Courier April 2010 : Page 68

MEET THE MEMBERS based programming is available,” said Tamara Russell, group sales manager. “And for seniors, we have a new ‘Garden Tour and Tea’ offering.” Group tickets for adults, seniors and “Our guests are always excited to see the incredible things we experience on a regular basis as expert storm chasers.” Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions Arlington, Texas MARTIN LISIUS KNOWS THAT HIS company’s tours are not for everyone. The good news for Lisius is that there are a few thrill-seekers out there who can’t wait to join the staff at Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions and experience what it’s like to track a tornado. “As a storm chasing veteran, I received many requests from people wanting to go chasing with me,” Lisius said. “So we decided to create Tempest Tours as a way for normal folks to live the life of a real storm chaser for a few days.” Tour participants are given a start date and base city—either Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth or Oklahoma City— and then the rest of the itiner- ary is shaped by Mother Nature. Lisius said each day begins with a weather briefing before the group heads to a location that seems favor- able for twisters. After that, the track- ers scan the skies for storms with tor- nadic characteristics and keep a close eye on the Doppler radar, while at the same time teaching guests about weather and storm tracking. “Once we identify a good storm, we intercept and photograph it,” Lisius said. “If we are lucky, we will see a tornado. 68 COURIER | April 2010 But even when we don’t, we often see incredible supercell thunderstorms and spectacular lightning.” The company’s season starts in late April and runs through early July, which is the peak storm time in Tornado Alley—a stretch of states that goes from Texas to South Dakota. For more information, contact Mar- tin Lisius, Tempest Tours Storm Chas- ing Expeditions, +1.817.274.9313, www.tempesttours.com, member since 2006. Casa Loma— Toronto’s Castle Toronto, Ontario CASA LOMA, CONSTRUCTED over a three-year period from 1911 to 1914, originally was the residence of Major General Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, who made his fortune investing in the hydro-electricity and railway indus- tries of Canada. Today, the Toronto- based chateau welcomes guests to experience its Gothic Revival architec- ture, furnished suites, secret passag- es, stables and five acres of gardens. “For student groups, we are per- formance-friendly, and curriculum- —Martin Lisius youth now include both a self-guided digital audio tour and a 22-minute documentary film, which highlights Pellatt’s life and achievements. Audio tours are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean and Mandarin, or for a more intimate experience, tour operators can schedule a guided tour led by a Pellatt re-enactor. Garden tours are offered May through October, and visitors can enjoy lunch in the newly renovated Sir Henry’s Café. Catering also is available for special events. Russell finds the property’s history and beauty inspiring. “Who wouldn’t love working in a century-old castle overlooking the great city of Toronto, having your lunch surrounded by five acres of lush gardens, and meeting and sharing something you love so much with people from all over the world?” For more information, contact Tamara Russell, Casa Loma— Toronto’s Castle, +1.416.923.1171, ext. 211, www.casaloma.org, member since 1982. “Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s oldest attractions . . . a castle located in down- town that has something for students, families, adults and seniors alike.” —Tamara Russell BRANDON JENNINGS/TEMPEST TOURS

