WACO, Texas, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On September 26th, Extraco Banks announced Waco Tours as the winner of the 2019 Extrapreneur Award Program, which provides Central Texas entrepreneurs and small business owners a $25,000 cash prize, along with mentorship and business consultations for an entire year. Waco Tours was among more than 55 businesses across the Central Texas area that applied for the program.
"We were very pleased with the number of applications we received this year," said Chris Kincaid, Corporate Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy. "This award program was created because we knew there was a unique need from the entrepreneurs and small business owners across Central Texas, and the number of applicants prove that. Waco Tours was one of seven finalists who pitched their business to a panel of Extraco leaders. We look forward to mentoring and providing business consulation services to their team throughout 2020, and measure the program's continued impact on job growth and economic development in the Central Texas area."
Based out of Waco, Texas, Waco Tours is co-owned by David and Rachel Ridley and Luke and Rachel Whyte. The company has been operating for about three years and has served in total almost 60,000 guests to date. Waco Tours offers three experiences for guests to chose from: classic tour, river tour and the Texas experience. The company has partnerships with various companies, such as Baylor University, across the Waco area to show prospective employees and students all of the unique elements of Waco. USA Today has rated Waco Tours' river tour the number four tour in the nation.
"We are so thankful to be the 2019 Extrapreneur winner," said Whyte and Ridley. "Our data shows that five percent of guests return within 12 months to take the same exact tour. We want to show our entire city to all of people that come here, whether they are here for a day or a week," said Whyte.
"People who have been on our tours have actually moved to Waco after seeing all of what our city has to offer," said Ridley. "Children who have come on tours with their parents learned more about Baylor and decided they wanted to go there. We have people who come back again and again with different friends each time, and they usually end up extending their trip longer after learning about everything on our tour," said Ridley.
The seven finalist companies were Bear Paw Coffee & Beer Company, Champions Salon & Barber, Cheddar Box, Compleo Physical Therapy & Wellness, MLC Manufacturing, LLC, Exosphere Fitness and Waco Tours. Each finalist team participated in a "Shark Tank®" pitch event on September 24th and the pitches were evaluated by Extraco leaders on six elements: overall business idea (20%), quality of the business plan (20%), quality of financial forecast (20%), long-term viability of the business (15%), impact on the community (15%), and quality of the presentation (10%).
The remaining finalists didn't walk away empty handed. Each company received $1,500 cash prize, along with three months' of business mentorship and social media promotion.
Extraco is committed to building people, businesses and communities in the Central Texas area. For more information about the Extrapreneur Award, visit www.EBextrapreneur.com.
About Extraco Banks®
Extraco Banks and its affiliate companies are dedicated to building people, businesses and communities. Since the Great Recession, Extraco has extended over $2 billion in loans to 25,000 customers, while financially supporting over 1,275 community organizations working to create economic vibrancy, job growth and overall quality of life to our communities across central Texas. Founded as a cotton warehousing company, Extraco, at $1.5 billion in assets, is the largest and most comprehensive locally owned bank between Dallas and Austin, serving over 120,000 customers' banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth & trust needs with creative and innovative excellence. Learn more at: https://www.extracobanks.com/.
About Waco Tours
Waco Tours was founded by Luke & Rachel Whyte and David RIdley, with the hope of showing visitors to Waco the very best that the city has to offer. What started with one van and a leap of faith in June 2016 is now a team of almost 70 employees, 8 vans, 2 boats and countless stories of visitors having a transformative experience in Waco. Waco Tours now offers three flagship experiences - the Classic Tour, the River Cruise (placed 4th in USATODAY's Top Boat Tour in North America), and the Texas Experience. Over 50,000 guests later, Waco Tours remains committed to hosting guests with excellence and making sure that they discover the hidden gems that make Waco unique.
This past spring, they opened their physical headquarters, the Waco Tours Mercantile (located at 215 S. University Parks Drive), where all of the tours begin and end. It's a gathering place for guests, as well as a store offering a unique selection of Waco keepsakes from local vendors, as well as Waco Tours products. With over 3,000 excellent TripAdvisor reviews, Waco Tours also provides private tours, corporate team building events, and Step On Tours for charter bus groups that come to town. Whether a local looking for a fun date night or a business leader searching for your next team outing, Waco Tours is sure to be a special experience for all on board.
To learn more about Waco Tours, visit their website at Waco-Tours.com or give them a call at 254-300-8725.
SOURCE Extraco Banks