THE BIG LEAGUE TOURS BLOG

In the News: Big League Tours Featured in the Indianapolis Star

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ 05:17 PM

The following article appeared in the Indianapolis Star today. It's a very nice feature of our company history and the unique baseball trips that we offer. 

Big League Tours arranges special trips for baseball fans

It took awhile, but Glenn Dunlap has figured out how to pitch deluxe package tours to major league baseball fans.Ron Kittle meets with fans prior to a game at US Cellular Field

Sell East Coast games to West Coast fans. Schedule frequent tours to historic Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. And promise customers short bus rides, stays in convenient downtown hotels and meet-and-greets with ex-big leaguers.

"It's inevitably one of the most popular things our guests experience," Dunlap said of the drop-in visits he arranges with former baseball stars. "It just gives you a different perspective when you talk to (ex-Pirate) Dave Parker about hitting and you are standing on the field."

Dunlap's Indianapolis company, Big League Tours, expects its formula to produce its first profitable year this season, after the recession of 2007-09 threw his 6-year-old business a curve.

Based on pre-bookings, sales this year should be 10 percent to 20 percent higher than his best year of 2008, said Dunlap, who works a day job as a business consultant for startups.

Dunlap's tours aren't for the faint of wallet, which is one reason the recession hit the business hard.

Big League Tours' most popular option (offered four times this year) is a combo package of games at Fenway Park in Boston, and New York's Yankee Stadium and the new home of the Mets, with a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., thrown in. The cost: $2,440 per person, including hotels and meals.

Dunlap found he can market to a sub-section of baseball fans he dubs "stadium hunters," who want to visit as many of the 30 major league ballparks as they can, often taking children, spouses or parents along for a family bonding experience. To keep logistics simpler, Dunlap limits tours to 15 to 20 people. Repeat visitors make up 40 percent of bookings, which tells him his concept is a hit.

Ron Kittle, a former slugger for the Chicago White Sox and other teams who does public appearances for the White Sox, has spoken to several of Dunlap's tour groups.

"He's created a pretty good reputation for himself," Kittle said of Dunlap. "It's great what he offers."

Fans especially like the ballpark tours and early admittance to the stadiums that Dunlap arranges, Kittle said. "Not everybody gets a chance to be in a stadium and see things up close. Nowadays, with security procedures, it's hard to get in early."

This year, Dunlap added two one-day bus trips, both leaving from Indianapolis to see the Cincinnati Reds play. He's marketing the day trips to companies to give to employees as motivational rewards.

So far, Dunlap sees little demand for spring training tours, despite rising fan attendance at spring training camps.

Dunlap is tour guide for some of his trips and hires three guides to handle the others.

The business gives Dunlap, a baseball fan since boyhood, the chance to pursue his personal goal to visit all 30 major league parks. He's up to 24, with two set to be added to his list in 2012.

What: The business offers baseball vacation packages to major league baseball games. Thirteen baseball travel tours are offered this year.
Headquarters: Indianapolis.
Owner: Glenn Dunlap.
Founded: 2006.
Customers: Forty percent are repeat customers. Less than 5 percent are from Indiana.
Trivia: The company has had only two rainouts in six seasons.
Online: www.bigleaguetours.com.

You can learn more about our 2012 Baseball Tours by following the link.

Tags: baseball road trips, east coast baseball tour, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, MLB tours

2012 Hall of Fame Tour Baseball Vacations

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ 03:35 PM

Big League Tours group taking stadium tour of Fenway ParkJoin Big League Tours on one of four Hall of Fame Tours this season.  The Hall of Fame Tours feature three of the most popular destinations in baseball- Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, plus a game at Citi Field.  

There's no other way to enjoy the games at Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field than by sitting in lower level seats.  Big League Tours is the only tour provider that guarantees seats in the lower level 

Grand Hall at Yankee StadiumGuests will stay in some of the finest hotels in each of the cities.  For example, our groups have stayed exclusively at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown Manhattan while in New York.  Our travelers rave about the level of service, location, and comfort of the Grand Hyatt.  It's connected to Grand Central Station, so getting around the city when there's free time is extremely convenient. 

