The highly anticipated San Diego Visitor Information Center opened its doors the last week of April to an eager crowd and an excited community. Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego was chosen by the Port of San Diego to operate the Center located in the newly redeveloped North Embarcadero area of its downtown waterfront. The building itself is considered an iconic work of art by Pae White where the transparent building, made of colored glass in dawn and dusk hues, mimic the San Diego Bay.
The center is staffed by four full-time and three part-time personnel along with other CASTmembers from our depot sales rep team. In fact, their combined experience totals over 90 years of visitor and guest services in San Diego! OTT San Diego’s experienced sales staff also shares the space as visitors enter to receive information on things to do, see and experience while in America’s Finest City. Tour and area attraction tickets are sold at the Center along with San Diego logo’d merchandise.
A very special thing has been happening since we opened. Local residents and people who work downtown have been coming in to see our new Center saying that they’ve been watching its construction and couldn’t wait to see inside! The Center is not only a feather in our company’s cap but something that our entire community is proud of.
The San Diego Visitor Information Center, located at 996 N. Harbor Drive, is open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Thank you to all our CASTmembers who participated in the Walking for my Healthy Heart – Healthy Walking Challenge
We have completed seven weeks of tracking our steps, and hopefully have gained an awareness of the importance of healthy living and the FUN of walking. You are all on the road to a healthier life! Most of our walkers showed an improvement in their walking from the beginning week to the last week. We had phenomenal participation from all our locations. Celebrate this important “step” toward healthy living with your fellow CASTmembers and keep on walking!
A total of 236 CASTmembers participated across the country. A special thanks to all our Wellness Volunteers and Office Managers for recruiting, supervising, tracking and reporting the steps each week. We hope you all enjoyed this challenge!
John Jeffress – Arlington National Cemetery Tours
John Clifford – Conch Tour Train
Dell Lunsford – Historic Tours of America Corporate Offices
Ryan Darrah – Historic Tours of America – St. Augustine Offices
Leslie Nagy – Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston
Stephen Chueka – Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Kevin Delahanty – Old Town Trolley Tours of Key West
Cathy Vaccari – Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah
Greg Coleman – Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine
Adam Johnson – Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington DC
Karen Brandt – Tropical Shell & Gifts
Jesse Panrock – Treasurers of the Florida Keys
Overall Individual Winner
Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego; with the most steps – 1,738,218!!
The bragging rights for the location that had the most average steps in six weeks is:
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
With an average step count for the six and a half weeks of: 550,817
(an average of 77,800 steps per week/per CASTmember)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
– ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
– ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
– 2 tablespoons minced garlic
– 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (I usually leave the seeds in ½ of the pepper for extra heat)
– 1 medium zucchini, stems trimmed, medium dice
– 1 medium squash, stems trimmed, medium dice
– 2 cups of corn (fresh if available, frozen if not)
– 2 – 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 – 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 1 ½ teaspoons salt
1. Chop all the vegetables and premeasure all other ingredients.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and jalapeno peppers.Cook, stirring, until soft, about three minutes. Add the zucchini, squash and corn, stirring until soft, about six minutes. Add all of the seasons and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, black beans and vegetable stock. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
At this point you can add adjust the seasoning.
Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream,
cheese or avocado.
Facilities Manager, St. Augustine
Fred was born in St. Augustine, FL where he has lived my entire life with the exception of his college years. After college, he opened his own restaurant, which was a fantastic experience as cooking has always been a love of his. After he closed his restaurant, he took a few months off to remodel a home that he purchased.Then, Fred came to work for Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine, where he has worked in the facilities department for two and a half years. For the last year or so he have been the manager of the facilities department which, “Has been a truly wonderful experience. I have the pleasure to work with 150 wonderful people that take pride in the job they do so that our guests can make the best possible memories while they visit our lovely city. It has been my pleasure to continue to call Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine my home away from home.“
Sales Representative; Key West
For 30 years Joyce taught school and owned a nursery school and day care center in Massachusetts. After 28 years, she sold the school and a home in Key West. Her first visit to Key West, some 26 years ago, “I was hooked. ‘Keys Disease’ as they call it.” Although she bought a house in Key West, it took 9/11 to make her retire to the Island. Joyce has had many jobs with HTA from Bone Island Shuttle driver to ops manager of Bone Island Shuttle, head ticket seller of Conch Tour Train to ticket seller train/trolley. SheI have enjoyed every position with the company.
In 2002, Joyce and her wife, Judy, moved to Key West with their dog, cats and bird. “I love the island lifestyle. When I am asked, ‘Don’t you miss the seasons of New England?’ my response is always NO, summer was my favorite season.”
Conductor; Old Town Trolley San Diego
After working 15 years in the non-profit field Ross found myself at a crossroads and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. He was speaking with a friend one day who suggested applying for a sales position with Old Town Trolley Tours. He had several years of sales, marketing and customer relations experience in the non-profit field and liked helping people so he thought this would be a great position for me to utilize all of his skills. He started with OTT as a part time sales position to test the waters and found himself really enjoying the position and meeting guests from all over the world and providing them with all of the tools they need to have their best vacation experience ever. One of the things he really enjoys about working with OTT is being able to assist guests in planning their day with us. One of his favorite tools to use is the souvenir “walking guide book” Essential Guide to San Diego. The book not only lists all of the sites to see when you depart at each stop but it lists the sites in order so the guests don’t get lost and has a detailed map in the back so the guest can plan out how much time to spend at each stop.
In his spare time, Ross likes to explore San Diego, spend time outdoors, take his two rescue dogs, nine year old German Shepherd/Chow, Izzy, and three year old Bull Terrier/ Australian Cattle Dog, Sadie, to dog beach, dog park and just about everywhere else. He also like volunteering and supporting local non-profit organizations.
Ghosts & Gravestones; Savannah.
Savannah cast its spell on Travis in 2010 when he began studying Theatre at Armstrong State University. It was love at first sight. The desire to work in the tourism industry first began to surface in him after working at a bed and breakfast in Sarrance, France in 2012 where interacting with the guests was by far the highlight of his days. I was directed by a NYC tour guide at Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, KY who advised him that it might be something he should look into. During his final semester at Armstrong, Garry Patrick and Jon Watkins did a recruitment presentation for his department and, well, how couldhe resist?
Travis graduated from Armstrong with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance in December 2013 and almost immediately started orientation with Old Town Trolley. He’s been a Ghost Host with Ghosts & Gravestones since February 2014 and has been working in the Lead Actor position since April 2014. “I really can’t express how much I enjoy doing what I do. There’s something enormously magical about becoming part of someone’s vacation, one of the very things that made my childhood so special. There are few feelings that beat watching a new tour product get up and running or hearing about a Ghost Host’s first successful night giving tours. The value of getting to work somewhere you love is certainly not lost on me.”
Giovanni Pantaleo is a Tour Conductor for Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston. He grew up in the North End of Boston– the Italian neighborhood as well as the oldest residential neighborhood in the city. He attended Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, Massachusetts, majoring in Media Technology. Giovanni is very outgoing and his fun personality and charisma led him to pursue the arts and movies. As a member of the SAG-AFTRA guild, he has appeared in many movies that were filmed in New England.
Throughout his adult life, Giovanni has worked in the transportation industry. While working for a high-end limousine company, he discovered that chauffeurs were not supposed to talk to the guests. So, this brought him to Old Town Trolley. Here he would be able to interact with guests while, at the same time, working on his acting skills. Giovanni has been with OTT for two years now and is the self-proclaimed resident foodie. For the best places to eat in Boston, everyone asks Giovanni.
With a great love of his historic hometown, he plans on staying in Boston for a very long time.