I hope this entry finds everyone is well and safe with all of the disruptions to what was typical life prior to the pandemic. At Ridge and Valley Tours, we have had our share of disruptions, and just plain bad news, the past couple of months but we are a hardy group with a strong positive outlook.
Here is the latest on our current plan:
#1. Tours and events are postponed until further notice. We hope we can resume tours and events in the next few months. We will comply with the Badger Bounce Back guidelines put forward by the State of Wisconsin to help quash the transference of the virus. We also have the additional concern that several of our farm partner families have underlying health concerns and we want to protect them from any unnecessary risks. Our trip to the Frida Kahlo Art Exhibit has been postponed until next year as the College of DuPage has postponed that exhibit until 2021.
#2. When we resume our tours they will very likely be more of a “Group” tour at least for this year. In the past, we took any number of orders online, 4, 2, or even from a single person. When we resume operations it is very clear we will need to take family, friends, or workgroups who are already oriented with each other so we are not concerned with passing the virus from individual to individual beyond the unit they are already associated with. With this in mind, we will have to determine, to make the trip financially viable what is the minimum number required to take the tour out? Those are details we are still discussing and will determine as we move forward.
#3. We are determined to restart tours in the future. We saw in our inaugural year a desire from our participants for more tours and a strong appreciation for what we were offering. As the year went on there were some very encouraging signs of growth for events and tours of our farms, wineries, breweries, and orchards. We also saw our participants come forward with ideas of their own, such as a progressive diner in which we transported a group of 12 to 4 different restaurants for appetizers, drinks, dinner, and dessert! We believe we learned much that will help us move forward in the future and we are patiently biding our time to connect more people with the places, people, and stories that make up our corner of the Driftless area.
#4. We are offering Gift Certificates/Cards. With our commitment to future offerings we are offering gift certificates and cards for future use. These do not expire and can be used on any event we offer in the future. If you wish to book a trip to a concert, a sporting event, an agri-tourism trip, or even your own progressive diner, they are good for any adventure with us and they never expire. To purchase gift cards click here.
We look forward to the new normal of the future and see many opportunities for our area and Ridge and Valley Tours as we emerge from the “Safer At Home” order. With our combination of Driftless Area beauty and sparsity of people, our corner of the Driftless area will be an attractive place to visit for some time to come.
Marty and Teri