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Hudson travel agencies merge, move to new office

Travel Explorers is better prepared than ever to meet the needs of the traveling public, according to owner William Beyer.

Last month, the travel agency merged with another Hudson agency and moved into a 2,200-square-foot office suite on the second floor of the new WESTconsin Credit Union building at the corner of Carmichael and Hanley roads.

Hudson Travel, the agency Linda Anderson established and operated in downtown Hudson for 21 years, is the latest to come under the Travel Explorers roof. Two years ago, Sue Moen merged her River Falls Travel office with Travel Explorers.

Beyer began acquiring other travel agencies in 2002. He now has seven agencies in five states that he operates under a parent company named Cornerstone Travel Group.

The expanded Travel Explorers office has six travel agents in all (including Beyer, Anderson and Moen), plus support personnel for Beyer's six other agencies.

Cornerstone Travel Group is able to get better deals from vendors because of its high sales volume and passes the savings on to customers, Beyer said.

"There is always a need to provide better service and more affordable vacation packages for working families," he said. "At the same time, we take a great deal of pride in assuring that our clients receive the upfront information they need to make their vacation planning an easy task."

Moen, Travel Explorers' sales and marketing director, said travel agents are making a comeback after being considered a dying breed a few years ago.

Not only has the consolidation of agencies given them the bargaining leverage they needed to offer competitive prices, but agents are also using the Internet to their advantage, according to Moen.

People have discovered that making their own travel arrangements using the Internet can be complicated and time-consuming, Moen said. Travel agents know where to go for the best prices and can take the hassle out of the process.

Anderson touts the advantages of sitting down with an agent who often has first-hand knowledge of the place you plan to visit.

Travelers' itineraries can be complex, Anderson added, and it's a relief to have someone else research and book all the arrangements - air travel, lodging, rental car and train pass.

The Travel Explorers office is open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is (715) 386-6222.

To learn more about Travel Explorers, visit its Web site at

Randy Hanson can be reached at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066