GRAND LAKE - With pending support of Grand Lake businesses, Valley Taxi is supplying service in Grand Lake.
Through the coordination of Grumpy's and Lariat Saloon owner Rachel Terry, the two bars supplemented the taxi service to the tune of $280 in its first weekend last week to cover the cost of driver and fuel to and from Valley Taxi's base in Winter Park behind the Winter Park Pub.
Valley Taxi attempted to extend its services to Grand Lake five years ago, said owner Curt Spencer, but said the cost of getting a cab and driver to the area nearly "bankrupted us."
With this summer's attempt, they are inviting other business owners to join a new transportation "co-op" to relieve Grumpy's and the Lariat of the sole burden, according to Spencer.
"We need a few more bars and restaurants in the co-op to justify the cost of traveling," he said.
From recently meeting with managers and bartenders of the area's bars and restaurants, many were overwhelming receptive to having taxi service in Grand Lake, he said, but $20 per-night commitments to the co-op to make the service viable are still pending.
A taxi service may help to alleviate the issue of DUIs in the area and give patrons the freedom to have drinks during nights out without the worry of transportation. Grand Lake has long lacked commercial or public transportation, especially during evening hours.
Valley Taxi started its 14-passenger van taxi service in Grand Lake last weekend, June 15-16. Although Friday "went pretty well," Spencer said, Saturday produced not a single customer. Spencer hopes word that the service is available will spread in coming months.
The taxi service is available only on Friday and Saturday nights in Grand Lake throughout the summer, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Spencer plans to provide the service with the help of area businesses until Labor Day weekend in September.
The cost of a cab in the Grand Lake area ranges from $5 per person ($10 minimum) in and near town, to $10 per-person ($20 minimum) from Grand Lake to Granby.
Compared to the estimated $10,000 total cost of a DUI, "it's a good deal any day of the week," Spencer said.
- Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603