nolia, live oak and elm trees and bordered

to three hours to tour the museum and its

want to visit the JFK Special Warfare Museum

by seasonal flowers. The Sunken Garden,


and the 82nd Airborne War Memorial

lined with trees and benches, is located in

Motorcoach groups are welcome to visit

the central part of the Reflection Garden.

Fort Bragg and the Airborne & Special

The Airborne & Special Operations

Operations Museum. The museum is

about scheduling your group’s visit by phon-

Museum Gift Shop features a variety of

located at 100 Bragg Boulevard, in the


Museum. Contact the Visitor Services coordinator





The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Washington, D.C. Motorcoach groups traveling to Washington, D.C. can experience military pageantry and inspiration by attending a free concert by The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” It has been the premier music organization of the U.S. Army since 1922, and provides musical support for the leadership of the United States, including all branches of government, and for a wide spectrum of national and international events. It serves in support of soldiers and their families, public diplomacy, community and international relations, recruiting initiatives and music education programs. Dating back more than 230 years to the Revolutionary War, musicians have served a vital role in the Army, by upholding tradition, entertaining soldiers and serving as the nation’s musical ambassadors. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 15

Feature: Veteran-Friendly The U.S. Army Band presents free concerts all year and performs

Twilight Tattoo will run most Wednesdays through August 9 in

at a few special events in a variety of venues. Each summer from

2017. Pre-ceremony music begins at 6:30 p.m. and the tattoo starts

May through early August, bus passengers can attend Twilight Tat-

at 7 p.m. Performances are on Summerall Field on the Fort Myer por-

too, an hour-long military pageant featuring soldiers from the 3rd

tion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia. The

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

tattoo will be brought indoors in the case of inclement weather.

“Pershing’s Own.” Tour groups will get a glimpse into American

Bleacher seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For group reser-

history, through live vignettes and entertainment by some of the

vations, e-mail U.S. Army Military District of Washington at:

Military District of Washington’s premier ceremonial assets that

include The U.S. Army Band, The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps

Please provide group name, city and state, size of group and a point

and The U.S. Army Drill Team.

of contact. Most Fridays at 8 p.m. through August 25, one of the major per-

The U.S. Army Band

forming elements of The U.S. Army Band performs “Sunsets with a Soundtrack,” a concert on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol. These performances are free and no tickets are required. Weather may affect concerts, so visit for updates. There will be no performance on Friday, August 18. These concerts are held annually from early June through the end of August. The U.S. Army “Pershing’s Own” offers these free concerts each summer, along with other performances at various venues throughout the year. This means that tour planners have several opportunities for their motorcoach groups to experience this military musical pageantry in the inspirational setting of our nation’s capital.






16 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017



Escape to The Southeast West Volusia County, Florida For a taste of old Florida with a new vibe,

West Volusia Manatee

motorcoach groups traveling between Daytona and Orlando should plan a stop in West Volusia County. Encompassing 14 communities stretching between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean, West Volusia offers an eclectic mix of destinations. Tour planners will find the right combination of activities and attractions to provide their motorcoach group with authentic Florida experiences they will not soon forget. Your group can begin its authentic experience in DeLand, a city that combines a sense of history and a contemporary vibe. Its popular downtown is home to unique shops and boutiques, diverse restaurants, first-rate galleries and museums, live theater, microbreweries

Paula Deen and others. The original Kermit’s

DeLand also boasts a number of historic

and a series of original murals. DeLand’s excit-

is in Key West, but Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe

sites. The DeLand’s downtown was desig-

ing history, culture, food and sites have made

in DeLand is home to production facilities.

nated a National Historic District in 1987.

it the recipient of the Great American Main

The nearly 10,000-square-foot facility includes

Among its 68 historic buildings is the 1929

Street Award, and it has been voted the best

a kitchen, bottling facility and showroom,

Volusia County Courthouse and the 1922

Main Street in Florida five times.

open for free tours on Tuesday, Wednesday

Athens Theatre. Stetson University is

Bus-friendly DeLand offers free bus park-

or Thursday. All tours should be booked at

Florida’s oldest private university and is on

ing in several downtown locations; arrange-

least two weeks ahead of time. Visit

the National Register of Historic Places.

ments must be made at least two weeks in or phone (386) 740-0502.

The Stetson Mansion, built in 1886, is

DeLand is home to nine different museums,

renowned as Florida’s first luxury estate. This

Bureau at or (386)

which showcase topics ranging from fine art

10,000-square-foot Victorian mansion is

734-0162 or with Mainstreet DeLand, at

and ethnic cultures to military history and min-

named for its owner, hat maker and philan- or (386) 738-0649.

erals. Part of an authentic Florida tour includes

thropist John B. Stetson. Added to the

advance with the West Volusia Tourism

Motorcoach groups can explore DeLand

seeing alligators, but a one-of-a-kind experi-

National Register of Historic Places in 1978,

through its local cuisine, with receptive tour

ence awaits bus passengers at DeLand’s Rep-

this lovingly restored private estate is open

operator Great Tasting Tours, offering an

tile Discovery Center: its live venom extraction

for tours and festive celebrations. Group tours

eclectic mix of excellent restaurants, unusual

program. It is one of only a handful of facilities

are welcome with advanced booking and

shops and local attractions, along with exclu-

in the world where venom extraction can be

cost $20 per person, with one comp for every

sive presentations and behind-the-scenes

viewed in a controlled environment. In addi-

15 paid; tour guide and bus driver are also

peeks. Tours must be booked and paid for at

tion, the nature trail features alligators, lizards,

comped. Grand tours, which include the third

least two weeks in advance. Groups receive

tortoises and other reptiles, and inside exhibits

floor and schoolhouse, are $30 per person,

one comp for every 10 paid. Larger groups will

house rattlesnakes, cobras, mambas and many

and the seasonal Christmas Extravaganza is

be split into two or three smaller groups. Bus

other snakes from all over the world. Group

$25 per person. Free bus parking is available

parking is available in multiple locations with

tours of the center are $8 per person and

on site or in the lot across from the entrance.