As with every Big League Tours luxury tour package, The Hall of Fame Tours feature our exclusive Major League Player Experience.  Our guests will have the opportunity to spend time with a former major league player.  This isn't just an autograph session.  Our group members get time to talk with the player, ask questions about his playing days, and get insights in the game that can only come from someone who has played at the highest level.  The MLB Player Experience is always a highlight of a Big League Tours baseball vaca tion. 

Get all the info on our Hall of Fame Tours by clicking the links below: 

Hall of Fame Tour 1- May 14-19   BOOKINGS CLOSE TODAY 

Hall of Fame Tour 2- June 4-8
 

Hall of Fame Tour 3- June 23-28 

Hall of Fame Tour 4- July 16-21
 

HALL OF FAME TOUR PROMOTION 
Yawkey Way Store
Book any of the Hall of Fame Tours by March 16, 2012 and get a $150* gift certificate to use at the Yawkey Way Store across the street fr om Fenway Park. No trip to Fenway is complete without a visit to the Yawkey Way and the massive Yawkey Way Store. 

*No prior sales.  One certificate per room booked.  Not valid with any other offers or discounts.
 
 

Tags: baseball vacations, Luxury baseball, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, big league tours, Yankee Stadium

Baseball Tour of the East Coast Ballparks

Posted by Doug Lawson on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 @ 12:33 PM

The East Coast Tour Special Extended to Feb. 20

Bill Lee after a private stadium tour at Fenway Park We know that planning your luxury baseball package takes time. Especially one like our East Coast- Touch ‘em All Out East Tour that hits the road June 21-28. Maybe you need to put in a vacation request at work, find someone to house sit, or get a kennel for dogs. Whatever the circumstance, we want to give you time to make plans to join us. So, we are extending our East Coast Tour Special to Feb. 20. Just click on the links below for the East Coast Tour webpage and brochure. More info on the Special is at the bottom of the email. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Here’s the link to the Full East Coast Baseball Tour- Touch ‘em All Out East

Here’s the link to get a printable/shareable brochure- East Coast Brochure

EAST COAST TOUR SPECIAL

Book the East Coast- Touch ‘em All Out East Tour between now and the end of the day on Monday, Feb. 20 and get 10% OFF the regular tour price.  That’s a savings of $718 for a double occupancy room package, or over $1,200 in savings for a 4 person per room package.  Call or email with questions.  Or click here to begin booking the tour- PURCHASE THE EAST COAST TOUR

 

Tags: baseball vacations, Luxury baseball, east coast baseball tour, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Cooperstown

Join the East Coast Baseball Tour

Posted by Doug Lawson on Thu, Feb 09, 2012 @ 03:33 PM

View from our seats at Oriole ParkThe Baseball Aficianado's Dream!!

Do you want to get a big jump-start on your baseball bucket list? Then join Big League Tours on the Touch ‘em All Out East luxury baseball vacation. This extensive tour will visit Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Fenway Park, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Guests will be close to the action at every ballpark with Big League Tours’ Lower Level Seat Guarantee.

As always, the tour group will stay in the heart of the cities with luxury hotel accommodations East Coast Baseball Trip Brochurenear the great attractions and sites in each location. And, with Big League Tours' Sensible Itineraries, there will actually be time to enjoy them all. Add in an exclusive meet and greet with the Big League Tours' MLB player experience; Stadium Tours; On Site BLT Host; In-Room Welcome Gift; and you have a baseball vacation that will give you a lifetime of memories. Learn more about the Big Difference with Big League Tours.

Here’s the link to the Full East Coast Tour- Touch ‘em All Out East

Here’s the link to get a printable/shareable brochure- East Coast Brochure

Tags: Citi Field, Citizens Bank Park, east coast baseball tour, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Nationals Park, hall of fame, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

8 Things I Love About Our Baseball Tours (and Can't Wait For!!)

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 11:30 AM

As we're putting our finishing touches on the 2012 Baseball Tours (and as the snow flies outside my window...), I was thinking about all the things I love about taking our tours and thought I'd share the list with you:

8) Family Time - I love going to games with my family. In fact, that's largely what got me into the business. Sometimes I'll travel with one family member, make it a guys trip, or take the whole clan. It doesn't really matter to me. Quality time with my family at the park is always a great time.

7) Food - So I like to eat. Nothing's as good as Dad and daughter with me at Yankee Stadiumexploring new restaurants around the country and trying out new cuisine. We have found some great places this way. If you are a foodie, too, let us know and we'll help you find something that suits your tastes.

