Steamboat Springs The employees at Go Alpine Taxi in Steamboat Springs never know what to expect when they answer the phone.
Some passengers unexpectedly find themselves in Vail after a flight diversion, and there are other occasions upon which the location spurs the friendly Go Alpine operator to ask, incredulously, "You're where?"
Through all the chaos that comes with traveling through snow in the mountains, the Go Alpine team gets thousands of passengers to the places they need to go.
Last winter, the team moved 173,431 passengers.
On Saturday, they gave rides to 600 passengers in three wedding parties
And they do this with a smile, no matter how complicated the logistics can sometimes become.
"It can be a crazy business," general manager Tracey Rogalski said.
Go Alpine was recently honored as one of the 50 companies in the state to watch by Colorado Companies to Watch, and employees were honored last week at a ceremony in Denver.
The last time a Steamboat company received the honor was in 2009, when Big Agnes and Boa Technology Inc. were recognized.
Go Alpine has come a long way since it was founded in 1985 with four taxi cabs.
Today, the fleet includes about 70 vehicles, ranging from shuttles to taxis to a bus that had its interior remodeled to resemble a western saloon.
The fleet travels more than 900,000 miles annually, and some of the drivers have logged more than 30 years behind the wheel.
During a tour of the offices Friday, Rogalski and longtime Go Alpine employee Jia Carroll touted the company's work atmosphere.
New mothers bring their newborns to work due to the difficulty of finding local childcare.
Drivers are also regularly rewarded for the positive reviews they receive from those they drive.
At the entrance to the offices is a shelf full of the safety awards won by Go Alpine.
Employees are also quick to describe how they are more than a taxi company. For example, when FedEx becomes overwhelmed, Go Alpine drivers sometimes help deliver packages.
"We're going to continue to do what we do better, and hopefully, we will grow with that," Rogalski said. "We're always looking for something extra."
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10