December 1, 2004
Dear Friends of the Montana Daylight,
Montana Rockies is suspending our operation for the 2005 season. During the hiatus, we will re-examine our relationships and develop a plan to deal with rising fuel and insurance rates. We expect to have new products in place in spring 2005 to sell for the 2006 season.
The dynamics of the travel industry have changed since 9-11 – that's no surprise to anyone. But even with the help of our partners, revenue has not been what we hoped.
To improve matters, we will fully examine the existing model, develop new partnerships, and look for additional marketing opportunities. We are looking at other markets with a larger population base and easier air accessibility to extend our operating season. We also face distress inventory sales and new, two day minimum stay requirements with some vendors; both scenarios are cost prohibitive to our model. The industry is lean today and clearly we need to build relationships with other travel entities that can help us create a total package.
We are not closing and fully intend to maintain all of our industry relationships and organization memberships. The rolling stock will remain intact and a few of our employees will stay on during the hiatus to help develop new strategic plans.
We have several options available to us and are still investigating them.
Personally, I had forgotten how intertwined my existence has been with the train. We began operating the Montana Daylight when Casey, my 16 year old, was only six years old; and Ryanne, who began as a dishwasher at 13, spent the next ten years in one capacity or another helping me, until finally she was implementing some of the best onboard procedures we have adopted! All grown up, she will be married on January 1, 2005!
This company has opened many wonderful doors for me – I am blessed with countless amazing relationships, nurtured from past and present employees, suppliers and clients alike. I am so grateful for the many opportunities that have come my way, including being mentored by some of the smartest people in the business. I look forward to working with these mentors as we develop new plans for 2006 and beyond.
Finally, for those of you who loved traveling on our luxury cars, our sister company, Rail Ventures, will continue to operate Bella Vista and Yerba Buena, through-out the Amtrak and VIA rail routes. Rail Ventures can still be reached at 1-888-533-7245.
Thank you for your support. If you have any question, please feel free to call me anytime.