Monthly Archives: December 2008

Ranch-style Culinary retreat




Whether you are a small group looking for something outside the box, or perhaps a family reunion or just some couples needing a weekend get away,  TMI Tours can offer you a very unique retreat tailored to your needs.   Your mornings will be filled with fishing, horseback riding, hayrides, kayaking or floating the river.  In the afternoon,  join our host chefs for lessons on preparing your catch of the day, Native American or Cowboy Campfire cooking as well as wild game preparation.  Enjoy 5 star meals with local wines served in a Mongolian Yurt.  The evenings will be spent around the campfire being entertained with local legend and history and maybe a ghost story or two.  Your accomodations for the night will be cozy and warm in handcrafted cabins surrounded by lush forest and whispering streams.   Extend your stay to include nearby Glacier National Park or into town for some local shopping.  Maximum group size is 14 and advance reservations are highly recommended during peak season. 

Bed and Breakfast Farmstays

We are so fortunate in North Idaho to be surrounded by many beautiful farms and ranches.  Farmstays are a popular way to become part of the family, to experience life on a working farm while enjoying the amenities of a vacation.  In Coeur d’Alene, we have the advantage of being located near a very unique organic farm that will accommodate you in a luxurious wall-tent for the night and cook an organic, farm fresh breakfast for you in the morning.   During your stay you can learn all about organic farming, pick fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, gather farm-fresh free range eggs or visit the gentle farm animals that share this heavenly place.  This is a very popular destination during the summer and reservations are a must.  You can choose to stay for as many nights as you like and partake of the farm activities or just relax in a hammock in the cool, fresh gardens.  Call or email us at  TMI Tours & Cruises and let us arrange an itinerary that is suited to your taste. 

Snowmobile Safari in Northern Idaho

Imagine clear blue skies, sparkling clean snow, crisp mountain air, and the most incredible scenery all taken in from the top of a mountain peak. This is winter in North Idaho and the best way to enjoy it is on a snowmobile.

All of TMI’s snowmobile trips feature:

• Rental of  top of the line snow machines
• Whether you’re a novice or expert, before you ride, we’ll go through the safe operation of the sleds as well as the “rules of the road.”
• Snowmobile rentals include snowmobile clothing (snow suit, snow boots, gloves, and helmets)
• Private or Group itineraries including experienced guides
• Sightseeing and local attractions
• The majority of our snowmobiles are single rider sleds. We do have limited access to two person machines. Please let us know in advance if you need access to a two person snowmobile.

Our snowmobile safaris will take you through remarkable geography, areas of native history, beautiful forests, and wild animal habitat. You’ll ride to the top of majestic mountain vistas, cruise beside beautiful rivers and streams all located within the 1,000 miles of groomed trails available in our area.

Join us for a standard guided tour or let us design one exclusively for your group. Either way, you’ll love the rare combination of excitement and thrill that snowmobiling provides in this winter wonderland of the Inland Northwest. Contact Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours today to schedule your tour, 1-800-975-7775 or email her at [email protected].

Unique Meeting Venues Available in the Coeur d’Alene Area

TMI Tours has access to many exciting locations for corporate meetings, family events, weddings, planning sessions, team building events, and special events. Let us help you secure a unique venue for your event. Tired of the traditional hotel conference room? How about using an amazing lakefront home for your event! Perhaps an old or new barn, a teepee (yes, we have access to some really awesome teepees), a private beach location, or a historic building is what you’re looking for? Whatever you envision as the perfect location for your next event, TMI Tours will help you make the necessary arrangements.

Are you scheduling a corporate meeting place or retreat to work on a project? Why not use a non-typical location to stimulate creativity and motivation. The casual environment of a beautiful lakefront home tends to open people up to more discussion. A comfortable, living room style setting is much more conducive to conversation than a stuffy, generic hotel conference room.

By using an “out-of-the box” location for your next event allows people to clear their heads, look at things differently—from a new and exciting perspective, and free themselves from the confines of everyday life. There are numerous interesting locations that will offer you and your group a fresh view and provide a powerful, stimulating and motivating effect on your team. Meetings and events that are held in unusual surroundings that are completely new for the participants generally excite, astonish, unsettle, and inspire them which in turn can lead to a very successful, creative event for your business. Get your team out of the boardroom (known in some places as the “boredroom”) and give your group an exciting opportunity to bond and move your business ahead!

TMI Tours will make sure that any facility you need is outfitted with the latest audiovisual technology tools, Internet access, telephone service, and any other needs to ensure that your meeting is successful. To explore all of the exciting possibilities for your next meeting, please contact Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775 or email her for more information.

Golf-Coeur d'Alene has the best!!

Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area has been blessed with the perfect climate for the game of golf.  With summer temperatures usually in the mid 80’s, our golf courses maintain their velvety greens and our abundance of trees provide just the right amount of shade for the avid golfer.  With over 10 local golf courses to choose from, no matter what your budget, TMI Tours can find the perfect golf vacation for you.  Here are a few of our favorites:


Black Rock’s Jim Engh-designed course was voted the Best New Course of 2003 by Golf Digest.  This is genuinely a unique golf experience of dramtic cliffs, cavernous natural bunkers, sparkling lake panoramas with stunning curves and textures.  The 7000 yards of rolling hills include a back 9 holes with waterfalls cascading over black rock cliffs and panoramic views of Lake Coeur dAlene.  Jim says  the best golf hole he ever designed was number 11 on this exclusive course.


Circling Raven, a Gene Bates design golf course, is located on 620 wildly beautiful acres within the Coeur d Alene Indian Reservation lands.  Voted as one of the top 10 Best New Casino courses in America,  this 18- hole beauty winds through natural wetlands, woodlands and native palouse grasses.



The Hayden Lake Country Club is a private, member owned club rich in tradition and historical heritage.  Origonally opened in 1907 by the Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad as a retreat for the wealthy, it became the Hayden Lake Country Club in 1927 and maintains its 18- hole golf course to the highest of standards and quality.  The 6,030 yards of course are nestled along the shores of pristine Hayden Lake.


Master golf course designer Tom Fazio has created Gozzer Ranch’s breathtaking 18- hole championship golf course with spectacular lake views.  This 700 acre course, surrounded by basalt rock bluffs with dramatic spires and cliffs, is so well integrated within its surrounding that it looks like a natural part of the landscape.  The 431 yard, par-5 hole 15 is his favorite for its unimaginable views of Lake Coeurdalene.

Be sure to visit our website at TMI tours and check out our fabulous golf package under the self-drive tours section.  We are offering a limited number of packages that will get you onto some of these member-only courses this summer.  Reserve early, come to Coeur d’Alene and let TMI Tours show you northern Idaho as only we can.

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d\'Alene Sept. 2008

Lake Coeur d'Alene Sept. 2008

Coeur d’Alene is located in such a fantastic spot. From our great town, you are able to explore some of the most beautiful country located in North America! One of the closest, most popular points of interest is our own lake. Lake Coeur d’Alene is 30 miles long, varies from 1 to 3 miles in width, and provides over 109 miles of beautiful shoreline for boaters and vacationers to explore and enjoy. The lake is fed primarily by three rivers: the Coeur d’Alene, the St. Joe, and the St. Maries. The outlet for the lake is the Spokane River. The elevation of the lake is 2,125 feet above sea level. The lake has an average depth of 120 feet and has a maximum depth of 183 feet.

There are a few model T’s sitting on the bottom of the lake due to people who, in the early 1900’s would drive across the lake during the winter time in order to save half the distance in getting around the lake. Obviously this wasn’t such a wise choice for some folks! There are also a few steamboats on the bottom that had been sunk when they were no longer used to ferry people across the lake. Divers frequently visit these old relics on the bottom.

The lake is definitely a sportsman’s paradise. It features top quality fishing opportunities with an abundance of trout, salmon, bass, pike, and other species. It’s also a great location for water skiing, tubing, and other water sports. Sailing and pleasure cruises are also a great way to explore the lake.

Lake Coeur d’alene features many exciting points of interest on the CDA side. Higgens Point, Tubbs Hill, City Beach, and Wolf Lodge Bay are all popular spots to visit and explore. Any one of these locations is a great place to take the family. They are all great picnic spots too! The North Idaho Centennial Trail provides a fully maintained trail that follows much of the northern shoreline of the lake. The 24-mile paved trail extends from Higgins Point to the Idaho/Washington border, offering a no-fee trail for runners, bikers, dog-walkers, and anyone who just wants to enjoy the natural beauty of our area, year round.

Our Winter Wildlands

While there isn’t any lasting snow on the ground  in our beautiful “City by the Lake” yet, our surrounding mountains have had a couple dustings of that crispy, white powder that we are so famous for.  With the holiday season upon us, touring Lake Coeur d’Alene by helicopter or seaplane is the most magnificent way to observe our area decked out in its holiday best.  With the luxurious lake homes lit up with thousands of lights and displays, they are clearly visible from the warm comfort of your aircraft.   Beautiful mountain lakes are a vivid blue as you glide over them and spotting wildlife below is easier than ever against the white backdrop.  The deer, elk and moose are herded together in the mountain meadows looking for food. The bald eagle population is growing daily at Wolf Lodge Bay, reaching it’s peak right at Christmas time.  This is a perfect photographic opportunity from the air and our pilots love showing you our winter wonderland.  Call us at TMI Tours for up to date information on vacation rentals and local sightseeing by air.



