Who do you want to primarily target for bus tours and excursions?
Our goal with Tim’s Tours is to provide reasonably priced bus transportation to various groups in the community who are unable to afford the higher priced alternatives. We have many senior groups at churches who would love to take short trips, but the high cost to rent a bus keeps them at home. We also think there are church youth groups who’d love to do more events as a group, but again, transportation becomes an issue. We hope to appeal to those groups as our primary target.
Why do you have “Discover Michiana and Beyond” as a slogan for Tim’s Tours?
As a lifelong resident to the Michiana area, I know there are many things in and around this community that most people don’t know about or don’t go to, and that’s a shame. This area is rich in history with many wonderful places to see and experience. Not only do our local residents miss these, but so do visitors who come here for special events. I specifically would enjoy being helpful to organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, the Visit South Bend/Mishawaka Bureau, and the St. Joseph County Historic Preservation group who do wonderful historic neighborhood tours with me! I also like to work with the city of South Bend to show visitors and prospective business owners the area and have also used my bus as a vehicle for the area realtors to use to market the area to groups looking for specific real estate. As this business grows, this is the part I still want to be involved in the most!
How do you determine charges for bus tours or excursions?
If someone approaches us to do a specific excursion, or simply provide transportation to and from an event for their group, we will base the charge on the event – considering the time involved and distance. We will always try to be reasonable.
Do you provide transportation for wedding parties?
Yes, and with a 28 passenger bus, and now with a second 23 passenger bus and even the Gray Monster, we can accommodate an entire wedding party to and from an event center, to and from special picture taking events, and the like. We can also handle guest transportation to and from the reception venue as well. And speaking of weddings, if you have a wedding event requiring a large number of family members to travel out of town, why not travel together? Enjoy the trip, leave the driving and figuring out where to go to us and have fun!
What about golf outings, local events, plays, festivals and concerts in the area?
If there is interest and I’m not booked, I’ll certainly be open for suggestions!
Are you correctly licensed?
Yes, all of us at Tim’s Tours hold at least a Class C CDL drivers license or higher and we all have excellent driving records.
Are you properly insured?
Oh yes, and trust me, it is quite costly.
Do you have a good driving record?
Absolutely. All four of our drivers have excellent records.
Is this a full time job for you?
For the past 3 years yes, this has been a full time job for me and with the expansion of the business it has become real “work”. So now I am moving back into a semi retirement position as Matt Sayer is taking over Tim’s Tours. I’ll still be driving selected events and for many of the repeat customers who have become good friends, but I’m stepping back a bit as Matt takes over. Matt came to me this past summer (2015) and we worked out a plan to incorporate his Gray Monster into the fold and it has worked out real well. He has a passion for the bus business, has really good background credentials and can drive anything! You’ll enjoy his personality too – great guy!
So you’re available for tours 24/7?
Yes we are. But we still have some limitations as the buses are not fully handicapped accessible, nor do they have a bathroom. But that’s OK, on longer trips most people like to stop for a health break after about 2 hours anyway – so it works out fine.
How much experience do you have doing this?
I am very pleased to say I have almost 6 years under my belt now – my seat belt – in the bus doing everything from local work with the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Notre Dame, wedding parties, church groups and even the Michiana Male Chorus, of which I am a proud member. I have also done longer trips to the Chicago area for shopping, the Indy 500 and numerous southwest Michigan wine country tours, which I now consider to be a real specialty for Tim’s Tours. The groups I have worked with appreciate my attention to the details of making their event a worry free, relaxing and comfortable day. As for Matt, he has been driving for longer than that in every type of bus you can imagine for school corporations, colleges and even one of the biggest bus service companies in the area.
So how did you get this idea?
Some years ago we stayed at a resort down in French Lick, Indiana and there was a guy who worked with the resort to provide daily excursions in that area. We took them, had a great time and made new friends, and ever since I have thought I could do something like that in Michiana – we have all the right things around here with Notre Dame, Amish Country, SW Michigan wine country and etc. This is a great community to show off! And it worked!