ITMI Southwest National Parks Master Class

November 10 -14, 2020

Las Vegas | Grand Canyon | Monument Valley | Glen Canyon | Bryce Canyon | Zion National Park


Have you been hired to lead tours through the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley, or Bryce Canyon?

Would you like to feel more confident in leading groups through this region?

Are you looking for fresh ideas and tips for logistics and commentary for Southwest National Parks Tours?

The Southwest National Parks are one of the most popular destinations for group tours. As a professional tour director, it's essential to learn the common routing, logistics, key photo & rest stops, and how to keep your guests engaged during long sections between attractions.

You are invited to join us for the upcoming ITMI Southwest National Parks Master Class. 
Author and Southwest Expert Carol Kendrick and ITMI Instructor Mike Ruggieri will share their tips, strategies, and secrets to leading countless successful tours through the Southwest National Parks that get them hired by top tour companies again and again. Having this training experience will help elevate you to the top of the list candidates that travel companies want to hire.

This trip is an ITMI Master Class. All attendees are expected to actively participate in all on coach activities and events and complete a course review in order to receive a certificate. Master Classes are open to all tour professionals who have completed an industry training course and/or are actively working in the field. Attendees do not need to be graduates of ITMI. Guests are welcome to attend with the understanding this is a class for tour professionals. Certificates will not be issued to non-tour professionals. 

You will learn about the major destinations of the Southwest National Parks tour including:

Grand Canyon
Monument Valley
Bryce Canyon
Zion National Park
Glenn Canyon Dam
Las Vegas
5-Day Master Class Itinerary
Subject to Changes

Day 1

Leave the glitter of big city Las Vegas and head to the jewel of the southwestern parks - the Grand Canyon! Explore the railroad town of Williams, Arizona, which was instrumental in getting early visitors to the jaw dropping views of the Grand Canyon. Learn the logistics of optional helicopter and airplane flights over the Grand Canyon offered by many tour operators. End the day learning about the fascinating geology of the Grand Canyon from an engaging talk by a local expert. Our hotel is in the village of Tusayan, the hotel hub at the heart of most Grand Canyon experiences. Tonight join your fellow tour directors at a no host social and invite your new friends to explore the village with you at a dinner of your choosing. 

Day 2

After the included breakfast in the hotel lobby we are off to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Learning the logistics of a trip to this popular venue is crucial to a successful visit. Mid day, get your first taste of the Navajo Reservation with lunch (on own) at the historic and popular CameronTrading Post. After lunch and a drive through the Painted Desert, learn about the Navajo Nation from your instructors. Continue your Navajo experience through the words of your Navajo guide on an included tour through Monument Valley’s famous valley drive. It is an unforgettable experience to find yourself among the towering buttes and spires of Monument Valley on an included open air Jeep Ride. Your accommodations this evening are on the Navajo tribal lands, right in the heart of Monument Valley at historic Goulding’s Resort. Taste Navajo Fry Bread or something more traditional at dinner this evening (on own) at the Goulding’s restaurant.

Day 3

Depart Navajolands for the unmistakable views in and around Page, Arizona. Page is where the desert meets the Colorado River and amazing geologic formations occur. Page is home to the second largest man made lake in the United States, Lake Powell. It is also the place where water has created some drop dead gorgeous slot canyons and gorges. Explore Page by one of two optional tours - a Float trip (no rapids) on the peaceful Colorado River as the calm water exits the Glen Canyon Dam or descend underground on a Slot Canyon tour, or enjoy an included visit to Glen Canyon Dam. Our day ends with accommodations in Page, within walking distance to many restaurants for you to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 3 optional activities

