UPDATED – For almost all of its almost 40 years in business, Village Tours & Charters has been headquartered near 21st and Tyler.
That’s going to change thanks to the company’s acquisition of 10 acres at the northwest corner of K-96 and Ridge Road.
“We do plan to build a new building there,” says president Jeff Arensdorf. “We’ve grown quite a bit.”
Village Tours now has seven sites. Three – Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa – operate charter buses and tours.
The company also runs charter buses out of Salina, Fort Smith and Springdale, Ark., and, as of an expansion last year, Springfield, Mo.
The current headquarters is in about 20,000 square feet at 8620 W. 21st St.
“We’re outgrowing this building, and the traffic on 21st Street is getting to be a challenge for us,” Arensdorf says.
The company, which another family started in 1980 and he and his father, Norman, purchased in 2000, has been at that site since 1984.
“We don’t have any more room to grow,” Arensdorf says.
In addition to operating charter buses and tours, the business also includes a travel agency and daily scheduled service in the Greyhound network to Garden City and Salina.
The new building will be about 35,000 square feet. Arensdorf says he’s making plans for it now.
“We’ll get started this year. Hopefully this summer.”
He expects it to be ready in summer 2019.
Arensdorf says he’s not sure what he’ll do with his existing space.
“I don’t know. Do you want to buy it?”
He says he’ll either sell or lease it.
Colby Reynolds of Sunflower Real Estate handled the deal for the new Village Tours property.
“I just wanted something that was easy on-off near a highway,” Arensdorf says. “That’s the intersection that we’re going to all the time anyway.”
He says he likes that it’s only three miles from the current Village Tours property so it won’t be much of a change for employees or customers.
Arensdorf says he doesn’t want any of them to worry about the move.
“More information will be available to customers as the time gets closer.”