More Stage stops wanted in Keystone |

More Stage stops wanted in Keystone

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Keystone is asking residents to voluntarily ante in $150 per bedroom per household to support the free buses shuttling around Keystone.

FRISCO – Snake River Saloon owner Jim Shields booked a party of 30 recently, just to have the group cancel a few days later.”They canceled it because they feared driving down a highway known as ‘The Gauntlet,'” Shields told the Summit Transit Board at its monthly meeting last week. “DUIs (driving under the influence charges) are down because traffic is down in the area.”It’s common knowledge among locals that police officers stake out various parts of the county looking for drunken drivers. Highway 6 between Keystone and Dillon is one of those hot spots. Others include the stretch of Highway 9 between Breckenridge and Frisco and Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne.

Shields said he doesn’t want drunk people driving any more than the cops do, but the highway’s reputation is making it a challenge for many in Keystone to do business, he said.”People will say, ‘I love the Snake, but I live in fear (of being pulled over),'” Shields told the board. “Now they don’t come here anymore. Our business is being devastated by the style of enforcement we’ve been giving. It’s my understanding that, with the grants (to enforce drunk driving laws), they’re hunting down DUIs at night.”Many of those merchants – including owners of the Goat, Dos Locos, Kickapoo Tavern, Papa’s Deli and Pizzeria and Gary Miller of the Gateway, among others – believe the problem could be alleviated by extending Summit Stage service to Mountain View Plaza, the Gateway and River Run to provide people with a safe way home if they’ve over-imbibed, Shields said.”I think that would be great,” said Kevin Powell, manager of Papa’s Deli and Pizzeria. “We’re out on the end, and not too many people travel here.”He estimates business there would increase by 15 percent if the Summit Stage serviced that end of the resort.

Beginning Nov. 21, the Stage will begin serving the Keystone Conference Center. Service will begin at 7:05 a.m. with the last bus leaving at 6:05 p.m.Currently, Keystone Resort offers bus service throughout the resort, and those who need to catch a ride out of the area can call the resort and get a shuttle to a Summit Stage stop.”But that doesn’t fit what people do,” Shields said. “They don’t want me to call, then wait for a bus, then get out, wait for another bus. That’s not their lifestyle.”Ideally, he added, merchants he polled said they’d like to see a Stage stop at Keystone Lodge, Mountain View Plaza and River Run.

The feasibility of obtaining one at Keystone Lodge is unlikely, said board member Pat Whalen, because it’s already crowded with all the local shuttles that use the area.Regardless, it is not likely service will be extended this winter because the schedules and budgets are already complete.”We’d have to get out our stopwatches,” said the Stage’s operations manager Jim Smith. “We’ll discuss it, but you have to realize it may not be able to implement it (this winter) because of logistics and expenses.”Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at

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