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  • 9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95827 (916) 361-2051 Toll-Free (800) 951-5556 www. sportsleisure.com CA Travel #2011549-40

    2014NOV./DEC.VOL. 36, NO. 2

    9,516 Active Members 46,970 Members Since 1979

    I N S I D E T H I S I S S U EJust One Mans Opinion .................................... 2Clayton Place ........................................................ 3The Customers Always Write .......................... 4The Human Side .................................................. 5Casino Trips and Baseball ................................. 6Day Trips ............................................................. 7-8Teasers .................................................................... 9New Vacations & Getaways .................... 10-13The Barber Pole..................................................14Tour Calendar .............................................. 14-23Coupons and Tour Updates ..........Back Cover

    H H H H H H H H H H H H

    Editor .......................................... Mark HoffmannExecutive Editor .........................Kevin MurphyStaff Writers ................... P. Hansen, R. Goodge,

    S. Angeletti & C. Whitehead, D. AndersonContributing Photographer .........C. Galloway

    An Afternoon of Nunsense!for Only $25

    On Wednesday and Thursday nights, February 11th and 12th, Sports Leisure Vacations, in partnership with the Sacramento Theater Company, presents Nunsense! This classic comedy show comes to Sacramento for a short run on the smaller, intimate stage at STC. Its the story of Mother Superior and her interesting assemblage

    of habit-wearing followers. The Nunsense! musicals are perhaps the most popular series in musical theater history! We can only accommodate

    75 people each afternoon, so get your tickets early. The regular theater price is $40, but Travel Club Members and their guests can purchase tickets for only $25.Need Transportation?

    On Wednesday, February 11, we will offer a bus from Roseville, Madison & I-80 and Arden & Watt. On Thursday, February 12, we will offer a bus from Arden & Watt and South Hills. The cost of the bus is $25 per person. To get your tickets call

    the Sports Leisure office today (M-F, 8am-4:30pm). Curtain time is 1pm. The Sacramento Theater Company facility is located within the Music Circus Complex, at 1419 H Street.Friendly reminders The

    curtain is at 1pm and there are no concessions. Eat lunch before leaving home, or plan lunch downtown before the show (if you arent taking the bus). The early curtain is a plus for those wanting to drive home before dark.

    Tour Planner/Director Scott Angeletti and Air Department Chief Michael Downer take a minute to relax at Preview Day. And yes, both of them are over 50!

    Tour Preview Day 2014A crowd of nearly 600 attended morning and afternoon

    sessions where nearly three dozen new vacation and tour packages were unveiled. Our new 2015 catalog, Escape, was distributed for the first time. There must have been some magic on its pages, because sales records were set in the days after its release, and several of the extended tours were posted as sold out within two weeks!

    Lisa Itel from Travel Oregon, and Heather Anderson of Travel Portland (behind table) distribute complimentary Oregon goodies to attendees at Preview Day at the Doubletree Hotel. Travel Oregon and Travel Portland were our Premier Sponsors at this years event, a reflection of the popularity of our Oregon tours.

  • 2 Sports Leisure Vacations / November December 2014

    Just One Mans OpinionA Review of a Preview

    On September 6th we held our annual gathering known as Tour Preview Day. After finding a home at the Marriott Hotel for nearly a decade, we decided to look for a new facility. The Doubletree Hotel across from the Arden Fair Shopping Mall was our choice. (Important to note here that because of the size of our event, only about 5-6 venues in the area can host Preview Day.)A crowd of nearly 600 attended the two

    shows. The larger facility meant we could get all who wished to attend into two seatings, instead of the previous three at the Marriott. After deducting costs attached to

    processing credit card payments for the $10 admission charge, we were left with $5,500 to share with a record five charitable organizations. Each received a check for $1,100. They are: The Mustard Seed School, Providing educational opportunities for homeless children, part of the Loaves and Fishes Ministry; The Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Wreath Project, placing holiday wreaths on the graves of local fallen warriors; The Sacramento Senior Safe House, providing a safe environment for abused, neglected seniors; The Hope Flight Foundation, improving access (by flight) to medical care for children with life-threatening illnesses; and finally, our own Chuck Evans Scholarship Fund, honoring a college student in memory of our colleague and friend. We announced this years scholarship

