March 2017: Village Tours & Charters, one of the largest coach and tour companies in the Midwest, is honored by its industry peers with the United Motorcoach Association's Vision Award for large fleet operators, March 1, in St. Louis, at the organization's annual convention, the Motorcoach Expo. The vision award is the association's highest honor, and there are two winners each year,k one for a fleet of 15 or more motorcoaches and one for companies with fleets of 14 or fewer vehicles.
April 2016: Village is pleased to announce its new daily bus shuttle service that will connect Wichita, KS, to Amtrak stations across the country and vice versa. Oklahoma City connects to the EAST / WEST Train in Newton. Newton connects to the SOUTHBOUND Train in Oklahoma City. Board the bus in Wichita to connect to the EAST / WEST Train or the SOUTHBOUND Train to hundreds of destinations. Call 1-800-872-7245 for information & tickets. Wichita has been without Amtrak service since 1979.
January 2016: On January 4, Village Charters announces the acquisition of Letsgo Charters based in Ft. Smith and Springdale, AR. Letsgo began operations in 2001 and expanded to a fleet of 15 coaches. Growth into Northwest Arkansas is a natural fit for Village, since it is already doing a fair amount of business in the area. Village is excited about now serving this area with coaches from Tulsa, Springdale and Ft. Smith. With this addition, Village now operates 87 motorcoaches and employs 230 people.
August 2015: On August 24, Village is presented with a certificate for being nominated for the Freedom Award by members of the ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). Bernie Jennings (Salina Driver) has been active in the Army National Guard for over 25 years, and he nominated Village for the award. Village President Jeff Arensdorf said, “We’ve had a lot of National Guard employees over the years and have never considered their weekend commitments as a negative attribute. In fact, we are proud to have them work for us while also still serving our country." Companies who were nominated this year were presented to the Department of Defense for consideration.
August 2015: Village passes the Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX) audit. TSX is the company that approves passenger carriers for many collegiate athletic teams. A TSX representative completed the comprehensive review (similar to a DOT investigation), and Village received a very good report. This review includes an inspection of vehicles, driver files, maintenance files and overall company policies. The TSX program was formed about five years ago at the urging of several prominent NCAA schools in order to form a "gold standard" of motorcoach operators.
June 2015: Village relocates to a new maintenance facility in Salina. The building, located near the intersection of Crawford and Broadway, had been the home of Zeller Brakes since 1955. More than $200,000 was spent updating and remodeling the facility to be able to handle parking and maintenance of the Village fleet based there. Previously, Village was using the building formerly operated by Salina Charter Coach. This move further solidifies Village’s commitment to Salina and northwest Kansas.
June 2015: Village Charters uses twelve motorcoaches to help provide transportation for Wal-Mart’s Annual Shareholders Meeting recently held in Fayetteville, AR. Wal-Mart chartered 100 buses in total for transfers to and from the Tulsa Airport and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (in Fayetteville). Shuttling was also provided to and from housing at the University of Arkansas campus.
May 2015: Four Village motorcoaches and several drivers are used to do the parking lot shuttle for the NCAA Women’s College World Series May 28th - June 3rd in Oklahoma City. This year, Village transports 8,000 people per day with the four buses running between the Hall of Fame Softball Complex and Remington Park. Village also hauls the Michigan, Alabama, UCLA and Oregon softball teams for this event.
April 2015: Village Charters provides 30 motorcoaches for the 15th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 25th. The buses are used to transfer relay runners from downtown to the various relay points and back. The marathon is a tribute to the victims, family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing. Village is proud to provide all buses that were needed for the marathon.
April 2015: Village takes the delivery of a 2015 Temsa TS. The mid-deluxe motorcoach seats 40 passengers and has 110-volt plug ins at every seat and Wi-Fi. This unit joins another Temsa in Oklahoma City due to high demand for the mid-sized option.
March 2015: On March 24, Village Tours hosts the Bretts Show from Branson at The Cotillion in Wichita. 550 patrons joined us for this show that included a lunch buffet and matinee performance. Village brings buses from Oklahoma City and Tulsa on a day trip, along with a few buses to transfer local area groups to the show. For several years in a row, Village has brought in a Branson show as a customer appreciation event.
March 2015: Village adds two more brand new 2015 MCI J4500 motorcoaches directly from the MCI plant. The units are both equipped as tour coaches with more leg room and extra amenities. One of the units is equipped with a wheelchair lift. Village now operates 70 motorcoaches in its fleet.
