Perhaps for most people, talk of a tourism bus tour conjures up images of double decker buses cruising down busy big city streets. But for the Algoma Visitor Center volunteers, their tourism tour is a special and unique way to acquaint the over 30 dedicated volunteer staff with the newest sights and places of the Algoma Area.
Algoma Chamber Executive Director Sara Krouse organized the daylong event on April 27 for the volunteers who staff the visitor center seven days a week during tourist season.
“We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to visit the places that they recommend to our tourists, especially those that they might not visit naturally on their own,” Krouse said. “The best recommendation comes from personal experience.”
The bus, provided by local Dworak Bus Services, took the crew to four sites in the area – Algoma Atelier of Sculpture and Art, von Stiehl Winery, Ahnapee Brewery, and the Belgian Heritage Center in Namur. Each site provided a private tour and extended question and answer session.
“Our volunteers really took advantage of having the business owner or manager right at their fingertips, asking great questions that even taught me new things,” Krouse said. “ Most of the volunteers were absolutely astounded that Bren Sibilsky creates these large-scale bronze sculptures in the little Sibilsky family barn down on Fremont street. Many did not know that von Stiehl ranks third in production for wine in the state or that Ahnapee Brewery meticulously matches the water composition of the area where the style of beer originates (west coast water, German water, etc.). I know that no one will forget that Door and Kewaunee counties have the largest Belgian population outside of Belgium. These are the small, important things that will make someone’s visit to our area special.”
Krouse hopes to expand the tour in future years to include more tourism sites, lodging facilities and campgrounds.
“Our volunteers are an incredible crew of people who are the ambassadors of the Chamber/Visitor Center to everyone who visits our city and even those who live here,” she said. “We want to thank them for their dedication and provide them all the tools to keep doing a great job!”