Travel club’s plans for 2021 uncertain

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The Sunshine Travel Club will not print its traditional book of planned excursions for the coming year due to lingering uncertainty about where travelers can and do go due to the COVID-19 pandemic .

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The book is usually distributed in the fall, and the Seniors Drop-in Center holds a Travel Registration Day in November.

The nonprofit group, formed in 1963, planned 18-day trips and extended trips for 2020. But only three excursions, including a four-day trip to Motor City to see the Detroit Red Wings host the Calgary Flames. at the end of February, went ahead before the new coronavirus interrupted other tours.

It hit hard enough and it hit fast enough, ”board chairman Richard Craftchick told The Sault Star. “It’s going to take a lot longer to put everything back in place, that’s for sure.”

He hopes that travel can resume next fall. The excursions will be promoted by e-mail.

We’re not going to start selling trips again that will cause this kind of confusion again, ”said the retired Algoma Steel inventory manager.

Travelers who made deposits or paid the full amount for all but two trips received refunds. People who booked a nine-day getaway to Virginia will get their money back later this month. Passengers planning to take a sold-out trip to Tennessee and Louisiana are expected to get their money back by mid-October.

Craftchick and Janet Luczinski, tour and office manager, faced delays from suppliers working from home due to the pandemic, delayed US Postal Service and a change of ownership to Hampton Inn where its travelers often stay.

It’s just a matter of when, ”the money will be returned, Craftchick said. He declined credit offers due to uncertain travel conditions in 2021.

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We all feel the pinch. We can’t put pressure on anyone, ”Craftchick said of his group’s approach. “We just have to let this take its time and take its course and not put pressure on anyone because it will only make things worse.”

It began distributing monthly email newsletters to travelers to keep them informed of what the Sunshine Travel Club was doing during the pandemic.

Everyone who has been to the club office is extremely eager to hit the road when conditions warrant.

We can’t wait to get out of town and go somewhere after all this lockdown business, ”is a joint statement, said Craftchick.

I hope we have a bus on the road that will go somewhere in Canada where it is safe, ”next fall. “Even though it’s a short trip just to start. It took us 57 years to get to where we are today and now we’re going to have to start all over again in small steps to keep moving forward.

The club plans to move Canadian trips planned for 2020 to next year. Planned destinations included Toronto, Winnipeg and an 11-day tour of Quebec. A Caribbean cruise scheduled for February is “to be avoided.”

People are not going to jump on a cruise ship, ”Craftchick said.

Anyone 16 and over can travel with the club, but most travelers are over 60.

Craftchick and its four-member board of directors will meet next October. On the agenda is a discussion of whether to keep the club office on Wilson Street open after all refunds have been paid.

I don’t really want to go down, ”Craftchick said.

The club has enough cash to continue operating until 2021 and beyond.

We can hold out until next year or whatever it takes, ”said Craftchick. “This is not a problem.”

Club management have already started talking about plans to celebrate the group’s 60th anniversarye anniversary in 2023.

Anyone wishing to be added to the club’s email distribution list can contact [email protected]

[email protected]

On Twitter: @Saultreporter


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