prior approval. For information, visit Great-

should be booked at least two weeks in

Phone or phone (386) 717-0675.

advance. The bus driver is admitted for free,

For an authentic Florida taste, nothing

and free bus parking is available in the bus

As part of the St. Johns River corridor,

compares to Key lime pie, and Kermit’s is con-

loop. Visit online at

West Volusia County offers many natural

sidered the best there is by Food Network,

or phone (386) 740-9143.

sights for motorcoach tour groups. One of






Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 17

Unique Wildlife.

From our many parks and natural areas, to historic homes and vibrant downtowns, you’ll find everything from unique wildlife to exciting nightlife. Grab your friends and family and get away and play in West Volusia County.

Tour Our Manufacturing Kitchen

“Florida’s First Luxury Estate�

we l e r e h l W make athings

K ey

me i L

Tours Available by reservation only Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 10:30am or 2:30pm.

Guided tours year round • Florida’s most historic home Trip Advisor’s

“Top 10 things to do in Florida�

Call 386-740-0502 x103 to book.

Christmas Spectacular! Holiday Home Tours Nov. 15th -- Jan. 15th

OUTLET PRICING EVERY DAY D 1842 Patterson Avenue • DeLand, Florida 386-740-0502 •

Reservations required. Book at 1031 Camphor Lane DeLand, FL 32720

ST. JOHNS RIVER ECO TOURS The most eco-friendly sightseeing boat cruise on the St. Johns River with several boat tours daily. Whether you’re a birdwatcher, a fan of alligators or manatees, a nature photographer, or are just looking for something different, our St. Johns river boat tours are made for you.

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C O N V E N I E N T LY LO C AT E D B E T W E E N D AY T O N A B E A C H a n d O R L A N D O .

Exciting Nightlife.

Join us for Food, Wine & Craft Beer Tastings!

Exciting, guided tasting tours through scenic DeLand. Enjoy special food tastings, unusual wines, craft beer and unique shops. Reserve now, tours fill quickly. | 386.717.0675

DELAND, FLORIDA 20 Summit Oak Place • DeLand, Florida 32720

386-279-7808 See The Real Florida


D O W N LO A D O U R V I S I T O R S G U I D E a t V I S I T W E S T V O LU S I A . C O M

Escape to The Southeast only 14 American Heritage Rivers in the

prior to arrival. Visit

country, the St. Johns River and the series of

or phone (386) 985-5644.

West Volusia County is only 30 minutes away from Daytona Beach and New Smyrna

lakes it connects make up the St. Johns River

West Volusia County offers many other

Beach and offers a quick trip to all central

Blueway and the River of Lakes Heritage Cor-

tour-friendly locations. About 25 minutes

Florida attractions. Amtrak provides regularly

ridor. About eight miles west of DeLand, Blue

west of DeLand is DeBary Hall, a magnificent

scheduled service to DeLand’s restored his-

Spring State Park is a designated manatee

19th century hunting estate overlooking the

toric train station. From Interstate 95 South,

refuge and the winter home to a growing

St. Johns River in DeBary, Florida. Built in

take I-4 westbound to exits 118 through 108.

population of manatees. The park comprises

1871, it is the oldest intact building in south-

From I-75 South, take I-4 eastbound to exits

more than 2,600 acres, including the largest

west Volusia County, and was built as the

108 through 118.

spring on the St. Johns River. Admission to

winter retreat of a European-born cham-

Let the experts at West Volusia Tourism

Florida’s state parks is $60 for 50-plus people.

pagne merchant. Tours are $5 per person and

Bureau help you to plan your group’s authen-

Free bus parking is available in the park, but

must be booked at least two weeks in

tic Florida tour. Contact them at VisitWest-

reservations are required to ensure admis-

advance; the bus driver is comped. For infor- or phone (386) 734-0162.


mation, click on the “Visitors” tab at




Visit or phone (386) 775-3663. or phone (386) 668-3840. Barberville Pioneer Settlement, a nonprofit

Appalachian GhostWalks Johnson City, Tennessee

Exploring the river gives tour passengers

historical village offering an authentic look at

Explore the folklore and superstition of

access to view turtles, gators, manatees,

Florida pioneer lifestyle, is about 15 miles

southern Appalachia with Appalachian

more than 200 species of birds and a lush

north of DeLand, in Barberville, Florida. Here,

GhostWalks, offering unique walking tours

Florida landscape. St. Johns River Cruises at

tour passengers get a glimpse of Florida’s past

that blend mystery and history in eastern

Blue Spring State Park offers cruises for

through hands-on experiences, folk life

Tennessee and southwestern Virginia. Bus

groups up to 60, at $20 per person. Visit

demonstrations and historical exhibits. Attrac-

tour planners can choose among 16 enter- or phone (407) 330-1612.

tions include the Schoolhouse Museum, the

taining and enlightening treks to ghostly

About nine miles north of DeLand is De

Astor Bridge Tender’s House and a country

locales throughout southern Appalachia,

Leon Springs State Park. Here, bus tour pas-

store. Guided tours must be booked at least

from the Great Smoky Mountains to the

sengers can hike the 4.2-mile Wild Persimmon

two weeks in advance. Tickets are $10, with

Southwest Virginia Highlands.

