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In Pictures: Alberta tour operator specializes in 'geek' holidays

Teras Cassidy started marketing tour packages with geeky themes six years ago

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Teras Cassidy, centre, starting putting together and selling vacations to comic conventions and famous battlefields as Geek Nation Tours. His business, based in Hinton, Alta., has used podcasts to get the word out. Here he is with people dressed as Klingons at a Las Vegas Star Trek convention.

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Tour participants re-create an episode of the original Star Trek TV series, in which Captain Kirk battles an alien, in the same place it was filmed, near Los Angeles. He offered a 50th anniversary of Star Trek tour featuring drop-ins by famous actors.

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Mr. Cassidy also created a tour with a Napoleon/Waterloo theme. He also had no problem selling “Zombie Apocalypse Training 101,” for instance, a nine-day trip featuring survival training, a visit to filming sites from the television show The Walking Dead and a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Georgia. Mr. Cassidy’s customers come from Canada, the United States and as far away as Japan and Australia.

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Other offerings include a Mexican gaming holiday and a Doctor Who tour in Scotland. Each excursion averages 20 to 25 participants and costs $2,000 to $5,000 per person, and up to $13,000 for “elite” tours, such as a space-themed trip that will include a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactions with astronauts and visits to Star Trek filming locations.

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Teras Cassidy re-enacts an episode of the original Star Trek TV series in the place where it was filmed, Vasquez Rocks, near Los Angeles. Mr. Cassidy wants to expand his business beyond a small one-man outfit with two contract guides – one in the United States and one in Britain – and 10 to 12 tours a year. “I’m blessed with tons of support in the geek community from clients and people who really like what I’m doing,” Mr. Cassidy says.

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Recent participants on a Star Trek-themed Geek Nation Tour are Stevie Thomson-Fitch, right, and Senneca Brown. This picture was taken at a Japanese garden near Los Angeles that doubled as Star Fleet headquarters on the show.

ROBERT KAISER

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