    winner at Preview Day. It is proudly one of

    our own family. For a very long time (25 years) Christine Knight, a one-woman graphic design shop, has created our advertisements, newsletters and catalogs. She has been a great partner. Two years ago, when her oldest child, daughter Shelby, applied for our scholarship, she was not chosen. A that time, Shelby was still looking at junior college, and the judges ruled she was not eligible. This year, on her way to UC Berkeley,

    she applied again and was declared the winner by a panel of independent judges against several other worthy applicants in an extremely close vote. We congratulate Shelby Knight, recipient of this years $2,000 Chuck Evans Santa Claus Scholarship. We introduced our members attending

    Preview Day to Tony Muia, who is our guide for A Slice of Brooklyn, a pizza-stop-based sightseeing tour which is part of our Broadway, Brooklyn & The Bronx tour every spring; then showed a video clip taken on one of Tonys tours.We brought back the popular Lets Make

    A Deal segment for a second year and gave away some prizes to Preview Day guests.All in all, the day was a success. It must

    have been, because we shattered our one day sales record on the Monday after Preview Day. I sincerely thank all those who attended, especially those who are no longer active travelers, who came out to share a hug with old friends. That meant more than anything else.

    Before We Cancel TheseEach year after the catalog

    is released, there are always surprises. Some tours sell better than we expect (Bar Harbor to Boston, Tulips & Niagara Falls, The Rhine River Cruise), some sadly, do not. Those that dont sell must be culled from the schedule and replaced with trips which hopefully receive better yes we want to go reviews from you, our travelers.

    Listed on page 14, in The Barber Pole, or Once Over Lightly column, are eight trips which are on the bubble, under consideration for cancellation. I call them to your attention because each year, after we go back and cancel some of our least popular ideas, I always get a few calls from people saying, Why did you cancel such-and-such trip? I really wanted to go there this year. I of course respond, Gosh, if you had only registered sooner. And the reply I get is often, I didnt know I needed to sign up that early.So, for the new kids on the block, yes,

    you need to sign up that early. The popular trips sell out quick, and the unpopular ones are quickly scrapped. For some trips, the difference between going forward (signing contracts, paying deposits, etc.) and being canceled is as few as 4-6 more participants. Check out the list, and the comments from the Tour Planners behind the tours, who share what they think are the best reasons to put that trip on your wish list for 2015.

    H H H H H H H H HPreview Day was a big day. Its always fun

    to see people I havent seen for a long time, either because they arent traveling or just arent on my trips. The day is hectic and the many faces a blur, but a good blur. A friendly blur if you will. We are listening and we will make next years presentation even better.The response from those who received the catalogs in the mail also made new sales records. Thank you.If I dont see you on the road before the

    New Year, have a joyous holiday season. If you are spending part of it with Sports Leisure, all the better. Heres to a successful, healthy and prosperous 2015! And so it goes

    Sincerely,

    Mark Hoffmann, CTPPresident

    Mark with Tom Romano, The Travel Guys taped a part of their show at Preview Day

  • Sports Leisure Vacations / November December 2014 3

    for the instructions Im about to give you, and penned our first entry! Im afraid its not the quickest path to read Ruths review or add one of your own, but if youd like to say something about us for the world to see, wed be extremely appreciative. Begin by logging onto www.necal.bbb.

    org. (Thats the Northeast California unit of the BBB.) On the broad, blue bar, select GET CONSUMER HELP. This gives you a dropbox. Select WRITE A CUSTOMER REVIEW. Then type SPORTS LEISURE VACATIONS in the appropriate box. (You dont have to type the city because were the only one!) This brings you to our business page. There are links to VIEW BUSINESS REVIEW, FILE COMPLAINT or SUBMIT A CUSTOMER REVIEW. Select the latter, then type away!Like it or not, the world is online. Sites like

    these are an important avenue to support companies you patronize and like. Plus its a great chance to see your name in print! While online, why not check out www.sportsleisure.com? Attention Downton Abbey fans, have you seen the news? Wenow have two departures for this exceptionally popular English vacation next summer. Just select the INTERNATIONAL link, then scroll down. (Tours are li