What do 500 butterďŹ‚ies sound like?
Whatâ€™s it like to feed a stingray? From learning Irish dance moves to face-to-face encounters with stingrays, Columbus is full of unforgettable hands-on experiences perfect for groups of all sizes. Start planning your Columbus visit today at experiencecolumbus.com/tours or call 800-354-2657.
What do they serve at 125-year-old dinner parties?
VOL. 24, NO. 2 • APRIL 2014
ON THE COVER:
Niagara Falls as seen from a helicopter. (Photo courtesy Niagara USA)
56 White Walls of Water
BY RANDY MINK
Combine one of Mother Nature’s most awesome spectacles with tamer attractions in the Niagara/Buffalo area.
On My Mind BY JEFF GAYDUK
On Tour BY MARTY SARBEY DE SOUTO
Full Circle: Interview with Peggy Bitzer
Bulbs to Brews
Latin America Trip Tips
22 28 40 43
Best of Minnesota: Icons, Events, Theaters
Discovering Downtown L.A.
Kansas Roadside Attractions
Top Theatre Picks
10 BY VANESSA DAY
BY NANCY SCHRETTER
BY MARTY SARBEY DE SOUTO
Filming Locations in the South Pittsburgh Panorama Leisurely Laughlin
On Family Travel
On Marketing BY DAVE BODLE
BY RANDY MINK
BY DAVE BODLE
BY RANDY MINK
BY JEFF GAYDUK
Wyoming’s Three C’s
BY DAVE BODLE
BY SUE ARKO BY LAUREN REINIGER
BY LAUREN REINIGER
Rio de Janeiro: One of South America’s glittering jewels.
4 April 2014
ON LOCATION Lance Harrell, director of online media for Leisure Group Travel, soaks in the tropical splendor at Costa Rica’s Punto de Vista Boutique Hotel.
15,739 Rose bushes in L.A.’s Exposition Park
638½ D Size of the World’s Largest Boot in Red Wing, Minnesota
WHAT’S ONLINE? DON’T MISS OUR ONLINE EXCLUSIVES
ince there’s never enough space room in these pages for everything we write up, what doesn’t make it into print goes on our website, www.leisuregrouptravel.com. Throughout the magazine you’ll see notices directing you to our online articles. Among the freshly posted Online Exclusives: Two articles that focus on group-friendly places outside of Pittsburgh. “Pittsburgh’s Botanical Bounty” spotlights a brand new botanical garden opening this summer and includes a look at a time-honored conservatory as well. And read about the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and other attractions in Washington, Pa., a half hour from Pittsburgh. Also, you’ll also find online reports on a baseball exhibit at the Reagan Presidential Library, outdoor adventures in Southwest Michigan, and a collection of hands-on and behind-the-scenes adventures for groups in Minneapolis. Visit our website often!
Miles between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York
1,300,000 Metro-area population of Grand Rapids, Michigan
1890 Year that Wyoming was admitted to the Union
Brazilian Tourism Board – Embratur
11,000 Bricks in Sedan, Kansas’ Yellow Brick Road
18 Passenger capacity of Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Incline
O N MY M I N D
By Jeffrey Gayduk
Vol. 24, No. 2 April 2014
New Regional Trade Shows— Market Expansion or Threat to Status Quo? I WAS FORTUNATE to be able to spend some time on the phone with Peggy Bitzer, a longtime friend and colleague from Circle Wisconsin. We talked about how she got the job (didn’t want it), how much she travels (too much) and her swansong, the Midwest Marketplace, which takes place May 4-6 near Madison, Wisconsin. The three-day trade show capitalizes on a trend that’s taking place in the group travel marketplace—more regional events. Read about this in the interview with her on page 15. Bitzer and a similar group of entrepreneurs are spurring a trend in the group travel industry towards more regionally focused trade shows. While the concept isn’t new, it is gaining momentum. Sue Arko is one of those entrepreneurs. For 16 years, she has run a successful regional event called Spotlight on the Southwest. This show draws a loyal group of like-minded tourism professionals interested in creating new itineraries in the region. ”I have found that big business is done in small, focused groups,” said Arko. “Spotlight is a cost-effective way to meet with partners who often don't attend the larger shows and this is the only way to reach them.“ In 2012, Arko connected with industry veteran Melinda Hughey to create a new event in the Southeast modeled after the successful Spotlight on the Southwest. Thus was born Spotlight on the Southeast. As Arko explains, Hughey was instrumental in the expansion of Spotlight to the southeastern region. “She is a long-time attendee of Spotlight and felt that the Southeast could benefit from a similar conference. And the Mississippi Gulf Coast (site of this August’s event) has provided awesome support. Everyone is excited about the possibilities.” Meanwhile, a similar story is playing out in New England. Chris Donnelly has been a visible part of the New England travel scene for nearly 30 years. “In the early 1990's I became friends with Jack O' Neil, who worked for the Springfield, Massachusetts CVB,” Donnelly said. “We noticed representation of New England delegates at major shows was very small. We discussed putting a regional show together, but after I opened Sugar Tours it left me no time to move this concept forward. This past year, after talking with tour operators and suppliers I finally decided to move forward with the project.” Donnelly continues, “The response has been fabulous, we have had a dozen tour companies reserve space to attend this November’s show. I am surprised that we already have delegates from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Florida and Ontario.” With ABA and NTA going head-to-head for tour operator attendees, will their prime candidates be wooed away by more regionally focused shows? The stakes couldn’t be higher. Associations drive, on average, 40% of their annual revenue from trade shows and if buyers don’t come, suppliers won’t either. Both groups have been aggressively marketing their shows, pre- and post. Add in the half-dozen other events that are fishing in the same pond for attendees, and there is a lot of competition for trade show booths and buyer attendance. The solution that would keep everyone happy is that the industry needs to grow the base of buyers by actively promoting the positive virtues of group travel. In the meantime, there are three new shows for tour buyers and suppliers to consider for 2014. And competition is healthy. Competition is good.
Editorial & Advertising Office 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406 Willowbrook, IL 60527 P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher – Jeffrey Gayduk email@example.com
Associate Publisher – Dave Bodle firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor – Randy Mink email@example.com Director, Design & Production – Robert Wyszkowski firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Business Development Managers Northeast & Eastern Midwest/Canada – Harry Peck P 330.830.4880 • F 630.794.0652 email@example.com
Mid-Atlantic/New England/ Wisconsin/Arkansas – Ellen Klesta P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeast/West Coast – Cheryl Rash P 563.613.3068 • F 815.225.5274 email@example.com
Frontier & Mountain West/ Illinois/Minnesota/Southwest – Linda Ragusin P 630.794.0696 • F 630.794.0652 firstname.lastname@example.org The publisher accepts unsolicited editorial matter, as well as advertising, but assumes no responsibility for statements made by advertisers or contributors. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information published, but the publisher makes no warranty that listings are free of error. The publisher is not responsible for the return of unsolicited photos, slides or manuscripts.
Leisure Group Travel (ISSN-1531-1406) is published bi-monthly by Premier Travel Media, 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406, Willowbrook, IL 60527. The magazine is distributed free of charge to qualified tour operators, travel agents, group leaders, bank travel clubs and other travel organizations. Other travel-related suppliers may subscribe at the reduced rate of $12.00 per year. The regular subscription price for all others is $18.00 per year. Single copies are $4.95 each.
Send Address Change to: Premier Travel Media 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406 Willowbrook, IL 60527
All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher.
Jeff Gayduk, Publisher 6 April 2014
WE TH THOUGHT HOUGHT T OF IT. IT T. T. YOUR Y YO OUR O UR GR GROUP ROUP EN ENJOYS NJOYS NJO OYS IT OY IT. T. T. S ISE LE! U CR L AB 5 1 I 20 AVA W NO
ONLY ONLY ON THE SUITE SHIPS OF FA AVALON. VA ALON. Presenting the one-o Suites, featuring featuring our Presenting one-of-a-kind f-a-kind P Panorama anorama Suites, Open-Air Balcony. Balcony.sm We’re We’re the only river river cruise company company unique Open-Air who has figured figured out how how to to mak make e full use of of the balcony balcony e experience xperience in any any w weather eather ccondition, ondition, in any any se season, ason, without compromising compromising room room space. space. W We’re e’re the only ones who thought thought o off it, it , but anyone anyone can enjoy enjoy it. it . How How sweet sweet is that? that?
SAVE S AV VE UP T TO O 10% ONSELECT ONSELECT EUROPERIVERCRUISES E UROPERIVERCRUISES* OR
ONE TRA TRAVELS AVELS VE V FREE WITHPAIDTRAVELERS WITHPAIDTRAV VELERS†
river cruise beyond beyond compare compare call 866.8 To T o experience experience a river 866.821.2752 21.2752 or visit G lobusFamilyGroups.com GlobusFamilyGroups.com 2015 Avalon Avalon Waterways Water ways Europe Europe vacation vacation to to receive receive 10% 10% off of f per person on the y 20 15 A valon W ater ways *Book a select 2015 the cruise/land cruise/land or cruise cruise only only pr price ice on select dat dates es of select cr cruises. uises. Or Or, r, book an any 2015 Avalon Waterways Europe or Mekong Mekong vacation vacation to to receive receive 5% off of f per person on the the cruise/land cruise/land or cruise 10 travelers travelers on a select 2015 Water ways cruise, cruise, and 1 Or,, book 10 2015 land/cruise land/cruise or cruise cruise only only Avalon Avalon Waterways Europe cruise onl only y price. price. †Or † travels for for free free (up to to 4 free free with with 40). For For A Taste Taste of the the Danube (WB V) tthe he promotion promotion applies applies onl y tto o tthe he land onl y pr between tween person travels (WBV) only only price. ice. * Booking must be made, under deposit, and discount applied be January Januar y 29 and April April 8, 2014 2014 for for travel travel in 2015. 2015. Avalon Avalon and Royal Royal Suites Suites excluded. excluded. Discount based on core core vacation, vacation, Category Categor y E pr pricing, icing, double occupancy and does no nott e extend xtend tto o additiona additionall nights, extensions, extensions, stateroom stateroom upgrades, upgrades, non-br non-brochure ochure date date airport airpor t transfers, transfers, optional optional gratuities gratuities and any any government-imposed government-imposed taxes taxes and fees. fees. Not Not applicable tto o cust custom om ttours. ours. Discount will apply apply to to individual members of groups groups adding a name and non-r non-refundable efundable per person deposit WITHIN tthe he promo promo window. window. Not Not applicable on TB TBA A space. Of Offer fer rreliant eliant on space a availability vailability and ma may y be wit withdrawn hdrawn at an any y mmbf^'Ghm\hf[bgZ[e^pbmaZgrhma^kh__^k%hma^kmaZgChnkg^rl<en[K^i^ZmMkZo^e^k[^g^Ûm':iieb^lmhg^p+)*.[hhdbg`lhger%Zg]h__^kpbeeghm[^Ziieb^]mhik^&^qblmbg`[hhdbg`l'?nee\Zg\^eeZmbhg bf^'Ghm\hf[bgZ[e^pbmaZgrhma^kh_ _^k%hma^kmaZgChnkg^rl<en[K^i^ZmMkZo^e^k[^g^Ûm':iieb^lmhg^p+)*.[hhdbg`lhger%Zg]h_ _^kpbeeghm[^Ziieb^]mhik^&^qblmbg`[hhdbg`l'?nee\Zg\^eeZmbhg penalties will apply. apply. Additional Additional rrestrictions estrictions ma may y appl apply. y. Ma May y be wit withdrawn hdrawn at an any y time.
By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC
O N TOU R
How Good A Tour Leader Are You? 3 e all know that leading a
If leading a group
tour is hard work and takes
a certain kind of person with just the right organizational
and interpersonal skills. Test yourself by answering the following 10 questions:
Tour leading can be rewarding but is not for everyone.
of North Americans
in a foreign country, the leader: A) Must know the language of the country they are visiting. B) Must have been to each of the countries on the itinerary.
When you first meet your group, which of the following is not
necessary? A) To greet each member and
C) Should have emergency phone
C) The leader should remind the tour members that they are responsible for their own passports, but you
numbers of each tour member’s fam-
recommend their checking them in a
ily as well as their personal doctor’s
hotel safety box to prevent loss or
name and phone number.
welcome him/her to the trip B) To verify that all tour members are present C) To see each tour member’s personal ID
If a tour member is repeatedly late for daily departures:
A) The tour group should leave without her. B) The leader should give her a
If a tour member does not want to participate in one or
more tour activities, your policy should be: A) That’s OK with you as long as
One of your tour members
warning on a previous occasion and if
they advise you in advance that they
grabs the front seat on the
she continues to be late may then opt
are not coming so you don’t hold
to leave without her.
things up waiting for them.
tour coach and insists on keeping that seat throughout. Which of the
C) Wait for her regardless.
following is not appropriate? A) You could remind the tour member quietly that the tour literature indicated that specific seats may not be reserved. B) You could announce on the coach loudspeaker that the tour member has behaved badly by keeping the
responsible to meet up with the group
An individual who is serious
later and should understand that they
about a career as a tour leader
won’t get a refund for the activity
should always have ready: A) A valid passport
a seat-change game into the day’s activities.
C) An elegant travel wardrobe to impress the group
C) Both A & B are correct.
A tour leader, in accepting an assignment with a tour operator,
should clarify before accepting:
On an international trip where passports are required:
A) Each tour member is responsible for carrying his/her own passport.
Marty is a Certified Travel Counselor who designs and leads tours. Her travel industry consulting and educational firm is Sarbey Associates (sarbeyassociates.com). Her e-book How to Plan, Operate and Lead Successful Group Trips can be ordered on groupuniversity.com.
B) A supply of travelers’ checks
seat and embarrass her. C) You could skillfully introduce
B) It’s OK with you but they are
B) The tour leader should collect
A) Financial aspects, i.e. salary, airfare to/from the tour, meals and expense budget, if any. B) Whether you will have local step-on guides and other similar local
the passports of all tour members and
help or if you are responsible for all
be responsible for them throughout
C) Both A & B
If you are considering leading your first trip for a company with which
you are not familiar, you should: A) Research the tour company on the web before accepting the assignment. B) Just be glad to have your first assignment and go for it; ask questions later. C) Consult travel industry colleagues about the companyâ€™s reputation.
Some of the negative aspects of tour leading are:
A) Little time en route for taking care of your health, vitamins, exercise, sleep B) Being away from home, family, friends, social connections C) Both A & B Answers: l-C, 2-B, 3-C, 4-B, 5-A, 6-C, 7-C, 8-C, 9-A or C, 10-C Give yourself 10 points for each correct answer. 90-100 youâ€™re on top of this career! 70-89 you should do well. 60-69 you can adapt, but still have things to learn. 40-59 you should give this career serious thought and study before embarking. Below 40 you might want to consider some other career.
