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Raise the roof: Pursuit bringing Open Top Tours to Jasper

Pursuit’s Open Top Tour hosted a soft-launch event on Sept. 25, with this vintage-inspired coach named Edith travelling up to Pyramid Lake. | P.Shokeir photos

Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca

Get a breath of fresh air with Pursuit’s latest offering in Jasper National Park.

Pursuit will expand its vintage-inspired tours to Jasper National Park with the launch of Open Top Tours, which will officially open to guests next spring.

The attraction and hospitality company first launched its Open Top Tours in Banff earlier this year.

The new Jasper tours will offer a guided experience through the mountain town on a vintage-inspired coach reminiscent of the open roof “Old White” automobiles of the 1930s, with a guide in period costume to boot.

The coaches also feature modern comforts such as USB charging ports for phones.

The buses come with seat belts, and guests are not allowed to stand while the bus is in motion.

The guide will let passengers know when it’s okay to stand up for photos and sightseeing by yelling, “Raise the roof!”

When the guide yells, “Park it!”, that’s the signal to park your keister.

Stops along the tour include signature vistas such as Pyramid Lake, the Athabasca River and Old Fort Point.

At Pyramid Lake, guests will be treated to sparkling apple cider, a beverage that both parents and kids can enjoy.

While touring along some of Jasper’s most iconic locations, the guide will tell stories ranging from legendary folklore to true events, such as those of notable people who helped shape Jasper’s history.

The open top itself allows those inside the coach to properly indulge in the rich panorama offered by the mountain town and the natural wonders surrounding it.

Of course, the top can be rolled up in the event of poor weather, and the guide will have several blankets for those catching a bit of a chill.

The 90-minute “Legends of Jasper Tour” will depart from the Crimson Hotel and the Pursuit Adventure Centre.

Travelling back in time

Earlier this year, Pursuit launched Open Top Touring in Banff that included Banff Avenue, Banff Springs, Surprise Corner, Bow Falls, Minnewanka Loop and Tunnel Viewpoint.

According to Pursuit, the Open Top Tours can be traced even further back to 1916 when Jim Brewster acquired five overland motor coaches to replace the 70 horse drawn carriages that Brewster was using to conduct sightseeing excursions at the time.

In the 1930s, Brewster expanded the fleet with the addition of the 12-passenger, open-top buses built by Western Auto and Truck Body Works with Ford chassis.

The buses guided guests through the streets of Banff through the ‘30s.

The vehicle has since been restored and often makes it way down Banff Avenue for special events to this day.

Pursuit says the Old White and Jim Brewster’s personal sense of stylish hospitality were the inspiration for the new Open Top Touring vehicles today.

For more details, visit opentoptouring.com

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