New bus tours open up in White County area
By Rima Austin | January 7, 2019 7:06 am
White County is steeped in the entrepreneurship spirit with goods like pottery, art, and breweries. Anyone wanting to visit several artistic places so far have had to do it driving their own vehicle, getting out of the car, getting back in the car, and driving to the next one.
Recently, Brian Thiesen and his business partners joined together to offer something new to the area to make those visits less bothersome. Tour the Upper Cumberland Bus Company has been operating trial runs to get feedback from customers to see if the venture is worth putting more time and money into. Thiesen said they have had fantastic feedback.
“We have already had people asking to rent the whole bus,” said Thiesen. “Yeah, the feedback is awesome.”
Asked what made them think of starting the bus tour business, Thiesen responded it is just the entrepreneurial spirit in them. He explained he already works with all of the breweries in the area as well as Northfield Vineyards, and, after discussing ideas, they decided White County needed to have something new.
“I work with Red Silo [in Cookeville], and they have kind of given me free reins to try new things,” said Thiesen. “I realized that, especially from Cookeville to Sparta, people just want something else to do.”
Thiesen explained that the bus tours are not going to be just a brewery tour; they plan to have four or five different excursions from waterfalls to other areas that are scenic and beautiful. He said they have done two tours already where the president of Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce, Marvin Bullock, has hosted them both. He stated there were people who have lived in Sparta their entire life that told them they had never seen that part of the county before.
Visitors to the area and residents who are tired of the same scene every weekend are the preferred clienteles of the tour bus company. They want to give people a new experience in the area not offered by anyone else.
“People come into town and they say, ‘OK, now what do I want to do’ – they don’t want to just go to a bar,” said Thiesen. “It might just be that we pick people up and drive around. We’ll have beer and wine on the bus and live music. It’s, of course, 21 and over and no kids. It’s adult time.”
Anyone interested in taking a day tour or renting the tour bus for employees or family and friends will have to wait a little while longer. While not up yet, the website for the venture will be www.tourtheuc.com. Anyone with questions can reach out to Bullock at Sparta-White County Chamber of Commerce at (931) 836-3552.