— Desire for Life Experiences Keeps People Traveling Despite Economy —

NEW YORK, December 2nd, 2008 – Virtuoso®, in conjunction its worldwide network of 300-plus member travel agencies, including TMI Tours & Cruises in Coeur d’Alene, ID, has launched a new consumer advertising and marketing campaign, ‘Return on Life™’ (ROL). The message celebrates the idea that today a rich life is not measured by personal possessions, but by time well-spent with loved ones on journeys to new destinations and the memories created by these experiences. The concept behind the campaign supports TMI Tours &Cruises’ focus on custom, unique trip design, a growing trend in experiential travel, and reflects the travel patterns that Virtuoso and TMI Tours & Cruises have seen with their own clientele of high-income households, indicating a shift in consumer motivation and expectations regarding travel. This shift is consistent with recent reports that show consumers are still collecting life experiences, most notably in the way of travel, even as their appetite for acquiring luxury goods slows.

According to Matthew D. Upchurch, CEO of Virtuoso, “We are now facing a time of economic uncertainty and naturally people are taking time to reflect on what’s important to them: personal fulfillment and enrichment, quality time with family and friends, and the opportunity to detach from their everyday worries and de-stress. ‘Return on Life’ encapsulates these desires, and travel is one of the best conduits to achieving a higher ROL.”

“We increase our clients’ ‘Return on Life™’ by helping them realize and fulfill their travel goals,” says Rhonda Sand, owner of TMI Tours & Cruises. “We are in the business of creating life experiences for our clientele, and we’ve reached a point where consumers are placing more value on these experiences. Their time is precious and they want to build lasting memories with loved ones, whether it’s traveling with their teenagers before they head to college or with their own parents; they want to make the most of it. These travel experiences at various stages of their lives are what build their Return on Life™ portfolio, and we make sure they spend this limited time wisely.”

TMI Tours & Cruises’ advertising and marketing collateral will reflect the  ‘Return on Life™’ concept by focusing on what is important, explaining that money can be lost and made again; however, time, once gone, is irreplaceable. The message reinforces the importance of working with a knowledgeable travel advisor when looking for someone to trust with an asset as valuable as free time. At a time when discretionary spending, even for the affluent, comes with careful consideration, a professional advisor from TMI Tours & Cruises will provide travelers with a confidence and advocacy that starts with the planning process and stays with them throughout their journey.

As Virtuoso unveils the various aspects of its ‘Return on Life™’ campaign, clients of TMI Tours & Cruises will be able to view ROL-related marketing materials in print and online. The network’s own award-winning magazine, VIRTUOSO LIFE, which is available exclusively to clients of Virtuoso member agencies, will continue to focus on authentic travel experiences that capture ROL. The editorial content from current and past issues is available for online viewing at Advertisements explaining ‘Return on Life™’ will begin to appear in the network’s prospecting publication, INSIGHTS, by December 2008 and online immediately. Travel opportunities that focus on life stages and personal fulfillment, as well as value-oriented options, all of which are available through TMI Tours & Cruises, are available at

TMI Tours & Cruises

TMI Tours & Cruises is located in the lower level of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Building in beautiful downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho across from the Coeur d’Alene Resort. We arrange extraordinary travel experiences for visitors to the Pacific Northwest. We specialize in the creation of unique holidays, retreats, and corporate visits, meetings and events throughout the Inland Northwest of Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Montana. Using our handpicked collection of elegant hotels, lake cabins, chalets, cabin rentals, homes, activity companies, culinary operators, luxurious lodges, wineries, yachts, aircraft, and other transportation companies, we stretch our imaginations to engineer the perfect visits to our beautiful area.

TMI is a certified, woman-owned business and is located in a Hub Zone. We are also a multi-lingual company speaking Spanish, German, Chinese, and Japanese.  Coeur d’Alene is also sometimes abbreviated as CDA. It is located in the Western USA between Montana, Washington and Western Canada.

About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the industry’s leading luxury travel network. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 300 agencies with more than 6,000 elite travel specialists in 22 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,000 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations. The network’s member agencies generate over $5.1 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Virtuoso is the exclusive network of travel services and benefits provided by MasterCard® for participating World Elite MasterCard® programs. For more information, please visit


For further press information, please contact:
Rhonda Sand
TMI Tours & Cruises
Ph: 208-765-1111
Email: [email protected]


Misty Ewing
Virtuoso – Director, Public Relations
Ph : 212.588.8242 or m: 206.484.8022
Email: [email protected]