VAIL — For businesses in the Vail Valley, traffic delays on Interstate 70 affect the bottom line. This summer’s Twin Tunnel construction near Idaho Springs got the I-70 Mountain Corridor Coalition brainstorming with Vail business owners about ideas for reducing congestion — especially on busy summer weekends.
Rob LeVine, general manager of the Antlers at Vail condominium hotel, decided to offer guests complimentary late Sunday check-outs. LeVine said he hopes other valley lodges follow suit.
“We’re letting guests know they can depart as late as they like Sunday afternoon or evening,” LeVine said. “Not only does this allow people a chance to miss the peak traffic, but it extends their time enjoying Vail on Sundays while retaining a home base for changing out of hiking and biking clothes or whatever before making their drive back to Denver.”
Margaret Bowes, program manager for the I-70 Coalition and its GoI70.com project, hopes more hotels will join with similar offers.
“It is one more step toward encouraging guests to travel during off peak times,” Bowes said.
The I-70 Coalition was formed in 2004 when more than 30 counties, towns and businesses joined forces to address transportation issues along the I-70 corridor. The nonprofit organization continues to push for long-term solutions to I-70 capacity and mobility issues and supports the Twin Tunnel Project, which will add a third eastbound lane from east of Idaho Springs to Floyd Hill.
In 2009 the Coalition launched GoI70.com, which is focused on strategies that can help reduce congestion in the short term. The website shows travelers how to avoid peak travel times, connects them with carpool and transit resources, and highlights incentives that corridor businesses are offering to keep travelers off the road during peak travel times to help ensure a pleasant trip through the I-70 mountain corridor.