Meet the Members

Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions Arlington, Texas<br /> <br /> MARTIN LISIUS KNOWS THAT HIS company’s tours are not for everyone. The good news for Lisius is that there are a few thrill-seekers out there who can’t wait to join the staff at Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions and experience what it’s like to track a tornado. “As a storm chasing veteran, I received many requests from people wanting to go chasing with me,” Lisius said. “So we decided to create Tempest Tours as a way for normal folks to live the life of a real storm chaser for a few days.” Tour participants are given a start date and base city—either Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth or Oklahoma City— and then the rest of the itinerary is shaped by Mother Nature.<br /> <br /> Lisius said each day begins with a weather briefing before the group heads to a location that seems favorable for twisters. After that, the trackers scan the skies for storms with tornadic characteristics and keep a close eye on the Doppler radar, while at the same time teaching guests about weather and storm tracking. “Once we identify a good storm, we intercept and photograph it,” Lisius said. “If we are lucky, we will see a tornado.<br /> <br /> But even when we don’t, we often see incredible supercell thunderstorms and spectacular lightning.” The company’s season starts in late April and runs through early July, which is the peak storm time in Tornado Alley—a stretch of states that goes from Texas to South Dakota.<br /> <br /> For more information, contact Martin Lisius, Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions, +1.817.274.9313, www.tempesttours.com, member since 2006.<br /> <br /> Casa Loma— Toronto’s Castle Toronto, Ontario<br /> <br /> CASA LOMA, CONSTRUCTED over a three-year period from 1911 to 1914, originally was the residence of Major General Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, who made his fortune investing in the hydro-electricity and railway industries of Canada. Today, the Torontobased chateau welcomes guests to experience its Gothic Revival architecture, furnished suites, secret passages, stables and five acres of gardens.<br /> <br /> “For student groups, we are performance- friendly, and curriculum- based programming is available,” said Tamara Russell, group sales manager.<br /> <br /> “And for seniors, we have a new ‘Garden Tour and Tea’ offering.” Group tickets for adults, seniors and youth now include both a self-guided digital audio tour and a 22-minute documentary film, which highlights Pellatt’s life and achievements. Audio tours are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean and Mandarin, or for a more intimate experience, tour operators can schedule a guided tour led by a Pellatt re-enactor. Garden tours are offered May through October, and visitors can enjoy lunch in the newly renovated Sir Henry’s Café. Catering also is available for special events.<br /> <br /> Russell finds the property’s history and beauty inspiring. “Who wouldn’t love working in a century-old castle overlooking the great city of Toronto, having your lunch surrounded by five acres of lush gardens, and meeting and sharing something you love so much with people from all over the world?” For more information, contact Tamara Russell, Casa Loma— Toronto’s Castle, +1.416.923.1171, ext. 211, www.casaloma.org, member since 1982.<br /> <br /> Shelburne Museum Shelburne, Vermont<br /> <br /> “PEOPLE WANT TO VISIT Shelburne Museum because it is not your same old museum,” said Stephan Jost, the museum’s director. “You can ride a vintage carousel, be bedazzled by an exhibition of contemporary design or quietly meditate in front of your favorite Mary Cassatt painting.” Shelburne Museum is set on 45 acres just south of Burlington, Vermont, and includes 39 buildings and seven themed gardens. Jost said the museum campus can be tough to fully explore in one trip because of the variety of experiences available.<br /> <br /> “While we are the largest museum in northern New England with 150,000 works of art, everything is presented in bite-size chunks,” he said. “It is great to see kids exploring it for the first time and some of our older visitors returning to fall in love with it all over again.” Guided specialty offerings range from themed gallery talks and a walking tour of the Ticonderoga to daily demonstrations in the blacksmith, weaving and printing shops.<br /> <br /> The staff also can put together customized tours or let visitors create their own tours, based on the exhibits or parts of the Shelburne collection that interest them. The museum’s 2010 season, which goes from May 16 to Oct. 24, will feature new exhibits such as “Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky: Constructed Landscapes,” “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” and “Circus Day in America.” <br /> <br /> For more information, contact Bruce Andrews, Shelburne Museum, +1.802.985.3346, ext. 3389, www.shelburnemuseum.org, member since 2002.<br /> <br /> The Fireside Dinner Theatre Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin<br /> <br /> ACCORDING TO JACKIE BRISKO, director of audience development at The Fireside Dinner Theatre, her venue’s location, the quality of its shows and great hospitality have helped it become Wisconsin’s top year-round motorcoach attraction. The theater is located in Fort Atkinson, which is within 80 miles of other major Wisconsin destinations such as Milwaukee, Madison, Wisconsin Dells and the House on the Rock.<br /> <br /> “We always strive to give our audiences the very highest quality of live theater featuring some of the The Fireside Dinner Theatre Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin most talented performers from the Broadway stage and across the nation, selected at our own New York auditions,” Brisko said. <br /> <br /> “Professional costume designers, set and lighting designers, musical directors and choreographers vie for the opportunity to work at the Fireside.” The theater’s 2010 season will include six shows ranging from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Ring of Fire – A Musical Tribute to Johnny Cash” to the world premiere of “The Child: The Story of the First Christmas.” In addition to the theater, the Fireside facility includes a 1,000-seat restaurant and four different gift shops.<br /> <br /> Group discounts and meet-and-greets for all motorcoaches are available, and the Fireside staff provides special gifts for the escorts and drivers as well as cookies from its in-house bakery when groups depart.<br /> <br /> For more information, contact Jackie Brisko, The Fireside Dinner Theatre, +1.920.563.9505, www.firesidetheatre.com, member since 1990.<br />

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