DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, AUGUST 7, 2018: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. ("NFI Group"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, notes that over the past 25 years, Leisure Time Charters & Tours' all-female family team has built the Emerson, Georgia-based business from a single pre-owned coach to a fleet of 20 coaches serving schools, universities, athletic programs and a host of other educational and group tour clients.

Leisure Time's latest purchase — three new 2018 MCI J4500 coaches featuring the best seller's all-new interior with best-in-class, 56-seat legroom — represents the company's first new coach order from MCI. Leisure Time's newest coaches also feature optional Amaya seats, a hostess microphone, power outlets at each passenger seat and Detroit Diesel engines.

"We wanted Detroit motors," said Brenda D. Tidwell, family member and tour planner, who with her mother Joye Darwin and sister Patricia Burton, have built the company into a family powerhouse since 1992. While Leisure Time's technicians maintain its fleet, the Detroit dealer is close by. "We have a very good relationship with the dealer and that helps us get the most out of our fleet. We are also impressed with the expertise and experience of our MCI representative, Sean Kelchen, that adds to the confidence we have in our new equipment." On average, Leisure Time keeps their hard-working and well-maintained coaches on the road for 15 years, reupholstering seats and adding touch-ups to keep their oldest coaches looking brand new.

Leisure Time's family members with one of three new MCI J4500s are from left: Brenda Tidwell; Ingrid (Brenda's granddaughter); Joye Darwin; Patricia Burton and Elizabethe Tidwell (Brenda's daughter).

A smart start

Tidwell began her motor coach career as a part-time tour guide, leaving a hospital career to start Leisure Time with her mother, who was running a trucking company with her stepfather at the time. The mother-daughter team started the company with a used bus, and as demand grew, they added more pre-owned coaches. Careful with their investments, the pair wouldn't begin adding new coaches until 1998.

Leisure Time's first new coach MCI order is a point of pride, according to Patricia Ziska, MCI Vice President of New Coach Sales. "Leisure Time is not only a family- and women-owned, they work very hard to make our industry better and bolster the image of motor coach travel with a good looking fleet."

A founding member of the Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association (GMOA) in 2001, Leisure Time has worked to grow statewide membership to nearly 35 companies today. They are also members of the the ABA (American Bus Association) and UMA (United Motorcoach Association). Such membership has led to success. "Industry membership has helped us grow and learn. We attend many of their annual meetings and enjoy the support and services they offer their membership," said Tidwell.

Patricia Burton joined her sister and their mother as a partner in the business and office manager 22 years ago. Brenda's daughter, Elizabethe Tidwell, Director of Educational Tours, and Brenda's daughter, now rounds out the complete staff of 30."


"From 9 to 5, it's all business between us," says Tidwell. "You'd never guess we are family members because we speak and treat one another as co-workers with jobs to accomplish. But after work is through and especially during the holidays, family matters. The work is rewarding not only for the service we provide to the community. "As single parents, we've been able to afford to educate our children and grandchildren," she adds.

Leisure Time is an innovator in tour development — one of its most popular packages is its "Circle of Georgia" tour, developed at the request of a public school for its students. It remains a popular tour for statewide students and tourists alike. The company's red and white coaches can been seen across the U.S. and Canada and especially in Washington D.C. "My mother and I — and also my stepfather who has now passed — picked a name that stands for fun, and my sister picked a red and white graphic theme to stand out," said Tidwell. "That was important to my mom and sister when we started ordering new coaches and they were right." Learn more at

About NFI Group

With nearly 6,000 team members, operating from 31 facilities across Canada and the United States, NFI is North America's largest bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI® (motor coaches), and NFI Parts™ (parts, support, and service). NFI buses incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, NFI posted revenues of US $2.4 billion. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at

About Motor Coach Industries

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America's motor coach leader in public and private markets, offering the J4500, the industry best-seller for 13 consecutive years and the all-new J3500 model, the workhorse D Series, including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE. MCI also supports nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road with maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, and the industry's only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy technician training center.

For further information, please contact:

Patricia Plodzeen, MCI Public Relations
Tel: 847-283-0883

Motor Coach Industries - An NFI Group Inc Company: Corporate Address 200 East Oakton Street, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 | Phone: 866-MCICOACH

Copyright 2004-2018 Motor Coach Industries Int'l, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.