Skiers and snowboarders hoping for a ride to Monarch Mountain will have three new options in the form of ride-hailing benches that have been installed around Salida.
The “Bud Benches” at Café Dawn in downtown Salida, Tenderfoot Health Collective and Colorado Sports Recycler on U.S. 50 will help connect people driving to Monarch Mountain with people who need a ride to the ski area.
There aren’t many options for getting to Monarch if you don’t have a car, said Fraser Crenshaw, owner of Colorado Sports Recycler and social entrepreneur behind the project.
The eclectic benches, made from recycled skis, are intended to promote ski culture and a sense of community within Salida, he said.
Locations in front of three local businesses offer more ways to coordinate carpools that leave from Salida.
The concept behind the ride-hailing benches is modeled after similar benches found in Crested Butte that encourage ride sharing, said Crenshaw.
They are called Bud Benches because that’s where you go to find your buddy who needs a ride, said Max Keller, artist and designer who worked to build the benches.
Ride sharing around the Upper Arkansas River Valley could prove beneficial year-round.
During the summer mountain bikers could also use the benches to catch rides to trailheads on Monarch Pass and elsewhere, said Crenshaw.
The benches were built at no cost from recycled lumber and skis donated by Mount Shavano Ski & Snowboard Shop and Mountain Sports Haus.
John Cameron is a journalist and skier based in central Colorado. He covers public lands issues and outdoor pursuits for various regional and local publications.