April 2014 9
By Nancy Schretter
O N FAM I LY TR AVEL
The Market is Strong for Family Celebration Vacations
amilies and multigenerational
major life events, bond and create
groups are increasingly travel-
shared memories. Families are also
ing together to celebrate mile-
living farther apart than any time in
stone events. Almost two-thirds
history, so a celebration vacation
of leisure travelers took a celebration
can often be the easiest option for
vacation last year according to the 2013
multigenerational families to gather in
MMGY Portrait of American Travelers
study. Among multigenerational travelers,
It’s not just parents and grandparents
A milestone birthday or anniversary makes a great excuse for a family trip.
value on vacations as a way to
the number climbs to as high as 80%.
who are traveling with children, however.
strengthen these relationships.” Planning
These trips typically mark special occa-
PANKs, Professional Aunts with No Kids,
typically takes place far in advance to
sions such as birthdays, anniversaries,
are also celebrating milestone family
coordinate schedules, often one of the
reunions, graduations and destination
events with their nieces and nephews.
most difficult aspects of these kinds
weddings. Coming-of-age trips are pop-
In addition, the growth of today’s “she-
ular as well.
conomy” with women as the key decision
Industry experts expect this trend to continue to grow. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s often difficult for parents and
makers is supporting this celebration vacation trend. “Women want to invest in relationships
Fun for Everyone Choosing venues that provide flexibility and a wide variety of activities to please
children to spend quality time together.
with their families and loved ones,”
all family members is critical to celebration
Travel is increasingly viewed as the best
says Dorothy Dowling of Best Western
vacation success. Tour operators, ranch
way for family members to celebrate
International, “and they place a high
owners and cruise executives mentioned
Thomson Family Adventures
Many travel planners are seizing on the trend in multigenerational trips.
10 April 2014
April 2014 11
O N FAM I LY TR AVEL this as key, since vivid memories are
you create an experience for people with
made through shared experiences.
memories that last a lifetime.” Beckley also cites the importance of keeping grandparents happy and involved
they’re always mindful of trying to keep
in multigenerational celebration vacations
every member of the family very happy,”
– a feeling echoed by Erik Elvejord of
says Tyler Beckley, owner of Three Bars
Holland America Line. “While families
Ranch in British Columbia, Canada.
want to make sure that the kids involved
“By doing things that are new or different,
are happy, they often plan multigenera-
Holland America Line
“When I talk with decision makers planning family celebration vacations,
Holland America offers fun tour options in Alaska.
tional celebration vacations to make sure that the matriarchs and patriarchs are having an incredible time.” Certain destinations also meet this criterion. Kurt Kutay, president of Wildland Adventures, says Costa Rica is popular for family celebration vacations because “it’s easy, safe and family-friendly for all generations to enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities, plus there are lovely accommodations.” Africa, Turkey and the Galapagos are also top choices for family celebration trips, says Kutay. According to travel planners, Maui, Cancun and Orlando are other destinations with a broad range of family activities.
Value-Added Packages and Services Many firms in the travel industry are catering to the family celebration vacation market with packages, services and opportunities for personalization. Disney spotted this trend early on and added a wide variety of customized services for family celebration vacations. Holland America offers a family reunion package that includes exclusive amenities and up12 April 2014
grades, while Carnival Cruise Lines pro-
its growth year after year. Families
their celebration vacations, seeking out
vides a Group Fun Points program with
staying at Colorado’s Lost Valley
villa-style accommodations and venues
flexible amenities for celebrating family
Ranch create their own brand and have
available for large group rentals. The
it seared into the dining room’s wood
beachfront Grand Residences Riviera
paneling. Check marks show how often
Cancun, for example, is well-suited for
family celebration vacations. The resort
“Many family groups plan a group shore excursion with our Group Event
offers one-, two- and three-bedroom
Planning department,” says Mike Julius of Carnival Cruise Lines. Special group photo appointments, complimentary
suites, and its events staff arrange
Families often like to spread out on
unique touches and events for reunions,
celebratory lunch events and private receptions are also available through both cruise lines. Resorts such as Curacao’s Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort and Mexico’s Velas Resorts offer family reunion packages with added value for guests. Many properties also have staff on hand to help create unique celebrations, eliminating many of the planning worries associated with family celebrations. Family-friendly tour operators such as Thomson Family Adventures and Wildland Adventures cater to family celebrations with customplanned events and experiences, includ-
“When I talk with decision makers planning family celebration vacations, they’re always mindful of trying to keep every member of the family very happy. By doing things that are new or different, you create an experience for people with memories that last a lifetime.” —Tyler Beckley, Owner of Three Bars Ranch
ing opportunities to create a community legacy to commemorate their trip. Leaving a legacy can be a powerful
Chicago’s North Shore is home to many world-class attractions and is 20 minutes from downtown Chicago. You’ll find many dining and lodging options perfect for groups. For personalized assistance and to make group reservations, contact us today.
Caryn Shulman 847.763.0011 Ext. 25 email@example.com
TREAT YOUR GROUP to the year-round beauty of the Chicago Botanic Garden, complete with a tram ride. Other attractions: • Charles Gates Dawes House • Illinois Holocaust Museum • Bahá’í House of Worship • Mary & Leigh Block Musuem of Art at Northwestern University • North Shore Center for the Performing Arts • Wagner Farm • Ravinia Festival
celebratory event for families. At five Ohio State Park Lodges operated by
Xanterra Parks & Resorts, family reunion guests can plant a tree and then chart LeisureGroupTravel.com
April 2014 13
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: See Nancy Schretter’s article on family volunteering vacations at http://tinyurl.com/mnckko3.
O N FAM I LY TR AVEL
ular for large family reunions and multigenerational celebrations. Paul Gauguin Cruises reports that sometimes family groups will charter an entire ship. “They can have the whole ship to themselves and it makes for a wonderful memory,” says Vanessa Bloy. Three Bars Ranch also can be rented out for private family celebrations and tailors the entire experience to their guests. “Time together is what builds families,” says Tyler Beckley, “and at Three Bars everyone gets a vacation.” Acknowledging family milestones through shared travel experiences is
Family reunion groups can make special photo appointments on Carnival cruise ships.
important. After all, says Wildland Admilestone birthdays and anniversaries,
company’s Ho’okipa Team takes care
ventures’ Kurt Kutay, celebrating life’s
and coming-of-age festivities.
of small event planning and special
moments together can be the greatest
requests. Thomson Family Adventures
gift of all. LGT
Other properties such Maui’s Destination Resorts Hawaii also cater to cel-
has recognized this trend and often
ebrating families with a wide variety of
builds villa stays into their family cele-
villa accommodations, enabling the en-
bration vacation arrangements.
tire family to be housed together. The
Nancy Schretter is the founder and managing editor of the Family Travel Network (www.familytravelnetwork.com) and an industry consultant in family and multigenerational travel.
Full venue charters can also be pop-
There’s something for everyone in your group, including you. From our homestyle cooking that satisﬁes the pickiest eaters to our country store ﬁlled with gifts and games for everyone. With our designated tour bus parking,* dedicated group phone line, and large party seating accommodations, it’s like we were custom built just for you. And as always, a meal for your driver and guide is on the house. It’s just one of our ways of making sure everyone on the road is taken care of.
crackerbael.com/tourgroups • 1-800-576-7693 Sunday–Thursday 6 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
All locations company owned and operated.
*DESIGNATED OVERSIZED PARKING AT MOST LOCATIONS. ©2014 CBOCS PROPERTIES, INC. “CRACKER BARREL OLD COUNTRY STORE” NAME AND LOGO ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF CBOCS PROPERTIES, INC., REG. USPTO.
14 April 2014
interview: peggy bitzer ❖
Full Circle Peggy Bitzer
Peggy Bitzer looks back on 30 years at the helm of Circle Wisconsin
his spring, after nearly 30 years at the helm of Circle Wisconsin, Peggy Bitzer has decided to turn in her passport.
LGT: Why do you think more states don’t have organizations like Circle Wisconsin?
Leisure Group Travel publisher Jeff Gayduk sat down with
PB: I think there are so many entities that don’t recognize the
Peggy to reflect on her accomplishments and perspective on the
possibilities. In this industry you have so many people changing po-
group travel market.
sitions and shifting focus, they lose sight of it. It takes a lot of work
Leisure Group Travel: How did you get in the travel business?
and you have to be devoted to it. And I think that a lot of organiza-
Peggy Bitzer: I was going back to school to be a nurse and at
tions get discouraged. But, it’s interesting to find those who lose
that time, the local hospital laid off something like 150 nurses. I had friends that were nurses and they advised not to pursue the field, so I went to the local technical college and studied marketing and tourism. One day I was at the mall and there was this newspaper called
sight and then come back. LGT: From the member standpoint, how have your numbers changed? Do you still have original members from 1985? PB: We do have several charter members, but you always have attrition. I think people drop out because 1) they haven’t followed
Inside Eau Claire which was produced by the
up with their sales leads and 2) they change
local CVB. I picked it up and thought, “This is
their direction. Maybe one day it’s corporate,
interesting.” I went to the library, researched
another it’s sports. There are always new op-
the CVB and I told myself, “This is where I’m
portunities but groups are constant. To be suc-
going to work.”
cessful, you have to stay visible in your
As it would happen, I was put on the advi-
foundation and grow your other markets.
sory board at the college and met the CVB di-
When we started, our state department of
rector. I positioned myself for an internship
tourism wasn’t focusing on groups other than
and after the internship was over she created
printing a tour planner. We were successful
a position for me in tourism sales.
because we were filling a void, that and com-
I was suddenly in charge of advertising,
mitted to making it grow. That’s good business
publications and going to group travel trade
sense. LGT: On the topic of longevity, after 30
shows. And I had never done any of this. LGT: How did Circle Wisconsin come up?
years does it get stale? How do you keep
PB: There were a couple of people from
Wisconsin that went to Spring NTA and met
PB: I have never felt that way. It has always
with Circle Michigan. At the time they felt
been inspiring for me. I’m not quite sure where
there was a void in the market so they de-
I get my inspiration from but there’s always
cided to model an organization after Circle Michigan. I was totally
that feeling we can do more. There’s many things that if I had the
against the idea and remember saying in a meeting one day,
dollars to do more we would. That was our only limitation.
“Someone is just looking for a job for themselves.” I was aloof to all
LGT: How many trade shows do you estimate you’ve been to?
the meetings. Then one day they called and offered me the posi-
PB: At my 25th anniversary we calculated all the trips and trade
tion! I said, ”Okay, I like a challenge, but under one condition, I need
shows and figured I had been on the road for 12 years. That’s why
to keep my position at the bureau.” My thinking was that if this does-
my husband can say we’re happily married. He’s married and I’m
n’t work I don’t want to give up the bureau.
happy! Along with working our database continuously, I believe we
LGT: At one point did your mind change that you were really on to something at Circle Wisconsin? PB: After six months of doing both, I realized that there was just so much potential here that I decided it’s time that the position become full-time, whether that person is me or someone else. LeisureGroupTravel.com
were successful because we were visible, out in the trenches finding customers. LGT: Any travel memories in particular that stick out? PB: One year I had a particularly heavy travel schedule. I was on the East Coast, then traveled to the West Coast, came home and April 2014 15
interview: peggy bitzer ❖ packed for a two-week trade mission to Germany and the UK with
sure what that will be because I don’t want to fade off into the sun-
our governor. When I came home from the last trip I was sitting at
set, I want to be that social butterfly.
home petting my cat and I asked my husband, “Honey, what’s our
LGT: Does the Midwest Marketplace become your legacy?
cat’s name?” I couldn’t remember it!
PB: I think that it’s a great opportunity for tour operators to be
LGT: When you look back at your time at Circle Wisconsin, what are you most proud of?
able to look at a region and be able to comprehend everything they can do. Not only on one tour but to continue to come back to that
PB: I think building on the foundation,
area and expanding their tours. I am
and then keeping the foundation. It
hoping that everyone will see the ben-
makes me proud to make events hap-
efit of that. LGT: In your opinion is there a
pen for our people – keeping Wisconsin visible in the eyes of the buyer. And it
bright future for group travel?
went by so quickly. The industry gives
PB: In my opinion it’s as strong as
you that energy. When you are going to
you make it. If you make it weak in
all the conventions you’re all charged
your marketing, it’s going to be weak.
when you come back because of all the
But if you are committed to it, there is
so much opportunity you just have to
LGT: Why is now the time to leave? PB: My husband and I decided that now is the time for us to go out and play. It’s our time now. LGT: What are you going to miss most? PB: It’s going to be the people. All the friendships from across Wisconsin and across the country - seeing each other, sharing stories, enjoying each other’s company. I’m going to have to find something because I know in my mind there will be that void. And I’m not
whole crowd has never been so easy. With Planning a group tour that will please the the world along with exciting attractions the largest concentration of waterparks in is one place everyone can agree on. Dells nsin Wisco tions, moda accom e and ﬂexibl om | (800) 223-3557 dells.c s@wis group | m ells.co MeetInTheD
keep knocking at the door and finding new ways to reach groups. Take for instance social media – it’s there – but I’m still finding that being visible, that direct one-on-one contact is best for business. And people cannot forget that. LGT: Any advice for the next executive director of Circle Wisconsin? PB: Stay true to your mission and your members. Understand your purpose and don’t lose sight of it. LGT
Tulip Time Festival
Parades, dance performances and other slices of Dutch life fill the streets of Holland during the Tulip Time Festival, an annual May extravaganza.
BULBS TO BREWS R
ows and rows of tulips, basking in the warm spring rays, create a rainbow effect in the fields. People decked out in Dutch attire
line the streets. For me, however, the idyllic springtime image was difficult to imagine during my February trip. Come May, however, that’s the sight that awaits travelers during Tulip Time in Holland, one of Michigan’s most anticipated festivals. Despite a completely different scene presented to me on my winter visit, residents’ obvious passion
Holland and Grand Rapids highlight a trip to Southwest Michigan By Vanessa Day
for the event is tough to miss. And it’s not just Tulip
One of the best ways for groups to experience everything the festival has to offer is to snag a Dutch-costumed step-on guide who leads a threehour excursion that includes Holland’s historic areas, Tulip Lanes, Pillar Church, city parks and a glimpse of the windmill ($100/coach for up to three hours). Interested in more tours? You’re in luck. You can take in the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and see the most photographed lighthouse in Michigan, “Big Red,” on a State Park Tour ($65/coach). While in town, be sure to visit Nelis’ Dutch Vil-
Time. Everyone from Holland to Grand Rapids eagerly shares his or
lage, a themed park with Dutch architecture, canals and gardens,
her favorite attractions, restaurants, outdoor spots and local brews.
not to mention traditional performances and food from the Old Coun-
Perhaps it was this friendliness, or the sheer number of activities,
try. Sign up for a pastry-making class, learn some easy folk dance
which made me fall in love with the beautiful simplicity that is West-
steps and see costumed staff create artisan cheeses, carve candles
and shape wooden shoes. Take a ride on Zweefmolen (a Dutch
My journey began in Holland, located on the shores of Lakes
swing ride), Draaimolen (a restored carousel) or the new Ferris
Michigan and Macatawa. This quaint, historic town was founded by
wheel. And no visit is complete without a stop at the Dutch Choco-
a Dutch minister back in 1847 and continues to embrace its Dutch
late, Candy and Cookie shop.
roots with landmark attractions such as DeZwaan, the authentic windmill still operating today.
