Snowstang to offer bus rides between Denver, Steamboat starting next weekend
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Snowstang, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s latest initiative to provide transportation to recreational areas and reduce traffic on weekends, is set to offer round-trip, weekend bus services between Denver and Steamboat Springs starting Saturday, Dec. 14.
On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis unveiled the three shiny buses that will transport people from Denver to four resorts, including Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Resort and Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Local officials hope the service boosts local tourism and gives Routt County residents an easier way to get to the Front Range.
Snowstang buses will run every weekend from Dec. 14 through April 19, according to CDOT.
Steamboat Springs City Manager Gary Suiter sees the service as a way to attract more visitors to the area, which he said can be “a little off the beaten path” compared to resort towns along Interstate 70.
Fares are $20 one-way with discounts available for children, people with disabilities and people ages 65 and older. Each bus holds 51 passengers and is equipped with Wi-Fi access, a restroom and USB and power outlets.
“It will be a nice road trip for people,” Suiter said.
Sarah Jones, director of sustainability and community engagement for Steamboat Resort, attended the unveiling of the buses at Denver Union Station on Wednesday. In addition to tourism, she mentioned the environmental benefits of getting cars off the roads and people onto shared buses.
By her calculations, Snowstang could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 135 metric tons this winter season, assuming each trip runs at full capacity.
“That is the equivalent of taking 29 cars off the road for a whole year,” Jones said.
People already have made bus reservations, according to Jones, many of them from outside Colorado. She anticipates more people from the Front Range to utilize the service as word gets around.
“It’s a great resource for locals as well,” Jones said, referring to people traveling to Denver for work or pleasure.
Buses will leave Denver on Saturdays from Union Station and the Federal Center Station, then stop in Steamboat at the Gondola Transit Center and the Stockbridge Transit Center. The bus returns to Denver on Sundays along the same stops.
A local business plans to capitalize on the new service. Charlie Gilliam, owner of the luggage service Cowboy Carriers, will offer to take passengers’ bags from the bus to wherever they are staying. When they leave, the business will transport their luggage back to the bus.
As Gilliam said, this will allow visitors to maximize their time to ski and ride in Steamboat without worrying about their bags. It costs $25 to get bags picked up from the bus and another $25 to transport them back to the bus.
Suiter also hopes Snowstang paves the way for the Bustang line, an inter-regional express bus service, to travel to Steamboat. Bustang could expand to the Yampa Valley by January 2021, according to previous Steamboat Pilot & Today reporting.
To book a ride on the Snowstang, visit ridebustang.com or download the Bustang mobile app, JustRide Bustang.
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Sales tax collections in the city of Steamboat Springs during the first five months of 2021 were nearly 20% more than the same period last year, according to a report recently released by the city.