What people are saying about Top-Down Tours:
write to thank you for a most spectacular tour of the Alberta Badlands.
Without doubt, it is the best way to see all the sites in and
around Drumheller in one day. Had we not taken the tour, we would have
missed so much. Thankfully your most courteous driver allowed us many
quick "photography stops" in between sites so we've returned to Scotland
with a fantastic pictorial record of our day and, even managed to sun
tan en route!
Keep up the good work guys - hope you see you again one day.
Lorna and Dave - Scotland
My first time in a PT convertible was during the PT Sea Cruise 06 (Sept.15-16) held at Ocean Shores Washington. Even though cold and threatening rain (go figure), it was the BEST!!!.
The view of the ocean, the trees and EVERYTHING around us was fascinating. Ron of course was doing the driving and, as the Washington native, I was trying to say something intelligent but it came out more like a string of “ooohhs” and “ahhhhs”.
Zap (blue PT) was the ‘perfect ride”, and the trip, quite entertaining.
I am looking forward to seeing more of Ron and Zap’s territory and of course another Top-Down Tour; only one problem…WHICH COLOR????
Natalie - Seattle, Washington
P.S. All of you can come and tour my town anytime!!!
"Last July we spent 8 days in the Canadian Badlands. On our first day, we took a Top-Down Tour of the Drumheller Valley. It was GREAT! Fantastic scenery and of course, in one of Top-Down's PT Cruiser ragtops, we got the best photos possible. Ron, our guide, was from the area so, really knowledgeable. Definitely worth it for those looking for a unique way to see the region."
Judy and Glenn - Toronto, Ontario
ON THE ROAD 104
By Greg Williams
Originally printed in the Calgary Herald “Driving” section of the June 23, 2007 edition.
Drumheller resident Ron Maltin loves the Badlands -- he figures his part of Alberta offers up some fascinating history and scenery.
And he figures other people might think so, too.
To help show visitors around the Drumheller region Maltin has started Top-Down Tours, a unique tour company that uses Chrysler PT Cruiser convertibles instead of multi-passenger vans ( www.albertabadlandstop-downtours.ca ).
Maltin got the idea for his company last year, as he took his own convertible PT Cruiser GT turbo on a road trip into the Pacific Northwest.
“We were going through downtown Seattle, when I noticed another PT Cruiser shadowing me,” Maltin says. “The driver pulled up beside me, and she said, ‘That’s the way to go’. Turns out she’s paying $100 a day to rent a PT Cruiser, and she said, ‘I’d gladly pay $150 just to ride in yours and take in the town’.
“That sowed the seed.”
When Maltin got back to Drumheller he had the opportunity to purchase another convertible PT Cruiser GT turbo. He ran his tour-operation idea past a couple of interested investors, and decided to take the plunge.
“Just look at the nature of the business,” he says. “There are 500,000 guests that come through the valley, and a lot of them are driving RVs and motorhomes. Why would they want to blow $600 on gas and risk burning up a transmission?”
There are now four convertible PT Cruisers under Maltin’s control, and aside from himself he has four other drivers, or ‘pilot guides’, as he calls them. In order for Maltin to get proper insurance and registration to run his tour business all of his drivers required livery licenses. Of the drivers, Maltin says they are long time community members who have vast knowledge of the Red Deer River valley and the Badlands. In fact, one of the drivers is Trisha Lewandowski, an actress who has performed in several productions at the Rosebud Theatre.
“A good guide will be one who can tell you a little about everything as you pass by,” Maltin says. “A really great guide will be one who knows when to shut up and turn up the stereo.”
Most tours are a 250-kilometre loop around the valley, and here’s where Top-Down Tours’ name has a double meaning. Not only is the car a convertible; Maltin says the best way to show off the Drumheller area is by starting at the top and working down.
“We cross over (the Red Deer River) at about four different points, and that offers different views of what the valley is all about, from prairies, to trees, to desert landscapes,” he says. “And if a client wants to stop for a photo all they have to do is tap the driver on the shoulder, and we’ll stop.”
Maltin says the tours can be tailored to a visitor’s interests, whether that’s ecology, paleontology or mining. A four-hour block of time in a PT Cruiser convertible is $100 per passenger. Maltin adds: “And the tour can be made as elastic for clients as possible – that’s where the fun is.”
Call 1-403-823-4PTS (4787)
or click the link below