Motorcoach Appreciation Week welcomed operators by the hundreds
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Las Vegas, NV, put the word out:
“Cheer up and come to Laughlin,” the invite read. Hundreds of motorcoach operators and industry leaders showed up.
Held December 9-13 in conjunction with VisitLaughlin.com, the inaugural Laughlin Motorcoach Appreciation Week honored its special guests for the important role they have played in making this Colorado River resort community a premier tourist destination.
LVCVA says it established this special event to give recognition and say thanks to the entire motorcoach industry for its impact on Laughlin tourism, as well as continued support and commitment. Motor Coach Industries, Des Plaines, IL; Western Refining, El Paso, TX; and CH Bus Sales/Temsa, Faribault, MN, stepped up as sponsors of the week of activities.
The venue encompassed Laughlin’s major hotel resort casinos and lounges set along the Colorado River.
“We want to say thanks for the ride to all of the hardworking motorcoach operators who sometimes feel underappreciated for the great service,” says Laughlin Town Manager Jackie Brady. “This industry, as a whole, routinely brings heaps of new business to the communities they visit.”
The week began with a presentation at the Inferno Lounge at Edgewater Hotel, where Clark County officially proclaimed and designated Dec. 9-13 as “Laughlin Motorcoach Appreciation Week.”
Brady presented the proclamation to Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association; Tom Giddens, president of the California Bus Association; Bronwyn Wilson, president of International Motorcoach Group; Lisa Simon, former president of the National Tour Association; Elaine Fickett, secretary, California Bus Association; and Victor Parra, president and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association.
Following the proclamation, supporters lined Casino Drive for a special cruise that included 14 coaches, while onlookers displayed signs of support and greeted the buses and the drivers as they made their way down the parade route.
Other special events during Motorcoach Appreciation Week included a scavenger hunt through the Laughlin Outlet Mall, a Bus Roadeo, live entertainment, a networking section, and outdoor and fitness activities.
The Motorcoach Appreciation Awards banquet on Thursday evening honored employees of motorcoach companies in nearly a dozen categories, chosen through industry nominations that recognize achievements of successful motorcoach tour and travel operations. Several of the awards carry the name of an industry leader in that particular category. LVCVA says this is a first of its kind for destination-wide recognition.