‘Showing off Milwaukee’

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:00 am

Kay Collins started KBC Tour Company in 2007 after she saw a glaring demand for guided tours of Milwaukee.

“One of the things I noticed throughout my career in the hospitality industry was that people weren’t doing a very good job of showing off Milwaukee,” she said. “There are so many new and exciting things that can be fun for people to see so I decided it was time for me to jump in there.”

The tours Collins provides vary in size, but mostly give a general overview of the city.

 “It’s usually people that are coming to the city for the first time, or those who haven’t been back to the city for a really long time,” Collins said. “My tours really give them a sense of what the city has to offer.”

During her tours, usually conducted on coach buses or with her own car, depending on the size of the group, Collins discusses the unique architecture, building designs and industry history of the city of Milwaukee. She takes them by the churches, the breweries, notable Milwaukee monuments and Harley-Davidson Inc.

“Typically, the groups are seniors visiting from out of state. Sometimes its more corporate-driven,” she said. “It’s nice, because I have the capabilities to showcase a specific thing on the tours, depending on the interests of the group.”

Collins has the ability to bring in help to conduct tours in different languages, and she also can add a leisure activity into her tours, such as visiting the Wisconsin State Fair, going to a farmers market or watching the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Calatrava addition open in the morning.

Collins receives many referrals from Milwaukee-area hotels and Visit Milwaukee when people request tours of the city. Her tour groups can range in size from two to as large as 95 people. She can spend three to five hours with a group, depending upon what they want to see and do. 

“I guess it’s just neat, knowing that everyday when the phone rings, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into,” she said. “It’s always fun if the group has never been here before. It’s usually a surprise to them.”

To view a podcast interview of Collins by BizTimes reporter Alysha Schertz at some of the more popular stops on the Milwaukee tour, click the video below.

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