Thank you to @BlueBlazerEG for supporting the T6 and helping us get to Lake Placid safely 🚌
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 29, 2021
As the Official Travel Planning Partner of the Toronto Six professional hockey team some may wonder what that means. Briefly, we assume an important and vital responsibility on behalf of their organization. In our role as their travel management partner, we perform a travel-plan and cost-benefit analysis for determining the best mode of travel and evaluate the risks and benefits for traveling across the U.S./Canada border during the Covid-19 pandemic. Not an easy task, when evaluating air travel into three airports with motor coach ground transportation vs. traveling by land when after all the border is closed to non-essential travel.
Through an array of transportation analysis and by performing an objective motor coach supplier pricing and capabilities competition we determined the best and most cost-effective mode of transportation for the team to travel to the 2021 Lake Placid Isobel Cup Bubble Season would be via a Toronto-based bus line we selected for the job. All we had to be sure of was to plan for an undertaking where nothing could go wrong.
Once we made the decision to travel by land and bus, we still needed to work through various cross-border exemptions with U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to assure entry into the United States and mitigate any complications at the border ahead of time.
As planning for the trip continued to unfold, we project-led the bus-wrapping and graphics design to help the club brand their bus, and we assisted the team to know exactly how much cargo space they had above and below the deck of the bus. This was not a normal away-game road trip. It was the very first travel trip for the club, a two-week journey requiring extra luggage for each team member, requiring everyone adhere to specific luggage handling, packing, seating, and social-distancing rules around and on the bus during the Covid-19 pandemic. Mitigating any virus spread was paramount in helping ensure the team arrive safely in Lake Placid, which they did.
In addition to mapping out a specific route and specific cross-border port of entry into the U.S., we made accommodation for the team to acquire a 12-passenger van for additional utility need in Lake Placid.
As the tournament got underway, the Six started with a loss, followed by an overtime tie/loss, and then strung together four straight wins to capture the number 1 seed heading into the playoff semi-finals. Unfortunately, the NWHL suspended the playoffs early and we had to quickly return their bus to Lake Placid, again another border crossing into the U.S., and transport the team home the following day, which we did. For those that could not return on the bus we made accommodation for one-way car reservations back to Toronto and other destinations.
Custom travel planning is a specialty of ours and we aim to make the complex look and become easy. Travel must be comfortable, without surprises, and our goal is to help the team stay within their travel budget while leaving nothing to chance. Mission accomplished.