Hearst Castle announced it will be operating with Lux Bus America, after its previous service declared bankruptcy.
Park Superintendent Dan Falat said the new company is taking over the contract from Silverado Stages, which has transported tourists up to the Castle since 2012.
Silverado Stages filed for bankruptcy in October and ended its services with Hearst Castle at the busiest point in its season during Christmas.
“We had an emergency contract with a company called Laz,” Falat said. “They came in on very short notice and did an outstanding job.”
Falat said the smaller buses had to sometimes make more frequent trips to accommodate the maximum 5,000 passengers carried to the castle each day.
“Even though we may have been driving different buses since mid-December, our bus drivers – which are critical – there was no retraining, it was all the same folks,” Falat said.
The winding road up to the castle is a very technical route with tight turns, Falat said, which is why it was crucial that the experienced bus drivers keep driving.
Falat said none of the reservations were cancelled as a result of the change in service.
The value of the contract with Lux Bus America, which is based in Orange County, was not immediately available.