Crystal DeLorenzo has enough public relations savvy not to steal someone else's marketing slogan, but for decades now, 'leave the driving to us' is a motto she could feel right at home with.
DeLorenzo is the tour manager at Wade Tours, not Greyhound, but for people who'd rather let someone else worry about driving, the long-time family business (now in its fifth generation) is a godsend.
"We do about 300 day tours a year, and much of that business is from senior groups," said DeLorenzo, who was been with Wade Tours in Rotterdam since 1980. "A lot of that is to New York, to museums, Broadway shows, the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Monument. Seniors love seeing the attractions in New York, and we actually get more seniors than children taking bus trips to the Bronx Zoo."
Most of the older customers come from senior centers in places such as Glenville and Duanesburg.
"Sometimes they charter one of our buses, but other times they take a look at our catalogue that comes out quarterly and then reserve a number of seats," said DeLorenzo. "For some senior groups struggling to fill up one of our buses, that's the best thing to do. But we'll still go there and pick them up."
Much of the Wade Tour business includes taking people to casinos at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Turning Stone in Verona, New York and del Lago in Waterloo, New York. DeLorenzo expected the casino trips to dip a little with Rivers Casino and Resort coming to Schenectady, however, that hasn't been the case.
"I think seniors love these day trips, they love letting somebody else drive, and they love spending time with their friends at casinos and not have to worry about driving there themselves," said DeLorenzo. "We were a little concerned that the casino in Schenectady might hurt, but it hasn't really. Now we have another casino about to open in Springfield, Mass., the MGM, and we're not really worried about it hurting us. Seniors just want a day out with friends. If they take a bus they can visit with their friends until they reach the destination. It's a nice social day out."
Wade Tours was called the "Wade-Schoharie Valley Line" 92 years ago when Edwin L. Wade first started transporting people 120 miles back and forth from Schenectady to Middleburgh in the back of his 1926 Studebaker. The company has around 30 buses these days that can accommodate 50 passengers. Along with taking people to New York, Wade Tours often heads east to Boston, north to Montreal and west into the Finger Lakes region.
"Niagara Falls is not such a big seller for us, and we're not really sure why," said DeLorenzo. "Maybe that's because it's for honeymooners, not seniors. But people do love going into the Finger Lakes region."
At times, the reach of Wade Tours extends far beyond the Northeast.
"We have overnight trips, we go to Florida, we go to San Antonio to see the Alamo," said DeLorenzo. "We even have seniors in their 90s who will go cross-country with us. They'll talk about how they did it in their own car when they were much younger. I think a lot of people, especially seniors, like to get out with other people. They don't like to feel as if they're alone."
Wade Tours can also take people on short trips.
"About the closest place we go to is Proctors," said DeLorenzo. "But we might go to Amsterdam or Latham to pick them up, and then take them to Proctors for a show. Seniors like the convenience of not having to park their car. It's door to door service."