Snowstang bus service from Denver to Steamboat returns for ski season
After taking a year off due to COVID-19, a bus service that carries passengers from Denver to many of Colorado’s ski resorts — including Steamboat Springs — will return for the second year.
Starting Saturday, Snowstang will provide round-trip service to the Loveland Ski Area, Steamboat Resort and Copper Mountain Ski Resort. The bus service will operate on weekends and holidays through April, with the exception of the Christmas weekend.
All four routes board at Denver’s Union Station and the Denver Federal Center.
A round-trip ticket to Steamboat is $40, with additional discounts available for seniors. Children younger than 11 must have adult supervision.
“I believe it’s a great opportunity to promote both the Steamboat (Resort) as well as Howelsen Hill (Ski Area) in the Denver area,” said Jonathan Flint, Steamboat Springs Transit manager. “I think just getting the exposure is one of the greatest things.”
Flint said those on the Front Range may discount Steamboat as a weekend destination because its farther away than the resorts along the Interstate 70 corridor, but he hopes Snowstang will help encourage weekend travelers to consider visiting the Yampa Valley.
“To get two full days of skiing and catch a bus back to Denver at the end of the day Sunday makes it a simple way to get back and forth for something that they haven’t thought about as a weekend getaway,” Flint said.
Bob Wilson, communications manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation, said the option may also be attractive for visitors or people who are new to Colorado and not comfortable driving up I-70 in snow and ice.
“For a lot of people that come here, it can be very nerve-wracking to drive in the mountains if you’re not used to it,” Wilson said. “‘If people don’t want to drive, it gives them that option to travel in comfort with reclining seats, Wi-Fi and comfort.”
Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. Director of Sustainability Sarah Jones said the bus is also meant to help reduce emissions with fewer cars on the road.
“Even if people were carpooling, I think each bus holds 52 people, so that’s 26 cars we’re getting off the road,” Jones said. “That’s great not only for air quality, but also for traffic and parking.”
Snowstang is funded by the ski resorts that use it, and CDOT allows the resorts to advertise on the outside of the vehicle.
“Snowstang is a convenient, affordable and comfortable transportation option for people who want to travel to our resorts and want an alternative to driving,” said CDOT Division of Transit and Rail Director Amber Blake. “By partnering with each resort, Snowstang Bus Service provides residents and visitors with another way to access all the amenities these outstanding winter destinations have to offer.”
Due to a federal mask mandate on public transit, masks will be required at all times while on Snowstang. Tickets can be purchased at RideBustang.com.
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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