In 1997, Overland Charters began in El Dorado, Kansas. It has grown from a building shared with another business and one converted Blue Bird School bus to a state of the art facility in Wichita, Kansas and a fleet of Prevost Luxury Motor Coaches.
That is a small part of the company history. The entire story is one of perseverance, vision and hard work.
In high school and to this day, Kelly Fankhauser has enjoyed snow skiing. He took numerous motor coach trips to Colorado and became entranced by the motor coach industry. Most young people in high school might dream about having a business but Kelly was different – he acted on it! As a senior he not only started a motor coach tour company, he did this while owning the largest lawn treatment company in Butler County, the largest county in Kansas – all at 18 years old.
Overland Tours setup ski trips and other tours over the next few years contracting existing bus companies to provide the transportation. At 24, when his lawn care business was growing and stable, Kelly acted on his ultimate goal – he started a motor coach company. Starting conservatively and in a financially prudent manner, he bought a used Blue Bird school bus (right), painted it, replaced the seats, added a restroom and began booking trips. One of his first trips was from Wichita, Kansas to Washington D.C. Shortly after Overland Tours came into business Kelly changed the name to Overland Charters. That name more reflected the direction of the company as a motor coach charter company versus a tour company.
Today, Overland Charters is now located in Wichita Kansas in a million dollar state-of-the-art headquarters. The company has grown from one Blue Bird bus to a full fleet of Prevost motor coaches traveling throughout the continental United States and Canada.
Overland Charters’ success is built on the most important philosophy Kelly has lived by in his businesses life -- NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CUSTOMER SERVICE. He stresses this daily to all his employees. The emphasis of Customer Service runs throughout his companies - from mechanics, to professional drivers and to office staff. Overland Charters’ employees know that they are a part of that “Customer Service Team”. That philosophy is ingrained in all decisions made at Overland Charters.