Hiking Trail or take a leisurely stroll on the

one comp for every 20 purchased. Visit pio-

Each authentic tour was created by the

one-half-mile paved Nature Trail to view the or phone (386) 749-2959.

owners, involving up to two years of careful

600-year-old cypress tree. The Butterfly Gar-

West Volusia County is also home to Cas-

planning which included historical research,

den has about 500 plants for the benefit of res-

sadaga, the “Psychic Capital of the World.”

scientific exploration and spiritual readings

ident and migrating butterflies and humming-

Located about 15 minutes east of DeLand,

of the buildings and properties, along with

birds. Exhibits in the Visitor Center, along with

the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is the oldest

verification of their findings with local histo-

kiosks and signs located throughout the park,

active community of mediums in the south-

rians, business owners, employees, local res-

provide tour groups with the region’s natural

eastern United States. People from around

idents and many other credible sources.

and cultural history. Park Ranger programs,

the world visit the cobblestone streets and

The result is a catalogue of one-of-a-kind

covering a variety of topics, are offered during

meditation gardens of this storybook com-

adventures with options for groups of all ages

the fall and winter months.

munity for readings, séances and spiritual

and sensibilities. Tours operate daily and/or

Admission to Florida’s state parks is $60

energy. Motorcoach groups can take tours

nightly, led by certified ghost hunters who

for 50-plus people. Free bus parking is available

of its National Historic District to learn about

are experts on each location’s history and

in the park, but reservations are required to

Cassadaga’s historic, unique and mysterious

folklore. These “Mountain Mysteries Guides”

ensure admission and parking availability. Visit

beginnings, its unusual architecture and the

weave tales of the supernatural and ghostly

spirit activity that still goes on in the homes

encounters with confirmed related historical

of present-day mediums. Tours range from

events and actual reported experiences.

or phone (386) 985-4212. A popular dining spot at the park is the Old

$40 to $70 and should be booked at least two

Spanish Sugar Mill, opened in 1961, where

weeks in advance. The driver and tour guide

history of Jonesborough, as they wander the

customers make their own pancakes. Motor-

are free, and free bus parking is offered in

back streets and stop outside haunted prop-

coach tours are welcome, but reservations are

two spots within a block of the camp. Visit

erties in Tennessee’s oldest town. In

required and must be made at least two weeks or phone (386) 228-3171.

20 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Bus tour passengers will learn the haunted

Continued on page 31

Bonanzaville West Fargo, North Dakota With 12 acres, 43 historical buildings and more than 400,000 artifacts, this must-see for bus tour groups is one of North Dakota’s largest historical attractions. Operated by the Cass County Historical Society, Bonanzaville allows tour passengers to experience firsthand the rich social and agricultural heritage of the Red River Valley, from the mid-1800s to the present. The name comes from highly profitable “bonanza farms,” created mostly in Minnesota and Dakota’s Red River Valley in the late 1800s. Covering thousands of acres, these came from the sale of land to investors by the Northern Pacific Railroad to cover its debts and typically produced wheat. By the 1920s, bonanza farms had run their course, and the land was parceled and sold or rented to smaller farmers. Bonanzaville’s Pioneer Village includes historic and replica buildings from numerous eras. Tour passengers can also visit Arthur Town Hall, built in the 1890s; a blacksmith shop; a saloon and hotel; a one-room schoolhouse built in 1895; a Northern Pacific Railroad depot built in 1900; a barbershop; and many other structures. One of its featured items is Fargo’s first log cabin, built in 1869, when Fargo was just a city of tents in the Dakota Territory. The property is home to many types of historical North Dakota abodes, from other log cabins and pioneer farmhouses to wellappointed bonanza farm homes, such as the Houston Home. David Houston was a successful transplanted Wisconsin farmer whose brother invented the first roll film camera. Houston perfected and patented the roll film holder in 1881 and then licensed it to George

Historical Attractions and Museums

Bonanzaville Model T

Eastman (of Eastman Kodak). That same year,

a dozen aircraft and related artifacts as well

law enforcement museum are among six

he built his home in Hunter in the Dakota Ter-

as other vehicles, at the Eagle Air Museum.

other museums at Pioneer Village.

ritory for $7,000 (about $250,000 today), out-

At the Melroe Tractor Building and the Moem

fitting it with maple floors, cherry and oak

Agricultural Building, passengers can see

rotating exhibits on different subjects, includ-

wainscoting, walnut stairs and large bay win-

vintage tractors and farm implements, rang-

ing a large collection of very rare Indian arti-

dows. It was truly an elegant house for its time.

ing from walking plows and hand-operated

facts. Its newest exhibit features artifacts and

Groups can view a collection of more than

threshers to steam- and diesel-powered trac-

stories from World War I and World War II.

60 antique, vintage and modern vehicles at

tors, as well as a variety of antique and vin-

Bonanzaville is open May 1 through August

the Eugene Dahl Car Museum, and more than

tage artifacts. A telephone museum and a

31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday,

In addition, Bonanzaville also features

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 21

Feature: Historic Attractions and Museums 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m.

to explore on their own. The on-site gift shop

Horse Harry” Lee, along with 13,000 troops,

Sunday. In September, the same hours apply

offers unique items, books, souvenirs, snacks

to quell the insurrection.

except closing time during the week is 5 p.m.,

and drinks. Several dining facilities within a

and in October, it is open only on weekends.

few blocks welcome large groups.

