Rifle-provided bus to Sunlight Mountain to resume trips next season
It’s not gone forever.
The Rifle-provided bus to Sunlight Mountain, a service that usually takes local kids to go skiing at a reduced cost, was placed on hold this season due to COVID-19. Recreation Program Manager Austin Rickstrew said, however, the bus is slated to return next season.
“Because of COVID restrictions, we couldn’t get as many kids on the bus, so we couldn’t afford to operate it,” he said.
Usually the service costs about $11,000 a year to operate — an expense incurred by the city’s parks and recreation department. However, since the city estimated they could only take about 20 kids on the bus — as opposed to the typical 75 or more season pass holders — they simply had to put the service on hold.
“With that (number) not being guaranteed, we just projected our numbers would be down alot,” Rickstrew said.
When the bus is in service, it costs participants $35 for a season pass, while a day pass is $15. Throughout the course of December through March, the bus takes kids to the mountain every Friday and Saturday.,
“Over Christmas break, they go that whole week,” Rickstrew said. “Then they go the whole week of spring break.”
Another factor behind this season’s hiatus stems from a lack of sponsorships. Rickstrew said the city was able to garner just $1,500 in sponsorships, so the bus had to remain parked.
“We’ve had a couple parents and call and voice their concerns just because it’s a good thing that allows their kids to still be active. It gives the ability just to go out to Sunlight and learn how to ski.”
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