by Berl Colley

The operative word for ACB convention 2005 tours is HOT!!! Temperatures in the Las Vegas area in July quite often exceed 100 degrees.

It is time to start planning for what looks to be the largest ACB convention ever, in Las Vegas, Nev. Although it hasn't been finalized yet, the agenda for ACB tours may be one of the largest ever.

Tours will start on July 1, 2005 with another all-day trip. You will be leaving early in the morning and heading to Arizona, partner. Your tour will follow the Colorado River to Lake Havasu. We may travel the last 60 miles to Havasu on the Colorado River in a jet boat if we can get a workable price. In the 1960s, Robert McCullock, of McCullock oil fame, developed several planned communities around the Southwest. His developments were usually built around some signature landmark. In the case of Lake Havasu, his first development, the landmark is the London Bridge. "But that's in England, crossing the Thames!" you say. No, the old London Bridge is in the Arizona desert, bridging a small canal of Lake Havasu. McCullock purchased the bridge, had it shipped to Arizona and reassembled it in his new community more than 40 years ago. Today, Lake Havasu is a thriving community of 50,000 people, and the London Bridge is still its chief attraction. You will be having lunch at an internationally known eatery, then you will explore the many little shops on and below the bridge.

We are also looking into a boat trip on Lake Havasu for those wishing to spend time away from buying stuff. From Lake Havasu you will board a bus and go up to Oatman, Ariz., an old mining town that produced millions of dollars in gold from 1906 through 1942. Oatman is on Highway 66, not the Route 66 of TV fame, but the original Route 66 that was built in the 1920s. After hearing about the history of this area, you will have a chance to visit some of the businesses on the town's boardwalks: places like Fast Fannys, the jail and gift shop, the old hotel, post office, Judy's saloon and several other candy and ice creameries.

After the mines were shut down during World War II, many of the burros that were used in the mines were turned loose to roam the countryside. The area is now a federally protected area for burros. There are photo opportunities for visitors, but visitors are warned that these burros are wild and may bite or kick. Note -- parts of this town are not very accessible for those using wheelchairs. The evening will be filled with some great food and entertainment, before heading back to the Riviera in Las Vegas.

On Saturday, July 2, there will be an opportunity to float on a portion of the Colorado River below Hoover Dam. This three-and-a-half-hour float is in Black Canyon, a protected area along the river that can only be visited by permission of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. This is a narrated trip, where you will learn about geological formations, the area's fauna and other general information. Lunches will be provided. No littering, please! This will be a morning tour, as it can get very hot in the canyon in the afternoon.

Tours of the cities where ACB conventions are held are always popular, but Las Vegas is so different that we will be scheduling more than two city tours. We will have the Saturday and Sunday morning tours. Later in the week, we are trying to put together a late evening, open air tour of the Las Vegas strip, with all of its glitter and theme architecture and shows.

Saturday afternoon, ACB tours will be visiting the Liberace museum. He was a collector of cars and pianos. There is one whole building devoted to these collections. In another building, you will learn about many of the fantastically elaborate costumes that he wore. You won't be able to touch them, because of the expensive jewelry on them, but there will be knowledgeable description. The museum is going to try to have someone on hand who will play some of his music. This tour will be repeated on Tuesday, July 5.

ACB tours is working with the Riviera to provide some informational training on their gaming activities. Current plans are to do this for a couple of hours late in the afternoons of Saturday, July 2, Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4. Look for more information in upcoming Forums.

On Sunday afternoon, music afficionados will want to tour Elvis-A- Rama. This is a museum of Elvis memorabilia and an Elvis impersonator who will do a 15-minute show. After leaving Elvis-A-Rama we will go over to Ethel M's candy factory. This internationally known candy maker produces a large variety of candy, including their signature line of alcohol-laced chocolates. This tour will be repeated on Wednesday, July 6.

In future Forums we'll talk about: the blind services tour on Tuesday; the visit to Mormon Fort on Monday; a fun time at Bonnie Springs Ranch where Old West melodramas, shootouts and hangings could happen on Tuesday; a visit to have tea?-- at a brothel? -- on Wednesday; a tour of Hoover Dam on Thursday; a return of the popular Wednesday night cruise, on Lake Mead; going to the Clark County museum on Thursday; and Saturday evening dinner and entertainment. Other possibilities being looked at: a roller coaster tour; an upscale shopping trip; a visit to the Liberace house; the home of a doctor who has collected some very unusual things; and a Las Vegas 51s Pacific Coast League baseball game.

Kudos go to Carol Ewing, Rick Kuhlmey and all of the ACB folks in Las Vegas for their tireless work to make the 2005 ACB convention one that ACB attendees from all over the world will always remember.

It's not too early to call the Riviera at (702) 734-5110 and make your hotel reservations. ACB tours is looking forward to touring southern Nevada and northwest Arizona with you.

E-mail this page to a friend

Printer-Friendly Version

Previous Article

Next Article

Return to Table of Contents

Return to the Braille Forum Index