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Kitsap tour company is shutting down

20100430-185631-pic-325800664_5622775_ver1.0_640_480Kitsap Tours, which introduced visitors to Bainbridge Island and the peninsulas for five years, is shutting down this winter.

Owners Jean and Jim Boyle have decided to “re-retire,” according to a post on the company website. The couple plans to spend more time… travelling.

“We have decided to trade our bus for a camper van and spend some of our time exploring the back roads of this beautiful country and Canada while maintaining our home base here in Suquamish,” Jean Boyle wrote on the website.

The news wasn’t unexpected. The Boyles put the business up for sale last year and said 2014 would be their last season.

During its half-decade in operation, Kitsap Tours drew visitors from all 50 states and “introduced thousands of people to the natural beauty, history and charm of the area,” Jean Boyle wrote.

Here’s our story and video from the launch of Kitsap Tours in 2010.

Kitsap Tours seeking new owners

blog.kitsaptoursThe owners of sightseeing company Kitsap Tours have set their sights on retirement.

Founders Jean and Jim Boyle plan to step away after their tour season ends in November. They hope to sell the company before then.

“I’d like to see someone take the business and do a lot more with it, rather than shutting the doors and selling the bus,” Jean said. “There are so many more opportunities.”

Kitsap Tours picks up passengers from the Bainbridge Island ferry and shuttles them to popular West Sound destinations. A video monitor in the bus plays interpretive footage along the way.

The company’s three main tour packages include a visit to Bloedel Reserve, an excursion around Bainbridge Island, and a foray from the island into Poulsbo, Port Gamble and Suquamish.Trips to the Olympic Peninsula and local farms are offered periodically. The business operates four days a week.

Jean sees potential for a new owner to expand Kitsap Tours with more vehicles (it currently has one bus) and a broader offering of tours and shuttle services. She said the company grown steadily since launching in 2010 and drew more than 1,000 tourists to Kitsap last year. It’s well reviewed on sites like TripAdvisor.

The Boyles are looking forward to spending more time in their garden, but they’ll also miss life as tour guides.

“It’s just fun,” Jean said. “It’s a fun business.”

Read our 2010 story on the launch of Kitsap Tours here. For more on the sale of Kitsap Tours, click here.