Viad Corp (NYSE: VVI) (pronounced VEE-ahd) is an S&P SmallCap 600 company that operates businesses that provide place-based marketing services in United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United Arab Emirates, as well as travel and recreation services in the United States and Canada. Viad Corp evolved from The Greyhound Corporation which established Greyhound Lines and later became a diversified conglomerate between the 1960s and the 1990s.
|The Dial Corp|
|Founded||1926 (as Motor Transit Corporation)
1930 (as The Greyhound Corporation)
1990 (as Greyhound Dial Corporation)
1991 (as The Dial Corp)
1996 (as Viad Corp)
|Founders||Eric Wickman and Orville Caesar|
|Headquarters||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|United States, Canada, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates|
|Richard H. Dozer (Chairman)
Steve W. Moster (President and CEO)
Viad Corp was founded in 1926 as Motor Transit Corporation after intercity bus operators Eric Wickman and Orville Caesar joined forces and consolidated several bus operations. By 1930, more than 100 bus lines had been consolidated and recognizing the need for a more memorable name, the company was renamed The Greyhound Corporation. The Greyhound name had its origins in the inaugural run of a bus route from Superior, Wisconsin to Wausau, Wisconsin. While passing through a small town, Ed Stone, the route's operator, saw the reflection of his bus in a store window. The reflection reminded him of a greyhound and he adopted that name for that segment of the Blue Goose Lines. The Greyhound name became popular and was applied to the entire bus network as well as the parent company.
In 1954, Greyhound established Greyhound Financial Corporation, the captive finance operation of the Greyhound bus line. During the 1960s, Greyhound began its transformation into conglomerate by diversifying into other industries – financial services (Travelers Express), food and consumer products (Armour and Company), foodservice (Prophet Company), restaurants (Horne's), airport services (Aircraft Services International), cruise line (Premier Cruise Line).
Greyhound exited the transportation industry with the sale of Greyhound Lines in 1987. By then, The Dial Corporation (formerly, Armour-Dial, Inc., established in 1967 as a subsidiary of Armour and Company) was its largest subsidiary. Greyhound was renamed Greyhound Dial Corporation in 1990 and as The Dial Corp the following year. After the renaming, the Dial consumer business became known as "The Dial Corp Consumer Products Group".
The company exited the financial services industry in 1992 with the sale of GFC Financial Corporation (including Greyhound Financial Corporation, Greyhound European Financial Group and Verex Corporation). In 1995, GFC Financial Corporation changed its name to The FINOVA Group, Inc. and Greyhound Financial Corporation to FINOVA Capital Corporation. The FINOVA Group filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and was dissolved in 2009.
After the split, the company was renamed Viad Corp and consisted of companies involved in airline catering (Dobbs International Service); airplane fueling and ground-handling (Aircraft Service International); convention and exhibit services (GES Exposition Services and Exhibitgroup/Giltspur); concession operations (Glacier Park, Inc.); contract foodservices (Restaura, Inc.); cruise ship (Premier Cruise Lines); airport and cruise ship duty-free concessions (Greyhound Leisure Services); travel services (Brewster Transport, Jetsave, and Crystal Holidays); and payment services (Travelers Express).
By early 21st century, most of the businesses were sold except for payment services (Travelers Express), travel and recreation (Glacier Park, Inc.) and convention and event services (GES Exposition Services and Exhibitgroup/Giltspur).
In 2003, Viad began the process of engineering a reverse tax-free spinoff of Travelers Express. Thus, a new subsidiary was formed, MoneyGram International, Inc., which early in 2004 received the payment services business and its stock was distributed to Viad stockholders. Viad then conducted a one-for-four reverse stock split to increase the price of Viad shares.
Viad Corp currently consists of two business units: GES (an international live-event organizer) and Pursuit (travel attractions and hotels).
Properties that Pursuit operates under its Glacier Park Collection (formerly, Glacier Park Inc.) include:
Between 1981 and 2013, Glacier Park Inc. was also the concessionaire for Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Village Inn, Rising Sun Auto Camp, Swiftcurrent Inn, Many Glacier Hotel, Two Medicine Camp Store, and the red bus tours within Glacier National Park. The National Park Service awarded this concession to competitor Xanterra starting in 2014. Glacier Park Inc. said the concessions contract accounted for about 40 percent of its business in the Waterton-Glacier area.
In 2012, Pursuit acquired the 162-room Banff International Hotel in the heart of the Banff townsite. Pursuit also operates other Banff and Jasper area attractions under the Brewster Travel Canada brand, including Banff’s 135-room Mount Royal Hotel, Jasper's 32-room Glacier View Inn, Banff Lake Cruises and the Banff Gondola. In late December 2016, the Mount Royal Hotel in Banff suffered fire damage. An outdoor equipment store within the hotel reopened in April 2017, while the rest of the hotel is scheduled to reopen in July 2018.
Pursuit's Alaska Collection includes: