Thursday, February 26, 2009

March: Name Change-Over Month

Have you heard the rumors? Yes, we are changing our name, effective April 1, 2009. We will be known as Tours Northwest. We are doing so for several reasons. We wanted a distinct name on the internet; "Seattle Tours" was being used by too many other people and search results were therefore muddled. We want to project the fact that our tours go outside of Seattle as well as around the city. We want to take two steps forward on our colors, logo, and web presence.

There is alot to do in changing our name. We hope to have everything in place by April 1st, when we get much busier. The best way of staying on top of this is to check in regularly with this blog which I try to update daily. We will have a much larger "footprint(s)" online which we'll be explaining; a new tour called Famous Seattle; new business cards; enhanced video capability for several of our coaches; some excellent "partnerships" out there with other businesses; and a heightened sense of responsibility for living up to our Mission Statement.

Again, the best way for you to learn as we change is to check in here. Daily! I'll be following up in email and phone to nudge you towards this end. In the early part of March, I will change the name here to reflect our new name. Another online presence will be under ToursNorthwest. Imagine calling in the first sighting of a salmon at the locks, road openings at Mt. Rainier, offer instant "Thanks" to people out there that make our lives easier, and other IMMEDIATE news ... and for hotel front desk people or other "fans" to be able to follow (the key word in twitter) us for the latest and greatest.

Spring! Excitement!! It's in the air!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Eats at Pioneer Square

The Elliott Bay Cafe has been renovated and redesigned by Tamara Murphy of Brasa (she is one of three Iron Chefs America in Seattle). I would like all drivers to 1. check it out themselves and 2. see how it works when you recommend it to your guests during our stop. My thought is that we may well extend the stop from 15 min. to 20 min. Our stopping times there are perfect for the slow times of the cafe. Plus, we can call in orders for your guests if, for example, your SeaTac guests are hungry and looking for lunch on the tour. Try it; let's discuss it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Innovation of the Week Award

At Seattle Tours we like to recognize real achievement. Duane Differding, our own "Uptight Seattlite", recently solved a problem that has plagued us for the past several years. The hook on the 2 by 2 to hold the gate open against NW gales was at times difficult to, well, hook onto the fencing. In addition, it would have only been a matter of a few centuries before the fencing itself wore through. Duane provided a cheap and effective addition that now saves us many seconds each morning (they add up over the years!) Great innovation, Duane. Now get back to your real job of counting money and detailing coaches.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Savor Seattle even more

When we pick up people in remote locations, we do like our guests to stay downtown, in large part so they can really learn and enjoy the intricacies of Seattle. We tell them about buses and taxis back to their hotels in the south end (or remote downtown), and offer to drop them conveniently off at the front door of the Market or Needle. Consider this: tell them that the Market is a complex and fascinating place and that they should consider going on the Savor Seattle Tour run by Angela Shen, or the Ghost Tour at night with Mercedes Yeager.

These do not conflict with our tours and offer added value for people who are new to Seattle. You can always call the office to check on times of the tours; and maybe even make the reservation for the guests.

Angela and Mercedes are friends and refer us their guests for tours. Let's make sure we reciprocate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Book Recommendation

I'm in the middle of a new book, actually the first book by author Jamie Ford, called Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Order it immediately from the library, or go buy it as soon as possible and start reading it! It will improve your tour. AND this may well be an anchor of our new FAMOUS SEATTLE tour for the summer (along with The Bachelor's houseboat - is he REALLY the new Sleepless in Seattle heartthrob?)

The story line is similar to Snow Falling on Cedar, and it will make a great movie some day soon.

Have you been to the Panama Hotel recently? Jamie will be there for a talk and book signing (and selling) on Tues., Feb. 10th. I have organized a Meetup group for this event and we'll be starting at 5 PM at the Golden City restaurant (just downhill, on Jackson). Join us!

This book brings forth so much from the war years in Seattle: internment, jazz, and ethnic conflicts. And if you get a chance to read the book first, be ready to be astounded by a particular structural detail in the Panama Hotel coffee and teahouse.