DENVER, Colorado — June 1, 2010 – The year twenty-ten marks a major milestone in the history of travel, as Gray Line, the world's largest provider of tours, activities and attractions celebrates 100 years in the business of making travelers feel at home no matter how far away or exotic the destination may be.
"Gray Line founders, Louis Bush and Harry J. Dooley, were pioneers in travel and magicians when it came to turning simple ideas into winning business endeavors," said Brad Weber, President and CEO of Gray Line Worldwide. "They were enamored by a sense of wanderlust and instinctively knew how to build a company of unforgettable sightseeing experiences. With Mr. Bush's startup of a motorcoach company back in 1910, and then Mr. Dooley's hard work in the development of the brand, a legacy was born."
Turning back the clocks, a rich history unfolds:
In March 1910, a young restaurateur by the name of Louis Bush refurbished an old Mack Truck chassis, painted it blue and gray and began offering sightseeing tours around the city of Washington, D.C. Little did he know, his earnest endeavors helped establish the world's leading sightseeing tour company.
By 1926, Gray Line had expanded to other booming cities including New York, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and Havana. With peacetime following World War II, Harry J. Dooley, a former Gray Line employee, acquired the company and helped re-establish Gray Line Chicago. Dooley soon became the president of Gray Line and is today considered the father of the sightseeing industry.
With the advent of jet travel and increased gateways in the late '40s and early '50s, Dooley expanded Gray Line's market throughout the United States and established Gray Line companies in Canada, Mexico, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Then sudden popularity in motorcoach sightseeing helped position Gray Line as a leader in the industry for decades to follow.
Today, Gray Line encompasses a tight-knit, ever growing group of entrepreneurs, colleagues and friends that have made it their livelihoods to create "one of a kind" travel experiences. Operating under one name and the world-famous, blue diamond brand, Gray Line serves over 700 destinations on six continents.
"With local roots that span the globe, Gray Line's ability to create, develop and grow as a family these past 100 years is as unique as it is powerful," said Gary Driver, Chairman of the Board of Gray Line Worldwide. "It is this single underlying characteristic that serves as the catalyst to our success as we continue to expand into new destinations and customer experiences."
The company specializes in well-rounded destination experiences that include adventure and eco tours, luxury tour services, budget-friendly activities, as well as culinary, cultural and historical pursuits. Every Gray Line works collaboratively to monitor trends of globetrotters and trendsetters in their own markets and around the world. This practice has cultivated new and enriching travel ideas that leverage the company's solid brand identity.
All the while, each Gray Line member maintains a core belief, dating back 100 years that encompasses a grassroots mentality of treating each visitor as a local and a friend. Gray Line takes its position as the company that invented Sightseeing very seriously and continues to build on that legacy each and every day with new tours, new ideas and new destinations to explore.
One century and counting, Gray Line takes great pride in observing its 100th Year Anniversary by honoring the men and women that helped create a company that is today celebrated and renowned around the world.
About Gray Line
Serving over 700 destinations worldwide, Gray Line invented the art of sightseeing and serves as the industry leader in tours, activities and attractions. Founded in 1910, primarily offering excursions throughout North America, the company has since grown into a multi-faceted, global sightseeing powerhouse specializing in well-rounded destination experiences that include adventure and eco tours, luxury tour services, budget-friendly activities, as well as culinary, cultural and historical pursuits. The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. www.grayline.com.