Bradford’s Pennsylvania home, which came to symbolize the rebellion, also reflected

Bonanzaville hosts several special events

To learn more about bringing your bus

its owner’s high social standing. The stone for

throughout the year, including annual Fourth

group to Bonanzaville, visit online at

the exterior was quarried near Washington,

of July festivities, Christmas on the Prairie or contact the facility at (701)

while the interior decorations came from the

and Pioneer Days, held each year over the

282-2822 or

third weekend in August, with demonstrators and docents in historical attire and demonstrations of threshing and blacksmithing. Bonanzaville, 1351 Main Avenue West,

east and had to be transported across the mountains at great expense. The magnificent

Bradford House Museum

mahogany staircase and the interior wood fin-

Washington, Pennsylvania

ishes show remarkable craftsmanship. When

Bus tour groups traveling through south-

it was completed in 1788, the home was an

West Fargo, North Dakota, is easily accessed

western Pennsylvania will want to schedule

architectural showpiece, especially given that

via Interstate 94 and welcomes motorcoach

a stop in this historic city, site of the famous

the majority of the town’s residents lived in

tour groups. Buses can drop off and pick up

Whiskey Rebellion – one of the first tests of

small log cabins.

passengers at the front door and park for free

America’s new democratic government.

Restored to its 18th century glory in 1965,

at the west end of the parking lot. Tickets for

In 1794, David Bradford, a successful local

today, the Bradford House’s beauty and heritage

tour groups are $8 per person ($4 off the reg-

attorney and the Deputy Attorney General

are preserved as a museum for visitors to expe-

ular price), payable on site or ahead of time

for Washington County, led frontier farmers

rience. The house was added to the National

through the tour company. Escort and driver

in protest of the high federal whiskey excise

Register of Historic Places in 1973 and desig-

are admitted for free. Docent-led group tours

tax in what would become known as the

nated a National Historic Landmark in 1983.

are available with advance notice and take at

Whiskey Rebellion. In response, President

Bradford House Museum is open to the

least one hour; allow more time for passengers

George Washington sent General “Light

public Wednesdays, April through November,

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Feature: Historic Attractions and Museums from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays, May through September, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Group tours can be scheduled throughout the year with 48 hours’ notice, except for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The twostory home has a parlor, dining room and warming kitchen downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. The grounds include a garden and a replica of the home’s original outdoor log cabin kitchen. Buses can unload at the museum’s entrance and park for free on either side of the street. A step-on guide can be provided for an introduction if requested. Bus passengers are divided into smaller groups for the tour, with one beginning upstairs, a second downstairs and a third outside. Trained docents in 18th century attire guide tour passengers through the house, garden and kitchen cabin, and they can adapt the presentation for any group or interest. The museum has no elevator, but the downstairs and outdoor features, which are handicap-accessible and can accommodate wheelchairs, offer much to see and experience. Tour planners should allow 1 to 1.5 hours for a guided tour. Bradford House can accommodate groups up to 100. For larger groups, museum staff suggests a combined tour with the nearby LeMoyne House, Pennsylvania’s first National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad; a walking tour of historic downtown Washington; or a tour of the historic Washington County Courthouse. Cost: $5 per person for Bradford House

Bradford House

only; $10 per for both museums; $10 for both museums and a walking tour. The tour escort and bus driver are admitted for free. A variety of restaurants, both national chains and local eateries, welcome large groups. Favorites among tour groups are Angelo’s and SpringHouse Market. Bradford House Museum is located at 175 South Main Street, close to other historic sites and places of interest for tour groups, including the Duncan & Miller Glass Museum and the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, both within three miles. Within walking distance are Mingo Creek Craft Distillers, Red Pump Spirits and The Washington Winery. Combined tours can be planned with any of these establishments. To learn more about Bradford House Museum, visit online at For information about bringing your tour group to visit Bradford House Museum, phone (724) 222-3604 or e-mail

Deer Park, Texas If you are passionate about Texas history, you need to know about Deer Park, located just 19 miles west of Houston. Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2017, this friendly Texas town has its own amenities and attractions and also provides the perfect home base for bus tour groups exploring southeast Texas. A bus tour group of 50 or more may have planned a couple of days to visit two of the most fascinating historic attractions in the state – the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and Washington-onBus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 23

Feature: Historic Attractions and Museums Battleship Texas

parking is available in the parking areas of each property, so guests may be dropped off directly – phone for specific details by location. Also, on-site dining for breakfast is available in most facilities. For a short day trip, head about nine miles southeast to La Porte, Texas, where the staff of the San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship Texas, 3523 Independence Parkway, will guide your group on its exploration of the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. This 1,200-acre area commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, in which Texas declared its independence from Mexico, with a museum and a 489-foot elevator ride to the observation deck at the top of the memorial. Then, tour passengers can step aboard the Battleship Texas, the first permanent battleship memorial museum in the United States, and one that played a role in both world wars. Allow two to three hours to fully enjoy both features, and call to coordinate your arrival a few days in advance. For information about the San Jacinto Monument, phone (281) 479-2421 or visit online at

the-Brazos State Historic Site. Deer Park offers convenient access to For information about bringing your bus

both, away from the expense and commotion of a big city, still within

group to the Battleship Texas, phone (281) 479-2431 or visit online

minutes of downtown Houston.


In Deer Park, several beautiful hotels can accommodate your pas-

Following these two memorable tours, your group can enjoy lunch

sengers and tour bus, including Candlewood Suites, Comfort Suites,

at the famous Monument Inn Restaurant, featuring a beautiful view

Hampton Inn & Suites and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.

of the Houston Ship Channel. Located just minutes from the historic

Deer Park hoteliers are excited to welcome groups, and ask that at

site, at 4406 Independence Parkway, the restaurant includes delicious

least three weeks’ notice be provided to secure room blocks. Bus

24 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Feature: Historic Attractions and Museums seafood, pasta, beef and chicken dishes as


well as specialty appetizers and desserts.

After lunch, your group can return to Deer




on-the-brazos or phone (936) 878-2214.

