While working in the hospitality and tourism industry, Bob Grove learned through market studies that more than 80 percent of leisure travel is done by personal automobile to places close to home, but no travel companies specialized in it.
One night he got the idea of starting a business to benefit local travelers by offering a convenient service to help them plan their road trips and quick getaways to places close to home. He stuck a sharpened pencil to Salt Lake City on a map and tied a string around it to draw a circle that measured 400 miles to scale. He decided this would become his area of expertise. At that point he had already been in the tourism industry for 15 years and had traveled extensively throughout the region, but he wanted to discover local hidden treasures to share with others.
With this idea in mind, Bob launched DriveAway Vacations in 1993. DriveAway Vacations specialized in local vacation spots, all of which are within a half-day drive of Salt Lake City. This includes destinations such as Yellowstone National Park; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Moab; Mesa Verde National Park; Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks; the Grand Canyon; and one-night getaways to Park City and Ogden Valley.
Over the years, DriveAway Vacations transitioned from a travel agency that would book reservations to a one-stop Internet resource with road conditions, recommended travel routes and even a section with suggestions for entertaining children while traveling. The Web site, driveawayvacations.com, also has links to other resources that make planning a road trip much simpler and easier.
Bob has learned that no matter how expensive travel becomes, or what is going on in the world or in one’s personal life, people will continue to travel. With skyrocketing gas prices over the past several years, the buzzword has become staycation, where families choose to visit destinations close to home. Bob says there’s never been a better time for local residents to discover the scenic treasures and adventure in their own backyard.
To supplement his income in the early years, Bob escorted motor coach tours, and has more than 18 years experience taking groups to the national parks and recreation areas of the west. With this experience, he added tour planner to his list of services with emphasis on the parks and attractions of the Grand Circle and Heart of the Rockies travel regions of the Intermountain West.
In 1996 Bob was featured on the cover of Travel Agent Magazine for bringing diversity to travel by combining DriveAway Vacations services with the traditional travel services offered by Salt Lake City based Morris Travel.
In 2010 Bob merged his two businesses (DriveAway Vacations, Wild West PR & Marketing) to form a marketing alliance called DriveAway Adventures Marketing Group. In the same year he partnered with Maverik convenience stores and started Maverik Adventure Getaways to promote roads trips, adventure travel, recreation, and benefits to Maverik’s loyalty club members, customers and employees.
On the side, Bob freelances as a tourism marketing consultant, travel writer and is a frequent guest on local TV and radio to share his knowledge and experience on places to visit and explore in the Intermountain West. He currently co-hosts Inside the Outdoors radio show on FM 97.5 in Salt Lake City with Steve Brown on Saturday mornings.
Bob enjoys running, cycling, skiing, golfing, hiking; well pretty much anything that keeps him active and outdoors. He loves his home state of Utah and currently lives in St. George, Utah with his wife Susan.
Click here to listen to DriveAway Vacations on Speaking on Business with Fred Ball.
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