Choose only one of these three Options

Actual tour might vary slightly from this video.
Option 1: Slot Canyon Tour 
(ADDITIONAL $60) - Only 25 SpotS Available
A guided walking tour of Lower Antelope Canyon’s famed slot canyons. Slot canyons are carved out of the soft sandstone by the swirling waters of the area’s flash floods. The sandstone is eroded into wild and wonderful shapes highlighted by the sun filtering through the narrow opening. This colorful and amazing 45 to 60 minute walking tour starts with a 5 story staircase to get to the bottom of the slot canyon. Participants must be able to climb up and down stairs to sign up for this tour. The tour continues with your Navajo guide walking the small group through the slot canyon, describing its geology and features.
Actual tour might vary slightly from this video.
(ADDITIONAL $86) - Only 20 Spots Available
See the Glen Canyon Dam from below and experience the calm waters of the Colorado River as the water is slowly released from the dam. This 3 hour float (no rapids or white water) is calm and peaceful. Your guide will point out the geological features and animals of the Glen Canyon as the boat glides along. The boat has a metal floor with cushioned seating on either side or in the middle.The boat is designed so participants will not get wet. Assistance is available to get into and out of the boat. Restrooms and a stretch break is available mid way through the experience with the opportunity to see petroglyphs left on the canyon walls thousands of years ago.  
If neither the slot canyon tour or Colorado River float sound intriguing to you, join us for the complimentary visit to the Glen Canyon Dam. Appreciate the engineering feats of the Glen Canyon Dam, the bridge and Lake Powell. Walk across the steel arch bridge and see the Colorado River in the gorge 700 feet below you. Gaze down upon the massive Glen Canyon dam holding back the crystal blue waters of the 186 mile long Lake Powell. Learn more about the construction of both the dam and the bridge at the visitor center with its interactive exhibits, life size model of a slot canyon, a relief map of the area, short films and National Parks bookstore.

Day 4

Leave Arizona and explore southern Utah stopping in Kanab, Utah’s Little Hollywood. Learn about the hearty and devoted Mormon Pioneers who settled the town, as well as the movies and television shows filmed in and around this little hamlet. Our journey continues through ranch lands and small pioneer founded towns as we climb up in elevation on our way to Bryce Canyon National Park. After stopping for lunch (on own) just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park, we hope you are awestruck at Bryce Canyon’s beauty as you become familiar with the frequently visited locations within Bryce and the history of the national park. Our lodging and included celebration dinner is on Rueben Syrett’s ranch land at Ruby’s in Bryce City.

Day 5

Travel from the often described delicate Bryce Canyon to the massive Zion National Park. Experience the strange and wonderful rock formations along our way via the million dollar highway and tunnel, our gateway into Zion. Experience Zion with time for personal exploration of the lodge area and the shuttle bus system within Zion (seasonal). Enjoy lunch (on own) while gazing at the massive sandstone cliffs that surround you. In the afternoon we leave the calm and serene surroundings of our southwestern national parks and head to the glamour and glitz of Las Vegas. Your instructors will provided you with the basics and logistics of a Las Vegas city tour. Our journey ends at the Las Vegas airport with an expected arrival at 5:30 pm local time.  

Learn how to "WOW" your guests by:

• Incorporating the “Five Senses” into your commentary
• Using technology on the motorcoach
• Weaving storytelling into your commentary
• Making long drives work for you and your guests
• Understanding the types of guests and how to design the day to meet their needs, and yours

Learn destination knowledge and discover:

• General Arizona, Utah and Nevada history 
• Past and present of the Native American nations of the Southwest
• The “must know” people and historical events of the Southwest
• Basic geology of the national parks
• Gain further understanding of the formation of the Grand Canyon from our geological expert
• Technology on the motorcoach
• Logistics of managing guest’s flights over the Grand Canyon
• Familiarization of lunch stops in Williams, Cameron, Kanab, and Bryce
• The ins and outs of a Las Vegas city tour

Meet new friends, reconnect with tour director buddies, and have a great time Together!

"Tremendous learning experience.The class was amazing! So much helpful information, details on enhancing tours, and how to wow the guests. I would do the same trip again."

