January and February also yielded profits, said Montrose Travel owner Joe
"I'm extremely proud of all those involved in this company that made
it happen," McClure said. "People were constantly asking, 'What more can
I do?' and 'How can I help?' "
Montrose Travel won the award in the category of Best Rescue/Recovery
Effort after Sept. 11 because it "turned itself around from the
potential, post-Sept. 11 record losses to record profits," according to
Between Sept. 11 and 14, Montrose Travel saw an 83% decline in
activity. By Sept. 26, business was only down by 14%, McClure said.
Montrose Travel's gains were 38% higher in October and 63% higher in
November than previous years.
McClure attributes much of the company's success to media coverage
after the terrorist attacks. Montrose Travel was profiled in 11 articles,
13 television news broadcasts and a Time Magazine story after Sept. 11.
"Due to all the press we got, we gained a large number of incremental
travelers that we had not worked with before because they were concerned
that whatever company they were currently using would not stay in
business and may not be able to serve them," McClure said. "The pie
shrunk, but we got a bigger piece of it."
Montrose Travel also took an aggressive approach to sales, tripling
its advertising budget for the fourth quarter 2001, firing 16
"unproductive" employees, cutting costs and increasing hours, McClure
The size of Montrose Travel's operation, which has about 150
employees, also helped, McClure said.
"Not only do we get compensated better by suppliers, we can buy
product cheaper and pass those discounts on to our customers in the form
of lower prices," McClure said. "That makes it difficult for other travel