6) New Stadiums - Most baseball fans have at least one stadium on their bucket list - if not all 30! I'm no different. I have just a couple left on my bucket list so I'll be completing it soon. It's always a treat to make it to a new stadium.

5) My Team - My team is the Cincinnati Reds. If I'm not at the ballpark for one of our tours, I'm typically watching or listening to their games. It's great to see them play at home or on the road.

4) New Cities and Sites - One of the best parts of travel is getting to see new cities. Every place has its own culture, feel, and vibe. And whether it's the first time or fiftieth, there are always new things to see and do.

3) Seeing Families Connect - I knew that starting a baseball travel business would allow me to travel with my family and experience things together. What I didn't expect was how much I would appreciate and enjoy seeing our guests connecting. Hearing a grandpa tell his grandkids about players, stadiums, and games from a different era has been great. Added bonus! (And tell me those kids won't remember that forever..?)

2) Meeting New Ballplayers - We arrange player meet & greets on all of our tours which is always a guest favorite (and mine, too!). Talking shop with Big Leaguers and getting their take and perspective from inside the game is very interesting.

1) Fenway Park - What can I say? Fenway is my favorite park in all of baseball. I love the neighborhood, the atmosphere, the age and smell of the park, the Green Monster, wood seats and 100 years of history and nostalgia. It's hard to match that experience anywhere else!

That gives you a few hints about my plans for the summer and what I'll be doing on our ballpark tours. How about you? What do you like about baseball road trips? What do you look forward to the most? Drop us a note so we can share it and potentially incorporate it into our tours!

Tags: baseball road trips, bucket list, Fenway Park, MLB tours, family tours

Guest Blog: Will Carroll on PNC Park

Posted by Big League Tours on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

You can argue, but PNC Park in Pittsburgh is the best park in baseball. Sure, Wrigley and Fenway have that historic charm and are maybe a bit more integrated into the neighborhood, but at PNC, you can go to the bathroom, park, and oh those views. For years, people have said the only thing wrong with PNC is the team on the field. Last summer showed that's changing, so there'sWalking thru PNC Park during the game to see different views no time like now to get to the park before it's elbow to elbow. (Though frankly, the park is even better filled and loud.)

Get a seat on the third base side, especially on night games, so you can see the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the full view of the Pittsburgh skyline. The city is just across the river, a miniature Manhattan with a distinctive skyline. Make sure to have a Primanti Brothers sandwich, a Pittsburgh tradition that puts the fries and slaw inside the bread! (Trust me, share one.) Save room for Manny Sanguillen's BBQ, which is hidden behind the batter's eye in dead center field. Many times, Manny himself will be out there!

Sitting in the right field bleachers is a very unique view. I've gone to theWill Carroll w baseball resized 600 fenced area underneath and carried on conversations with Garrett Jones during games. There aren't too many places you can do that in baseball. As you leave, check the statues of Pittsburgh greats around the park - Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner, and Roberto Clemente remind us all of how good it's been in Pittsburgh. You'll agree, PNC is the best park in America.

Will Carroll is a contributor to Sports Illustrated. Called "the industry standard" by Peter Gammons, Carroll's work on injuries and sports medicine has been groundbreaking for both fans of the game and those inside the game. He is a member of the BBWAA.

Tags: baseball stadiums, ballpark tours, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, PNC Park, Pirates, Pittsburgh

Baseball Tour Holiday Promotions and Tour Spotlight

Posted by Doug Lawson on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 @ 02:10 PM

Book before Dec. 23 to get your extra hotel night

Folks have been booking early to take advantage of our free hotel night promotion.  For example, we've had travelers from the West Coast select to arrive a day before their Midwest 2 Tour begins so they won't be rushed after their cross country flight. We've also had a family choose the early arrival option on their Chicago/Milwaukee so they can have a day to check out the sites in Chicago.  The promotion ends Dec. 23.  Call or email us with any questions.

 

Still time to get a Big League Tours' gift pack under the tree

A Big League Tours' trip is a great gift for the holidays.  Any true baseball fan would love to travel with Big League Tours in 2012.  Plus, you can get a Big League Tours gift pack for them to open up on that special day.  Just book your tour by the end of this week (Dec.16), and let us know you want a gift pack.  We'll send it out right away and only charge for the shipping.


