Nagel Coaches, a family owned, Alberta based business, has been driven to remain something special since its beginning over 43 years ago.
Nagel Coaches has been built over the years based on service and excellence due to the drive of our founders Bob and Pat Nagel.
Bob and Pat come from an entertainment background. Both were very involved with music and the operation of Marching Bands in the 1970’s. The famous Alberta All Girls Drum and Bugle Band, the Alberta Boys Band and the Hobbema Girls Marching Band were among the Nagel’s projects. Bus travel became a way of life, moving from one performance location to the next. Bob and Pat became impressed with the quality of coach travel in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Europe. As entrepreneurs, they realized that they could build a business by using improved quality of motor coach equipment.
The Start of the Company
Nagel Coaches and our sister company Nagel Tours launched in 1977. The bus business was heavily regulated at this time. We had some hard work ahead of us to launch our services. Lengthy public hearings were held so that we could prove a need for our service as well as prove our financial stability to the Alberta government. Hundreds of supporters travelled to Edmonton to participate in these hearings. Our first approval only allowed us to operate our coaches within the Province of Alberta. Permission to travel to other provinces and outside of Canada came later. Our initial fleet of coaches, three GM model 4107s, were put on the road. Soon we celebrated two successful, expanding businesses.
Building the Business
Nagel Tours focused on organizing worry-free escorted tours for seniors, and Nagel Coaches carried them around Canada and the United States. Meanwhile, we expanded our business to include public charter groups and also built a diverse contract business. We transported passengers for both inbound and local tour companies, as well as working with sports teams and celebrities.
Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of having NHL teams and NBA players on our buses. Entertainers such as Anne Murray, Billy Ray Cyrus and James Brown have travelled with us, among many others. Nagel Tours founded the Okanagan Valley Wine Train in 1999, operating out of Kelowna BC. It was a busy time, and Nagel Coaches was there to bring people from all over Alberta to ride the scenic train!
Nagel Coaches Today
As time went on, we scaled down our fleet to focus on what we do best. We joined industry associations to keep ourselves up to date with changes in the business. We are members of Motor Coach Canada, the Ontario Motor Coach Association and the American Bus Association. Today, Nagel Coaches can take your group anywhere in Canada or United States. We still follow our original starting principles: we operate quality luxury motor coaches, with safety and comfort for passengers our top priority.
In Memoriam: Bob Nagel
It is with great sadness, the Nagel Tours team announce the passing of our founder, co-owner and President after a recent illness and hospitalization.
Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised as an orphan, Bob lived a full and rich life. Music and travel were his passions, starting his adult career at a young age working with music promoters and big name stars. Bob moved to Edmonton in 1962, eventually marrying and settling down to raise a family.
Bob and wife Pat both come from an entertainment background and have always been very involved with music. Bob was instrumental in starting several marching bands in the Edmonton area. He founded and organized the Edmonton Girls Drum and Bugle Band, the Alberta All Girls Drum & Bugle Band, the Alberta All Girls Junior Band, the Alberta Boys Band and the Hobbema Girls Marching Band.
The Alberta Girls travelled widely across North America and Europe, performing at many international events. During their travels in Europe, Bob was impressed with the motorcoach companies that organized tours for seniors. This became the seed for the idea that turned into Nagel Tours and Nagel Coaches, the family-owned companies still operating today after almost five decades providing escorted group tours on deluxe motorcoaches.
In 1999, Bob had the chance to merge two of his interests, railways and music, when he purchased a fleet of 22 vintage passenger cars from VIA Rail Canada and operated Okanagan Valley Wine Train out of Kelowna for several years as a scenic rail excursion with a Las Vegas style dinner show. Bob remained involved with the entertainment industry, and hosted many shows in Edmonton including the annual Rock ‘N’ Roll Show ‘N’ Dance with proceeds benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Bob is survived by his wife of 56 years Pat, his daughter Haven Nagel-Lynch, his son Hayden (Bobby) Nagel, their families, extended family members and many friends, employees and acquaintances. Bob impacted the lives of so many and his larger-than-life persona will not be forgotten.