Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Telephone Rules for the OC Drivers need to know the "rules" that our telephone people use for taking reservations for the Outlet Shopping/Casino trip.
  1. We do take a Credit Card No. to reserve their spot.
  2. There is a 12 hour cancellation policy (like Mt. Rainier and Boeing Tour). If you are a no-show, your card will be charged.
  3. As our brochure states, we do have a 6 person minimum and if there are not 6 people on the tour WHEN WE ARE READY TO LEAVE TOWN we will not run the tour.
Let it Rain, .... During these first weeks of Jan. 2009 it is good to call at 7 AM and check to see the status of your tours. The first weeks after the holidays are traditionally a little slower. Safety First When you are out running tours pay particular attention to shady areas, bridges, etc for icy patches. Preservation Next Mark Weber has requested that at the conclusion of your tours during this frosty time, that you pull the wipers into the "up" position away from the window so that they don't 1. freeze to the window 2. Burn the motor out if they are frozen to the window and turned on Hunkerin Down Time For many of you this time of year will find you with extra time on your hands and looking to fill it with something. Why not do some research and find out new exciting and interesting things to help us stay hip and current as a company? Steve is passing the list around to find out what each of us thinks are vital and exciting topics and points of contemporary interest to our guests. Have you stayed current with what people are reading about us in the in-flight magazines or on the web, for instance? We look good anyway because we are all beautiful people, but we will look better if we get on the same page as our guests! You go guides!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Weekly - Dec. 9

New Spot Times We are moving back spot times for tours for several reasons. There are, of course, fewer guests and therefore fewer complicated pickups this time of the year. We ask that you abide by these times and not come in earlier, or if you do come in, do not clock in unless requested when there is a reason to do so.
  • BT AM - 8:15 AM
  • 10 AM CT - 8:30 AM
  • Outlet-Casino - 8:45 AM
  • 1 PM CT - 11:45 AM
There will be less time to prepare your coach but we will make more of an effort to check them out in the morning. And, of course, it remains very important that drivers leave the coach the day before in ready-to-go conditions. If you find a coach in terrible condition in the AM, please report it to the Dispatcher before you get it ready so it can be inspected. The OC: 3 hours The Outlet Shopping and Casino Tour has had lots of activity this past week due to the presence of a convention in town. This tour allows for 3 hours of shopping or casino or a combination (ostensibly from 11 AM to 2 PM). We have been flexible regarding length of stay but have begun charging groups an additional charge for extra hours. We are learning that CLEARLY STATED LIMITS are necessary so people are fully aware of the departure time. Drivers - particularly Daniel Enderle, Andree Hurley and Mark Weber - have been exceptionally flexible as we learn how best to deal with unique situations. The old joke should work well here. What's the difference between a tourist and a hitchhiker? Five minutes.

Monday, December 8, 2008


If you see a blank that you can fill, call IMMEDIATELY. We will try to keep this Calendar up to date, but the wall calendar in the office is the final word.
14-Dec 15-Dec 16-Dec 17-Dec 18-Dec 19-Dec 20-Dec
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
OC __ BD AH MD MD __ __
10 AM DE __ __ AH AH LF DE
__ BD AH __ __ AH __
1 PM AH DE DE TJ TJ __ __
Charter x SP x x x x x
x x x x x x x
21-Dec 22-Dec 23-Dec 24-Dec 25-Dec 26-Dec 27-Dec
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
OC TJ MD MD __ xx __ MD
10 AM DE __ __ DE xx AH TJ
__ __ __ __ xx __ __
1 PM __ AH AH AH xx MD AH
Charter x x x x xx x x
x x x x xx x x
28-Dec 29-Dec 30-Dec 31-Dec 1-Jan 2-Jan 3-Jan
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
BT AM LY MD TJ MD __ __ __
OC __ __ MD TJ __ __ __
10 AM AH TJ AH AH __ __ __
__ __ __ __ __ __ __
1 PM TJ TJ __ TJ __ __ __
Charter x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekly - Dec. 2