March 2015: For the second year in a row, over 300 Wichita State Shocker fans travel with Village on a tour to St. Louis for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Our fourth out of six motorcoaches was filled by the time WSU started conference play on Dec. 31st. In addition, Village took the WSU band and cheerleaders to St. Louis along with two coaches filled with student fans. Congratulations to the WSU men's basketball program on another fine season.
February 2015: Village Charters is pleased to send 20 motorcoaches to the Phoenix, AZ, area for Super Bowl XLIX (49). Village was asked to assist with shuttle transportation for the big game. 380 motorcoaches in total were used to charter for the 'super' event.
January 2015: Village Charters transfers over 850 passengers on seventeen motorcoaches to Washington, D.C., for the March For Life Rally. This event is well attended by Catholic youth and sponsors across parts of Kansas and Oklahoma. They drive nearly non-stop to Washington for prayer, sightseeing and of course the march to the steps of the Supreme Court. Overall, the groups give excellent reports on their experience with Village.
January 2015: Village Charters is pleased to send a total of twenty-six motorcoaches to the Dallas area to help with shuttle work for the inaugural College Football National Championship.
October 2014: Village hosts members of the Duggar family from the television show '19 Kids & Counting' at a pro-family rally. Village holds the Wichita stop of a seven-state bus tour on faith and family values. Jim Bob, Michelle and Josh Duggar drew a crowd of 500 people for the event.
September 2014: Village takes delivery of three 2015 MCI J4500 motorcoaches. The units were purchased to replace older units so that the company can maintain one of the newest fleets in the region.
May 2014: Village is pleased to announce growth into Tulsa and the surrounding area with the acquisition of Travel Tours. Based out of Wagoner, OK, Travel Tours began in 1979 with the purchase of a new Eagle motorcoach and grew to 12 Eagles in 1994. The company operates over thirty retail tours each year in addition to taking care of its charter business. Village will now offer tour departures out of Tulsa, Muskogee and Joplin, and will continue charter service out of the same area. At the time of the purchase, Village now operates 70 coaches.
January 2014: Village Charters transports nearly 1,000 people to Washington D.C. for the annual 'March for Life'. This event was well attended by the youth of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, along with the Dioceses of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Salina and Dodge City. Village uses nineteen motorcoaches and 38 drivers for this trip.
January 2014: Village recently adds a "Motorcoach Medic" ambulance for its fleet by purchasing a used ambulance and converting it into a "mobile repair truck". The truck will be sent to work in locations where Village sends several motorcoaches at a time.
January 2014: Village transports the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Marching Band to Arlington, TX for the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl. Seven motorcoaches are utilized for this trip. The Oklahoma State football team plays the Missouri Tigers at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
December 2013: Village finished 2013 with a total of 3.3 Million miles traveled on its motorcoaches!
November 2013: Village Charters uses twenty-eight motorcoaches and at least 70 drivers to transport nearly 1,500 youth and sponsors to downtown Indianapolis for the 2013 National Catholic Youth Conference. Village picks up the youth all over the state of Kansas and parts of Oklahoma for the event. The Diocese of Salina said, "Village gets an A+ for this year's move. I am very pleased with everything and thought All of the drivers were thoughtful and wonderful to deal with."
November 2013: Throughout the fall, Village transports the likes of the Oklahoma State football team along with the teams for Iowa State, West Virginia and TCU-Texas Christian University. Many of these teams use Village 2-3 times each fall since they play similar schedules. Several area smaller colleges, junior colleges and high schools also charter through Village for various fall sports along with the school bands and cheerleaders. It adds up to very busy weekends throughout the fall.
October 2013: Village operates a record-high 28 tours in the month of October. From the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta to the New England fall foliage tour, from the heart of the Smoky Mountains to beautiful Nova Scotia, and from Branson short tours to one day Chiefs football games, October was an incredible month for Village Tours. Village plans and operates over 200 tour packages each year!
October 2013: Village continues to manage the Greyhound terminal at 312 S. Broadway, and recently, completes some much needed remodeling at the terminal. Projects include lighting upgrades and replacements, camera system installation, power washing and painting of the building exterior, new striping on the parking lot concrete, new uniforms for employees and more.