Park for shopping and to view some of the local

The welcoming City of Deer Park is ready

history, such as the city’s historical museum

to serve as your bus tour group’s headquarters

cabinets – located in the Deer Park Public

for its exploration of Texas history. Deer Park

Library, at 3009 Center St., and the Municipal

is located just off State Highway 225, which

Court and Theater Building at 1302 Center St.

leads directly to the I-610 loop and easy access

The next day, hit the road for a longer day

to any historical asset in the greater Houston

trip to Washington-on-the-Brazos State His-

area. To learn more about Deer Park, go to

toric Site, less than a two-hour drive away

via Interstate 610 N and US-290 W. This 293acre scenic park, along the banks of the Brazos River, is hailed as the place “where Texas became Texas.” Attractions include: Independence Hall, a replica of the building where representatives wrote the Texas Declaration of Independence; Star of the Republic Museum, with collections and programs honoring the history of early Texans; and Barrington Living History Farm, where interpreters dress, work and farm as the original residents of this homestead did. For more




The Maga-

zine of Bus Tours and Long Dis-

tance Charters

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 25


Mohegan Sun


aming excitement, delicious food,

towers; 80 shops and restaurants; 26 bars and

at VISTA Lounge at Wombi Rock, featuring

amazing shopping and world-class

clubs; 18 holes of golf; and two luxury spas.

a state-of-the-art sound system, an intimate

entertainment are all part of what

Shopping options for bus passengers

dance floor and blackjack tables. They can

makes a casino visit a special experience for

range from jewelry and clothing to cosmetics,

keep up with the favorite teams at two sports

a group tour. Throw in first-rate lodging and

accessories and specialty items, and feature

bars or hang out at the upscale Comix Com-

amenities, and tour planners will always

top brand-name retailers such as Swarovski,

edy Club and Craft Beer Bar, offering stand-

come up winners.

Tommy Bahama, Sephora, Godiva Choco-

up comedy and offbeat shows. The Wolf Den,

latier and Robert Graham, as well as exclu-

inside Casino of the Earth, has full beverage

sive Mohegan Sun boutiques.

service, intimate seating and free perfor-

Mohegan Sun Uncasville, Connecticut

Mohegan Sun dining options are certain

mances by entertainers such as MC Hammer,

Mohegan Sun makes a perfect stop for

to satisfy a busload of hungry passengers. Its

America and Blue Öyster Cult.

motorcoach groups traveling in or near the

restaurants offer up everything from familiar

Bringing your motorcoach group or char-

Constitution State, whether for a few hours,

favorites like Jersey Mike’s and Chik-Fil-A,

ter to Mohegan Sun is worry-free, with single

an entire day or overnight. Tour passengers

popular ethnic choices and pub fare to fine

day and overnight charters for groups of all

can indulge in every experience and feel full

dining, a buffet and snacks. Celebrity-owned

sizes. Located less than three hours from

of life at three world-class casinos (Earth, Sky

choices include Michael Jordan’s Steak House

New York City and Boston, and within an

and Wind), with more than 350 table games

and his SoloToro Tequila Grill; Jimmy Buffett’s

hour’s drive of Hartford and Providence, it

and 5,000 slots; a 10,000-seat Arena; 1,600

Margaritaville; and Tom’s Urban.

offers easy access from all points.

deluxe hotel rooms and two spectacular hotel

26 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Tour groups will find plenty of nightlife at

Mohegan Sun caters to bus groups, with

Mohegan Sun. They can feel like high rollers

special incentives and an enclosed bus

CHARTER NEW POSSIBILITIES Sign up your group for a bus charter today

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

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

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

Guide: Gaming entrance. Upon arrival, your group will be greeted by a representative who will explain all of the resort’s offerings and distribute key packets, coupons and other comps. Incentives for groups with a five-hour stay include food vouchers for Seasons Buffet and gaming vouchers for select games. Group leaders are also provided with special incentives, including vouchers and Momentum Dollars. Packages on shorter stays can also be arranged with a representative. Drivers park at the free, 24-hour on-site parking facility, relax in the lounge located next to the bus lobby and grab a bite using their free food voucher. Overnight groups consist of 10 or more rooms available Sunday through Thursday year-round and can be reserved with a deposit two months prior to arrival. Rooms are booked in advance to assure availability, and a contract is generated. Groups that reserve 20 or more rooms will receive one complimentary double room, and Mohegan Sun offers valuable rewards to group leaders with 35 or more passengers. Mohegan Sun’s overnight group lobby area is located next to the hotel’s elevators and main lobby. The property is ADA-compliant and fully accessible to tour passengers with disabilities, with elevators and handicap-accessible restrooms located throughout the property. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and electric scooters are offered for rent (reservations recommended). For more information on day or overnight charters, please visit charter or contact Stephen Olender at (860) 862-8988 or For all other inquiries, phone Mohegan Sun Bus Marketing toll free at (888) 770-0140.

Prairie Band Casino & Resort Mayetta, Kansas Owned by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the Prairie Band Casino & Resort is a sure bet for motorcoach tours in Kansas. It boasts the newest games, deluxe accommodations, sumptuous food, EPIC Entertainment and superior service. Located just 15 minutes north of Topeka, Kansas, at 12305 150th Road, Mayetta, Kansas, Prairie Band Casino & Resort offers 297 luxurious guestrooms and suites, two hot tubs, a luxurious outdoor pool and an expansive courtyard area. Prairie Band Casino’s spacious gaming floor features more than 1,200 slots, 30 table games and bingo in a new, state-of-the-art, 400-seat bingo hall. Prairie Band Casino offers three dining options that can accommodate large groups. The Longhouse Buffet is open daily with all the buffet favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three Fires Steakhouse offers elegant fine dining with a luxurious feel, with a great selection of steak, chops, seafood, pasta and a delicious dessert menu. The Buffalo Grill, located in the hotel lobby, is open 24 hours a day to grab an awardwinning burger, stone oven-baked gourmet pizza or a made-to-order sandwich. Tour passengers can also grab a quick bite at the Bingo Snack Bar or the popular Subway Restaurant.

