Colorado ski resorts, desperate to stem crushing traffic, bet on a new ridesharing app
Copper, Eldora among Colorado resorts signed up for the program
The Colorado Sun
Snowbird typically boasts the best snow in the country. Yet, even with its new partnership with the wildly popular Ikon Pass, it’s one of the loneliest resorts, with a very low skier-per-acre tally.
That’s because it has a long, snowy and often-crowded driveway winding up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
“The comfortable carrying capacity of our resort far exceeds the number of people we can put up the road,” said Dave Amirault, Snowbird’s director of marketing. “Our visitation has been largely flat for years because we can’t get any more people up here.”
That is not a problem unique to Snowbird. In a growing West, where discount passes are driving traffic and resort community populations are swelling, it’s the cars, not the skiers, that are causing the most headaches. And Amirault has forged one easy plan that is easing Snowbird’s access challenge and drawing the eye of resorts across the country that are struggling with skiers riding alone in their cars.
His new app RIDE — shorthand for Reduce Individual Driving for the Environment — offers simple but compelling rewards to drivers and riders who carpool. In its first month, RIDE was used more than 1,500 times. Other resorts, including Eldora and Copper Mountain in Colorado and Lee Canyon in Nevada, have signed up to use the program next season.
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Let the record show that at Friday’s grand opening of the Eagle River Park, they had to crank up the volume on the P.A. system because the river was roaring so loudly. “And that’s a good thing,” Eagle Mayor Anne McKibbin said.