October 2013: Village updates and improves its website for the first time since 2007. The new homepage provides balance to the website and makes it simple to click to the Tours, Charters and Travel Agency pages respectively. Tours are nicely presented, searchable, and easier for booking online reservations. Village also enhanced its Charters page, where potential clients may request a charter quote and/or learn more about its equipment. The newest feature is that online Charter inquiries feed directly into its new charter software.
October 2013: Village makes the Smith System Driver Improvement Training available to its drivers. The Safety Director at Village is also a Certified Training Instructor for the Program.
October 2013: Village purchases two 2008 MCI J-4500 56-passenger coaches equipped with Cummins engines. These units will be updated with 110-volt plug ins and Wi-Fi.
September 2013: Village launches a new television ad campaign ad campaign in Wichita. The 2-minute ad airs on KAKE Channel 10, an ABC affiliate, and is used to help promote tours.
September 2013: Village adds two brand new 2014 MCI J4500 directly from the MCI plant. These units feature the latest technology, fabrics and styling and will be used to help replace several older units in its fleet. Village now operates 60 motorcoaches in its fleet.
August 2013: Village passes the Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX) audit. It is believed that the TSX does a more rigorous inspection of vehicles, driver files, maintenance files and overall company policies than even the DOT and DOD. The TSX program was formed a few years ago at the urging of several prominent NCAA schools in order to form a "gold standard" of motorcoach operators.
August 2013: Village celebrates 30 years of Summer Mystery Tours by putting together a 30th Anniversary Summer Mystery Tour. Seven different tour dates were offered with the same special itinerary over a two-week period. Over the years, mystery tours have been added for each season of the year, but the summer tour is by far the most popular.
August 2013: Village holds a one day grand re-opening of it's Oklahoma City facility on August 15th. The event concludes the completion of a 1.3 million dollar facility upgrade. The upgrade includes a new parking lot that will accommodate up to 30 motorcoaches at any given time along with shop and wash bay additions. The need arose after Village's acquisition of Time Lines back in Spring 2012. The construction took nearly one year to complete.
August 2013: As of August 1, Village begins management of the Greyhound terminal at 312 S. Broadway. Village was already at the terminal several times every day with its four dedicated line-runs. The terminal will undergo some needed remodeling. The employees at the terminal will continue to wear Greyhound uniforms, but work directly for Village.
July 2013: Village purchases two 2009 MCI J4500 56-passenger coaches to maintain a late-model fleet.
June 2013: Village takes delivery of a brand-new entertainer 'super' coach. The unit is a 2013 Prevost H3-45, and features amenities like a 55” flat screen television, satellite, Wi-Fi, refrigerator, microwave, and sleeps 29 people.
June 2013: Four Village motorcoaches and several drivers are used to do the parking lot shuttle for the NCAA Women’s College World Series May 30th - June 5th in Oklahoma City. This year, Village transports 8,000 people per day with the four buses running between the Hall of Fame Softball Complex to Remington Park.
April 2013: Village now owns and operates four dedicated line-run coaches that were a part of Prestige Charters. These line-runs operate much like Greyhound between Wichita and Salina as well as Wichita to Pueblo, CO, with numerous stops along the way. Passengers can use these routes to connect with Greyhound national routes.
March 2013: Village announces the acquisition of Prestige Charters on March 26. Both companies have a long history and are well-respected in Wichita. Prestige started with 2 motorcoaches in 1985 and grew to 21 units. At the time of the purchase, Village now operates 68 motorcoaches and employs nearly 180 people.
February 2013: Village adds the first of two new 2013 Temsa motorcoaches. The mid-deluxe unit seats 40 passengers and has 110-volt plug ins at every seat and Wi-Fi. The second Temsa will arrive in March.
February 2013: Village adds a new deluxe tour coach to its fleet. This unit is a 2012 new-style MCI J-4500 and boasts several new amenities.
February 2013: Village contracts to transport nearly 3,500 passengers from Kansas to California on what is its largest charter movement to date. Village uses 70 motorcoaches that traveled in excess of 478,000 miles. That’s one for the record books!
January 2013: Village puts together travel packages that included charter flights, one out of Wichita and the second out of Manhattan. 330 passengers boarded direct flights to Phoenix for the Kansas State match up against Oregon at the Tositos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ. In addition, Village Charters uses five motorcoaches, transporting nearly 250 passengers to Glendale for the game.