28 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017





OVER $90 MILLION IN RENOVATIONS The all-new Tropicana featuring $90 million in renovations including renovated casino and hotel rooms, the all-new AtlantiCare LifeCenter Fitness, new retail shops in The Quarter and the spectacular free Multimedia Light and Sound Show on the boardwalk daily. Plus, the possibilities are endless with 24 restaurants, 25 shops,18 bars, IMAX Theatre plus bluemercury makeup, skincare & spa all under one roof. For immediate assistance and to book your day or overnight trip, call our Tour Department at 1-888-275-1212. Call now to customize packages for your groups.


1-800-THE TROP | TROPICANA.NET BRIGHTON AND BOARDWALK, ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401 Must be 21. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Guide: Gaming Prairie Band Casino & Resorts has headliner and review entertainment 12 months of the year,

Prairie Band Porte Cochere

with many stars of country and classic rock with a little of R&B mixed in. Also, tour passengers can browse a wonderful selection of unique, authentic Native American jewelry and other items at the Prairie Band Gift Shop. All bus groups are greeted by a casino representative upon arrival, to answer any questions and detail any special offers or promotions. Overnight buses can drop-off/pick-up at the hotel porte-cochere, and daytrip buses drop-off/pick-up at the designated bus entrance located very close to the Player’s Club. Buses park for free at the resort’s designated bus parking area. Free bell service is provided upon request, and check-in/out is a fast, easy process, handled by one of the professionals

at for details on upcoming

Casino & Hotel offers up winning moments

at the hotel front desk. Group incentives vary


every step of the way. Two properties, Wind Creek Montgomery and Wind Creek

and may be available at the time of booking. For questions on group sales, contact: Phone (785) 966-7742 for reservations, and visit online

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel

Wetumpka, are located in and around Mont-

Montgomery, Alabama area

gomery, Alabama, an easy drive away from

When it comes to great times, entertain-

Atlanta and Birmingham. Wind Creek

ment and excitement, each Wind Creek

Atmore, located in the Gulf Coast region of

Guide: Gaming Alabama, boasts more of a resort type of des-

At Wind Creek Atmore, the AAA Four-Dia-

luxury hotel tower with 283 oversized rooms

tination. When you add in the great gaming

mond hotel features 236 spacious rooms and

offers a place for all groups to lay their heads

excitement of the casinos, major entertain-

the finest resort amenities, a luxurious spa

after the fun is over.

ment and the extensive amenities, you have

and a wide variety of dining options including

a recipe that tour groups are sure to love.

FIRE Steakhouse and B.B. King’s World

at B.B. King’s Blues Club gives way to a 65,000-

Famous Café, plus more than 1,700 games

square-foot gaming floor at Wind Creek Mont-

on a 65,000-square-foot casino floor. If your

gomery. Stylishly dressed in modern décor

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel

Last but not least, find out how the music

group is in the mood for other types of fun,

with a Blues twist, the hotel offers up comforts

there is also a bowling alley, arcade, movie

to satisfy any weary traveler. With casual cui-

theaters, hands-on cooking classes in the

sine and nightly live music performances, B.B.

culinary studio and major concert events in

King’s offers great entertainment and great

the outdoor amphitheater.

food, while Lucille’s offers a quick-serve option

At Wind Creek Wetumpka, they have

with the same great food. Itta Bena Restaurant

spared no luxury, from the excitement of the

adds a special flavor to any event or meal,

high-limit salon to the shark-tank center-

offering gourmet Southern cuisine with a side

piece. The gaming floor offers players an

of Beale Street ambience.

85,000-square-foot space to play more than

Do not let your group miss the best in

2,500 of the most popular games. With every-

food, fun, amenities and excitement. For

thing from upscale fare at the gourmet steak-

information on bringing your group to any

house to the international buffet, every

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel, contact the

appetite is covered. The Entertainment Cen-

group sales team at (251) 446-4290 or

ter features major events year-round, and a

Southeast ontinued from page 20

Other Tennessee haunts visited by

horseback riding, gem mining, carriage rides,

Greeneville, Tennessee, one of Appalachian

Appalachian GhostWalks include Johnson

museum visits, theatrical performances and

GhostWalks’ spookiest tours, participants have

City, Erwin and Rogersville. Virginia Ghost-

more. In addition, great culinary dining expe-

reported odd experiences and found unex-

Walks are led in haunted, historic Abingdon

riences await participants each night.

plained images on photos. Here, bus tour

and Bristol. Also available are “Paranormal

Reservations are required, and rates vary

groups will explore haunted, pre-Civil War

Expeditions” – all-day trips into the southern

according to the type of tour or package and the

buildings and visit one of the town’s oldest

Appalachian Mountains, focusing on either

size of the group. Tours are handicap accessible;

cemeteries, as their guide tells them of tragic

the “Legendary Cherokee Bigfoot” or “UFO

please make prior arrangements. Appalachian

tales and influential events.

Close Encounters” tours.

