Steamboat Springs It can hold 65 of your closest friends and may inspire you to sing "Come On Get Happy."
It is, naturally, a school bus, the giant yellow mode of transportation glorified in "The Partridge Family" and alternately hated and revered by schoolchildren everywhere. This year, the Steamboat Springs RE-2 School District has two buses for sale and it is looking for the highest bidder to take them away. In fact, it is looking for any bidder.
"We have to keep four spare buses and we have no room to keep these," District Director of Transportation Marj Kelton said. "I'll take anything I can get."
The district bought a much-needed new bus for $85,000 that has automatic chains and a brake retardant system.
The buses for sale are older than any of the students currently in the district a 1979 GMC Bluebird and a 1980 Chevrolet Bluebird.
One may need a new transmission, Kelton said.
The school district is receiving sealed bids for the buses until Tuesday. If the district doesn't sell them, it might have to pay to have someone haul them away, so the price isn't as important as the removal.
If it does sell them, it means recycling local resources.
But these five-speed, mustard yellow beauties are not as easy to sell as say a Subaru or a pickup. They are long, large and not efficient rides unless you have a gaggle of children.
"There isn't a lot of demand," Kelton admitted. "They use up a lot of gas."
In her four years as transportation director, Kelton has sold two buses at shocking prices they each went for about $50. One was used for a sleigh ride service and the other was turned into a storage space on someone's property.
At one point, buses went south of border with bus brokers who bought them in the United States and then sold them in Mexico, Kelton said. The bus market was flooded and that sales avenue dried up. She has a couple of nibbles on these buses, she said, including one from someone who wants to turn the bus into a camper.
Kelton said that people kind of like the idea of buying a school bus: the seller is accountable and they know it is a safe vehicle.
"They feel more comfortable buying a bus because of the maintenance. They don't have bad tires," she said.
The buses are ready to go and are available for test drives. Any buyer can consult with the school district mechanic.
The school district name is blacked out on the sides of the bus, Kelton said, leaving room for some personal expression. The bus is still that distinct yellow, however, and Kelton said that may be one glitch in the sales strategy.
"I guess you could camouflage it," she said.
Or you could just watch reruns of "The Partridge Family" and get some ideas.
Call 879-1057 for more information.
To reach Jennifer Bartlett call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com