"Excellent never had so much fun learning! It gave me a good basic knowledge of the roads/parks/amenities that are available in the region and a first hand experience of what it is like to travel on an extended coach tour with a group. I can't wait to start leading tours in the Southwest or elsewhere."

"The best part was seeing all of the sights with a fresh perspective.
Meeting past and future members of ITMI, from around the country, varied ages and experience levels. Also- listening to history and stories about locals/natives- something you do not learn from books. 
Seeing so much in a short time, now I would feel very confident going back on my own."

5-Day Southwest National Parks Master Class

November 10th - 14th, 2020

This trip is an ITMI Master Class. All attendees are expected to actively participate in all on coach activities and events and complete a course review in order to receive a certificate. 

Master Classes are open to all tour professionals who have completed an industry training course and/or are actively working in the field. Attendees do not need to be graduates of ITMI. 

Guests are welcome to attend with the understanding this is a class for tour professionals. Certificates will not be issued to non tour professionals. 




Share Room *

Full Payment


Save $111

Single Room*

Full Payment


Save $152

Share Room *

Payment Plan

4 Monthly Payments of $275 Each

Single Room*

Payment Plan

4 Monthly Payments of $350 Each

Select your Day 3 Optional activities after you sign up for the masterclass

  • ​Slot Canyon Tour: Additional $60 (Only 25 Spots Available) 
  • ​Colorado River Float: Additional $86 (Only 20 Spots Available) 
  • ​Glen Canyon Dam, Bridge Walk, Visitor Center: Complimentary

Price Includes:

  • ​4 Nights Accommodations*: Grand Canyon Region, Monument Valley, Page, Bryce Canyon
  • ​Meals & Special Events: 4 Breakfasts, Celebration Finale Dinner, Gratuities for Included Meals
  • ​Sightseeing & Transportation: 1st Class Mortorcoach, Monument Valley Sunset Jeep experience, Kayenta Code Talkers Museum, National Parks Entrance Fees ($150 Value)
  • World-Class Training: Tour tips, logistical strategies, commentary & storytelling with ​ITMI Instructors and Southwest Experts
* There may be limited availability on "Single" rooms.  For "Shared" rooms, we will do the best we can to match you up with a roommate. Please note that this is not guaranteed that you will have a roommate.

Cancellation Policy

  • ​Full refund (minus $150 Administrative Fee) if cancellation received on or before June 10, 2020
  • ​ 50% refund if cancellation received between June 11 and August 9, 2020
  • ​No refund if cancelled on or after August 10, 2020
  • Minimum 20 guests must be booked to avoid cancellation

Your Instructors: Learn from the best!

Carol Kendrick
 Carol knows the Southwest like nobody's business!  In fact, she wrote a 464-page book on how to lead professional tours through the Southwest National Parks!  

She has lived in the Southwest for over forty years. She was a teacher and principal in the Phoenix area for over 32 years, before becoming a tour director. During her tenure, she was awarded the Arizona LEAD principal of the year, and was a finalist for the city of Phoenix’s Woman of the Year award. 

She is now a tour director leading trips to the American West. She has established herself as a mentor and trainer for the industry. She was recently awarded the North American Tour Director of the Year by Insight Vacations. When she’s not leading trips, Carol is a lead instructor at ITMI.
Mike Ruggieri
Mike's had a love of the Southwest National Parks since he was a teenager. Born and raised in New York City, he found himself out West every summer during high school and college, visiting his father. He and his friends would borrow his dad's car and hit the road for weeks at a time.

After graduating from college, Mike's first job, fittingly, was in Southern California, which allowed him to explore the West even more extensively. These explorations led to a decades long love affair with the Southwest.

Soon after graduating from ITMI, Mike found himself in the Southwest, leading a National Parks tour and he's never looked back. He loves showing his guests what he calls "some of the most beautiful places on the planet."

Join your instructors Mike and Carol in Monument Valley!

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