GhostWalks donates 10 percent of its annual

In Blountville, Tennessee, a town steeped

Appalachian GhostWalks is a receptive

profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,

in Revolutionary and Civil War heritage, bus

tour operator that welcomes large bus groups

so along with providing passengers with thrills,

groups can choose a lantern-led tour of the

and provides step-on service and on-site pre-

chills, history and mystery, your tour group will

city’s haunted historic district, an Appalachian

sentations upon request. In addition to being

help to support pioneering research and treat-

Caverns GhostWalk or a combination of the


ments for kids with life-threatening diseases.

two. With its Dandridge and Gatlinburg Ghost

Appalachian GhostWalks Tour Operator

For additional information or reservations,

and History tours, Appalachian GhostWalks

Stacey Allen McGee has 35 years of experi-

visit or phone

unveils startling secrets and hair-raising his-

ence in the travel industry. Select tours allow

tory in the Smoky Mountains. The Cherokee

for one guide to lead up to 50 people, and spe-

Bigfoot Adventure Tour is conducted morn-

cial arrangements can be made for larger

ings and afternoons at the Bays Mountain

groups. McGee will customize tours based on

Park in Kingsport, Tennessee, accompanied

a group’s specific needs and interests, and he




by Native American flute and drum. Rich in

can bundle various offerings. Also available

Cherokee folklore and legend, this is the first

are vacation packages that combine the

Bigfoot tour of its kind in North America.

haunted tour experience with other activities

(423) 743-WALK (9255) for specific details. ❑

Appalachian Caverns

such as whitewater rafting, caving, bicycle or Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 31

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

20 Tips for Naming

a profit within a year, keep your buses on the

also help you design a logo, trademark your

Your Bus Business

road seven days a week, serve the handi-

name and suggest a motto. Downsides could

Choosing the right name for your bus com-

capped, offer fast dependable bus service

be turnaround time and cost. Times range

pany, travel agency or group can be one of the

between cities or destinations not serviced,

from six weeks to six months, and prices range

most important decisions and most enjoyable

spin-off your current business or make the

from under $100 to $1,000 or more. The

steps in setting up your business. The more

public aware of new dimensions to your cur-

upside is that the extra time and money you

your name communicates about your business,

rent business.

spend could save you countless hassles and

the less effort you must exert to explain it.

2. Make a list of what most accurately

expenses further down the road.

Why start a bus business? One reason is

describes the people you want as cus-

5. Be Creative. Use new forms of exist-

to make a profit in providing a service you

tomers. Examples could include: local resi-

ing words. People prefer words they can relate

believe in. You also should believe that trav-

dents; national residents; men, women, stu-

to and understand. Some companies coin new

eling by bus is the best way to see scenic won-

dents or older adults; handicapped individuals;

forms or spellings of existing words. For exam-

ders of United States, which you would miss

people who love visiting casinos, theaters,

ple, Namelab created Compaq when that com-

by taking a plane. Not only is the bus a safer,

sporting events, outdoor adventures; people

pany asked them for a name for their new

greener, more flexible alternative, it is the least

representing various nationalities, races,

portable computer. A travel company might

expensivw way to visit our country.

faiths, or political groups; highly educated

use KwikTrips. Some people add “ing” to

Information for this article is based mainly

people; wealthy people who want luxury; peo-

names of their groups, such as Emerging

on experiences at Cuyahoga Community Col-

ple who want fast inexpensive travel; people

Entrepreneurs or Traveling with Charlie.

lege (CCC), Lakefront Lines, interviewing bus

who want transportation between destina-

Rhyming names like Prime Time work well

company owners, scouring Google websites

tions not currently scheduled. You might want

for retiree groups. Others have created suc-

and being married to small business owner.

to research who travels with you. The presi-

cessful companies with unique names by

Your answers about lists to make in the first

dent of one of Ohio’s largest bus companies

breaking many tips given here. For example:

three tips depend on the size of your business

discovered that 75 percent of his passengers

The Pink Bus Mystery Trips in Fargo, North

and its purpose. The target market would be

were women.


different between a business owner with

3. Make a list of people you would

6. Do a Trademark Search. You may

deluxe limos to rent out for weddings and par-

like to have help from in naming your

be able to use a business name that someone

ties and a huge bus company with branches

business. It could be family, employees,

else is using, if it is being used for a different

and fleets in many cities, or between group

group members, investors, your lawyer or

line of business or in a different geographic

leaders who set up trips for their groups, con-

an expert in researching and providing

area than yours. An easy way is to Google your

gregations, senior centers, or students.

names for businesses.

name and see if it turns up. The safest way is

Here are some simple tips to consider when choosing a name for your business:

4. Consider enlisting expert help to

to contact a professional.

name your business. Three mentioned in

7. Pick names that can work any-

1. Make a list of your business pur-

Internet articles I read were Branditory, Pure-

where. Geographically specific names lock

pose and objectives: They could be to make

Tungsten and NameLab. The professional can

your business into a specific niche that will

32 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

20 Tips require changing the company name if it grows outside of that niche. The Goebel family started in the bus business with Hopkins Limousine Service which transported passengers to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. When they decided to expand their business to motorcoaches serving the United States from Cleveland, a city on Lake Erie, they bought Lakefront Lines in Painesville. 8. Be careful what word is spelled by the first letters of each word of your business name or group. The name of our business student’s group at CCC was Business Leaders of Tomorrow. After I set up monthly tours to businesses, it was changed to Business Focus. Group members felt the acronym BLOT sounded more like high school than college, and they disliked being referred to as “blots.”

12. Look for a short name that’s easy

15. Consider using a proper name.

9. It is not necessary to disclose your

to pronounce, remember and spell. Pro-

Incorporating someone’s name into your

legal organizational form when naming

fessional name-selection companies do not

business is a great way to lend a personal

your business. However, if you choose to,

recommend using strings of meaningless let-

touch. The McDonald’s franchise began

be honest. For example, don’t use the word

ters or numbers for a business name. I do not

when Ray Kroc purchased a burger restau-

Inc. after your name unless your company is

remember an example of a meaningless one

rant from the McDonald brothers in Califor-

actually incorporated.

to give you. However, dozens of those that

nia. John Hall’s Alaska is owned by John Hall.

