Stage board alters winter schedule for Frisco Main Street merchants | SummitDaily.com
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Stage board alters winter schedule for Frisco Main Street merchants

Summit Daily file photo/Brad OdekirkThe Summit Stage will resume twice-an-hour service along Frisco's Main Street to Copper Mountain during peak morning and afternoon times when the public bus system starts up its winter schedule Sunday. Original plans wre to reduce Main Street service.
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FRISCO – Business owners along Frisco Main Street won a battle to keep half-hour public bus service from Frisco to Copper Mountain Resort during peak hours this winter.Summit Stage officials originally planned to change the winter schedule to offer one bus every hour along Main Street to Copper and a second express bus from the Frisco Transit Center to the resort.The winter schedule goes into effect Sunday.The Summit Stage is a free transit system funded by a countywide three-quarters penny sales tax.Stage managers created the express route to address concerns Main Street merchants have voiced about skiers who park all day on Main Street and hop the bus to and from Copper.

Frisco has two-hour parking along Main Street, but it is not enforced.The new schedule didn’t go over well with merchants and property management owners who attended the Summit Stage Advisory Board’s meeting Wednesday and insisted the Stage maintain the half-hour service they’ve had along Main Street in recent winters.”This would have an incredibly negative impact to residents and business owners,” said Mark Waldman, owner of the Hotel Frisco. “It would be devastating to the lodging industry on Main Street. You couldn’t do a more damaging thing than limit bus service to the Frisco Hotel, Galena Street Mountain Inn or the Snowshoe Motel.”Others pointed out that even with half-hour service in the winter, the buses are often full.Many of those in attendance were Copper Mountain employees who explained to the transit board how hourly bus service would force them into cars.”I have to be at work on the half-hour,” said Eileen Davies. “If I catch the 8:37, I’m 45 minutes early. In the winter, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to drive my car.”

Tammy Henry, owner of the Galena Mountain Inn, said it would make it even more difficult to keep employees, as 90 percent of them use the Stage to get to work.”We serve breakfast,” she said. “They need to be here.”The board agreed to provide the half-hour service on Main Street and one express bus from the transfer center. But they won’t provide extra “overload” buses when Frisco buses are overcrowded.”We’ll provide no overload buses regardless of the number of calls we get for them,” said transit director John Jones. “This is a compromise.”Another issue facing the transit board – or more accurately, the town of Frisco – is the two-hour parking limit on Main Street, which is never enforced, as per town policy.Transit board member and Frisco Town Councilmember Gary Runkle said the issue would be brought up at a town council meeting in the next month. Some citizens have expressed concern that issuing parking tickets would drive away visitors.



The transit board also decided it won’t publicize the Frisco schedule change – but will instead depend on word of mouth and the lodging community to tell their guests – because the maps and schedules have already been printed. The cost to reprint them would be $12,500, Jones said. They will, however, change the schedules at each bus stop.Additionally, not publicizing the half-hour service might encourage more people to use the express route at the Frisco Transit Center.The winter schedule goes into effect Sunday and ends March 31.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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