July 20, 2017

New Transportation Option for Calaveras County and Beyond!

Posted : May 17, 2013

Sierra Adventure Charters and ToursUPDATE May 2014: Sierra Adventure Charters and Tours has been renamed Mother Lode Adventures Charter Services and is run by the same fabulous husband and wife team with the same dedication to outstanding customer service and now with additional tour options.

We sat down with new CVB member Sierra Adventure Charters and Tours’ owner, Kelly Smith, to get the low down on her new business endeavor which promises to be a hit with locals, local recreational businesses and tourists alike:

What is Sierra Adventure Charters and Tours?

Sierra Adventure Charters and Tours is a new business just starting off. We have one 11 passenger van (that includes the driver) that’s used to pick up customers at the specified location of their choice and of course take them to whatever destination they would like to go to. Of course in our area, we have so many locations such as Yosemite, Big Trees and the list goes on and on. We also want to be able to assist them in acquiring the activities they would like to do and take them to those locations and of course network with our community events and just the fun things to do. That’s kind of it in a nutshell.

What inspired you to start Sierra Adventure Charters and Tours?

My husband and I went to Europe last year and when we were in Italy, a gentleman was at the train station who happened to just stop us and give us his business card and let us know that if we needed a driver to take us to somewhere in Italy, that he would accommodate us.

On the day before our departure back to the United States, we wanted to go on a wine tour in Tuscany so we called the gentleman that we met at the train station and he picked us up right at our villa and took us into Tuscany to a wonderful wine tasting location and just drove us around. As he was driving us around he was describing places and sharing stories, it was just very personal, we loved every minute of it. There wasn’t the hustle and bustle that you get with the big tour buses and such.

So when we got back to the United States, we really got to thinking how fabulous it would be to bring that kind of service to our local community because again, it’s just beautiful up here and we want to share it, so that’s what inspired us.

Sierra Adventure Charters and ToursYou’re headquartered in Twain Harte… but what departure areas do you cover?

We cover all areas. I know that sounds very vast but in our local area we will be at anybody’s beck and call so to speak. For instance, we heard that there were some customers in Angels Camp recently who wanted to go up to Yosemite and back but couldn’t find transportation that would pick them up in Angels Camp,and we would certainly accommodate that. We just need to get, hopefully, a 24 hour notice, and of course, their specified pick up location and we’ll pretty much pick them up from anywhere and take them to the destination of their choice.

Is there a minimum number of people you will take?

Again, our van will seat up to 10 passengers and we will take however many people would like to go, even a single person or a couple, if that is what they need. We are there to offer our services. If we are unavailable, we know there are a couple of other wonderful driving services as well that we will certainly refer them to, or if our van isn’t the type of transportation they were looking for. We’re looking forward to networking with the local businesses here as well.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re so excited about our plans for the future. Right now we’re looking into purchasing another vehicle because we don’t want to turn anybody away. We want to be able to grow our business. We’re hoping some day to have an actual fleet of vehicles that will be housed in a warehouse to protect them from the weather because we know we get some extreme weather up here. So, we’re just looking forward to moving into a warehouse and just getting bigger and bigger.

Sierra Adventure Charters & Tours logoIs there a maximum length of time that someone can hire the van and driver?

No. It’s unlimited to whatever service is required. So if someone wants us for a weekend, then they’ve got us. If they plan a trip to Yosemite for the weekend, my partner/husband/driver will actually find accommodations for himself. He’s their driver and at their service and if they need him to stay overnight and drive them as they need him, that is certainly available to any customer, whatever their specifications.

What does your service cost?

We’re starting out at $275 for the van for a first 4-hour minimum for day trips and then $75 per hour thereafter. There will be a coupon included in our brochure for $10 off and that’s probably just going to stay a standard for right now. We hope that that’s something that’s appealing to our customers. We did some research on this, and found that this pricing option was more appealing in general than a per person price.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. One of the main things we want to express is that although there is the ability to make reservations through our website, I really hope people will call because I personally want to be able to speak with each and every customer and have a personal relationship with them. My husband and I really believe in customer service and we really want to extend that personally to each and every one of our customers.

And when are you starting?

We’re hoping to be up and running by Memorial Day weekend. We are waiting for one last permit and we are hoping that falls into place for us. We may be delayed, but hopefully, not more than a week or so but certainly that is our goal… to open by Memorial Day weekend.

Mother Lode Adventures Charter Services:


Other great private transportation options for Calaveras County:

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