The fun continues over at Windmill Island Gardens, a 36-acre park where the 260-year-old windmill from the Netherlands still
The largest celebration of Dutch traditions is Tulip Time, a week-
grinds winter wheat into flour. Your group can tour the historic struc-
long festival (May 3-10, 2014) that includes three parades, Dutch
ture, climb up five stories and overlook the manicured gardens that
dancers, loads of entertainment, a Dutch market, fireworks, dinner
hold over 100,000 tulips in the spring and summer. Listen to the an-
shows and, of course, tulips—literally tens of thousands of them
tique street organ and enjoy traditional Klompen dances performed
scattered throughout the city.
by ladies in wooden shoes.
Springtime in Holland, Michigan means color-splashed tulip fields. Grand Rapids Public Museum exhibits showcase local history and habitats.
Experience Grand Rapids
on location: midwest ❖ At the end of the day, enjoy a meal
stitute for Contemporary Arts (UICA),
at Alpen Rose Restaurant and Cafe,
Michigan’s largest contemporary arts cen-
Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant or
ter. For something truly special, arrange a
New Holland Brewing, the city’s very own
Grand Rapids visit during ArtPrize (Sept.
craft brewery (also open for tours).
24–Oct. 12), an event where artists from all
Grand Rapids is a 30-minute drive from Holland. Lonely Planet has named it the No. 1 destination to visit in 2014.
over the world showcase their works and the public votes for its favorites. Tour groups also visit the Gerald R. Ford
The botanical adventure continues in
Presidential Museum. Take a stroll through
Grand Rapids with a stop at Frederik
the Oval Office, see the original Watergate
Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, with
burglar tools, attend a White House state
132 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens
dinner and visit the burial site of the presi-
and one of the country’s most significant
dent and First Lady Betty Ford. Across the
sculpture collections. It hosts horticultural
street is the Grand Rapids Public Mu-
exhibits, summer concerts and the largest
seum, a state-of-the-art center with interac-
temporary butterfly exhibition in the country.
tive history and natural science exhibits.
Grand Rapids is known as an arts des-
Toast the day with a pint of cold, locally
tination, as evidenced by its many displays
made beer. Microbreweries dot the streets
of public art sprinkled around town. Stop by
of downtown and surrounding neighbor-
the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM),
hoods of Grand Rapids, which won the
a well-respected attraction with collections
Beer Cty USA poll in 2013.
that span three floors. In the Division South
Founders Brewing Company has
neighborhood, you will find the Urban In-
ranked among the top breweries in the world and hosts a variety of beer festivals throughout the year. (Try the Breakfast Stout.) A few blocks away is HopCat, rated the No. 3 beer bar in the world by Beer Advocate magazine and No. 2 beer bar in the U.S by craftbeer.com. Brewery Vivant, housed in a former funeral home, is the nation’s first LEED-certified microbrewery. Snow piles lined the streets as I made my way out of Western Michigan, but the sun shone bright in the sky, a subtle promise of the warm, vibrant season ahead. Despite the cool February weather and the gardens hidden under white powder, this trip left an impression. Needless to say, I will be back, preferably when I can witness the grandeur of the tulip fields. To plan a visit to Southwest Michigan, contact Wendy Link, Holland Area Visitors Bureau, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.holland.travel; and Mary Manier, Experience Grand Rapids CVB, email@example.com, experiencegr.com. LGT ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: For ideas on outdoor activities in Southwest Michigan, see Vanessa Day’s article at http://tinyurl.com/mo4afa7.
18 April 2014
You donâ€™t need a passport
Windmills & Wooden Shoes Festivals & Events Antiques, Boutiques & Galleries Award-winning Historic Downtown
Holland, MI ...a world away 855.342.7627 | holland.org
Home of the world-renowned Tulip Time Festival!
12 HINTS FOR PLANNING
By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC
LATIN AMERICA TRIPS Remember seasons vary. During
ooking group tours anywhere re-
quires certain knowledge, care,
beaches of Brazil, Argentina and
capabilities and experience on
Uruguay jammed. But in our summer
your part. However, tours to Latin Amer-
it can be cold and rainy south of the
ican countries have some special re-
border…the farther south you go the
quirements. Follow these tips for a
colder it gets. Close to the Equator it’s
successful Latin American program:
hot year round, but altitude is a major
winter in the U.S., you’ll find the
factor in the weather, not just latitude.
While events like the Olympics or
For example, Quito, Ecuador at 9,350
the Brazilian Carnaval may sound
feet high is right on the Equator, but it
appealing, stay away unless you’re try-
can be freezing cold once the sun
ing to attract a young, hip group. You’ll
goes down at 6 p.m.
find inflated prices, scarcity of accommodations (or worse, sometimes dou-
Go with tour operators who have
ble bookings) and difficulty getting the
best guides and coaches.
history of tourism to the area.
Pick your countries. You can’t do all of Latin America in one trip. You
been around a while and have a
Don’t sell something until everything is confirmed. Get your con-
can probably do one country somewhat
firmations of all space, activities and
thoroughly or two or three superficially.
prices in writing before you start pro-
Learn about the different countries, what
moting the trip.
they offer and the clientele most appropriate. For example, active adventure
Alert your tour members that ex-
travelers will find Costa Rica their
heaven. On the other hand, the sophis-
differ from those in the U.S. In large
ticated traveler wanting theater and fine
cities, dinner is usually not before 7 p.m.
shops will be happier in Buenos Aires.
and often much later. In the countryside,
pected meal hours and menus will
lunch may be the big meal of the day,
If many members of your poten-
particularly Sunday lunch, which is often
tial group will be seniors or suffer
the big family get-together of the week.
from asthma or other respiratory probBe prepared for things to move a
high altitudes. You’ll find that Brazil,
Argentina and some of the Central
ciously. That’s part of the beauty of a
American countries are better bets than
trip to this region.
Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia for those prone to altitude sickness. 20 April 2014
bit more slowly and more gra-
Exploring Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park with Lindblad Expeditions
Ralph Lee Hopkins
lems, you may want to avoid the
Try to include some festivities with music, dancing and folklore. For example, Brazil offers wonderful samba shows
with extravagant costumes, and many local school groups or dance clubs are anxious to show off their country’s musical heritage.
Allow sufficient time in your day-to-day schedule for browsing local markets and shopping for artisan works
such as weavings, metalwork, embroideries and ethnic jewelry – often one-of-a-kind items not found in shops at home or only at terRalph Lee Hopkins
ribly inflated prices. LGT
Lindblad Expeditions takes clients deep into Peru’s Amazon wilderness.
Also be prepared to remind your tour members that social manners are more important: shaking hands when being introduced,
frequent use of please and thank you, saying goodbye formally when leaving, etc. Latin Americans may see us as very efficient but not very
Brazilian Tourism Board – Embratur
gracious, even outright rude. Analyze the market to which you’ll be appealing to be sure you’re picking the appropriate countries and areas. Many
ancient Indian sites, such as Tikal in Guatemala, Uxmal in Mexico’s Yucatan or Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, will require considerable walking/hiking over uneven terrain.
The mountaintop statue Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janeiro.
April 2014 21
MINNESOTA It’s not a trip without seeing some of the state’s signature sights By Randy Mink
Any group visit to Minnesota should include a few of its one-of-a-kind attractions—special places prime for photo opportunities and bragging rights. Here are seven of those only-in-Minnesota crowd-pleasers that add pop to a tour itinerary.
Spoonbridge and Cherry, Minneapolis This whimsical water installation draws visitors to the heart of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, an 11-acre green space with more than 40 sculptures from the Walker Art Center’s
The monumental fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is the big draw at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
collection. Spoonbridge and Cherry has been a city symbol since
its completion by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen in 1988. The spoon tips the scale at 5,800 pounds and the cherry
Around,” the scene of a tam-tossing Mary Richards, the main char-
weighs 1,200 pounds. The free-admission garden, a crown jewel
acter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was filmed partially in front
of the city’s park system, is located just across the street from the
of Dayton’s department store (now Macy’s) on the 12-block transit
Walker Art Center, one of the nation’s most visited contemporary
corridor reserved for pedestrians, bicyclists, taxis and buses. Many
art museums and famous for its cutting-edge 20th century art.
tourists assume the pose next to Mary, appearing to fling a hat into
Within the sculpture garden is the small Cowles Conservatory.
the air. Nicollet Mall buzzes from morning to night, offering scads
of stores, restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Visitors gravitate to Target’s two-level flagship store and the three indoor shopping malls—
Mary Tyler Moore Statue, Minneapolis
City Center, IDS Crystal Court and Gavidae Common (with
The opening sequence of a beloved 1970s TV sitcom set in Min-
downtown’s largest food court). Buses are free along the mall, and
neapolis is memorialized by an eight-foot bronze statue on Nicol-
the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market holds forth every Thursday from
let Mall in the downtown shopping core. To the tune of “Love is All
May to October.
22 April 2014
Mall of America, Bloomington
millions of vacationers since 1937. Made of steel, cement and
Located 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and Saint
wood, the giant statues are touched up each year before the
Paul, this retail magnet for the Upper Midwest draws more than
summer tourism season begins. Four blocks west of the mythi-
40 million visitors a year to its 520 stores and restaurants, mak-
cal lumberjack and his trusty ox is the Bemidji Woolen Mills out-
ing it far and away Minnesota’s most popular destination.
let store, which brims with the warm clothes it’s made for loggers
A city unto itself, the nation’s largest shopping and entertainment
and outdoorsmen since 1920. Another group favorite: The historic
complex—all under one roof—contains the largest indoor
Chief Theater, home to the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, a profes-
amusement park, Nickelodeon Universe—and even has its own
sional summer stock company. (visitbemidji.com/bemidji/
zip code. It would take 86 hours if you stopped in every store for
10 minutes. Talk about shop ’til you drop! And remember, Minnesota imposes no sales tax on clothing and shoes. The next phase of the megamall’s expansion is set for completion in 2015. (mallofamerica.com)
Mississippi River Headwaters Post, Itasca State Park A tree trunk sign greets tourists who make pilgrimages to the Mississippi River Headwaters site, where the mighty river begins as a humble stream flowing out of Lake Itasca on its 2,552-mile
SPAM Museum, Austin
journey to the Gulf of Mexico. A trail leads from the Mary Gibbs
A favorite for generations of Americans, SPAM has been manu-
Mississippi Headwaters Center to the Headwaters Post, where
factured in Austin since 1937 by Hormel Foods Corp., one of the
some people wade across the river’s source while others negotiate
largest food production companies in the world. Celebrating the
the neatly placed stepping stones. Outdoor display panels and ex-
luncheon meat in the navy blue-and-yellow pull-tab can, the fun mu-
hibits in the Headwaters Center discuss the river and early explor-
seum is a wonderland of memorabilia, from radio jingles and TV
ers. Minnesota’s first state park, established in 1891, also offers an
commercials to a letter from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower recognizing
excursion boat, a historic lodge with restaurant and exhibits about re-
the importance of SPAM to his troops during World War II. On a
gional lore in the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center. The town of Park
make-believe production line you can don a white butcher coat and
Rapids, a gateway to the park 20 miles south, has an attractive
race against the clock. The gift shop sells hundreds of different
three-block shopping district along Main Avenue,
SPAM logo items and every variety of the meat. Not far from the
plus a number of summer theater options.
museum, the Hormel Historic Home gives insight into the life of
Nearby is Tamarac National Wildlife
George Hormel, who founded the meat-packing company. In the
Refuge, a place to see migratory
red-brick mansion, groups can take part in a cookie bake and/or
waterfowl and lush beds of wild rice
enjoy a traditional German lunch buffet. (spam.com)
grown by the Ojibwe. (http://dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/
World’s Largest Boot, Red Wing
The Red Wing Shoe Store & Museum displays the world’s largest boot, created in 2005 for the company’s centennial. It’s a size 638½ D, stands six feet tall and weighs 2,300 pounds. Tours of the factory are available from May through October. Other diversions in the scenic Mississippi River town include stage entertainment at the 1904 Sheldon Theatre, gaming at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, two wineries and the fall foliage that blankets the bluffs. The Pottery Shopping District on Old West Main features the new Red Wing Pottery Museum in the former Minnesota Stoneware Co. building and Red Wing Brewery, which recently re-opened after a 60-year hiatus. (redwing.org)
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, Bemidji On the shores of Lake Bemidji in downtown Bemidji, in a landscaped parking area next to the visitor information center, stand the massive statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, a photo opportunity if there ever was one. The col-
Minnesota icons, clockwise from top: Mary Tyler Moore Statue, Mall of America, Mississippi Headwaters, World’s Largest Boot, and Paul Bunyan and Babethe Blue Ox.
orfully painted northwoods folk heroes have awed LeisureGroupTravel.com
April 2014 23
TOP MINNESOTA EVENTS Judy Garland Festival, Grand Rapids June 10-15, 2014 The Judy Garland Museum every year honors the legendary singer and movie star, born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids in 1922. There are lectures, stage performances and The Wizard of Oz film showings. Visitors are encouraged to wear their favorite Oz character costume. This year’s 38th annual festival marks the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz (1939) movie, and the museum debuts its new 3,000-piece Wizard of Oz exhibit. (judygarland museum.com) Bayfront Blues Festival, Duluth Aug. 8-10, 2014 Showcasing nearly 30 national performances on two concert stages, this is one of the Midwest’s largest outdoor music festivals. Events also include a Moonlight Mardi Gras Cruise and blues acts at nearly 20 nightclubs. The event takes place in Canal Park on Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. (bayfrontblues.com)
Hennepin Avenue playhouses in downtown Minneapolis include the historic State Theatre.
MINNESOTA ON STAGE
he Twin Cities area has a reputation for the quality and quantity of its theater companies. A marquee theater destination, Minneapolis-Saint
Paul claims 75 professional theater groups and more than 30 performance venues. Another bragging right: Minneapolis boasts more live theater seats per capita than any other city outside of New York. Across the state, groups will find first-rate theatrical fare in smaller towns as well. From Broadway musicals and religious productions to classic works by Shakespeare and Ibsen, Minnesota’s calendar is a theater lover’s dream. The nationally acclaimed Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis is known far and wide for its innovative presentations of both classic and contemporary works, including Shakespeare. Housed since 2006 in an architecturally striking building with a blue exterior, it features three stages and dramatic public spaces, including a 175-foot cantilevered lobby overlooking the Mississippi River. There are many dining and bar options.
