The Road Explorer - Spring 2018 - 14
Tours & Entertainment Inc.
by Jeffrey Reed
ngel Tours & Entertainment
Inc., offering group motor coach
travel and with a specialty
in casino travel, is not your
average motor coach company. For one
thing, the staff names its buses, since,
according to founder and owner-operator
Angela Ricci, they "all have their own
personalities, just like people."
And with a female founder still
steering the successful company, Angel
Tours has mapped a route for success
that inspires other female industry
members. Ricci takes great pride in
the fact that she is a mentor within a
Established in 1998, Angel Tours
was born from Ricci's past employment
with Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario.
As Ricci explained, the casino had
opened a satellite office called a Player
Development Office in Richmond Hill,
aiming to engage people within the
GTA to visit the gaming establishment.
It's here that the Charter Group Bus
Program was created. Shortly thereafter,
the satellite office closed and the program
moved to Casino Rama's Group Sales
Department where it continues to deal
excitement 20 years later. Then, instead
of Ricci returning to Casino Rama,
she decided to run her own business
providing buses to one destination only:
Within a year, Ricci had purchased her
own bus, a Prevost H3-45. Fast forward to
2015, and she signed a major agreement
Angel Tours & Entertainment Inc. offices in the Pacific Mall.
with Casino Rama to run its VIP Service.
The result? Staff has increased from a
dozen to its current 72 employees, and
Angel Tours jumped from eight coaches
to 22 buses. This spring, a new state-ofthe-art garage in Barrie will mark the
company's 20th anniversary.
Today, Angel Tours runs casino trips
365 days a year, with Fallsview Casino in
Niagara Falls, Georgian Downs Casino
and Seneca Casino joining Casino
Rama. On the charter side, Angel Tours
is heavily involved in senior and school
trips, with destinations including Eastern
Canada, Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa,
Niagara Region, GTA and U.S.
destinations including New York City,
Atlantic City and Chicago.
Like every successful company, Angel
Tours has a strong team behind the
The Road Explorer
wheel. Fleet manager John Teixeira is a
former driver trainer and Angel Tours
driver for 18 years, while Mike Mazzocca
now fills the shoes as driver trainer.
Planning and development director Brian
Ayling, analyst Wilson Gu, VIP customer
service manager Robert Sherbok,
accountant Elayne Merritt, bookkeeper
Jara Chotenovsky, and Angela's daughter,
Sarah Ricci, who she defines as "Jill of
many trades, payroll and Yoga teacher,"
all fill important roles within the
organization. Angela's son, Johnathan,
also plays a hands-on role at Angel Tours
as shop foreperson.
Back to the buses. There's LUMU, an
acronym for "Love U Miss U, typical of
what's said when heading out," said Ricci.
Then there's Legend, Maple, Trillium,
Cupid, Halo, Loonie, Toonie, Pride,