Aspen company buys Vail Valley Taxi |

Aspen company buys Vail Valley Taxi

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Vail DailyHigh Mountain Taxi of Aspen says it has hired about half the employees of Vail Valley Taxi.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” A local taxi company has sold to an Aspen-based company because it could not afford to continue doing business due to Eagle County regulations, its owner said.

Dan Booz, former owner of Vail Valley Taxi, said he sold his Minturn-based company to High Mountain Taxi Tuesday. Booz’s business could not grow without a booth in the Eagle County Airport terminal, he said.

In 2004, Vail Valley Taxi lost a bid to High Mountain Taxi for three-year leases on limited counter space in the airport terminal.

Vail Valley Taxi co-owners Booz and Cheryl Emmeluth then sued the county. In July, the suit was dismissed when a judge ruled there were not sufficient facts for a trial. Booz has appealed that decision, he said.

Booz sold Vail Valley Taxi for “a lot.” Owners of the private companies would not say how much.

“I got what I wanted,” Booz said. “I got purchased out. I got the cash in the bank.”

But Booz still thinks the county treated him unfairly.

“They decided they were going to harm us and help High Mountain Taxi,” he said.

Bryan Treu, attorney for Eagle County, did not respond to a message left with his receptionist Wednesday afternoon.

The taxi cab business is tough and there wasn’t room for two cab companies in the Vail Valley, said Todd Gardner, owner of High Mountain Taxi.

“I think we were both struggling to get by,” he said.

High Mountain Taxi hopes to improve taxi cab service in the Vail Valley, he said. Gardner has hired at least half of the former Vail Valley Taxi employees and he wants to hire them all, he said.

“The whole community and county benefits because it’s going to allow us to have more cars on the road,” he said.

Bartender Betsey Foley sometimes calls taxi cabs for people who have had too much to drink at Paddy’s Sports Bar and Grill.

As long as the taxi cabs keep coming, it doesn’t matter what company runs them, she said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or

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