Tour Spotlight:  Hall of Fame Tours

Grand hall at Yankee Stadium This season, Big League Tours is offering four tour packages that visit the most popular destinations in baseball.  Our Hall of Fame Tours include games at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Citi Field and a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  We always provide great, lower level seats; an MLB player experience; first  class hotels; and the flexibility to enjoy your trip.  Click on the tour listings below to see the details.

Hall of Fame Tour 1

Hall of Fame Tour 2

Hall of Fame Tour 3

Hall of Fame Tour 4

Tags: group travel, baseball trips, baseball tours, baseball travel, baseball vacation package, ballpark tours, Fenway Park, Yankees, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame

2012 Hall of Fame Tours

Posted by Glenn Dunlap on Sun, Dec 04, 2011 @ 06:02 AM

Talking with baseball fans from all across the country, it becomes apparent very quickly that Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame are the top three Fenway Park from our seatsdestinations on almost every baseball enthusiast's bucket list. So to help fulfill those dreams, we've created four tours, at different points in the season, to give folks a chance to see these great baseball monuments.

On each of the tours, our guests will take in games at Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. And since we'll already be in New York City, we've even included Citi Field in the mix. (Once you see this ballpark, you'll be really glad we did!!)

Here's a quick run down of the Hall of Fame Tours:

Hall of Fame Tour 1 - May 14-19, 2012
Includes: Fenway Park, The National Baseball Hall of Fame, Yankee Stadium & Citi Field

Hall of Fame Tour 2 - June 4-8, 2012
Includes: Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Fenway Park

Hall of Fame Tour 3 - June 24-28, 2012
Includes: Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Fenway Park

Hall of Fame Tour 4 - July 16-21, 2012
Includes: Fenway Park, The National Baseball Hall of Fame, Yankee Stadium & Citi Field

As you can imagine, I've hosted this tour a few times. Even then, I look forward to it every time as there are things that I love to do at each of our stops. There are the obvious things, like taking in the baseball games, taking the stadium tours before the games, and soaking up the history of the game in Cooperstown.

But some of the not so obvious things are taking in other sites that our destinations have to offer. Walk the Freedom Trail, visit a museum, or take the duck tour of the city in Boston. See the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, go to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Plaza, or shop Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Pick up collector's items, visit the out of the way bistros, or just enjoy the nostalgic feeling and the slower pace of the village of Cooperstown.

Whatever your passion, we'll guide you through a tour that will be the experience of a lifetime!

Tags: stadium tours, Citi Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Cooperstown

The Bucket List Winners Are...

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:45 PM

November 11, 2011 - Thanks to everyone for taking our survey and letting us know what is on your baseball bucket list. We will be using the info to put together our baseball vacation packages for 2012 and look forward to releasing our schedule very soon.Green Monster at Fenway Park

Here are 10 of the top baseball destinations as selected by you.
1.  Fenway Park                                                
2.  Yankee Stadium
3.  Baseball Hall of Fame
4.  Miller Park
5.  Wrigley Field
6.  Oriole Park at Camden Yards
7.  Target Field
8.  Citi Field
9.  AT&T Ballpark
10.  Busch Stadium

Have another favorite or stadium that's still on your bucket list to visit? Drop us a comment and let us know. We'd love to hear from you!

Tags: Citi Field, Miller Park, bucket list, baseball vacation package, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, Busch Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Target Field, hall of fame, Baseball, Oriole Park, Camden Yards

The Big League Tours Baseball Bucket List Survey

Posted by Big League Tours on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 04:15 PM

October 19, 2011 - Thanks to everyone who filled out our survey about which baseball stadiums you'd like to visit. The response has been tremendous. We thought we would update everyone on the results, so far.

So, here are your top picks with their response percentages:
1.  Tie- Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park 48%
2.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame 35%
3.  Wrigley Field 34%
4.  Miller Park 31%
5.  Oriole Park at Camden Yard 28%

If you haven't filled out the survey yet, just click below and let us know where you want to go with Big League Tours in 2012. We're looking forward to announcing our baseball tours for next season and appreciate your input. Plus, we will give you $100 off your 2012 Big League Tours trip just for completing it. Only one per client.

Tags: Miller Park, baseball stadiums, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, big league tours, Yankee Stadium, hall of fame, Oriole Park, Camden Yards