Certified Professional Las Vegas Tour Guide Training

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UPDATE: The 2015 CPTG class has ended and was a great success. Congratulations to the 9 guild members who successfully completed the program and have attained their CPTG certification!

If you are interested in taking the training class in the future, please send us a message and we will notify you when the next class is scheduled. Most likely it will be in the spring of 2016.

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The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild (LVTGG), a professional association of tour guides and travel companies promoting the integrity of tour guiding in Nevada, invites Las Vegas guides and other interested persons to register for the guild’s Certified Professional Las Vegas Tour Guide (CPTG) training program which will begin March 15, 2015.

The eight session CPTG program provides in-depth focus and training on information and skills relevant to Las Vegas tour guides. Participants receive the valuable added benefit of sessions held in stimulating locations such as the Nevada State Museum Las Vegas, the Mormon Fort, and on-site in Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip, as well as a number of special guest speakers and trainers throughout the program.

Most classes will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons, with a few exceptions for holidays and site visits. Classes are beginning Sunday, March 15, and will culminate with a final examination. Those who successfully complete the course will receive certification from the LVTGG as being a “Certified Professional Las Vegas Guide.”

Topics include:

  • Practical Guiding Skills and Information
  • Geology and Flora & Fauna
  • Native Americans, Explorers, Pioneers, and Miners
  • The genesis and evolution of Las Vegas, including:

– The Mormon Fort and Helen Stewart
– Downtown and the Railroad
– Hoover Dam, the military, and the Atomic Age
– The Strip, from its origins to today
– Matrimony, Gaming, the Mob, Corporations, and Mega-Resorts

  • Regional locations and attractions
  • Meet & Greet and Event Protocols
  • And more!

For a limited time the CPTG program is being offered for just $50 for current members of the LVTGG. This special offer is available only through March 1 has been extended! LVTGG membership is a requirement of the training program, and annual LVTGG membership is $40.

Registration and payments can be completed on the guild’s website.

For more information, please visit www.lvtgg.com/cptg, or contact the Education Chair, Jerry Perkins, at training@lvtgg.com.

The Las Vegas Tourist Guides Guild is a membership organization of tour professionals and members of the travel and tour industry who live and work in the Las Vegas area. The Guild advocates for the advancement of Las Vegas tour guides and tourism, and provides a liaison between tour guides, employers, and the community. In addition, through training and familiarization visits, the Guild strives to improve the local tour industry and ensure quality service for Las Vegas area visitors.

West Rim Road Update

 

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Courtesy of Wikipedia

For those of us that dread that “dirt”road on the way out to Grand Canyon West, otherwise known as Pierce Ferry Road. Fear no more, they started the paving process today!

The first part comes off the normal pavement and extends down what some of us used to refer to as “snake back road”.  The switch-backs are gone. Its now a sloped road with a soft curve at the bottom.

They have removed the rock crushing equipment and are now in the final prep or at least the final grading of the rest of the new roads.  Looks like they will be doing it in stages.  Still a lot of stop and go, flagmen during the day.  So expect delays.  Today we had three stops and a delay of about 20 minutes total.

I was told the end of June for completion and it looks like they will make it.

Go Tour The Linq

 

The_High_Roller_-_View_From_The_Linq

Courtesy of Wikipedia, N. Stiller

The Linq and High Roller are some of the newest hotspots in Las Vegas and every Las Vegas guide should be familiar with them.

The Linq is the $550 million outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district patterned after The Grove in Los Angeles and is located between the Quad (Imperial Palace) Linq Hotel and the Flamingo.  It is anchored by the High Roller, which is currently the world’s tallest observation wheel and amazing to see up close.

When the property opened, we were some of the first to go and explore it. One thing that many people enjoy is how different and kind of “far away” it feels from walking the Strip.

Caesars has hit a home run with the High Roller, building a skyline-enhancing attraction that helps Vegas  maintain its status as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”  To make sure you tour it right, go into the Linq Concierge office just past the water fountain.  There you will find friendly Linq Concierges who can give you all the info about the High Roller and shops and restaurants at the Linq.

