JCDA's March Small Business Spotlight Elite Excursions WV

March 25, 2022

Welcome to the JCDA’s March business spotlight. Throughout the month of March, we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. In keeping with this theme, our March spotlight features Elite Excursions WV, owned, and operated by Kim Michels.

Elite Excursions is a tour and transportation company serving the Eastern Panhandle and beyond. Services include everything from airport transfer to winery/brewery/distillery tours, and birthday and anniversary celebrations. Kim has distinguished her business from other transportation services by adding a personal touch to all her outings. “When we were envisioning how we wanted our company to operate it was with the goal of being way more than an Uber or Lyft service. Elite Excursions WV is designed to have an emphasis on tourism and celebrations” Kim explained.

Identifying a gap in the market is one of the first steps for anyone considering starting a business. A friend mentioned she was losing bookings for her Airbnb because people didn’t want to go to the breweries, distilleries and wineries and not have a safe ride back. From this conversation, Kim quickly realized there was a need in our area for a personalized tour company that would safely transport guests to their destinations. This idea took root and grew. Elite Excursions has added two part time drivers and grown from a one vehicle operation to a fleet of three. Each vehicle is affectionately named, Betty is a luxury van that seats eleven, Gloria is a Suburban Premier that seats six and Peggy Sue is a minibus that seats fourteen. Guests staying at local B&B’s and Airbnbs have been the largest group to book tours and bachelorette parties are definitely one of their specialties!

As the one-year anniversary of Elite Excursions approaches, Kim explained “We are hoping to spend more and more time in Jefferson County as more entrepreneurs envision providing experiences for tourists and residents alike. One of our plans is to offer a tour of Jefferson County that would highlight the county and towns. Most people know of Harpers Ferry but there is so much more history to explore here. We add in shopping and dining to make the day complete.”

Reasons to celebrate also include the business moving to its new location at 623 Willow Spring Drive in Charles Town, WV (the old Halltown Pool Supply building). The new space will be the headquarters for Elite Excursions, and it also has retail space in the front of the building that Kim is still determining how to best utilize. “Thanks to the vision and support of our landlords we have renovated the building and really given it a facelift. We have a couple of ideas for the space but would like to invite anyone who may be interested in the space to stop by and see it” Kim noted.

When you visit the Elite Excursions WV website and read her story you will realize Kim is truly a tour guide at heart. She loves history and art, supports the community, and has a passion for working with people. “We wouldn’t have been able to get here if it weren’t for the support of my family and dear friends, other businesses including the Chamber of Commerce, my church, our wonderful guests who traveled with us in 2021 and many, many answered prayers,” said Kim.

The JCDA wishes Kim many years of continued success creating special memories for her clients. Learn more about Elite Excursions at Elite Excursions WV and be sure to visit them on Facebook too.

Kim Michels head shot