Since ignition and liftoff two and a half years ago, word from Motorcoach Council mission control is the first stage is compete with the grassroots effort Todd Holland has diligently spearheaded. With the message firmly positioned, the second stage has fired and the next sequence of events is in motion.
Twelve years ago, sign-painter-turned- illusionist, Stan Mitts, reconfigured his first transit bus into a trolley for Jackson Transit, Jackson, MI. Painting on blank white siding using traditional brush and airbrush techniques, Mitts created the appearance of wood paneling and traditional trolley detailing with pin striping, scrolls and custom lettering. The Bluebird bus underneath did not change in any way but lent the appearance of a trolley car with all the trimmings.
The Utah Parks Company, a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad, operated restaurants, lodging, and bus tours in Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon and Cedar Breaks parks from 1923 to 1973. Operating as a concessionaire of the National Park Service, the company operated from its base in Cedar City, UT. The company bus tours connected with Union Pacific trains there and offered a loop tour of the parks and monuments in this region.
Asked how he fared through the worst of the recession, Ray Land says his customers have been struggling. Asked what he has done to keep his company solvent through tough times of late, he says he diversified to offer an alternative that would neither devalue his top-tier brand nor demean a certain cross section of his clientele.
Motorcoach financers remind operators to take time to reflect the hard times they have just been through and understand the game has changed. They say money is available, but the path ahead demands sound basic business with accountability like they have never seen. Credit processes are much more stringent than before.