Can railroads deliver to resorts? | VailDaily.com

Can railroads deliver to resorts?

Allen Best

GRANBY ” By train, it’s about two hours from Denver to Granby and Winter Park, one of Colorado’s newest boom areas for vacation homes.

And when Interstate 70 gets congested, it can take even longer to drive the highway.

Now there’s a new effort afoot by land developers in Granby, whose major market is people in metropolitan Denver, to promote use of the train.

Jerry Jones, a former ski industry executive who worked variously at Sun Valley, Keystone, and Snowmass, is now developing vacation homes at Granby.

Improved use of the railroad is an obvious but underutilized asset, he says. Jones believes the day is rapidly approaching when the critical mass will exist to warrant special trains from Denver, just as many resort areas now subsidize plane flights from distant cities.

Amtrak currently services the area, but its schedule is erratic. A ski train runs seasonally to Winter Park, and this year will run four days per week.

However, other developers and ski area promoters for decades have tried to take advantage of the tracks to Denver, but with no success.

Railroads are busy with freight trains, and would rather not be bothered with people. And people, says Winter Park Resort spokeswoman Joan Christiansen, for the most part don’t find I-70 all that bad, yet.

Whistler goes for air connection

WHISTLER, B.C. – Whistler boosters continue to explore how to secure the direct flights that most destination resorts have.

As is, Whistler depends upon the Sea to Sky Highway, a narrow road from Vancouver that takes about two hours to drive.

For much of the last year, boosters had been hoping to get the nearby community of Pemberton to take steps to accommodate passenger service on major jets. But that community’s leaders have been resistant to getting into an economic marriage dominated by Intrawest, the operator of the Whistler/Blackcomb ski areas.

Lately, reports Pique, there has been talk of building a new airport altogether, one located in the Callaghan Valley, which is within 6 miles of Whistler. That idea has been talked about since the early 1980s.

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