Jousting knights at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Backstage tours highlight the steps that take a play from conception
Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Shakopee Aug. 16-Sept. 28, 2014 Journey back in time to a 16th century European village at one of the country’s largest renaissance fairs, now in its 44th year. Highlights include jousting by knights in armor, elephant rides, belly dancing, games, entertainment on 16 stages and 120 food booths. Some 250 artisan booths sell everything from period attire to real battle axes. The event, held on weekends, welcomes almost 300,000 people each year. (renaissancefest.org)
to performance, with stops at the costume, props and set shops. Upcoming productions include Hamlet, The Three Musketeers and My Fair Lady. (guthrietheater.org) For splashy Broadway musicals,
The Guthrie Theater offers backstage tours.
top comedy acts and big-time concerts, head to downtown Minneapolis’ Hennepin Avenue Theater District, home to four venues operated by the Hennepin Theatre Trust. Three of the theaters—the State, Orpheum and Pantages—
Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, Aug. 21-Sept. 1, 2014 Spice up your Twin Cities visit with a late-summer fling at the “Great Minnesota Get-Together.” Savor food on a stick, see farm animals being born and enjoy Mighty Midway carnival rides, big-name touring acts, a daily parade, rodeo, horse shows, agricultural exhibits, and arts and crafts displays. One of the nation’s largest state fairs, it attracts more than two million visitors annually. (mnstatefair.org)
are former vaudeville/movie houses that were restored to their original opulence and reopened in the 1990s. Tours spotlight the history and architectural flourishes of the majestic venues, built between 1916 and 1921. The Orpheum’s interior, done in rich Victorian colors, is highlighted by a 2,000-pound chandelier made from brass and Italian crystal. The 2014-2015 Broadway on Hennepin season starts with a return engagement of The Book of Mormon (Aug. 20-Sept. 7). Also on the schedule are Motown the Musical, Dirty Dancing, Jersey Boys, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, I Love Lucy on Stage and Kinky Boots, the 2013 Tony
Oktoberfest, New Ulm, Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 2014 This Old World celebration, held in a Southern Minnesota town that touts its German heritage, features German brass bands, polka bands and New Ulm’s famous Concord Singers. Fest-goers enjoy German food and August Schell beer, brewed locally since 1860. The festival is held at four locations--downtown (the site of a musical glockenspiel, plus German restaurants and import shops), the brewery, Morgan Creek Vineyards and Holiday Inn. (newulmoktoberfest.com) 24 April 2014
winner for Best Musical. (hennepintheatretrust.org) Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is Saint Paul’s premier performance space, presenting a diverse range of productions, from musical theater and dance to multicultural fare. Fronting Rice Park in the heart of downtown, it is also home to the Minnesota Opera and Saint Paul
Obtain Minnesota visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info
PLAN YOUR TRIP MINNESOTA ON STAGE
every Friday and Saturday night. (chanhassendt.com) Some of the Twin Cities’ most spectacular performances take
Chamber Orchestra. Recent shows in the 1,900-seat Music
place in a church that was built as a theater seating 1,200 to 1,400.
Theater included Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz and
North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills stages Easter and
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, with Bring It On: The Musical
Christmas spectacles that draw groups from all over the Midwest.
and Blue Man Group coming this spring. Construction is underway
Expect showstoppers like flying angels in harnesses and horses
on the 1,100-seat Concert Hall, which will replace the McKnight
and donkeys coming down the aisles. All Things New, an original
Theatre, with completion expected in spring 2015. (ordway.org)
Easter production with music, boasts a cast of 200 (its final season
In Plymouth, a suburb 20 minutes west of Minneapolis, Plymouth Playhouse is home
is this April). Again this December, a cast of Commonweal Theatre Company thrives in the little town of Lanesboro.
125 will present a version of It’s a Wonderful
base for The Church Basement Ladies,
Life with a gospel message. The church has a
which has kept audiences around the nation
huge kitchen that serves a dinner buffet in the
in stitches the past nine years. The Last
400-seat Great Hall before or after select per-
(Potluck) Supper, the fifth and final install-
ment of the series of plays about Lutheran Plymouth engagement this spring, but The Church Basement Ladies (produced by Min-
Commonweal Theatre Company brings Jason Underferth
women in a small Minnesota town, ends its
visitors to the historic town of Lanesboro (pop. 750) in Southeastern Minnesota’s Bluff Country. Reflecting the area’s high concentration
neapolis-based Troupe America, Inc.) will continue touring the
of Norwegian-Americans, the company annually does a work by
country. Returning to the intimate 211-seat theater this July, after
19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, the only theater
a triumphant national tour, will be Troupe America’s Ring of Fire—
in America with such a commitment. The 2014 season features
The Music of Johnny Cash. Though the “Man in Black” himself is
Ibsen’s Brand, Arsenic and Old Lace, Around the World in 80 Days,
never impersonated, Ring of Fire performers take the audience
Every Christmas Story Ever Told and Arcadia. The 200-seat, state-
on a journey through Cash’s life and music, from the cotton fields
of-the-art theater opened in 2007 occupies a former cheese factory
of Arkansas to the Grand Ole Opry, featuring more than 35 of his
and sports an interior design reflecting the region’s history and nat-
hit songs, from “I Walk the Line” to “A Boy Named Sue.” Plymouth
ural beauty, with barn doors as bathroom stalls and stone walls
Playhouse is located in the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn, where
that recall the surrounding bluffs. (commonwealtheatre.org) LGT
groups can sleep, dine and be entertained under one roof. (plymouthplayhouse.com) Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, another Twin Cities-area favorite, has been pleasing crowds since 1968. Recognized as the nation’s largest professional dinner theater and noted for lavish costumes and sets, it serves up the best of Broadway year round and, as the largest restaurant in the state, can serve 1,000 guests a night. Dinner is served at the table with choice of entree, and groups are recognized from the stage. The Midwest premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid plays through August, with Hello Dolly! coming after Labor Day and running through January 2015. The four-theater complex also presents concerts (rock, pop, country, jazz), and Stevie Ray’s Comedy Cabaret is ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Groups love Go Minneapolis Signature Experiences. For details, log on to http://tinyurl.com/lgycc4q.
26 April 2014
SOUTH From Louisiana to Virginia, tours spotlight towns that have served as stage sets for popular movies and TV series
Fort Chaffee Barbershop Museum in Fort Smith, Ark. preserves the shop where GI Elvis Presley got a much-publicized buzz cut in 1958. Fort Chaffee served as the Army base in the 1984 movie A Soldier’s Story.
By Dave Bodle
e have a passion for film and television entertainment. How often have we heard, "What's on TV tonight?” or “How did you like the movie?" Both the big and small screens are part of our
culture, and we start the learning process at an early age. Interest in movies and television has not been lost on the group travel industry and Southern destinations in particular. Every Southern state has a film office, as well they should. For locations, the South has so much to offer. A delightful blend of large cities and rural towns can satisfy any script. From mountains and beaches to rivers and fields, there's the perfect location for any story.
Bill Russ/ NC Film Commission
Groups from all over the country and the world visit Southern destinations. It just makes sense they'll want to see where popular shows and movies were filmed. Here's a walk through the Southern states and a chance to look at a few locations you might recognize and the tours they offer.
The University of North Carolina at Wilmington grabbed the spotlight during the filming of an episode of the TV series Dawson’s Creek.
28 April 2014
LOUISIANA Reality television shows are hot. It seems they're on every channel and LeisureGroupTravel.com
Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism
on location: south ❖ I mean every channel. However, with 14 million viewers tuning in to
On a visit to the Robertsons’ hometown, a local guide boards
A&E every Thursday evening, Louisiana's Duck Dynasty is the
the coach. You'll track many of the spots seen in various episodes.
hands-down leader. The Robertson family might be in the business
Of course, you'll visit the Excalibur Family Fun Center for a chance
of manufacturing duck calls, but it's their adventures, humor and
at the purple gorilla. The Corner Coffee Shop is the stop for gour-
faith that attracts viewers. The show has put the Monroe/West
met coffee and Danken Trail serves outstanding Southern BBQ. A
Monroe communities on the entertainment tour map.
stop at the new Duck Commander Store and Warehouse is a must
Bob Cline of U.S. Tours has created a series of trips around
for all that's camo. Remember when Willie thought of buying a
Duck Dynasty. If you're a fan, there's a package for you. He's com-
working vineyard? You'll visit the site, then close your day with din-
bined a “Duck Commanders Hometown Tour” with New Orleans,
ner at Willie's Duck Diner for some of the family’s favorites. (mon-
Lafayette, Memphis and other Southern locations.
Monroe-West Monroe CVB
Matt Herron, Bogalusa, Louisiana, 1965.
Duck Dynasty fans touring Northern Louisiana might run across the World’s Largest Duck Call.
MISSISSIPPI Published as a book in 2009, The Help became an award-winning film in 2011. The story is set in Jackson, Miss. during the early 1960s at the height of the state’s civil rights struggles. There are two driving tours available, “The Help in Belhaven Neighborhood” and “The Help in Jackson.” You should begin with the Belhaven tour and continue with the Jackson tour. Belhaven has that old Jackson look and many of the venues included in the book are part of the tour. Film locations are included in the Jackson tour. Probably the most recognizable location is Brent's Drugs, where the soda fountain is 30 April 2014
Give your next tour group more memories per gallon. Bring them to a place that makes eyes go wide and mouths grin ear to ear. A destination with more shows. More shopping. More arts and crafts. More mountain views. And more down-home cooking. A city that offers a wide range of fun for anyone at any age. Welcome to a detour from the ordinary.
PigeonForgeTours.com â€˘ 1-800-285-7557
on location: south ❖ still operational. "The Happy Shopper" mural between Brent's and McDade's Grocery is evidence of the film. Some signs and prints from the film remain on Stop 27 Fondron, North State storefronts. Tours are available at Stop 21, Mississippi State Capitol; Stop 24, Governor's Mansion; and Stop 30, Medgar Evers Home and Museum. The Fairview Inn, Stop 1 in Belhaven, has a well-deserved reputation for gourmet dining. (visitjackson.com/discover-jackson/itineraries)
GEORGIA If we're talking about movies and Georgia is mentioned, Gone With the Wind must be in the conversation. Margaret Mitchell's novel was brought to the silver screen in 1936. The romance and drama of this timeless classic is brought to life on the Gone With the Wind Trail. The Atlanta History Museum has developed a series of options. Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism
“Trails & Tails” takes the visitor on a 40-mile journey uncovering the facts and fiction between characters, locations and set stories. “Petticoats, Pansy & Plantations” introduces you to wardrobe items and props from movie scenes. Stops along the way include the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum, Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Central Library, Oakland Cemetery and Baseball scenes in A Soldier’s Story were filmed at this Little Rock field.
32 April 2014
the Road to Tara Museum. (atlantahistorycenter.com/explore)
on location: south ❖ NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina has long been a premier location choice and sports the largest production facility east of Hollywood, EUE Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington. Recently, Moviemaker Magazine recPhoto by Connie Nelson/Wilmington and Beaches CVB
ognized Wilmington as one of the best small cities with a population between 100,000-500,000 for filmmakers to work in. Of the more than 400 projects done in Wilmington and the Cape Fear area, two WB television series received popular acclaim. Dawson's Creek enjoyed six seasons before concluding in 2003. Wilmington doubled as the small fictitious town of Capeside. From 2003-2011 WB’s One Tree Hill filmed in Wilmington. The guided “Hollywood Location Walk of Old Wilmington” and the fun “Hollywood Segway Tour” are great ways to explore the locations. One Tree Hill filmed on location at Port City Java in Wilmington, NC.
10 TOP SOUTHERN
Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs, Arkansas Stunning architecture from bridges to the Anthony Chapel, along with gorgeous floral displays, are found throughout this 210-acre masterpiece in Hot Springs National Park. (garvangardens.org)
ithout exception every Southern state has showcases of flowering beauty. It may be the moderate climate or simply a love of natural beauty that serves as inspiration. Here are 10 of the best:
New Orleans Botanical Garden Conveniently located behind the New Orleans Museum of Art, it boasts “more than 2,000 plants from around the world.” (neworleanscitypark.com)
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia BBC.com rated this garden and its spectacular conservatory among “10 North American gardens worth traveling for.” (lewisginter.org)
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Crestwood, Kentucky Extensive display gardens appeal to both the amateur and professional gardener. Strong academic and educational programs are a mainstay of the gardens. (yewdellgardens.org)
Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore, Alabama. Dating back to 1932 when Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath invited a National Garden Club meeting to visit, the exquisite gardens and stately home have been welcoming guests. (bellingrath.org)
Bissonnette Gardens, Wheeling, West Virginia The state’s only display garden, located at Oglebay Resort & Conference Center, is a special joint effort between West Virginia University Extension Service and Oglebay. (oglebay-resort.com/gardens.htm)
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina Located just south of Myrtle Beach, this garden is home to more than 1,400 pieces of sculpture by 350 artists, including a comprehensive collection of American figurative sculpture. All are set in dazzling floral displays. (brookgreen.org)
−By Dave Bodle
Garvan Woodland Gardens is located in Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Charleston, South Carolina Magnolia has been welcoming visitors to its natural uninhibited gardens since the 1870s. (magnoliaplantation.com) The Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, North Carolina Created to memorialize Sir Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colony, this beauty spot features the balance and symmetry of a traditional English garden. (elizabethangardens.com) Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia A resort with tennis, golf and even treetop adventures, it’s certainly much more than gardens. The 40-acre Azalea Bowl is an absolute must visit. (callawaygardens.com)
34 April 2014
Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga. is a full-fledged resort as well as a horticultural showplace.
Charming. Intimate. Fun.
