Yesterday the Salt Lake County Council appropriated $239,520 in funding for a private transportation provider to increase the frequency of service and number of people riding public transportation to Salt Lake County ski resorts for the 2023 ski season. The goal of the new “Cottonwood Connect” ski transportation service is to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and enhance the visitor experience.
This public, private partnership was funded in part by Visit Salt Lake, Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Resort. The “Cottonwood Connect” service will supplement the recent reduction of existing ski bus services provided by UTA.
The Cottonwood Connect service will run Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays beginning on January 26, 2023, and will conclude services on April 16, 2023. Passengers will pay $10 for a round-trip service and reservations will be required through an online portal, details forthcoming.
A fleet of mini-coaches and large passenger vans will ramp up their frequency throughout the program. Beginning with a weekly capacity of 784 passengers and ending with a 1,120 weekly passenger capacity. Snow Country Limousine was selected as the service provider after a request for proposal process by Visit Salt Lake.
Areas served by Cottonwood Connect include Midvale, Cottonwood Heights and Sandy with stops at area hotels and public park & ride lots in partnership with UTA.
“I’m proud of everyone who came together to make this a reality. ‘Cottonwood Connect’ will benefit so many across the valley who want to use our canyons this winter and environmentally it’s another win for our community,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.
“We felt strongly about helping to create a way for our visitors and locals to enjoy more options to reach our mountain playground,” said Kaitlin Eskelson, president & CEO of Visit Salt Lake. “Salt Lake is the perfect urban basecamp for winter adventures and our goal is to create a seamless experience.”
“We welcome the world to our city. We want to share the beauty of the mountains that we enjoy every day.” said Sandy City Mayor Monica Zoltanski. “We also want to assure it’s the canyon trails and the ski runs visitors remember, not the red snake of tail lights moving up and down the canyon. We appreciate the support of Salt Lake County leaders for the Ski Bus Bypass Service that will be one key in helping solve the congestion problem.”