10. Choose a name that appeals to

are short, easy to pronounce and memorable

Celebrities often give their name when

you and the customers/members you

are scattered throughout this article and this

escorting trips.

want to attract. The Goebel family, former


owners of Lakefront Lines, founded Barons

16. Choose the best way customers

13. Consider a simple one-word

can find you. When we started taking trips

Bus Company in 2013 and named it after the

name. Greyhound, Trailways, Vantage and

we used a travel agency who chose the name

Cleveland Barons Hockey Team. They also

Italiatours are memorable, single word

A Better Choice because it got her listed first

realized that barons are members of royalty.

names of travel companies. One-word titles

in the Yellow Pages. Others put ads on bill-

These factors helped with important market-

of magazines that specifically communicate

boards and on radio, in newspapers, travel

ing decisions: its logo, its motto “Ride Like

their contents are Life, Time, People, Seven-

magazines, church bulletins and newsletters.

Royalty,” the quality of their service and the

teen, Cosmopolitan and Playboy.

They are still valid today. However, to grow

amenities on their buses. Barons has 41 new

14. Consider



now, bus companies must go on the Internet

clean and comfortable luxury 56-passenger

adjective/noun phrase. BoltBus is Grey-

coaches for chartering on city runs and out-

hound’s budget express city-to-city service,

17. Search engines can make or

of-state locations. Their home office is at

which competes with Megabus. It also

break a business. Google, Yahoo and Bing

Barons Bus Arena in Cleveland.

to maximize coverage.

founded Yo!Bus to compete with cheap and

are three major search engines. Bing values

11. Shop your competition. It has

basic Chinatown Bus Service. Happy Retirees

your URL (

been said that imitation is the sincerest form

trips were the joy of my mother’s life. Great

as the single most important factor deter-

of flattery; however, it makes sense to watch

Day! Tours incorporated the phrase that com-

mining where you appear in their search

competitors’ ads, check their websites, read

petitors and others often use when ending

results. If searchers cannot find you they may

their press releases and ask persons who

conversations. A 55-plus church group chose

choose your competition. Other ways to use

have used competitors what they liked and

Forever Young, and another similar group

the internet are through social media such

disliked about them. Analyze the findings to

chose Prime Time.

as Facebook and catchy, attractive, and easy-

make positive changes in your company

to-maneuver web pages. Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017 • 33

20 Tips 18. Using words that identify participants as old/elderly can be a negative

peting business within a certain timeframe or geographic area.

factor in company names. Elderhostel was

20. In the final analysis, you will

founded in 1975 as a learning program for

probably come up with several names that

older adults combined with inexpensive lodg-

meet your initial criteria. Some entrepre-

ing; in 2010, it expanded and changed its

neurs will choose one by going with their

name to Road Scholar. Elder’s Campus at

gut or by doing research or testing focus

CCC, offering non-credit classes to seniors


once a week changed, its name to Encore Campus.

Good luck in naming the travel business of your dreams, whatever method you chose.

19. If you are purchasing an existing

Tell me about your experience in naming

business, request permission to continue

your bus business or group, or offer sugges-

to use their business name and phone num-


ber. Have them sign a non-compete contract Otherwise, my next

stating they will not start up another com-





20-tip column will be on botanical trips. ❑

With degrees from four universities, Dr. Charleen Jaeb was a business professor at Cuyahoga Community College. After her retirement in 2000, she became a trip planner for the CCC retirees and Middleburg Heights Women’s Club, filling as many as 15 buses each year. Jaeb and her husband escorted trips for Lakefront Lines in Cleveland, Ohio. She says, “It was wonderful and somewhat unbelievable in retirement to be able to do what you love to do and get paid for doing it.”

Advertiser’s Index Airborne & Special

Lewis County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Operations Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Miromar Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Anderson/Madison County VB . . . . . .12

Mohegan Sun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Atlantic City/Meet AC . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

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

Aurora CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

New River Train . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Bonanzaville USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Old Sturbridge Inn

Bradford House Historical Assn. . . . . .22 Chesapeake & Ohio

& Reader Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Potawatomi Hotel & Casino . . . . . . . .35

Historical Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Prairie Band Casino and Resort . . . . . .2

City of Deer Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Reagan Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

City of Ft. Madison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Stafford Air & Space Museum . . . . . . .14

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center . .25

Starved Rock Lodge

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad . . . . . . . . . .7

& Conf Center

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Elk City, Oklahoma CVB . . . . . . . . . . .14

Tropicana Casino & Resort . . . . . . . . .29

Georgetown Loop Railroad . . . . . . . . . .6

U.S. Army Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Greater Bangor CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

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

Inn of the Mountain Gods . . . . . . . . . .28

West Volusia County . . . . . . . . . . .18, 19

Jacksonville Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Wind Creek Hospitality . . . . . . . . . . . .30

Jim Dykes, New York Step-On Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 34 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2017

It’s ALL IN Here!

GATHER YOUR GROUP AND PLAN A TRIP TO THE MIDWEST’S #1 ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION. Over 2,500 Slot Machines 1,440-Seat Bingo Hall 100 Table Games 20-Table Poker Room Off-Track Betting Room 500-Seat Theater 7 Signature Restaurants Over 60,000 Square Feet of Banquet Space 19-Story Luxury Hotel

For day trips, contact Lisa Pederson at 414-847-7982 or LPEDERSON@PAYSBIG.COM. For overnight stays, contact Sales & Catering at 414-847-8600 or SALES@PAYSBIG.COM.


Bus Tours Magazine July/August 2017  
Bus Tours Magazine July/August 2017