Caroling Opportunities! On Wednesday Dec. 10th we have an opportunity to go caroling with the Concierges. From 5-9:30pm we'll be singing at 3 different senior housing/shelters. It's a great cause and really gets you into the spirit of the season. Dan's entire family will be there. We have room for ten more people and you're welcome to bring a guest. The first ten to reply will go. New Fuel Cards We have new (blue) fuel cards for the coaches and drivers. See Duane or Liz/Steve, return your old (orange) fuel card to them, and initial the master sheet. Leavenworth Trips on Dec. Weekends? Let us know if you are ready, willing and able to run an all day charter to Leavenworth on Dec. weekends, either on Sat. or Sun. It would start at 10 AM and leave Leavenworth at 7 PM. We are just looking at this possibility, but need to know which drivers are willing to brave the elements. Signups 2009 The signup sheet is going out today and will cover the months of January through April. This will be done by spreadsheet, and once a person has signed up a copy will be printed out and kept on file to prevent any misunderstandings later. Be patient, but don't be afraid to ask in a week or two how things are progressing (not that I won't keep you informed right here).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekly - Nov. 25

Thanksgiving The Seattle Tours Management Team wishes all of you a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving. We still have a need for volunteers who want to serve the homeless at Cafe Amore on Thanksgiving at 11 AM. Even if you can only give a few hours, please let us know. Right now the list from Seattle Tours is:
  • Dan, Alice, Peter and Ben
  • Mark and Susie Weber
  • Steve Powell
  • Jean Marc Gauthier
I also posted the invite for my main group on Meetup.com (Whim Tours in Seattle) and 20 volunteers have RSVPed back their "Yes". There is a big article in Section 2 of the Post Intelligencer on Thanksgiving day about chef Sean Langan's history and motivations. We even got mentioned ... somewhat. We'll be using one of our coaches to also transport food to several parks throughout Seattle. Sounds like a fun core group! Join us if you can give an hour or five. Want Extra (Paid) Hours? If you are looking for extra hours, consider lending your energies to buffing the coaches. Mark Weber is heading up this effort and has big plans to work through our entire fleet this winter. This detailing of the outside and inside will make us that much more presentable, and can help us to stand out even more than we do already from the other tour companies. But he needs help! Contact Mark by phone or email (markw@seattlecitytours.com). Our fleet is going to be AMAZING come March 1st. Review of Driving Record Liz is heading up a review of our Audit process: coach records, driver's records, etc. This year we are doing a internal audit, not a real one by the State, to insure that our records are in order and our procedures effective. If you come into the office for a tour, you'll see a Violation and Review Record form to complete; if you are not scheduled to come in until next spring, you will be receiving a form in the mail. Please fill this out conscientiously and thoroughly and return it promptly. Remember that when you do get a moving violation on or off the job, you must inform us immediately. And of course, stay on top of your anniversary dates for your driver's license and medical card. Mail or bring us a copy when you renew these documents. Outlet Casino Shuttle As you can see on the schedule there are lots of openings for this Shuttle after Dec. 2nd. It will probably take awhile before we run these consistently every day, but sign up for one on a day you don't have another tour scheduled. Be sure to call in that morning to check on status. Call: 7:30 AM; Spot time: 8:30 AM.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekly - Nov. 18

Boeing Tour is back at it! Boeing settled their strike and we began running tours again this past Monday. We are leaving downtown Seattle at 9:30 AM for the 10:30 AM tour (spot time: 8 AM), though we have moved pickup times for a few hotels up to help the drivers get out of town on time. We are also working on an update of the Manual which will feature maps and increased Talking Points. That should be ready to go by Dec. 1st. Premier Outlet Shopping / Casino Tour/Shuttle We are moving ahead to have daily tours/shuttles up to the Tulalip Casino and Seattle Premier Outlet Shopping. We have ordered brochures and hope to begin marketing this week and will start the tour this coming Friday or Saturday. It is marked "OC" on the DRIVERS' CALENDAR.
  • The spot time for this tour is 8:30 AM. If there are early pickups in the South-end, our 10 PM guide will often be able to bring them into downtown.
  • We are shuttling people up to the Tulalip Casino and Seattle Premier Outlet Shopping outside of Marysville, WA. We leave Seattle at 10 AM, arrive there at 11 AM, and come back at 3 PM.
  • The cost is $36.00; we will take payment as soon as we arrive at the destination.
  • Whether this is a shuttle or a tour will depend on YOU. We, of course, will encourage cross merchandizing of our other tours, and therefore you should not simply talk about the same things that you talk about on the Boeing Tour. We will be working on a Talking Points Manual as soon as we have some experience and discover what people want.
Thanksgiving Volunteerism Would you be willing to help feed the hungry on Thanksgiving Day at Cafe Amore? We are starting a list. Sean, the owner, would like to have 20 people help from 11 AM to 4 PM serving and waiting on tables. Email stevep@seattlecitytours.com to sign up. Thanks.
IRA and Direct Deposit This is a continuing reminder to particpate in our SIMPLE-IRA Plan. Just use the forms that Dan sent out to everyone last month. And contact Steve if you'd like Direct Deposit of your pay check into your account stevep@seattlecitytours.com (and bring in a VOIDED check). Marketing and Meetup We have started a number of initiatives to increase our tour numbers over the winter. One way we are trying to reach the local populace (and their holiday visitors) is through participation in Meetup.com. Our groups there are Whim Tours in Seattle, Visitors, Family and Friends of Meetup in Seattle, and Point A to Point B. Check out the site, it's rather intriguing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Office Staff Winter Calendar

23-Nov 24-Nov 25-Nov 26-Nov 27-Nov 28-Nov 29-Nov
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Opening LF LF LF SP Hol SP SP
7 AM x MW MW x Hol MW MW
8 AM RL x x x Hol RL RL
10 AM x RL DD DD Hol x x
Mgr Mt x >< x x Hol x x
Noon x x x x Hol DD DD
5 PM RL x x JA Hol x RL
7 PM x Joy Joy x Hol Joy x
30-Nov 1-Dec 2-Dec 3-Dec 4-Dec 5-Dec 6-Dec
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
10 AM x RLDDDDx x x
Mgr Mt x >< x x >< x x
NoonDD x x x DDDDx
5 PM RL x x JA Joy RL RL
7 PM x Joy Joy x x x x

Monday, November 10, 2008


Introduction The Seattle Tours Weekly is intended to enhance communication among us all, to help us fulfill our mission of providing extraordinary tours with exceptional service. We will post a new (two week) CALENDAR by Monday morning every week. We will post a WEEKLY BRIEFING by Tuesday morning every week.
Feel free to comment on particular posts. They will be seen by everyone and you will be identified. Do not use comments to get immediate action. If you see an open tour date, pick up the phone and call immediately.
If you use Firefox as your browser, you can type a Ctrl-F and get a search box where you can type your initials, then click "Highlight all" and very clearly see the tours you have scheduled for the next two weeks.
I would suggest copying any content (including the Calendars) and pasting it into Word and then printing, so you can avoid using ink on the color of the background.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Free Bellevue Shuttle

We are taking a new step in an attempt to drum up Bellevue business for our tours. Starting Friday, May 15, our OC tour guide will be the designated Bellevue Shuttle driver from 8:30 to 9:15 AM. While they will also pickup our regular guests from Bellevue they will stop at ten (10) other hotels to determine if anyone would want a free shuttle ride into Seattle. Drop off will be in downtown - Sheraton, Convention Center or Grand Hyatt.

The tradeoff is this: we will not be returning people to Bellevue on any of our tours. EVERYONE needs to be well versed with the 550's schedule.

The OC-Bellevue Shuttle driver will be fully stocked with maps showing the transit center, and the 550's schedule. A very important part of their job is to MARKET, MARKET and MARKET our tours to those who take advantage of this shuttle. Any gratuities belong to this driver.

Westin 8:30 Red Lion 8:55
Hyatt 8:35 Hilton 9:00
Silver Cloud 8:40 Bellevue Club 9:05
Courtyard 8:45 Extended Stay 9:10
Sheraton 8:50 Coast BELL 9:15

This will presumably be the responsibility for the OC morning driver, thus making this a mandatory shift, with a SPOT time of 7:45 AM. But everyone should be prepared to help out with this if the need arises.