M Y R T L E
B E A C H
O C E A N F R O N T
TOP RANKED BY TRIPADVISOR.COM
Featuring 6 oceanfront pools (with hot tubs and heated pools), Sanctuary Spa, fitness center, complimentary Hampton “On the House” hot breakfast buffet, and 90-seat conference and meeting facility. Spacious accommodations include 2-BR family suites with kitchenette, oceanfront master BR, and separate kids’ BR with bunk beds and a queen-size bed. www.HamptonInnOceanfront.com or call 877-946-6400 and ask for our Sales Department 1801 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577/843-946-6400
on location: south ❖ VIRGINIA As the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War winds down in 2015, Virginia again takes center stage. The siege of Richmond is coming to an end. The Confederates are withdrawing. The city has been laid to waste. The end of the brutal conflict is near. “Lincoln's Last Journey” welcomes visitors to follow in the footsteps of the President as he visits General Grant at the Union Army front lines, March 23 to April 4, 1865. Scenes from Lincoln were filmed at locations throughout the Richmond and Petersburg areas. Your visit begins at City Point, now Hopewell, where Grant made his headquarters at Appomattox Plantation. President Lincoln arrived on the River Queen to see thousands of tents serving as barracks and a hospital with 6,000 beds. Moving on to Petersburg, the site of a 10-month siege cutting off supply lines, you'll visit the Wallace House. It was here that Lincoln and Grant had their nextto-last meeting. In Richmond take a walking/riding tour that follows the path Lincoln and his son Tad took as they witnessed the destruction caused by the Evacuation Fire. (visitrichmondva.com)
SOUTH CAROLINA Beaufort movie history began with Pat Conroy’s The Great Santini, followed by popular films such as The Big Chill, Forrest Gump, GI Jane, Platoon and Forces of Nature. On “Beaufort Movie Tour” see where the films were shot and the places the casts and crews spent their free time. (beaufortmovietour.com)
KENTUCKY & WEST VIRGINIA We’re going off the script, slightly, but a feud that continued for 23 years and is still a subject of interest 125 years later almost brought Kentucky and West Virginia to war. The History Channel’s threepart Hatfields & McCoys mini-series brought critical acclaim. Although filmed primarily in Romania with the Carpathian Mountains serving as the Appalachians, the floodgates were open as interest in the feud and the area exploded. Bill Richardson, an associate professor at West Virginia University, has spent 15 years researching the feud and is often available to step on coaches and lead visitors along the Hatfield & McCoy Driving Tour that threads portions of West Virginia and Kentucky. You’ll visit the ac-
tual site of the election-day death of Ellison Hatfield and the home of Ranel McCoy where two of McCoy’s children were killed in a Hatfield raid. However, the real treat of the tour is Richardson’s passion for the story he loves to share. (hatfieldmccoycvb.com)
ARKANSAS Arkansas native and best-selling author John Grisham was born in Jonesboro and lived throughout northeast Arkansas as a child. Portions of Grisham’s The Firm were filmed in West Memphis at the Marion Hotel, which served as an apartment building and as Southland Gaming and Racing. Although I’m certainly a fan of John Grisham, it’s an earlier movie and the locations that deserve sharing. A Soldier’s Story, released in 1984, featured a prominent cast including Denzel Washington and Patti LaBelle. The story is set in a small Louisiana town where a black master sargent is shot and killed just outside the local Army base. A military lawyer is sent from Washington to investigate. The baseball scenes were filmed at historic Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock. You can still catch a game there. Clarendon, Ark. is the set for the Louisiana town and Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Ark. served as the Army base. As a side note, there was a famous haircut done at Fort Chaffee. Find out in a visit to its Barbershop Museum. (littlerock.com,fortsmith.org)
April 2014 37
on location: south ❖ TENNESSEE If there’s one travel destination that’s on fire right now, it has to be Nashville. The weekly musical drama series Nashville can be seen Wednesday evenings on ABC. It’s all about the music industry and all about Nashville. From street performance scenes to the Bluebird Cafe and Ryman Auditorium staging, you’ll recognize many of the episodes. Get ready for two additional series about Nashville. New this year is Nashville Wives, a look at the spouses of Nashville’s biggest music talents. Not to be outdone, MTV is in casting through early April for the new Kids of Nashville. (visitmusiccity.com)
ALABAMA Many scenes in the The Prince, an American gangster movie to be released in 2014, were filmed in Mobile, Ala., though the story is set in Las Vegas. It stars Bruce Willis, John Cusack, South Korean Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism
singer Rain, the rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and John Patric. Locations included the Battle House Hotel and surrounding area and Alabama’s tallest building, the RSA Battle House Tower. (mobile.org) Entertainment and tourism go hand-in-hand and it can be a great way to fill up the coach. We want to see where it was filmed, how the cast lived and where they ate. Savvy operators and DMOs should Clarendon, Ark. served as the Louisiana town in the movie A Soldier’s Story.
38 April 2014
certainly explore the opportunities—and they’ll have fun doing it. LGT
SCAN FOR TRIP IDEAS
McClards Bar-B-Q, Hot Springs
Bathhouse Row, Hot Springs
Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs
Wegner Crystal Mines, Mount Ida
Take a tour around Arkansas to discover treasures around every corner. From a botanical garden that shows off The Natural State at its best to down-home eats, the legendary spas of America’s oldest national park, and crystal and diamond mines where you can keep what you ﬁnd. FIND OUT MORE BY VISITING ArkansasGroupTravel.com OR CALLING 1-800-872-1259.
The Heart of Historic Hot Springs National Park
HAVE FUN IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS
Relax at The Arlington Thermal baths and spa. A national park outside any door. Great dining choices. 4HE Twin cascading outdoor pools. Championship golf. 2 % 3 / 2 4 ( / 4 % , 3 0! Private beauty www.ArlingtonHotel.com and facial salon.
Let Julie Pennington show your group all of Northwest Arkansas – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Clinton House Museum, Botanical Garden, Terra Studios and much more. Her enthusiasm for Fayetteville is contagious. Experience it for yourself.
Contact Our Sales Professionals at 1-800-626-9768
experiencefayetteville.com firstname.lastname@example.org 800-766-4626
PIT T SBURGH panor ama
Doing the town right in 72 hours Ascend Mt. Washington on the Duquesne Incline for sweeping views of downtown, including Point State Park.
By Randy Mink
hree days in Pittsburgh—just enough time to savor its
The steep ride up Mt. Washington, in an antique wooden car
essence. It was my first visit and I wanted to see what
traveling at 6 mph at a 30.5-degree grade, is a Pittsburgh must—for
makes Pittsburgh, well, Pittsburgh.
the views, history and sense of adventure. The restored cars and
My first thought: a panoramic overview was in order. And since
hilltop station are originals, built in 1877 for workers going to and
the postcard image of a boxy red cable car rising above the river
from their homes high above the city. Residents still use the railway,
had always colored my visions of Pittsburgh, I practically sprinted to
one of the two remaining inclines of the 19 that once existed.
the lower station of the Duquesne Incline soon after checking in to
In simple exhibits under glass, the upper station’s waiting room
the Sheraton Station Square on the south bank of the Mononga-
displays vintage postcards and photographs of Pittsburgh and of
other famous funiculars around the world. You can also eyeball the
40 April 2014
picnic on the lawn, check out historical markers, and perhaps catch a festival or other special event. After Point Park, I crossed the Allegheny via the Roberto Clemente Bridge to see what is considered one of America’s great baseball arenas—PNC Park. It was off-season, but at least I got some good peeks of the field and up-close to the statues of Pirates legends Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski and Honus Wagner outside the stadium. The Andy Warhol Museum, a few blocks from the ballpark, showcases works by the Pittsburgh native (1928-1974) who made his mark in pop art. Everyone knows his Marilyn Monroe portraits and Campbell’s soup cans. My juiciest experience in Pittsburgh was prowling The Strip. No, it’s not what you might think, just a narrow strip of land between the Allegheny and a rocky hillside. Close to downtown, The Strip District brims with ethnic flavor in a hodge-podge of shops and eateries along
cables and gears of this engineering marvel. And don’t forget the little gift shop.
Penn Avenue, the main drag here in the gritty wholesale market area for purveyors of produce, meat and fish. I joined a ’Burgh Bits & Bites walking tour
But it’s the sweeping cityscapes that really
that takes small groups to family-owned shops
captivate visitors who pay $2.50 to ascend Mt.
in The Strip. Our foodie foray started by sam-
Washington. Spread out below are the sky-
pling homemade prosciutto and Genoa salami
scrapers and bridges of downtown Pittsburgh,
at Parma Sausage Co. and then crossed the
along with landmarks like the Pittsburgh Pirates’
street for fresh-made hummus at Labad’s
PNC Park, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heinz Field and
Mediterreanean Cafe and Grocery. We also hit
Point State Park—a grassy piece of land at the
a biscotti bakery (30 flavors, from banana wal-
confluence of three rivers—the Allegheny,
nut to traditional anise almond) and a Polish deli
Monongahela and Ohio. Drink in the views and
for cheese pierogis sauteed in butter and
watch the river traffic from the station’s obser-
onions. Other tour highlights: Sampling cheese
at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company (founded
Later I walked across some of the bridges and visited Point State Park, the strategic
in 1902) and pepperoni rolls at Sunseri’s, both Italian groceries. (burghfoodtour.com)
chunk of real estate where Pittsburgh had its be-
Lidia’s Pittsburgh, also in The Strip, pro-
ginnings as a French and later British fortifica-
vided my best restaurant meal. Pasta and the
tion. I poked my head into the Fort Pitt Block
flavors of Italy reign supreme at this bright, airy
House, the city’s oldest building (1764), and
gourmet temple with a strong Italian accent. In-
toured the Fort Pitt Museum, which tells the
deed, it should rise to gourmet standards—the
story of Western Pennsylvania’s role in the
woman behind it is Lidia Bastianich of public TV
French & Indian War and American Revolution.
fame. I still haven’t stopped thinking about the
Here at the Forks of the Ohio, at the very tip of
wild boar ravioli and apple cake topped with but-
downtown, you can admire the park’s majestic
tery caramel sauce. For a more down-to-earth
fountain, walk along riverside promenades,
meal one evening, I visited the famous Primanti
Eat your way through The Strip, a centrally located neighborhood full of flavorful food finds.
Bros. in The Strip, giving my jaws some exercise while tackling the signature cheesesteak April 2014 41
Photos courtesy Visit Pittsburgh
Two Pittsburgh landmarks: Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Pirates’ PNC Park
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Loads of attractions await groups in Washington, Pa., a short drive from Pittsburgh. Visit http://tinyurl.com/n7whmnx.
sandwich—a hunk of Italian
In the eclectic Oakland
bread (cut in half) stuffed with
neighborhood, dominated by
meat, french fries, coleslaw and two tomato slices. My favorite Pittsburgh museum—I could have used two extra hours there—was the
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Pittsburgh’s Botanical Bounty On Leisure Group Travel’s website, learn about the brand new botanical garden coming to Pittsburgh this summer and get acquainted with the landmark conservatory that’s been around since 1893. Log on to http://tinyurl.com/lyp6uer.
Senator John Heinz History
the University of Pittsburgh, I discovered more treasures revealing the city’s ethnic fabric. Worth a peek are the Nationality Rooms in the university’s 42-story Cathedral of Learn-
Center. Occupying a former ice warehouse in
ing—29 museum-quality classrooms de-
The Strip, the Smithsonian affiliate offers five
signed with artwork and architectural touches
floors of exhibits on Pittsburgh-area history,
representing groups (from Austrian and
sports and industrial heritage. I liked the Heinz
Croatian to Syrian and Turkish) that settled
57 exhibit, which chronicles the packaged
southwestern Pennsylvania. The day in Oak-
foods company best known for its ketchup.
land also included Heinz Chapel, Phipps
Neighborhoods are such a part of Pitts-
Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and
burgh—it has 89 of them—that I wanted to
the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural
get away from the city center. So I ventured to
Millvale and St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic
My 72 hours in Pittsburgh ended all too
Church. Set high on a hill, it’s more like the
soon, but I’m looking forward to the day when
Sistine Chapel than a neighborhood church.
I can explore more neighborhoods, see more
Visitors go out of their way for tours of Croa-
museums and sample more of the culinary
tian artist Maxo Vanka’s 22 sanctuary murals
bounty of this pretty, gritty American city.
depicting the Virgin Mary, social injustice and the immigrant experience in America.
For more Pittsburgh pearls, log on to visitpittsburgh.com. LGT
A comfortable pace and plenty of area attractions make the Southern Nevada casino town a winner with groups
Guests can enjoy some beach time at Harrah’s Laughlin. Right: Publisher Jeff Gayduk with Meg McDaniel of Southern NV Extended Destinations.
By Jeff Gayduk
ever having ventured far from the Las Vegas Strip on previous Southern Nevada vacations, I didn’t know quite what to expect on a recent trip to Laughlin. It was the site of
the 2014 Heritage Clubs International Bankers Conference, hosted by Southern Nevada Extended Destinations, the area’s regional convention and visitors bureau, March 10-14, 2014.
rafting, fishing and leisurely cruises.
Arriving from Vegas, I secured my rental car (only 20 miles on
Laughlin is no Vegas, and that’s by design. Sure, there’s casino
the odometer with that new car smell, how lucky!) and pointed
row with household names like Golden Nugget, Tropicana and
south. Once the bright lights of Vegas are in your taillights, the
Harrah’s alongside lesser-known entities like Riverside, Colorado
road opens up and the true West appears. If desert scenery is your
Belle, Aquarius and Edgewater all providing entertainment for
cup of tea, this is pretty country.
gamers and non-gamers alike. But it’s friendlier, certainly easier
Laughlin is just far enough away to provide a breather, but not an exhausting drive (90 minutes) and as you descend upon the
for guests to get around. This fits in with the CVB’s tagline “It’s like you own the place.”
area, the mountain backdrop paints a pretty picture around her.
While here, I sat down with Meg McDaniel, senior manager of
The town of Laughlin is in a valley surrounded by low desert peaks
regional sales for Southern NV Extended Destinations, a unit of
and dissected by the crystal clear Colorado River, which adds a
the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
unique recreational element along with an interesting contrast to the surrounding desert.
When asked why groups come to Laughlin, McDaniel commented, “Groups have always been a staple for Laughlin’s tourism.
Case in point, my hotel has a beach! Harrah’s Laughlin features
I think what they like most about the destination is that it’s defi-
a recreational white sand beach, complete with beach chairs and
nitely manageable. It’s not overwhelming for travelers and has a
palm frond umbrella to catch a little shade. Swimming is encour-
very friendly atmosphere.”
aged here, as is a variety of water sports up and down the Col-
Laughlin’s affordability has also been one of its strong suits, with
orado River, whose swift pace (7 knots) is a delight for kayaking,
inexpensive hotels and dining options on casino row making it an af-
April 2014 43
fordable group getaway. While here, you’re
Laughlin is also a mecca for birders. Over 435
bound to find headline entertainment in one of the casino
species come here in the spring and the area is the
show lounges or the new 9,000-seat Laughlin Events
largest Western raptor flyway. Red-tailed hawks, golden
Center, which opened this March to Championship Bull
and bald eagles and grey-horned owls are frequently
Riding. Frontline entertainment acts scheduled for the
spring include Reba McEntire, Rascal Flats and Alan Jackson.
To recognize the importance of motorcoach group travel,
While the casinos and entertainment is a huge draw for groups,
Laughlin created the inaugural motorcoach appreciation event last
the region also makes an outstanding hub & spoke destination. Just
December. McDaniel commented, “We worked with Sue Arko to
outside of Laughlin, the hustle and bustle of the casino strip quickly
create the appreciation event and we wanted to keep it small, fo-
gives way to Mother Nature. For instance, just seven minutes away
cusing on Southern California, Vegas and Phoenix operators. As
is Lake Mohave – with fishing, swimming, jet skiing, boating and
word has gotten out we already have interest from Canada to be
white sandy beaches. This protected area is a recreational haven.
part of the event so we are excited about growing it for 2014.”
