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Ski bus adding stops for next season

Banff’s ski resorts are boosting their hotel-to-hill bus services for next winter.

Banff’s ski resorts are boosting their hotel-to-hill bus services for next winter.

On Monday (March 7), Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine announced the three hills would add a minimum of six major stops outside hotels on Banff Avenue for the 2011-2012 season.

The new pickups for all three resorts – Sunshine, Lake Louise and Norquay – will be in addition to the existing stops at the Fairmont Banff Springs and the parking lot behind the Mount Royal Hotel.

Final locations and schedules will be nailed down closer to the 2011-2012 season.

An earlier decision to move away from hotel to hill service because of costs hit the industry hard, with many skiers deciding to take their ski vacations elsewhere.

Darren Reeder, executive director of the Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association, said the association is pleased with the commitment to enhance bus service.

“Ski visitors have clearly stated that frequency and location of ski shuttle services is key to their vacation experience in Banff National Park,” he said.

The ski resorts previously indicated the bus service costs more than $2 million each year. Hotels used to pay about $300,000, but decided against subsidizing the service.

Next year’s ski shuttle service will continue to be included in the traditional tri-area lift ticket price, or can be bought separately for other ticket users.

The direct hotel-to-resort service will continue in the hamlet of Lake Louise.

“Our customers spoke and the three ski areas listened in order to create a bus service they think will add to an already magical skiing and boarding experience,” said Ladd Snowsell, general manager of Ski Banff Lake Louise Sunshine.

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