news article on storm chase tours

There was anarticle on storm chase tours in my local paper today, and I found a free version on the internet at the link below.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destination...htm?POE=TRVISVA

So, I don't know the two fellows (Wilson and Dunham), but I can't say as I was impressed with their resume to be leading storm chase tours. While not every tour group needs someone like Tim Marshall behind it to make it a more 'credible' operation - it does make me wonder how safe a tour with somewhat green chasers would be. These guys could be quite compentent, I dunno, but in general, what are others thoughts on this? Perhaps there could be a way to sort of incorporate storm chase tour certification with the storm chaser association that was proposed (maybe something like a BBB type thing). I think we all benefit from these operations maintaining high standards to avoid bad publicity.

Glen
 
I hope they don't print their company name on the van...... I don't think residents of a town that just got blown away would like to see it...
 
This is an old AP piece that's been handed down the pike; I saw this article way back in early Spring on some other website. Nothing really bad about it, just the same stuff we always see nowadays.
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
Why in the world would they go to Warren Faidley for advise? :lol:

If you go to Warren's site, he doesn't actually offer a chase tour, per se. Apparently, you get to pay to be his personal b!tch for a week. Seriously, and he wants an 'executive' type - not sure why - guess this just means its really expensive? Too bad, but I guess I don't qualify.

http://www.stormchaser.com/chaseadventure.html

Shane, agree, nothing very shocking in the article content - just wondering about the qualifications of a Hallmark employee and a middle school principal with training consisting of a NWS spotter course to lead a bunch of naive individuals in a high profile vehicle across the plains during svr wx season.

Glen
 
I actually meant why would anybody go to an idiot like Warren Faidley for advise about anything... especially chasing in the first place! :lol:

He offered himself on eBay several years ago... but it was only $5,000 back then. Now it's $7,500!

..Nick..
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo

He offered himself on eBay several years ago... but it was only $5,000 back then. Now it's $7,500!

..Nick..

Not to defend anyone in particular, but the price of a lot of things has gone up quite a bit in the last few years. Not the least of which are food, gas and lodging,......all part of storm chasing.
 
I know its tempting but feel free to not turn this into a bash Warren thread.. He's not even here to defend himself.
 
I think we gathered your feelings regarding Warren Faidley from your first response. I see why you dislike him (and I might or might not agree...I am not going to say), but is it necessary to continue to beat the already-bruised dog?

I think that the reason that the media goes for him is because he makes himself available to the media more easily than a lot of people do. He's easy for them to work with/sensationalize.
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
I actually meant why would anybody go to an idiot like Warren Faidley for advise about anything... especially chasing in the first place! :lol:

He offered himself on eBay several years ago... but it was only $5,000 back then. Now it's $7,500!

..Nick..

Not defending Warren either but if he is an "idiot" I don't see it. He has made an extreme amout of money doing something he loves, can you say that?
I don't care for his "supreme chaser" attitude but he is well know to the media.
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
Yes, but my Lord! I could go from Maine to LA and I'm sure just a $grand or two would cover it. He just charges more because he thinks he's special. :lol: lol.

Nick, Yes you could go directly from coast to coast for probably considerably less than that. You know, in May alone I put just over 20,000 miles on my vehicle and I never left tornado alley. Thats more than a few trips coast to coast. :wink: I was lucky and was able to camp out, stay with other chasers, or on occassion share a motel room with others to cut expenses there, but figure if I didn't the average cost of even a motel 6 at $40/night (sometimes higher, sometimes lower but always the lowest of any national chain ~Tom Bodett) I think I might have been actually home maybe 4 mights in May. That would be a lot of motel rooms too! It really can add up dude. 8)

Anyway, all that aside, that's the nice thing about this country and free enterprise. You are free to charge anything you want for your services. And you as a consumer are free to buy it or go somewhere else. :D
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
Yes, but my Lord! I could go from Maine to LA and I'm sure just a $grand or two would cover it. He just charges more because he thinks he's special. :lol: lol.

This is what us conservatives like to call "free enterprise". He is in the business of sales (mostly himself) for whatever price he can get.

No person would want to give me enough money to make owning a tour company worth my time. I can guarantee you however that if somebody was willing to pay me $7,500 a week to sit in my passenger seat, I'd fill that seat.

If he makes this much money from "ride alongs", good for him. He is a smarter man than I am.
 
Originally posted by David Drummond

Anyway, all that aside, that's the nice thing about this country and free enterprise. You are free to charge anything you want for your services. And you as a consumer are free to buy it or go somewhere else. :D

Hey, I only chase in my four-five close states (MI of cource, IN, IL, OH, WI and if it really calls for it, maybe IA). I probley spent $1,000 on gas this year just chasing in those few states. So, yeah stuff can really add up. Me and my father are too cheap for a hotel room, we'll just sleep in the car at a rest area most of the times. :lol:
 
I saw the news story on the CNN web site today. Very interesting article.
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TRAVEL/DESTINATION...s.ap/index.html

Have you considered chasing tornadoes via plane instead of van? On the positive, the limitations on available roads would be gone. Also, you could cover more ground faster, and have the flexibility of coming at the storm from any direction. To stay safe, you couldn't get as close, but imagine the photos and video.

Maybe too wild?
 
I agree with Faidley's statement in the article,

"He (Faidley) says there is some value in the type of operation envisioned by Wilson and Dunham. "I'd rather see 12 inexperienced people in a van with someone experienced than 12 out in rental cars," he said. "In that sense, tour groups are a good thing. I've seen them out on the road and they're very, very safe."

I'm not commenting on Wilson and Dunham (I don't know them) but there are several tour companies that are reputable and safe. They are a great way to learn about chasing or to see severe weather even if one never plans on chasing. I got my start on a storm chase tour.

Bill Hark
 
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