McDaniel commented, “We are finding a lot of our travelers are
The event included a bus rodeo –12 drivers participated in a
more active. For instance, many visitors enjoy walking the North
series of driving and parking tests and obstacle courses as 18
Reach, which is about 5.5 miles of trails that extend from the River
coaches cruised in unison down Casino Drive. Leaders from the
Walk and go all the way up to Davis Dam. The pedestrian trail is
major associations were on hand to christen the event. The 2014
about two miles and it parallels the river. There are nice interactive
event is scheduled for Dec. 1-5. The bureau hopes motorcoach op-
Groups have always been a staple for Laughlin’s tourism. I think what they like most about the destination is that it’s definitely manageable. It’s not overwhelming for travelers and has — Meg McDaniel, Senior Manager of Regional Sales, Southern NV Extended Destinations a very friendly atmosphere.
The Colorado River flows through the town of Laughlin, a mini Las Vegas at the southern tip of Nevada, close to many Northern Arizona attractions.
signs, shaded areas, fishing nodes, plus there are equestrian and
erators will use the event as an opportunity to build new packages
during this traditionally down time for the industry.
Farther from town, Hoover Dam is a short 86-mile drive. Groups
At the same time, Laughlin is expanding its reach to niche and
can also visit the West Rim of the Grand Canyon in less than three
affinity groups, targeting family reunions, weddings, military
hours. Other attractions nearby include the London Bridge, Lake
groups, smaller association meetings, board and sales retreats.
Havasu and Oatman, an old mining town that hasn’t changed much
Cherie Westbrook, sales executive for the organization, said,
in 100 years. Oatman’s wooden sidewalks, historic buildings and
“We’re that perfect affordable destination for family and friends;
feral burros that roam the streets give guests a taste of the Old
everyone can afford to come and there’s something for everyone
West. Coupled with the history of Route 66 (which passes by town),
there is lots of history to soak up here.
Westbrook continued, “We are located within a four-hour drive
Groups also enjoy the Keeper of the Wild exotic animal sanctu-
from the major feeder markets of Los Angeles and Phoenix and
ary in Northern Arizona. Here, 29 big cats including Bengal tigers,
people generally find us a great spot to congregate. It’s away from
Siberian tigers, leopards, cougars, a jaguar and lion call the sanc-
the big city, but not too far away.”
tuary home. Plus, there are scores of primates, wolves, coyotes,
All in all, Laughlin makes a great unpack-once destination, with
reptiles and other exotic species. Many of these animals were res-
plenty to experience in town and major attractions within an easy
cued from show business where they were part of acts.
drive. Just perfect for groups. LGT
44 April 2014
Little did you know “VIP” stood for Very Important Planner.
Give people a dinner party and they’ll probably give you a smile. Give people a dinner party overlooking the Colorado River and a chartered dinner cruise, kayaking, waterskiing, championship golf 300+ days a year and spa facilities, all at an incredible value, and they’ll write a song about you. Plan a winning get-together by calling our Laughlin sales staff or ﬁlling out an RFP at VisitLaughlin.com/meetings/rfp.
Travis Conklin/LA Tourism
on location: west ❖
Discovering Downtown Pulsing with energy, downtown Los Angeles abounds with cultural magnets like the Nokia Theatre (top left) and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (below).
Michelle & Tom Grimm/LA Tourism
Don’t miss the revitalized city center, a hip sector bristling with entertainment options everly Hills. Hollywood, Pasadena.
Good things are happening in the re-ener-
Each is a familiar name and all are a
gized downtown area, where in the past 15
part of the greater Los Angeles metro
years the population has grown from 28,000 to
area. Each has the ingredients that make it a
52,000. With major development dollars being
tour destination in itself. However, it’s downtown
spent, the area adjacent to the Los Angeles
Los Angeles that intrigued me on my visit during
Convention Center has received a dramatic
February’s NTA Travel Exchange 2014.
46 April 2014
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
By Dave Bodle
The L.A. Live complex has become the go-to place for entertainment and dining in downtown. At the heart of L.A. Live is Nokia Plaza, the scene of festivals, events and concerts year round. The Plaza connects two of L.A. Live’s premium performance venues. The Staples Center is the L.A. sports fan’s fantasy and home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks. Groups can find entertainment on the streets of Chinatown or in the stands at the Staples Center.
The more intimate Nokia Theatre seats 7,100 and hosts the Emmys,
John Paul “Boomer” Iacoangelo/LA Tourism
Travis Conklin/LA Tourism
ESPYs and American Music Awards. An adjacent avenue and the boulevard to the Plaza can be closed,
Angeles and it’s this area of downtown where we begin our walking
allowing easy pedestrian access between the two venues and red-
journey. Olvera Street is the city’s birthplace and well worth a visit.
carpet treatment for special events.
The area abounds with historic buildings, authentic Mexican restau-
The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live is a wonderful addition to
rants and open-air vendor stalls and carts selling everything from art
any itinerary, especially for student groups taking advantage of its
and souvenirs to leather and clothing. The bright colors and con-
interactive educational programs. (grammymuseum.org/education)
stant buzz are almost hypnotic.
Does it make any sense to visit L.A. and not see a movie? The
Certainly you brought another shopping bag because we’re just
14 theaters of Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live, along with 800 seats at
beginning. If there’s one thing each ethnic neighborhood has in
the Premier Theatre, promise an experience to remember. Group rates for 10 or more are avaiiable. From a casual coffee at Starbucks to a Smashburger lunch, or fine dining at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, L.A. Live offers more than 20 restaurants. Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge makes for a fun evening for groups interested in bowling. In just three years L.A. Live (lalive.com) has certainly become the place to be in downtown Los Angeles. The adjoining condo tower (it looks like a razor!) provides a residence and tax shelter for celebrities and athletes. Aside from L.A. Live, there are several little neighborhoods to explore, so you better plan for a few extra days. First of all, let’s decide how we’re going to get around. At one time Los Angeles had a streetcar system that rivaled the New York subway system. Those days are gone and L.A. became the blueprint for an automobile culture. Today, the Metro is an option with buses and a few trains servicing downtown. Traveling by coach, you can certainly add a step-on-guide or join an openair double decker tour. But walking is really the best way to discover downtown L.A. In 1781 the second pueblo in what is now California was founded. It would go on to become Los LeisureGroupTravel.com
April 2014 47
on location: west ❖ Olvera Street and you’re in Chinatown with its emerging art scene, fascinating shops and great food. Near Alameda Street you’ll discover five blocks of Little Tokyo. Great ramen and sushi can be expected, but you’ll need to save time for shopping and the Japanese and American Cultural Center with its Japanese garden. In Exposition Park, built for the 1932 Olympics, see the seven-
John Paul “Boomer” Iacoangelo/LA Tourism
common, it’s good food and good shopping. A short walk from
The landmark Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is home to USC’s football team.
acre rose garden, which boasts 15,739 rose bushes. The garden is closed from January through mid-March when pruning is under-
for the 1932 Olympics and hosted the 1984 Olympics, too. On any
way. The nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was also built
given fall Saturday, the University of Southern California football Trojans put their storied history on show at the Coliseum. Also in Exposition Park are the California Science Center (home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and an IMAX theater), California African American Museum (CAAM) and Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Each stop is ideal for student groups. In Grand Park is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home to many of the city’s performance events. The exceptional view of City Hall (remember TV’s Dragnet?) from the tiered park’s lovely fountains is a great photo opportunity. You certainly will not want to miss Old Broadway Street with the 1920s movie palaces that grace the area. Within six blocks you’ll find a dozen of these gems. Judy Garland was discovered performing vaudeville in what is now a Pentecostal church. The old Rialto is now an Urban Outfitters. To experience the energy of today’s downtown, take a walk on Spring Street. The old Wall Street of the West and its long gone banks are being converted into condos with street-level businesses. You’ll find it all here – clubs, a large used bookstore, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and one of the neatest barbershops you’ll ever see. At the end of Spring Street the Garment District awaits the shrewd shopper. The Jewelry District with diamond prices that will amaze isn’t far off. Downtown L.A. has become very hip. Let’s finish by saying thanks to the Angelenos and investors who had the foresight not to tear down those great buildings with their magnificent historic architecture. Downtown L.A. is truly alive. LGT ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: For a look at the Reagan Presidential Library’s current baseball exhibit, see Dave Bodle’s article at http://tinyurl.com/pgrn3m8.
48 April 2014
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Rodeo action highlights Cheyenne Frontier Days. At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, tour the Cody Firearms Museum (below) and perhaps catch a powwow (left).
Cheyenne Frontier Days
Legends of the Old West come to life in
Cheyenne, Casper and Cody By Sue Arko
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
hen traveling through Wyoming, the long stretches of open
Railway Trolley. The hop-on, hop-off tour includes stops at
highways will take you through some of the country’s most
the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Nelson Mu-
stunning vistas. The scenery may not be all that vivid, but yes-
seum of the West, Wyoming State Capitol, Wyoming State
terday’s colorful legends live on in the vibrant Western cites of
Museum, Historic Governors’ Mansion and Cheyenne Botan-
Cheyenne, Cody and Casper.
After enjoying the sights in town, head south nine miles to CHEYENNE
Ron Thiel bought the ranch to raise bison, but then decided to start
railroad, Cheyenne’s lifestyle exemplifies the romantic lure of the
a company that would allow people to get up close and personal
West that attracted rowdy town bars alongside elegant opera
with the great North American bison.
houses and thriving business establishments. Hat Photo/Matthew Idler
Terry Bison Ranch for a train ride to see a herd of bison. In 1993
Explored first by the pioneers and molded by the path of the
End your day in Cheyenne by watching the Western skits and
Begin your tour by visiting the Cheyenne Depot, a National
escapades of the Cheyenne Gunslingers at 6 p.m. most week-
Historic Landmark that has been restored to its original glory. The
nights (noon Saturdays) in downtown during June and July. Then
Depot’s museum depicts the railroad and its relationship to
enjoy Bit-O-Wyo Horse Barn Dinner Theater in the mountains
Cheyenne; inside, purchase tickets for the Cheyenne Street
west of town (May to August). In July catch the Old-Fashioned
50 April 2014
Live the Legend of Cheyenne! July 18-27, 2014 July 17-26, 2015 ) Top Name Entertainers ) 9 Pro Rodeos ) USAF Thunderbirds ) Free Pancake
Breakfasts and Parades ) Indian Village and More!
Cheyenne Frontier Daysâ„˘ Old West Museum Historic Cheyenne Depot and Museum Wyoming State Capitol and State Museum Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley Western Shopping Galore Big Boy Steam Engine Terry Bison Ranch Bit-O-Wyo Horse Barn Dinner Show
Plus NEW Turnkey Group Experiences!
At the I-80 and I-25 Intersection ~ www.cheyenne.org ~ 800-426-5009
April 2014 51
on location: west ❖
Obtain Wyoming visitor guides and itineraries and contact groupfriendly suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info
Melodrama at the historic Atlas Theatre, where
migration. Other themes include the Pony Ex-
you can cheer the hero and hiss the villain.
press and transcontinental telegraph. The cen-
Every July, the city hosts Cheyenne Fron-
ter offers a virtual wagon ride across the North
tier Days, the West’s largest outdoor rodeo.
Platte River where you feel every bump and jolt
Often referred to as the “Daddy of ’em All,” this
of the wagon. Or sit in a virtual stagecoach and
10-day celebration includes a Western art
ride by wagons and a buffalo herd. An18-minute
show, rodeos, Indian dancing, carnivals and
film entitled Footsteps to the West re-creates
the lives of the pioneers as they traveled west.
CODY Cody was founded as a hospitality center
the city of Casper. Before settlers arrived in the
in 1896 by the legendary Colonel William F.
area, Native American tribes flourished on the
“Buffalo Bill” Cody. A popular gateway to
Just under 200 miles north on Interstate 25 is
plains for over 12,000 years. Known today as the Plains Indians, they include the Arapaho, Arikara, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow,
Tap your feet at Bit-O-Wyo Horse Barn Dinner Theater in Cheyenne.
Gros Ventre, Kiowa, Nez Perce, Sheep Eater, Sioux, Shoshone and Ute tribes. Casper is the perfect location to explore Native American life in Wyoming.
Yellowstone National Park, Cody is located 50 miles from its east entrance. Yellowstone boasts the widest array of geothermal features in the world, with its geysers, hot springs, fu-
maroles and mud pots. While in Cody, revel in the Wild West at rodeos, gun fight
The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center provides
re-enactments, cowboy music sessions and a world-class museum.
interactive exhibits that bring Wyoming and U.S. history to life,
Outdoor adventure includes hiking, kayaking, fly-fishing, horseback
interpreting Native American culture and the trails of Western
riding and river rafting. Three scenic byways offer opportunities to view wildlife and spectacular landscapes. Board the Cody Trolley, which utilizes two live narrators, historical photos, pass-around relics and entertaining audio clips to share the story of "Buffalo Bill" Cody while historical sites, scenic vistas, geology, wildlife and Western attractions are spotlighted. Cody’s Red Canyon Wild Mustang Tour is considered the premier wild horse tour in America. Travel 22 miles outside Cody to McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Management Area. Stand in the open prairie and observe the grace of a wild mustang. During the two-hour excursion, also see pronghorn antelope, golden eagles, coyotes and black-tailed prairie dogs. Since 1927, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, formerly known as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, has been committed to keeping Western experiences alive. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, it encompasses the complete American West experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms, and the nature and science of Yellowstone. The Center of the West was the recipient of the 2012 National Tour Association’s Award for “favorite museum for groups.” The Cody Cattle Company offers an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet followed by entertainment from June to September. The show ends in time to attend the Cody Nite Rodeo, which takes place every night from June through August. Your group is invited to relive that Old West spirit and enjoy the unsurpassed Western hospitality of Cheyenne, Casper, and Cody. LGT
52 April 2014
S A S N A K Top
s n o i t c a r t t A e d i s Road
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Our list of a dozen worthwhile stops— historical, artistic or just plain quirky —takes groups off the beaten path By Lauren Reiniger
It’s worth getting off the bus for pictures of: Van Gogh’s sunflowers, the largest ball of twine, Garden of Eden sculptures and Buffalo Bill Cody.
harles Kuralt, the American journalist known for his long career with CBS and especially his “On the Road” segments, once said, “Interstate highways allow you to drive
coast to coast, without seeing anything.” Stray from the super highways, though, and you’ll find great slices of Americana worth getting out for a picture. With this in mind, here are some favorite roadside attractions that will spice up your next group trip through Kansas.
