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Colorado ski resorts encouraging carpools

Daily Staff Report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Denver, CO Colorado
Kevin Morgan/Colorado Ski Country USAWinter Park's 69-year-old ski train remains a popular option with skiers and snowboarders.
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DENVER, Colorado ” Several Colorado ski resorts who are members of a state trade group have recently launched new carpool and bus programs, encouraging skiers and riders to take fewer cars to the mountains.

Resorts are offering parking incentives and deals on lift tickets to skiers who carpool to the slopes.

SkiCarpool.org estimates that for every 1,000 carpools, drivers save $32,000 worth of gas money and spare the environment 360,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the trade group Colorado Ski Country USA.



“Carpooling helps ease traffic congestion, reduce C02 emissions and makes the overall experience of going to the mountains an enjoyable and social one,” says Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.

Copper Mountain, for instance, has Carpool Celebration Days on which carpoolers who travel with four or more people get prime parking spots near the resort’s transportation center, which mean a short walk back to the car at the end of the day.



The next carpool celebration day is Saturday and also will occur on Feb. 28 and March 28.

Telluride has a free gondola service that eliminates an eight-mile drive between the Mountain Village and the town. About two million people ride it each year.

The mountain also partners in the “Chondola” system, which provides free public transportation for workers from the densely populated Meadows area to Mountain Village and Telluride.



Winter Park’s 69-year-old ski train remains a popular option with skiers and snowboarders. The train runs through the end of March.

Other programs include:

– Arapahoe Basin: Discounted lift tickets for carpoolers who travel with four or more people.

– Aspen/Snowmass: Free parking for guests who carpool with two or more adults.

Vail Resorts, which owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge in Colorado, is not a member of the group.

– Crested Butte: The southwest Colorado resort and a group called Ski Organizers arrange direct bus rides to Crested Butte.

– Durango Mountain Resort: Helps pay employees’ transportation expenses if they carpool. The resort gives $8 per trip to employees who drive more than 45 miles one-way with 1 passenger in their car and $12 to drivers who travel over 45 miles to be there with two people in their car.

– Monarch Mountain: Helps its employees get to and from work with a daily shuttle.

The resort operates two reconditioned school busses that carry 75 to 140 workers from Salida and Poncha Springs every day.

– Wolf Creek: “Share the Ride, Share the Fun” carpool program links skiers who need rides with those who are looking for someone to share the driving cost. Those interested in carpooling can sign up on Wolf Creek’s Web site, http://www.WolfCreekSki.com.

Vail Resorts, which owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, is no longer a member of Colorado Ski Country.


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