January 2013: Village Charters uses twenty-one motorcoaches and 42 drivers on its largest Washington D.C. move yet. Catholics from the diocese of Wichita, Salina, Hutchinson and Tulsa drive nearly non-stop to Washington for the annual ‘March For Life’. Over 1,000 people traveled on this trip! Months of office preparation is required for this trip.
January 2013: On January 18, Village Tours hosted Branson’s Jim Stafford Show at the Cotillion in Wichita. In what has become an annual Customer Appreciation event, Village Tours has now brought some of Branson’s finest shows to Wichita. Over 850 people turned out for this year’s event and enjoyed a lunch buffet along with the matinee performance. Village Tours also brought patrons in from Oklahoma City, Hays and Salina on a one-day tour to see the show.
September 2012: Village completes its restoration process on all of the former Time Line motorcoaches. The process of refurbishing, repainting, and adding the Village vinyl graphics to each motor coach continued throughout the summer.
December 2012: Village Tours made the local evening news throughout the state. The buzz has surrounded Kansas State football and the Village travel packages to the K-State bowl games. Wichita’s ABC affiliate, KAKE news (Channel 10), featured Village in an article in mid-November about how K-State fans were preparing to follow the Wildcats to their anticipated BSC Bowl Game. Once this year’s bowl announcement was made official, KAKE made their way back to the Village office on December 3rd and put together a feature video segment about fans booking Village bowl game packages.
December 2012: Village continues construction in Oklahoma City. Besides constructing the new motorcoach parking lot, Village is building new shop and wash bays additions to the existing building.
August 2012: Village adds an additional 2011 MCI J-4500 to its fleet. This unit seats 56 passengers and is equipped with electrical outlets throughout the motorcoach.
August 2012: Village breaks ground on new parking lot construction for its motor coaches in Oklahoma City. The vast space in front of our Village Office is no longer grass and hills. Upon completion, the new lot will accommodate the entire Village Oklahoma City fleet.
August 2012: Dogs, drugs, dynamite and police makes for a positive day at Village. On August 23, our Oklahoma City facility assisted the Oklahoma City Bomb Detection Unit by using our motorcoaches for training.
June 2012: Village provides transportation for the USA women’s softball team during the World Cup Softball Tournament held in Oklahoma City April 22 - July 2. In addition, Village transports the National teams that flew in from Canada, Brazil, Austrailia and the Netherlands every day of the tournament.
June 2012: Village is pictured on national television during the NBA Finals in downtown Oklahoma City. As the Miami Heat played the Oklahoma City Thunder, several Village motorcoaches were involved moving NBA officials and media from all over the country for the first two games of the Finals.
June 2012: Village finally completes work on its 1,600 square-foot Wichita office addition and remodeling. The new office space is already being well-utilized with new desks and new carpet installed throughout. This project took nearly 6 months to complete.
May 2012: Village replaces an older motorcoach with another 2011 MCI J-4500. The older unit was purchased new in July of 1997 and was considered one of the best coaches in the Village fleet, logging more than 820,000 miles.
May 2012: Village held its own version of ‘Extreme Makeover’ - a bus edition in less than a month time frame. Village converts eleven Time Line 48-passenger motor coaches to 56-passenger. Nearly 100 seats had to be found to complete the task. A mobile bus upholstery company came out to put new fabric on many of the walls and seats of the motor coaches. Also, the Village vinyl graphics were installed on all of the former Time Line units.
April 2012: Village closes on the purchase of Time Lines, LLC. Village now has a approximately 50 motorcoaches in its fleet after this acquisition.
March 2012: Village launches an exciting cruise for Winter 2013. KFDI chooses Village to handle its '9th Annual Cruise with Carol' in Jan 2013. Anywhere from 120-250 people went on this cruise in past years.
March 2012: Village replaces the last 41-foot coaches with a 2007 Prevost H3-45, a 2007 MCI J4500 and a 2008 MCI J4500. These coaches come with 56 seats, seatbelts and will now be added to its deluxe motorcoach fleet.
February 2012: Work begins on a 1,600 square-foot addition to the Wichita office. The additional office space has been needed for awhile, and will be a welcome change to Village Tour's thirteen staff members who work in the office.