4-State Lookout, White Cloud Visitors can see Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska from a viewing platform overlooking the Missouri River. Named one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas, the lookout is located in the small historic town of White Cloud, 84 miles northwest of Kansas City, Mo. (dpcountyks.com)
Kansas Travel & Tourism
April 2014 53
Big Brutus, Inc., West Mineral
The Garden of Eden, Lucas
Big Brutus, at 16 stories tall and 11 mil-
Civil War veteran Samuel Perry Dinsmoor created sculptures
lion pounds, is the second largest electric
around a stone log cabin between 1907 and 1932, using concrete
shovel in the world. The dipper could hold
and native post rock. The three-story concrete structures show the
three railroad cars. It cost $6.5 million in
story of the Garden of Eden. Also located at this site is Dinsmoor and
1962 and is now at rest as a Regional His-
his wife’s mausoleum, where visitors can view his concrete coffin
toric Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
sealed behind a glass wall. Guided tours are available.
(garden-of-eden-lucas-kansas.com) Big Brutus, Inc.
Buffalo Bill Bronze Sculpture, Oakley Buffalo Bill Cody earned the legendary title “Buffalo Bill” in this
Ghost Riders of the Chisholm Trail Silhouettes, Caldwell
part of the country. The bronze sculpture is 16 feet tall and weighs
These silhouettes are life-size iron cutouts that help tell the story
9,000 pounds. Visitors can walk up the hill to touch, take pictures of
of the original Chisholm Trail. The “ghosts” serve as a reminder of
or simply gawk at one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas.
the great cattle drives from 1866 to 1886, when millions of Texas
longhorn cattle passed here on their way to legendary railheads such as Caldwell. The trail was established by Native American
Circle's Pecans & Country Store, McCune If you’re craving a snack, stop by Circle’s Pecans & Country
tribes and made famous by Jesse Chisholm in the settlement of the Old West. (caldwellkansas.com)
Store. This family-owned and -operated store sells pecans fresh from the family’s 3,000-tree orchard. They also offer pecan candies, fudge,
World's Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City
jams, jellies, sugar-free specialties and gluten-free products. Pecans
This ball of twine is the world’s largest built by a community. It
are processed at the family’s shelling plant, the largest shelling
weighs 17,320 pounds, has a 40-foot circumference and includes
operation in Kansas. (circlespecans.com)
over 7,938,709 pieces of sisal twine. Each year, Cawker City Com-
C on n eoc t with Ou Our r St Stories ries
Oak Oakley, ley, K Kansas ansas • 785 785•671•1000 •671•1000 Tourism@D isc o verOak le y.c om Tourism@DiscoverOakley.com 54 April 2014
munity Club hosts a twine-a-thon in conjunction with the annual
Davis Memorial, Hiawatha
Cawker City Picnic and Parade; the ball never stops growing. Frank
The Davis Memorial, located in Mount Hope Cemetery, is a
Stoeber started the twine ball in 1953 on his farm, and it weighed
nationally recognized site that was featured on Ripley’s Believe It or
5,000 pounds by 1957. (kansastravel.org/balloftwine)
Not. Made in Italy during the 1930s, it features 11 life-size marble statues of John and Sarah Davis and a marble canopy that weighs
Yellow Brick Road, Sedan
over 50 tons. (kansastravel.org/davismemorial)
Walk along the world’s longest yellow brick road with 11,000 yellow bricks. The road features bricks with celebrity names, a
Bronze Pony Express Horse & Rider, Marysville
special veterans section, 28 foreign countries and all of the states
The Pony Express bronze statue commemorates the young
in America. People can buy bricks to have their names engraved
riders and their ponies that carried mail from St. Joseph, Mo. to
on them. The VIP section is in front of the Emmett Kelly Museum,
Sacramento, Calif. and back. Although the Pony
which honors the famous clown, a native of Sedan. There is an
Express lasted only 18 months from 1860-1861,
annual parade on the Yellow Brick Road at the end of May.
a re-ride route takes place every year in June.
Giant Van Gogh Painting, Goodland
Eight Mile Corner Windmill, Elkhart
With Kansas being the Sunflower State and Goodland at the
Visitors to this site, located eight miles west
center of the local sunflower industry, this is the spot for an over-
of Elkhart on State Line Road, can view or stand
sized replica of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. This particular painting,
in three states—Kansas, Colorado and Okla-
known as the American Easel, is a part of The Big Easel’s Van Gogh
homa—at one time. The monument, built in 1903, is a windmill with
Project, which involves giant—approximately 23 by 33 feet—replicas
the three states’ names on the blades. In fact, the windmill does not
of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. Other paintings are located in
mark the connecting point between the three states, so a brass plate
Canada and Australia. (thebigeasel.com)
is placed on the ground to mark this spot. (ci.elkhart.ks.us)
Eight Mile Corner Windmill
April 2014 55
White Walls of
Niagara Falls lures groups to the wet ’n’ wild side of western New York State By Randy Mink
ince it was discovered in 1678 by
staple for the U.S. market as well and never
French explorer and missionary
fails to awe. Groups in northwestern New
Father Louis Hennepin, Niagara
York will find plenty to do in and around the
Falls has been regarded as one
cities of Niagara Falls and Buffalo, situated
of the great natural wonders on earth. As
about 20 miles apart on the Niagara River,
Father Hennepin wrote, “Betwixt the Lake
across from Ontario, Canada.
Ontario and Erie, there is a vast and
At Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest
prodigious Cadence of Water….The Uni-
state park in the country, visitors can view
verse does not afford its Parallel…The
the 1,000-foot drop of the American Falls at
Waters which fall from this horrible Precipice do foam and boyl after the most
Prospect Point, where a visitor center has Frontier history comes alive at Old Fort Niagara, at the mouth of the Niagara River in Youngstown.
Photos courtesy Niagara USA
hideous manner imaginable, making an outrageous Noise, more terrible than that of Thunder.” The thundering phenomenon, in which more than 750,000 gallons of water flow over the falls each second, attracts millions of
exhibits and a movie, Niagara: Legends of Adventure. (Niagara Falls is actually three
falls—American and Bridal Veil Falls on the New York side, Horseshoe Falls on the Ontario side. Carved out along their path is a seven-mile canyon known as Niagara Gorge.)
visitors a year. Considered a must-see by many international
Beyond the visitor center at Prospect Point is the Observation
tourists traveling around America, Niagara Falls is a group-tour
Tower and its glass-enclosed elevators that travel down to the foot Maid of the Mist boat rides, a must-do experience, take poncho-clad tourists within spraying distance of North America’s most powerful falls.
56 April 2014
Expect to get totally drenched on a Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour—and bring a full change of clothes.
of the falls, where Maid of the Mist boats dock. A classic Niagara
Seneca Niagara Casino dominates downtown Niagara Falls,
Falls activity dating back to 1846, these wooden vessels take rid-
offering about 2,600 slot machines and 90 table games. Main
ers, clad in slickers, right to the bases of the falls. From the rock-
Street abounds with souvenir shops. Other attractions include
ing boats, you’ll feel the spray and witness the roaring water on its
Aquarium of Niagara (sea lions, harbor seals, penguins, sharks,
way from four of the Great Lakes—Superior, Michigan, Huron and
Great Lakes fish) and Niagara’s Wax Museum of History. The
Erie—to the fifth, Ontario. Even more adventurous is a whitewa-
Niagara region also offers agritourism opportunities, with many
ter experience with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, with boarding at
beautiful farms and vineyards along the Niagara Wine Trail.
three locations, including Lewiston, N.Y. The 1500-horsepower jet
In Youngstown, north of Niagara Falls, Old Fort Niagara
boats tackle the rapids in the lower Niagara Gorge, reaching
(adjacent to Fort Niagara State Park) captivates groups with
speeds of 65 mph and leaving you absolutely drenched.
commanding views of Lake Ontario and costumed soldiers who
The Cave of the Winds Trip, also calling for rain ponchos, is a
interpret the history of the stone fortress built by the French in
guided tour following a wooden walkway to the base of Bridal Veil
1726 at the mouth of the Niagara River and later occupied by
Falls; expect to be doused while standing on a deck just 20 feet
British and American forces. Military re-enactments and fife and
from the cascades. The trip starts with an elevator ride into the
drum drills highlight the summer schedule.
gorge on quiet, wooded Goat Island, located in the middle of the
Herschell Carousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda,
Niagara River, upstream from Prospect Point in Niagara Falls State
midway between Niagara Falls and Buffalo, occupies a former
Park. For a look at the falls’ geological history, check out the ex-
plant that produced more than 50 carousels a year during the
hibits and multimedia show at Niagara Gorge Discovery Center,
1920s and 30s. Admire the menagerie of magical merry-go-round
also in the park.
creatures (hand-carved entirely of wood until 1928) and take a
April 2014 57
on location: northeast ❖ whirl aboard a 1916 carousel. Also on display are new carved animals. Buffalo (pop. 261,000) is New York’s second largest city and perhaps best known as a sportcrazy town. Residents are passionate about football’s Buffalo Bills, the NFL team that plays at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The NHL Buffalo Sabres take the ice at downtown’s HSBC Arena, while the Buffalo Bisons, the Cleveland Indians’ Triple A team, play at Coca-Cola Field, also downtown. For a birds-eye view of Buffalo, Lake Erie and the Niagara River, take the elevator to the 25th wynton marsalis, managing and artistic director
floor of the Art Deco Buffalo City Hall and then walk three flights to the observation deck. At the southern end of downtown along Lake Erie is the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military
Park, where visitors can board a submarine, destroyer and guided-missile cruiser. Also downtown is the Theater District, which has a half dozen theaters and cabarets along
take your group on a swingin’ adventure. reserve your seats today. PHOTO BY MARYLENE MEY AND WHIT LANE
with shops, galleries and restaurants. Its center-
piece is Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Main Street, a former 1920s movie palace decorated in marble and gilt. Your group can see a Broadway play, dance production or perhaps an opera; theater tours are available. The streets of Allentown, a historic neighborhood northwest of the Theater District, are lined with Victorian homes, many of which are now boutiques, art galleries, eateries and antique shops. The 1838 Wilcox Mansion is the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, where the 26th U.S. president took the oath of office after President William McKinley was assassinated at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901. Artifacts include the handkerchief that assassin Leon Czolgosz used to cover his gun. The only remaining permanent building from the exposition is now the museum of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, one of several attractions in or near Delaware Park, north of downtown. Across the lake is the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, known for its outstanding collection of modern and contemporary art. Also in Delaware Park is the Buffalo Zoo. Tour planners who package the natural splendor of Niagara Falls and urban treasures of Buffalo can expect happy clients gushing with cascades of compliments. LGT
58 April 2014
WE ARE NEW YORK CITY DOUBLE DECKER BUS TOURS
NEW YORK CITY HARBOR CRUISES
Group sightseeing, attraction/ entertainment tickets, tour packages and more
60 and 90 minute cruises around Manhattan from midtown and downtown locations.
Group transportation, airport transfers and charter service
NewYorkSightseeing.com 212-812-2702 email@example.com
CitySightseeingNewYork.com 212-445-7513 firstname.lastname@example.org
GOBusesNY.com 212-445-7590 email@example.com
BOOK FOR YOUR GROUP TODAY!
Top Theatre Picks
By Lauren Reiniger
rom musicals to comedies to classic plays, theatres across America cater to groups’ wishes to include stage entertainment in their travels, whether it’s a matinee performance or a night on the town. Here are some choices for dinner theatres, outdoor spectacles and everything in between.
American Shakespeare Center
ner, the show begins as the stage descends from the ceiling; the hy-
draulic stage has been in operation since the theatre opened. The Barn
American Shakespeare Center mimics how a Shakespeare play would take place in the Renaissance era, complete with au-
Dinner Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and will present the musicals Groovin’, Showtime in Harlem and Soul Sistas. (800-668-1764, barndinner.com)
dience engagement, authentic costumes and large wooden platforms for sets. This
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
season presents The Merry Wives of
Indianapolis, Indiana Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is a
Windsor, Othello and Henry IV. The playhouse offers snacks and drinks for purchase before the performance
year-round, professional dinner theatre
and during intermission. The playhouse is handicap-accessible and
that provides a complete experience: a
offers hearing assistive devices and large print copies of scripts.
freshly-prepared dinner buffet, full bar
(540-885-5588, ext. 24, americanshakespearecenter.com)
service at your table, gourmet desserts
The Barn Dinner Theatre Greensboro, North Carolina Since 1964, The Barn Dinner Theatre has been producing Broadway-style per-
and the professional production that follows. Most shows are Broadway musicals, with the occasional comedy or play. Productions showing this season include Disney musical Mary Poppins, Anything Goes, A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement, Oklahoma and Fiddler on the
formances, or “dinnertainment,” making it
Roof. Groups are offered discount tickets and are acknowledged
the oldest continually operating dinner the-
from the stage before shows. (317-876-0503, beefandboards.com)
atre in the United States. Dinner features a buffet, salad bar and dessert bar. After din60 April 2014
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, set in Oregon in the 1850s, plays through May 11 at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, Pa.
Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre Nashville, Tennessee Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre has produced comedies, musicals and mysteries since 1967, making it the second oldest professional dinner theatre in the nation. It has been voted Music City’s Best Dinner Theatre, received five stars in customer serv-
ice and has been rated one of Nashville’s Top 25 Tourist Attractions. This season’s productions include A Bad Year for Tomatoes, Grease, A Fox on the Fairway, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Gone But Not Forgotten and A Christmas Carol. (615-646-9977, ext.11, dinnertheatre.com)
Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse Rock Island, Illinois Circa ’21, housed in a restored 1921 vaudeville-movie theatre,
is the only professional dinner theatre in the Quad Cities. Dinner features a five-entrée buffet and a choice between soup or salad served at your table. This season will present Fiddler on the Roof, Love, Lies and the Lottery, Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother and youth musicals. Groups are offered personalized service, complimentary tickets for escorts and drivers, and fresh home-baked cookies for motorcoach groups to take
on their way home. (309-786-2667, circa21.com)
Cornwell’s Turkeyville Marshall, Michigan Cornwell’s Turkeyville features a hotel, various events, a gift shop and, of course, the dinner theatre with a 250-seat restaurant and 175-seat theatre. This season will show Boogie Woogie Swing Time, Suds, Ring of Fire—The Johnny Cash Story and Cornwell’s
Christmas Carol. Group benefits include special pricing, personal greetings and a complimentary dinner and show for every 20 tickets bought. (269-781-4293, turkeyville.com)
Dallas Summer Musicals Dallas, Texas Celebrating its 75th anniversary this summer, Dallas Summer
Musicals is the largest producer of live theatrical entertainment in the Southwest and the second oldest summer theatre organization in the nation. Productions are shown year-round and always feature Broadway musicals. This season features Evita, Mamma Mia! and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Private, post-show Q&A with cast members is available to groups. Suites in the Music Hall can be used for group gatherings and pre-show parties. (214-426-4768, dallassummermusicals.org)
Das Dutch Village Columbiana, Ohio
Das Dutch Village is an all-inclusive destination, including the Das Dutch Village Inn, Das Dutch Haus Restaurant & Bakery and Das Dutch Village Shops, which are all located within walking distance of each other in the quaint village. All productions are original modern retellings of Bible stories. This season will show St. John’s Revival with the Walking Roots Band, The Jesus Stories and Just Give ’Em the News. Groups are offered overnight dinner theatre packages that include a night in the groupfriendly hotel, a buffet dinner and show tickets. (330-482-5050, dasdutchvillage.com) 62 April 2014
Derby Dinner Playhouse Clarksville, Indiana Derby Dinner Playhouse will celebrate its 40th anniver-
sary this year with Mary Poppins, A Mighty Fortress is our Basement, A Wonderful Life and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The theatre provides an intimate environment and is close to attractions in Louisville, Ky. A group packaging service includes pre-planned and customized itineraries with step-on guide service. Dinner features Derby Fried Chicken and a full salad
bar. (812-288-2632, derbydinner.com)
The Fireside Dinner Theatre Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin The Fireside is Wisconsin’s only Equity Dinner Theatre and recognized as Wisconsin’s No. 1 year-round motorcoach attraction. This season, the theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will present Mary Poppins, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Les Miserables, Fiddler on the
Roof, Driving Miss Daisy and the new anniversary edition of A Fireside Christmas. Except for Thursday buffets, Sunday brunches and Saturday five-course dinners, shows include a full three-course dinner served at the table. (800-477-9505, firesidetheatre.com)
The Great Passion Play Eureka Springs, Arkansas The Great Passion Play is
“America's #1 Attended Outdoor Drama” according to the Institute of Outdoor Theatre of East Carolina University in Greenville, S.C. The play is located on the hillside and features over 170 cast members and dozens of animals. The site also includes the Christ of the Ozarks, Holy Land Tour, Bible Museum and Sacred Arts Museum. Backstage tours and buffet dinners are available. (800-882-7529, greatpassionplay.org).
Maine State Music Theatre Brunswick, Maine Maine State Music Theatre is a professional summer theatre that
produces four Broadway-quality musicals, three special events and two children’s shows at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin Campus in Brunswick. This season will feature Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Chamberlain – A Civil War Romance, Seven Bridges from Seven Brothers and Footloose. Each group gets a personal concierge who provides assistance throughout the experience. Other group benefits include discounts, preferred seating and post-show discussions. (207-725-8760, msmt.org) LeisureGroupTravel.com
April 2014 63
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore/
three theatres across the country. Broadway Palm will show MidLife The Crisis Musical, The Music Man and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Palms will show Burt and
Washington, D.C.; Buena Park, Cali-
Me. Dutch Apple productions will include Shrek The Musical, Hair-
fornia; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas;
spray and A Wonderful Life. Each theatre is close to a tourism
Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Myrtle Beach,
area, so groups have exciting itineraries for the entire region.
South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Toronto, Ontario
Groups enjoy dinner buffets or even an upscale linen service in
Set within the walls of an 11th century-style castle, Medieval Times
the Florida theatre. (Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 800-933-3759;
is North America’s longest running and most popular dinner attraction,
The Palms Theatre, 480-924-6260; Broadway Palm Dinner
now celebrating 30 years and more than 50 million guests. This sea-
Theatre, 800-475-7256; pratherentertainmentgroup.com)
son features a new educational matinee where students see a curriculum-based production. For all groups, shows feature a story line
Rainbow Dinner Theatre
filled with medieval-style horsemanship, swordplay and other skills in
a jousting tournament. Guests eat medieval-style meals with their
Rainbow, celebrating its 30th season,
hands and various group packages are available. (866-543-9637,
is the only all-comedy dinner theatre in
the U.S. Owned and operated by a hus-
Palace Theatre Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
band and wife, the theatre offers personalization and a sense of family. The summer show is Always A Bridesmaid,
Palace Theatre hosts a touring pro-
followed by Drinking Habits, a new farce about nuns who secretly
duction company as well as events such
make and sell wine to save their convent. All food is cooked fresh
as competitions, festivals, concerts,
and on-site. (800-292-4301, rainbowdinnertheatre.com)
Easter Masses and religious conferences. This season’s productions include the musical Hot Jersey Nights and Illusions of Magic, which will
Wagon Wheel Theatre
feature Ben Blaque and his crossbow from America’s Got Talent 2012,
the first indoor human cannonball and five 200-pound Bengal tigers.
Wagon Wheel Theatre, dating from
Groups are offered meet-and-greets, personal greetings, discounts
1961, is one of Indiana’s oldest theatres,
and dinner options. (843-626-8927, palacetheatremyrtlebeach.com)
featuring concerts, shows and Wagon
Prather Entertainment Group Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Dutch Apple
Wheel Jr. for kids’ productions. This season’s production line-up includes Disney’s Mary Poppins, Catch Me If You
Dinner Theatre) Mesa, Arizona (The
Can, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, And Then There Were None,
Palms Theatre) Fort Myers, Florida
The Marvelous Wonderettes and Rent. Groups are able to book
(Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre)
lunch or dinner buffet reservations in a private banquet room.
Prather Entertainment Group has
A R I Z O N A
A R I Z O N A
THEATERS ARE LISTED ALPHABETICALLY BY STATE
N O R T H
C A R O L I N A
P E N N S Y L VA N I A
W I S C O N S I N
T E N N E S S E E I L L I N O I S
I N D I A N A
THEATERS ARE LISTED ALPHABETICALLY BY STATE
By Dave Bodle
O N M AR K ET I NG
Taking stock of your email practices may improve your business.
Follow These Tips on Effective E-mail Strategies
ately, there has been an
Get to the point by including
abundance of online and print
your call to action very early in your
space dedicated to just how
e-mails. Do not be afraid to tell
important e-mail marketing has
them what you want in the opening
become. I doubt my readers question
sentence, or even on the subject line.
that importance. In fact, many are already
Being entirely too wordy is my
heavily involved. If you’re still on the
fence, Google “E-mail Marketing” and
Speaking of subject lines, always
third attempt, find someone else in the
select one of the top entries from the
keep it short. The previous sentence has
1,240,000,000 choices you’ll get in .42
47 characters including spaces. Recently,
an article recommended keeping the
e-mails. I use them and I read them
company to approach.
I really like sound bullet points in
subject line fewer than 50 characters.
when I’m on the receiving end. Suppliers,
more information available about the
That’s way too many. According to a 2012
when you’re prospecting or following up,
importance and procedures of e-mail
Adestra Report, subject lines with 10 or
bullet points provide a great opportunity
marketing than fits in this column. What I
fewer characters enjoyed an open rate of
to summarize “why an operator should
want to share here are some thoughts
do business with you.”
You get the picture. There’s far
and suggestions for your personal
I still receive e-mails that close by
Personal business e-mails are just
suggesting I call at my convenience. I’m
that, personal. One size does not fit all
to call and hear a pitch or sales presen-
and neither does your message. So, why
horror stories to share. There’s that
tation? Really? Back in the day before
do we sign off with the same signature?
message to a fellow employee followed
e-mail a direct marketing mentor of mine
Consider having a few different ones. A
by a conversation a day later that is met
used to close business correspondence
signature may only show your LinkedIn
with the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights
by saying, “I’ll call Thursday (presuming
or Facebook graphics and links. Another
look. How about that e-mail to a prospect
you’ll be in) at 3:30.” I’ve modified it
signature might include a YouTube link.
asking for an appointment and a month
slightly, but still close e-mails with “I’ll
Think of the customers and segments
later is returned, “It’s been really crazy
reach out to you Thursday, April 23 at
they represent and develop the appropri-
busy.” You know the ones I mean.
3:30. I hope you’re able to take my call.”
business e-mails. You certainly have your own e-mail
So, what can we do about being
I put the responsibility on me to connect.
In summary, send business e-mails
more effective with our personal business
I’m not asking the recipient to do
during the business day, keep it short
e-mails? Here are just a few thoughts on
and to the point, use bullet points, keep it
what I believe really makes a difference
In the previous example, if you get
personal and take the onus off connecting.
voicemail on the follow-up telephone call,
Of course, if you’re crazy busy--and we
acknowledge this must not have been a
all are--please don’t wait a month to
time of day to send an e-mail and you
good time. Proceed with setting another
might get three different answers. In my
time that you’ll call. On the morning of
world I’ll give you a window between 10
the call, send an e-mail reminding the
and 4 of the business day. Entirely too
recipient of your scheduled call. After the
in getting the response you want:
Ask three marketers when’s the best
Contact Dave at 843-997-2880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
many promotional and social e-mails
Looking Ahead To Our
are waiting for me the first thing in the
morning. Unless it’s someone I recognize there’s a good chance it
North Dakota Iowa Washington, DC West Virginia Montana Utah Alaska Florida North Carolina Sightseeing Cruises Rail Travel Canada South Pacific
will get minimal attention. Usually
that means it keeps sliding down the
See our page-flip edition & past issues at LeisureGroupTravel.com We can help showcase your business to groups. Call us 630.794.0696 or email@example.com
inbox as my day begins to unfold. 66 April 2014
Knowledge is Power Starting to plan a student trip? Confused about the timetable for your reunion? Looking to plan a retreat for your church…or seeking to become a group leader? Our niche travel market experts cover these topics, and more!
Keep Your Competitive Advantage, Break Into New Markets Download dozens of How-to Guides, Whitepapers, E-Seminars and Tour Guides FREE of Charge!
www.GroupUniversity.com A Premier Travel Media Company
Connect directly with suppliers via email, web or phone or request brochures in one easy step.
Renew your subscription by May 15
Complete the form on the reverse side
Select from our list of advertisers for more information
Complete and return your Print Instant InfoSM Card via mail or fax, or go online to LeisureGroupTravel.com and click on the Instant InfoSM tab.
❐ Search by state/country ❐ Search by keyword ❐ Search by category Return via mail or fax to 630-794-0652 Return your Reader Service Card by May 15
Return via mail or fax to 630-794-0652 FOLD HERE
AFFIX POSTAGE HERE
Reader Info Center 621 Plainfield Road, Suite 406 Willowbrook, IL 60527
INSTANT INFO CENTER APRIL 2014
Would you like to continue to receive Leisure Group Travel?
❏ Yes! ❏ No ❏ Yes, please include a complimentary subscription to InSite, Leisure Group Travel’s E-Newsletter (please include e-mail address below) Name ___________________________________________ Title ______________________ Company __________________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________________ City ____________________________________ State _________ Zip _________________ Phone ____________________ Email ____________________________________________ REQUIRED Signature ___________________________________________ Date ___________________ REQUIRED City of Birth _________________________________________________________________
Where is your group planning to travel in 2014? _______________________
Please have suppliers contact me via:
❐ Mail ❐ Email ❐ Phone Send more information on companies in the following categories:
❐ Attractions ❐ Casinos ❐ Cruise Lines ❐ Destinations ❐ Hotels ❐ Restaurants ❐ Theaters ❐ Tour Operators ❐ Travel Insurance Send information on the following regions:
❐ Northeast ❐ Midwest Comments or suggestions for our editors ______________________________________________ ❐ South ❐_ West ❐ Canada __________________________________________________________________________ ❐ Europe ❐ Asia ❐ Latin America Request Advertiser Info ❑ American Shakespeare Center, Staunton, VA ❑ Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism ❑ Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, Hot Springs, AR ❑ Atlanta CVB ❑ Avalon Waterways ❑ Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis, IN ❑ Blair Hotels, WY ❑ Boot Hill Casino, Dodge City, KS ❑ Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers, FL ❑ Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre, Nashville, TN ❑ Chicago's North Shore, IL ❑ Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, Rock Island, IL ❑ City of Lewisville, TX ❑ City Sightseeing, New York, NY ❑ Cody Country Visitors Council, WY ❑ Collette ❑ Colorado Springs CVB, CO ❑ Cornwell's Turkeyville, Marshall, MI ❑ Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN ❑ Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ❑ Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas, TX ❑ Das Dutch Village, Columbiana, OH ❑ Derby Dinner Playhouse, Clarksville, IN ❑ Discover St. Louis Park, MN ❑ Dodge City CVB, KS ❑ Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Lancaster, PA
❑ Experience Columbus, OH ❑ Experience Jackson, MI ❑ Fargo-Moorhead CVB, ND ❑ Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion Commission, AR ❑ Fayetteville Area CVB, NC ❑ Go Buses, New York, NY ❑ Gray Line, New York, NY ❑ Greater Birmingham CVB, AL ❑ Group Minder, State College, PA ❑ Hampton Inn Myrtle Beach, SC ❑ Holland Area CVB, MI ❑ Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa, Ellenville, NY ❑ Jacksonville & The Beaches CVB, FL ❑ Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY ❑ Laughlin CVB, NV ❑ Liberal CVB, KS ❑ McHenry County, IL ❑ Maine State Music Theatre, Brunswick, ME ❑ Mall of America, Bloomington, MN ❑ Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, Myrtle Beach, SC ❑ Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS ❑ Navy Pier, Chicago, IL ❑ New Orleans Hotel Collection, LA ❑ Niagara USA, Niagara Falls, NY ❑ North Myrtle Beach Chamber CVB, SC ❑ Oakley, KS
RESPOND BY M AY 1 5
❑ Owatonna Tourism Bureau, MN ❑ Palace Theatre, Myrtle Beach, SC ❑ Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Palm Springs, CA ❑ Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, TN ❑ Rainbow Dinner Theatre, Lancaster, PA ❑ Rapid City CVB, SD ❑ Rolling Hills Zoo, Salina, KS ❑ Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, Simi Valley, CA ❑ Salina, KS ❑ SPAM Museum, Austin, MN ❑ Staunton CVB, VA ❑ St. Cloud CVB, MN ❑ Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center, Staunton, VA ❑ The Barn Dinner Theatre, Greensboro, NC ❑ The Fireside Dinner Theatre, Fort Atkinson, WI ❑ The Great Passion Play, Eureka Springs, AR ❑ The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA ❑ The Outlets at Tejon Ranch, CA ❑ The Palms Theatre, Mesa, AZ ❑ The Wagon Wheel Theatre, Warsaw, IN ❑ Tour Kansas ❑ Turkey Hill Experience, Columbia, PA ❑ U.S. Tours ❑ Visit Cheyenne, WY ❑ Washington County Tourism Promotion, PA ❑ Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau, WI
● Scan/e-mail this page to ReaderServices@PTMGroups.com ● Fax this page to 630.794.0652, or send via U.S. mail ● Visit our Instant Info Center at LeisureGroupTravel.com
Published on Apr 10, 2014
Entertainment and group travel go hand-in-hand, making destinations related to stage and screen a logical theme in the April issue of Leisur...