Gray Line Tours will operate a shuttle between The Broadmoor hotel and Denver International Airport for hotel guests starting next month to make it easier for international travelers and some conventioneers to get to the Colorado Springs resort.
"The biggest growth in our industry (tourism) is in international travel," said Chuck Murphy, managing member of Colorado Tour Line LLC, which operates the Gray Line franchise in the Springs and Denver areas. "International travelers on British Airways, Frontier, Icelandic or Southwest have no easy way to continue flying to Colorado Springs unless they buy a ticket on a United flight, claim their luggage and then re-enter the passenger concourses through the security checkpoint. When international travelers come to the United States, they don't want to rent a car or make five stops on a shuttle to get to The Broadmoor."
Murphy said The Broadmoor is not subsidizing the new shuttle service, which cost $75 each way, launch May 17 and continue through at least October. He expects the service to be profitable, but if it isn't by fall, Gray Line will assess whether to continue it, he said.
The resort considered starting a shuttle service last summer after the April 2013 departure of Frontier Airlines left the Colorado Springs Airport with few flight options, but shelved the idea as efforts to expand local air service picked up momentum, Broadmoor President Steve Bartolin said in July.
Talks between Gray Line and The Broadmoor to launch the shuttle service began about six months ago, Murphy said.
"This doesn't preclude encouraging travel direct or nonstop into Colorado Springs, which would be everyone's preference, but we realize that some of our clientele have a challenge getting here on a timely manner and we are trying to make it easier to get here while efforts to build improved air service in Colorado Springs continue," Broadmoor spokeswoman Allison Scott said Monday.
The shuttle, which will operate every two hours between DIA and The Broadmoor, will start in time to accommodate people coming to The Broadmoor for the 30th Space Symposium, which runs May 19 to 22 this year and attracts 9,000 participants annually.
Gray Line also operates shuttles between the Colorado Springs Airport and The Broadmoor as well as the Philmont Scout Ranch southwest of Raton, N.M. The 38-year-old company is owned by Murphy and his father, also named Chuck Murphy, and who operates a construction company best known for renovating historic properties. The company has a fleet of 72 buses and other vehicles with 130 employees offering transportation by contract to businesses in both the Colorado Springs and Denver areas.
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