Vail Chamber: With public transit and shuttle options, no need for a rental car in Vail (column)
As a local hotel operator in Vail, we are fortunate to have a great location that attracts guests to our Happy Valley. One of the things I have noticed while in Vail the past three years is that new guests seem to be unaware that Vail is a walking town and that there is no need for a rental car.
We have world-class public transportation, as well as shuttle services and taxi and ride services such as Lyft and Uber available. Not only are these the safest ways to travel in and out of the valley but also the most economical and environmentally friendly options.
Take in the beauty
The transportation system in Vail is world class, with the town running free year-round bus service. Vail is very much a walking town, and for almost all guest activities, walking, biking or the bus service will get you where you want to go. This is a great experience for the guest and allows them to take in all the beauty that Vail has to offer.
The shuttle services now provided by Colorado Mountain Express and Peak One are great alternatives to car rental. Between the two services, shuttles are running almost every hour between Vail, Eagle and Denver. The shuttles are very comfortable and provide internet access. As we are all of aware, driving in and out of the valley can be challenging during the winter, and the staff of these shuttle services have the training and experience to best handle poor conditions.
Skip the parking fees
The other issues with rental cars relate to additional parking fees and restrictions on vehicle parking.
Just this season, the Vail Town Council voted to change the parking pricing structure. The most notable change is the fee for 24-hour overnight parking in both parking structures. This new price increase was made in the hopes of encouraging our visitors to utilize their lodging parking options or to forgo a car all together. This fits with the town of Vail’s environmental mission of sustainability and decreasing Vail’s carbon footprint.
In addition to our guests making the decision to find alternatives to renting a car, it is up to our local population and workforce to explore public transportation and other alternatives to driving themselves to and from Vail.
ECO Transit had been working hard to increase its service up and down the valley, as well as providing group bulk pricing on bus passes for local businesses. The town of Vail has also been proactive in highlighting all the free parking options for employees who drive themselves to work from East Vail to West Vail. They have added express bus routes from West Vail to Lionshead Village to make our employees’ daily commute that much more convenient.
To find more information on parking and transportation, visit the town’s website at http://www.vailgov.com.
In addition, the Vail Chamber & Business Association has partnered with the town of Vail to create a parking coupon program for visitors this winter. Each member business received 20 complimentary, $5-off parking coupons to roll out the program. These coupons are to be used by each business for guests, patrons or employees; it is up to each of their discretion.
Look for more information on participating businesses soon. We encourage all locals throughout the valley to come into Vail this holiday season for skiing, apres, holiday shopping and more.
Let’s all make an effort to better inform guests and our employees on the myriad of transportation options available this winter. And guide town guests to public, shuttle and ride sharing options. I think that we should all work with guests at the time of booking to educate them on the transportation options available in town. This not only is the most economical but also the most environmentally friendly solution for Vail. Have a wonderful and busy holiday season.
Brian Butts is the general manager of the Evergreen Lodge and a board member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association. The Vail Chamber & Business Association is a business advocacy group in Vail and a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. For more information, call 970-477-0075 or email email@example.com.
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