January 2012: Village Charters uses sixteen motorcoaches and 32 drivers to transport over 800 people to Washington, DC, for the annual 'March For Life'. Catholics from the diocese of Wichita, Salina and Tulsa drive nearly non-stop to Washington for prayer, sightseeing and for the event on the steps of the Supreme Court. Months of office preparation is requried for this trip.
January 2012: On January 16, Village Tours hosted Branson's Pierce Arrow at the Cotillion in Wichita. In what has become an annual Customer Appreciation event, Village Tours has now brought in some of Branson's finest entertainment to Wichita. Over 850 people enjoyed a buffet lunch and matinee performance that featured their great singers along with the comedy of Jarrett Dougherty. Village Tours also brought patrons in from Hays, Salina and Oklahoma City on a one-day tour to see the show, while a Village Charter took the band on a four city, three-state tour through Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas that ended in Wichita.
January 2012: A total of nine Village motorcoaches were present at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic as the Kansas State Wildcats played the Arkansas Razorbacks. Over 400 people (247 on tour) rode down with Village, an incredible number that was documented by KWCH (Channel 12) in Wichita the morning the tours departed.
November 2011: On November 3, Jeff Arensdorf, an owner of Village, agreed to be "locked-up" at Texas Roadhouse over the lunch hour. He, and approximately 90 other people agreed to help the MDA raise money to send area children to the annual MDA Summer Camp. Through the generosity of its employees and a company match, Jeff raised a nice donation for Jerry's Kids.
September 2011: Village Tours was recently listed as a local favorite travel agency in the '2011 Readers's Choice' contest sponsered by the Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com. Last year more than 8,000 voted for their favorite local places.
September 2011: Village also recently added a 2007 MCI equipped with 56 seats and a wheelchair lift. This coach is another nice addition to its fleet.
August 2011: Village adds a new 2012 ABC M1235 mini-coach to its fleet. This unit seats 27 people, has seatbelts and lots of amenities and is a nice compliment to its 29-passenger coach already in fleet.
August 2011: A 2011 MCI J-4500 is purchased to replace one of the units from Salina. The color is 'Plum Perfect', which was first introduced with the 1970 Dodge Charger.
July 2011: Village Tours purchases All-American Tours out of Hays, Ks. Though Village will not office in Hays, its Hays' customers will be serviced out of the new Salina branch.
July 2011: Village Tours expands to Salina, Ks, after acquiring Salina Charters Coach. At least three motorcoaches will be permanently stationed at the Salina branch.
April 2011: Village Tours adds a new 2011 MCI J-4500 equipped with an Allison Transmission, 56 seats and seatbelts. This is a nice addition to its fleet.
March 2011: Village Tours launches two exciting cruises for Winter 2012. KFDI chooses Village to handle its '8th Annual Cruise with Carol' in Jan 2012. Anywhere from 120-250 people went on this cruise in past years. The second cruise is the '2012 Cowboy Cruise' and features the Diamond W. Wranglers, Dusty Rogers and Dustin Rogers. This is the 5th annual Cowboy Cruise with 200-300 people on past cruises. This cruise will celebrate the late Roy Rogers' 100th birthday.
March 2011: Every Village Tours mechanic has attended at least one week of classes presented by either Motor Coach Industries or Prevost in Dallas or Louisville over the last seven months. The mechanics come back with more experience and education on the new motor coaches.
February 2011: Village Charters contracted to haul ten buses of Green Bay Packers fans from their hotel to the game and back for the Super Bowl in the Dallas area. Village drivers watched the big game on TV inside one of the coaches.
January 2011: Village Charters transports over 650 people to Washington D.C. for the annual 'March for Life'. This event was well attended by the youth of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. Village uses 13 motorcoaches, 26 drivers and months of office preparation for this trip!
December 2010: Village makes shop improvements for the Wichita and Oklahoma City locations. Village has a state-of-the-art maintenance facility and boasts full-time mechanics who are committed to keeping its motor coaches in excellent condition.
October 2010: Nearly $50,000 in parking and fencing additions at the Oklahoma City office are completed.
October 2010: A 2011 MCI J-4500 is purchased to replace another older unit. This leaves the Village fleet at 24 coaches with an average fleet age of less than six years old - one of the newest in Kansas and Oklahoma!
July 2010: Jeff Arensdorf, an owner of Village, is presented the "40 Under 40 Award" by the Wichita Business Journal. This award is given annually to forty Wichitans under the age of forty who exemplify leadership and growth in their careers and charitable actions.