Based in Clifton New Jersey, Panorama Tours is a family-run motorcoach bus company that has been in business since 1995. The business was founded in by Joseph Zak, after a successful career in paper manufacturing management. Joe rose through the ranks to production manager.
Years prior, Joe received his CDL and drove part-time for his brother's company, Mountain View Tours. He drove school routes and charters while working on his business administration degree at Montclair State University. Even while working in the paper industry, he continued to drive for his brother, doing an occasional charter over the years. He decided it was time to start his own business and do something he really enjoyed.
He started Panorama Tours and built the business doing daily charters to casinos, ball parks and various days trips. Overnight trips included Niagara Falls, Montreal, Boston, Washington D.C. and out west to Ohio for color guard competitions. In the winter, the company transported people to the ski reports in Vermont, New York, and PA.
Then in 2002 after graduating from Rutgers University, his daughter Michelle (Petelicki) joined the family business. It did not take her long to fall in love with the bus business. In 2008, Michelle acquired 51% of the business and became the company president. The rest is history, as they say!
Fast-forward to this year and to the pandemic that has rocked our industry. As with most of her fellow bus owners, she has been advocating for funding for the industry. Being overlooked in the stimulus packages, American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association organized a one-day rally to raise awareness to Congress in Washington D.C. Motorcoach Rolling for Awareness took place May 13th with over 900 buses converging on D.C.
Michelle originally planned to ride the loop through D.C. on the company bus with her Dad, his wife, and three drivers. However, when the team realized how many motorcoach companies and other industry supporters were not able to attend due to financial constraints, they decided to stream it live on Panorama Tours' Facebook page-with Michelle on the streets with her camera reporting, interviewing and videotaping the event.
While Michelle live-streamed from the event, a team of people back in New Jersey worked behind the scenes, monitoring, and responding to comments and sharing the videos across various social media platforms. The platforms included the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association and Panorama Tours Facebook pages. She also posted to the Motorcoach Rolling for Awareness Facebook page; a page setup specifically for the May 13th rally. From there, Michelle's live stream videos were viewed by 30,000 people. She did an amazing job!
Michelle is an officer on the board of GNJMA, treasurer for the Motorcoach Marketing Council, a member of UMA, ABA, Spader 20 group, BISC, Women in Buses and Motorcoach Professional Alliance. We wish Panorama Tours much continued success.