Tour Groups and The Wheel

For tour groups they have a valet area literally located under the wheel which can accommodate small buses and limos. There is a separate entrance and lobby for charters and groups at the end of the pedestrian area, basically under the High Roller, and a pullout for (2 – 3) motor coaches immediately south of the High Roller on “Linq Way.”

Each of the 28 pods holds up to 40 persons and takes about 30 minutes to go all the way around.  Drinks purchased at an on-site bar can be taken on board, and some specials are offered that include unlimited drinks during your ride. You can buy out a pod or pods for groups.

 

 

Go See Lonnie Now!

Lonnie 2

If you claim to be a Las Vegas Tour Guide and never toured the Lonnie Hammargren House, you are not a true tour guide!  Just my opinion… But seriously, this house(s) is a must see for all Vegas Tourist Guides.  It may also be the last weekend he does this.  So Go This Weekend!!   Lonnie Hammargren Home Open This Weekend

When we first started The Vegas Tourist Podcast in 2006, Lonnie was the first person we interviewed.  The Vegas Tourist Podcast He even gave us a private tour that will remain etched in my mind as probably the most interesting of all tours I have ever been on!  If its not in a museum, its here…

  • Part of the Stratosphere roller coaster is here
  • Signs from most of the classic casinos that are gone are here.
  • Liberace piano is there along with his staircase from Radio City Music Hall

Its Vegas history, he is Vegas history…  Go see it.  It’s worth the $10

Is It Open??

Las Vegas Tour Guides

So while our elected officials sit back and play games, Las Vegas tours are grinding to a halt.  or they are getting creative in working around the closures…  But many people are wondering what park or recreational areas near Las Vegas are open during the Federal Government shutdown?

JoLynn Worley from the Federal Bureau of Land Management put it best:  “Anything with a gate is closed,”

That would mean

  • Red Rock Canyon  Conservation Area is closed
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area is closed (including the marina)
  • Great Basin National Park is closed
  • Grand Canyon National Park is closed
  • Death Valley is closed (see below)

What is Open?

  • Spring Mountain Ranch State Park!!!
  • Hoover Dam (it makes money)
  • Grand Canyon West Rim (Hualapai Indian Tribe)
  • Valley of Fire
  • Death Valley is open’ish – you can still drive through Death Valley and take photos at scenic points. Facilities are closed.

Please remember, this is a FEDERAL issue, State Parks are not impacted!

 

FAMS are for Business

FAMS.  Familiarization tours.  An opportunity for tour professionals to get together with other tour professionals and get familiar with an attraction or location you may have a tour to someday.

It’s also an opportunity to do some business or get some business if you are smart.

Usually you are invited as part of a group, on behalf of the host of the attraction and given a behind the scenes working tour of the place as well as tips and examples on how you can benefit from the attraction as well as learning how it works with groups and private functions.  Important details you can’t get any other time.

FAMS are used for more than just familiarizing you with the attraction, its an opportunity for the attraction and others to see you in your element. In a place you do business in. Your behavior is being judged on a professional level.  Attending such an event can lead to more work just as easily as it can lead to losing work.  Its your choice.  Use it wisely or pay the price later.

Observing and Networking

Please remember that Any Time you are out wearing your “Look At Me, I’m a Tour Guide” hat, you are being judged by potential clients.  People you do not know who may want to work with you in the future are watching you.  Since it is a professional event, you should know its time to shine!

I get several jobs a year from other tours.  People who have been on one tour I am leading, later calling me to ask me to lead their tour because they liked what they saw.  I never knew they were tour ops, they were just guests on a tour.  I have also met other tour professionals at FAMS who referred business my way afterward.   As well, I have sent business to other tour professionals I met at FAMS because I liked what I saw and knew they could do a great job for my client.

The advantage to attending a FAM is that it shows you are taking your profession seriously by expanding your education and your knowledge base.  The fact that you attended the FAM while many others did not, can  boost your credibility with the host and those in attendance for future contacts ( or not).   Its Your Choice.

Never Forget that FAMS are for business.  Your Business!!