Steamboat company to drive people home in their own cars
Hayden native Aaron Alpe wants to help people get home after a night out at the bars.
Alpe and his brother, Jared, are starting Sober Guys, a service that will get people home in their own cars starting this weekend. He said one of his employees would drive a customer’s car while another employee follows them. Because the Colorado Public Utilities Commission won’t regulate the business, Alpe said it’s not a taxi service.
“It’s more like a paid chauffer business,” he said.
Alpe said customers are required to sign a form waiving Sober Guys of any liability and must have insurance and seatbelts for all passengers.
To start, Alpe said Sober Guys would take people home within a five-mile radius of downtown Steamboat Springs for a flat fee of $25. They will accept cash and credit cards. He hopes to expand it to other parts of Routt County this winter.
Alpe said until he figures out what the demand is for Sober Guys, he won’t do much advertising. But he’s been meeting with local bar and restaurant owners and employees to tell them about the business to recommend to their customers.
Steamboat Springs Go Alpine employees now can, well, “go” without having to venture into the frosty winter air.
Owner Lisa Adamo and General Manager Tracy Rogalski joked that not having to go outside to use the restroom ranks among their favorite aspects of the company’s new home on Snow Bowl Plaza. The Steamboat airport shuttle and taxi service moved in August from its previous location next to Phillips 66 on U.S. Highway 40, where employees had to go outside to use the gas station’s restrooms.
But not anymore.
Adamo said she and her husband, Wayne, bought the building at 2063 Snow Bowl Plaza four years ago with the intention of moving the business after their lease expired at the U.S. 40 location, Go Alpine’s home for 20 years. In 2004, she bought Go Alpine, then Alpine Taxi, after starting with the company in 1990 as a bookkeeper.
Adamo said there was about $2 million in renovations to the building that used to house Repair Dynamics and Dobell Construction Co. across the parking lot from Snow Bowl.
“We just wanted a better space that fit us,” she said. “It was so much fun to sit down … and design it, say, ‘What do want it to be?’”
Adamo said the more than 8,000-square-foot building is about 1,500 square feet larger than the U.S. 40 location. She said it gives the 53 full-time employees more breathing room. The company’s workforce increases to about 130 during ski season. The company provided about 122,000 rides last ski season from December to March.
Its three-bay garage, which also provides independent service work, is bigger, Adamo said. She said the wash-bay, which recycles about 80 percent of the water it uses to clean vehicles, is big enough to fit Go Alpine’s 29-passenger bus, the largest in a fleet of 80.
Adamo said everything flows better in the new building, noting the setup allows for better driver interaction with dispatchers and their managers.
Adamo said the business now has a gravel parking lot instead of dirt for the fleet that includes everything from Ford Escape Hybrids to stretch limousines.
But she is most excited about the office space for her employees. Adamo said her 14 managers have windows, which they didn’t have before.
“In my old office, I had a window. It was to a room,” said Jax Larsen, Go Alpine’s groups manager. “I wouldn’t know if there was a blizzard until I went outside.”
Adamo was all smiles Thursday. She couldn’t stop talking about how excited she and her employees were about their new home.
“We’re all pretty proud of this,” she said.
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com