SnowStang set to roll into Steamboat by mid-December
First SnowStang to arrive at the Gondola Transit Center in mid-December
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The SnowStang will giddy-up into the Yampa Valley next month.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is operating a pilot program this winter, which will run regional, direct bus routes between Denver and various ski areas.
“It’s another option for people who want to get up who want to ski in the Yampa Valley, whether that’s at the big mountain at Steamboat or the city-owned Howelsen Hill,” said city communications manager Mike Lane. “I think that’s good for the valley — providing another means that people can access Steamboat at a reasonable cost.”
Contracts on the service are being finalized, and Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. Vice-President Jim Schneider said the process is going smoothly.
The SnowStang will start running on weekends beginning Dec. 14 and continuing through April 19. There will be an additional bus during Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day weekend.
“We really want people to make a weekend of it — or a full week, for that matter — if they’re coming this way to go skiing or visit Steamboat in general, or of course, Steamboat folks can go the other way,” he said.
Fares are $20 one-way with discounts available for children, people with disabilities and people age 65 and older.
Buses will depart Denver on Saturday and return eastbound on Sunday. The route will stop at Denver Union Station and Federal Center Station in Denver and at the Gondola Transit Center and Stockbridge Transit Center in Steamboat Springs.
“The bus will arrive in Steamboat. It will go up to the Gondola Transit Center. It will offload passengers who are ready to go skiing, so they’ll be dropped off right at the base area,” said Steamboat Springs Transit Manager Jonathan Flint. “Then it will continue down to the Stockbridge and stop there for people that are either just using it for commuting or want to check into their hotel or condo first.”
The bus will depart in reverse order, stopping at Stockbridge, then the Gondola Transit Center before returning to the Front Range.
Steamboat Resort and the city of Steamboat Springs partnered to match CDOT funds to try out a SnowStang route to Steamboat. The city and the resort will each pay 30% of the total cost of the SnowStang, and the remaining 40% is funded by CDOT. Under CDOT’s estimates, the city and the ski resort will each pay $31,504 toward the program with CDOT paying $105,013.
CDOT is also exploring a courier service that would connect guests’ luggage to their hotel rooms, according to city officials and Schneider.
More information and tickets are available online at ridebustang.com/snowstang.
CDOT is also examining incorporating Steamboat Springs into its Bustang Outrider program, which would link the Yampa Valley to CDOT’s year-round regional bus route in either Summit County or Grand Junction.
Flint said the agency has indicated it hopes to get Northwest Colorado riding the Bustang by 2021.
“I think SnowStang is going to be a great foot in the door, letting people know about Northwest Colorado and traveling by motorcoach,” he said. “Hopefully, it will segue into having Bustang here in 2021 or soon thereafter.”
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