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01102012 Tauck World Discovery
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Tauck World Discovery partners with Ken Burns

Tauck World Discovery, a top tour operator and a leader in the packaged group tour industry, has partnered with Ken Burns and his team at Florentine Films, to offer a new series (product line) called Ken Burns American Journeys, based on three of his documentaries. The three series are based on Jazz, the Civil War and National Parks. The National Park series is based in Yellowstone in winter. For the series of 7 arrivals, they inbound through Bozeman, MT, overnight one night at Chico Hot Springs, then to 5 nights in the park (using both winter hotels) and 2 nights in Jackson at the Wort.

For the big launch event, they have a similar itinerary except they stay one night in Jackson at the Spring Creek Ranch before flying home. Also with the launch event, they have scheduled a series of top notch speakers including film maker Bob Landis, educator Dr. Jim Halfpenny, former NPS superintendent and featured in the documentary-Gerard Baker, Burns associate and collaborator-Dayton Duncan and a keynote is scheduled by Ken Burns at the OF Visitor Education Center on January 14.

Both itineraries include park exploration….Lamar Valley wolf and wildlife watching with the Yellowstone Association Institute, touring the park interior, including the Grand Canyon and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone by snowcoach with Xanterra. Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, etc. It’s an active Yellowstone winter experience targeting baby boomers.

The idea for the series came from Tauck’s president, Jennifer Tombaugh. Specific to Yellowstone, Xanterra Marketing Director Rick Hoeninghausen met with Dayton Duncan and one of Tauck’s product development managers, Roger Saterstrom, for breakfast at the Old Faithful Inn two summers ago.
“During our meal and conversation, we discussed two new series concepts, one called Culturious which debuted this past summer,” Hoeninghausen said, “and the Ken Burns American Journeys-based similarly on the Culturious market and program design.

"During the breakfast, when the conversation turned to the new national parks program, Dayton Duncan literally took over the conversation, proceeding to tell us both that the program would have to be in winter and include the many itinerary components (stay at both hotels, wolf watching in Lamar Valley, Lower Falls, geyser basins, snowcoaches, cross country skiis, etc.) that are part of the program today. After Dayton very firmly but eloquently laid out what “had” to be the plan, Roger turned to me for input. All I could do was point to Dayton and cough out the words, “What he said!” There was nothing more, or better, that could have been said.”

The Tauck website has more details on the new series.

Overall, the event and series will bring more than 1,000 additional room nights to our winter operation this season. The launch event will bring in almost 200 people and the seven series are all sold out (24 people per arrival.) “They plan to repeat the series next winter,” Hoeninghausen said, “and based on its success so far, we would hope and anticipate that the series will continue indefinitely.”

“This type of program is perfect for us and Yellowstone, Hoeninghausen said. “These guests are active and particularly interested in learning about and more deeply experiencing the park. These itineraries are more than just quick pass-through’s where everything is seen through the window of a vehicle. These folks will get out and touch, smell and hear all the park has to offer. Guests that do it this way tend to be much more satisfied with their visit, and that’s what we’re all aiming for.”

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