Nebraska Tour Company has an invitation for guests and residents alike – come discover Omaha past and present.
Our August Small Business of the Month is a locally-owned group dedicated to showcasing the best and newest local restaurants and lounges in the heart of the city. It also shares Omaha’s past with insightful historic tours led by local guides who grew up in the area. Owners Alan Rust and Dakotah Smith founded the company (originally Discover Omaha and now Nebraska Tour Company) in 2017 to share their passion for Omaha.
“We are driven to support the local community of Omaha in everything we do,” Rust says. “We are locally-owned; we only support local businesses; and we create unique fun experiences to share what we love about our city with visitors and residents.”
Nebraska Tour Company offers more tour experiences than any other company in Nebraska. That includes a slate of VIP Omaha Food & Drink tours (Sushi & Sake, Tequila & Taco, Gastropub & Brewery to name a few) and a full line-up of historical city and district tours.
“Our tour experiences share the story and identity of Omaha,” Smith says. “We know that Omaha offers successful careers, fun experiences, food and drink, local music and art on a world class level. We are showcasing what makes Omaha a vibrant and unique city that visitors would be encouraged to visit again and again.”
Winning Insights from Our August Winner:
- Providing an Excellent Customer Experience
“The company concept is to create VIP personalized tour experiences that introduce our guests to the best that the city has to offer,” Smith says. “Guests are able to schedule their experience when it is convenient for them, unlike the usual tour company model where events are prescheduled. We learn the guest’s motivation for the tour in our first conversation. We establish their tour itinerary based on their comments in order to exceed their expectations. Culinary guests are provided with luxury transportation, including their driver and tour host, and they have VIP reservations at each venue on their tour. Our partner venues are the best in the city at providing them with outstanding service as well.”
- Empowering Employees and Creating a Culture in which They Can Grow and Succeed
“Our company was created to support individuals who want to share their passion for the city,” Rust says. “Our acquisition of Nebraska Tour Company (in 2018) brought talented local historians to our team. After listening to them during our initial meeting, we knew we had an opportunity to grow the business to support them. Their local, historical passion for Omaha led us to increase their tour offerings from 5 to 19 total. We let them know that we will support and promote any new tour ideas they want to provide to the community. We will continue to support and foster the ideas of our team as we grow.”
- Best Practice Tip
“The best tip we can give other business owners is to be prepared because every minute of every day is a networking opportunity,” Rust shares. “Owners need to have their brief business description ready for every person they meet because one never knows if they are a valuable connection. It seems basic but having business cards at all times and always being dressed to represent your business along with that brief description is critical.”
- Value of Chamber Involvement
“Our membership in the Chamber has provided us with many valuable connections as well as new business for our company,” Smith says. “From the orientation meeting to networking events, we have met many other business owners that we have partnered with to expand our business. We have also made some important new friendships.
- Impacting the Community
“Our company mission is to support other local businesses and non-profit organizations. We regularly spotlight charitable organizations in our Discover Omaha Blog and social media. We feature local business owners and artisans to share their stories with the city,” Rust says.
“We support the Modern Streetcar initiative to improve the city and are currently planning social food and drink events to help spread the positive news about how the streetcar can provide improvements benefiting the entire city.
“We also offer internships to Nebraska students from Creighton, UNL and UNO. These opportunities provide valuable experience to business and tourism students as they study here in Nebraska. Supporting our local community is at the base of everything we do.”
Want to learn more about Nebraska Tour Company? Check out the company’s website.
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