By Jeff Todd

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – With the hopes of alleviating some traffic and parking concerns, a new program will soon get underway at Eldora Mountain Resort. On Friday, the Alpenglow lift started spinning marking the beginning of the season for the resort and hope for some normalcy to return.

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“People are so happy and so eager to get back on the hill. Especially with the year we just had, everyone realizes that spending time outside with family and friends doing things outside is like medicine for the soul,” said Sam Bass with Eldora Mountain Resort.

Mask restrictions are still in place for buildings, but a reservation system and capacity restrictions from last season are gone.

Another new program begins Dec. 18 and will charge drivers, who come to the mountain alone, $10 on weekends and holidays. It’s called the Single-Occupancy Vehicle Fee.

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“We’re a popular spot and we’re close enough to the greater metro area that it really has forced us to be creative about getting cars in the lots,” Bass said. “We’re all for reducing emissions and getting cars off the road.”

The resort asked Boulder County to approve modest expansions to the parking lots. A condition of the approval is for the resort to charge the solo drivers. The money is being used to fund other mass transit programs. RTD runs busses up Boulder Canyon and to the resort. The mountain also contracts another shuttle service to take people from the Boulder County Justice Center to the slopes.

(credit: CBS)

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“If you don’t want to drive up, or you don’t have someone else to carpool with then, you can hop on the bus for free, you can take the free shuttle,” Bass said. “We’ll stand down at Boulder station and if you need a bus ticket to get up to Eldora, we’ll give you one for free. We spent about $50,000 a year on those bus tickets we give away.”

Jeff Todd