Village Tours & Charters, one of the largest coach and tour companies in the Midwest, is honored by its industry peers with the United Motorcoach Association’s Vision Award for large fleet operators, March 1, in St. Louis, at the organization’s annual convention, the Motorcoach Expo. The vision award is the association’s highest honor, and there are two winners each year,k one for a fleet of 15 or more motorcoaches and one for companies with fleets of 14 or fewer vehicles.
Village Charters transports nearly 1,000 people to Washington D.C. for the annual ‘March for Life’. This event was well attended by the youth of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, along with the Dioceses of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Salina and Dodge City. Village uses nineteen motorcoaches and 38 drivers for this trip.
Village is pleased to announce its new daily bus shuttle service that will connect Wichita, KS, to Amtrak stations across the country and vice versa. Oklahoma City connects to the EAST / WEST Train in Newton. Newton connects to the SOUTHBOUND Train in Oklahoma City. Board the bus in Wichita to connect to the EAST / WEST Train or the SOUTHBOUND Train to hundreds of destinations. Call 1-800-872-7245 for information & tickets. Wichita has been without Amtrak service since 1979.
On January 4, Village Charters announces the acquisition of Letsgo Charters based in Ft. Smith and Springdale, AR. Letsgo began operations in 2001 and expanded to a fleet of 15 coaches. Growth into Northwest Arkansas is a natural fit for Village, since it is already doing a fair amount of business in the area. Village is excited about now serving this area with coaches from Tulsa, Springdale and Ft. Smith. With this addition, Village now operates 87 motorcoaches and employs 230 people.
On August 24, Village is presented with a certificate for being nominated for the Freedom Award by members of the ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). Bernie Jennings (Salina Driver) has been active in the Army National Guard for over 25 years, and he nominated Village for the award. Village President Jeff Arensdorf said, “We’ve had a lot of National Guard employees over the years and have never considered their weekend commitments as a negative attribute. In fact, we are proud to have them work for us while also still serving our country.” Companies who were nominated this year were presented to the Department of Defense for consideration.
Village passes the Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX) audit. TSX is the company that approves passenger carriers for many collegiate athletic teams. A TSX representative completed the comprehensive review (similar to a DOT investigation), and Village received a very good report. This review includes an inspection of vehicles, driver files, maintenance files and overall company policies. The TSX program was formed about five years ago at the urging of several prominent NCAA schools in order to form a “gold standard” of motorcoach operators.
Village relocates to a new maintenance facility in Salina. The building, located near the intersection of Crawford and Broadway, had been the home of Zeller Brakes since 1955. More than $200,000 was spent updating and remodeling the facility to be able to handle parking and maintenance of the Village fleet based there. Previously, Village was using the building formerly operated by Salina Charter Coach. This move further solidifies Village’s commitment to Salina and northwest Kansas.
Village Charters uses twelve motorcoaches to help provide transportation for Wal-Mart’s Annual Shareholders Meeting recently held in Fayetteville, AR. Wal-Mart chartered 100 buses in total for transfers to and from the Tulsa Airport and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (in Fayetteville). Shuttling was also provided to and from housing at the University of Arkansas campus.
Four Village motorcoaches and several drivers are used to do the parking lot shuttle for the NCAA Women’s College World Series May 28th – June 3rd in Oklahoma City. This year, Village transports 8,000 people per day with the four buses running between the Hall of Fame Softball Complex and Remington Park. Village also hauls the Michigan, Alabama, UCLA and Oregon softball teams for this event.
Village Charters provides 30 motorcoaches for the 15th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 25th. The buses are used to transfer relay runners from downtown to the various relay points and back. The marathon is a tribute to the victims, family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. Village is proud to provide all buses that were needed for the marathon.