Encouraging skiers and riders to take fewer cars to the mountains, many resorts along the Front Range are offering preferential parking, giveaways, and great deals on lift tickets to those who drive up together. Some offer premier bus and rail service to those who would rather leave the car at home altogether.
The recent push to cut back on car travel is aimed at helping skiers and riders economize, relieving traffic congestion, and reducing the environmental impact of driving to the mountains.
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. Commuting with others is a smart way to go green without spending green.
"Carpooling and alternative transportation are immediate ways for skiers and riders to help improve the overall mountain driving experience," explains Melanie Mills, president and CEO of 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," continued Mills.
Arapahoe Basin encourages guests and employees to ride the free Summit Stage bus or to carpool to the ski area through mid-April by offering incentives discounted lift tickets - if all of the riders come to the ticket window together, even if some already have other passes.
On select Carpool Celebration Days, Copper offers premier parking near the Transportation Center bus stop in the Alpine Lot for those carpooling to Copper with four or more people in their vehicle. Carpoolers enjoy VIP parking close to the shuttle buses and a short walk back to their car at the end of the day. Carpoolers should turn right into the resort on Copper Road and then take an immediate left for preferred parking on these special days.
Guests also receive carpool bumper stickers with fun slogans such as "Carpoolers Get More Action," "Carpoolers Do it Together" and "Copper Pities the Fool That Doesn't Carpool," a great deal on lunch at any Copper food court, and the chance to enter a contest to win four season passes for next season. Upcoming Copper Carpool Celebration Days are Feb. 28 and March 28.
Eldora, located only 21 miles from Boulder and 45 miles from Denver, is the perfect place to carpool to. Guests should jump on the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Ski-n-Ride program. The Ski-n-Ride bus service picks guests up at the Boulder RTD station at 14th Street & Walnut, and drops guests off a few steps from Eldora's chairlifts.
Monarch 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 to Monarch Mountain daily. On Saturdays, Monarch sponsors a bus through Salida Parks and Recreation that shuttles riders to the ski area for only $5.00. Call 888-996-7669 or online for more information.
The Ski Train to Winter Park is one of ski country's signature public transit options. America's largest scheduled passenger train is in its 69th season of operation this year, which travels through the end of March on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and Thursday service beginning Feb. 19, 2009. The train drops skiers directly at the base of Winter Park and travels through some of Colorado's most picturesque landscapes along the way.