Steamboat Springs Community organizations, including the American Red Cross and the Steamboat Springs Police Department, came together during the weekend to help 40 Greyhound bus passengers stranded in Steamboat Springs.
A bus headed from Salt Lake City to Denver arrived in Steamboat with a mechanical problem related to the winter weather Thursday.
Greyhound arranged for hotel accommodations for the passengers at Best Western, Quality Inn, Steamboat Hotel, La Quinta Inn and Holiday Inn.
Still, without a replacement bus and with MusicFest taking place at the Steamboat Ski Area Friday, it appeared the passengers would be without lodging for the night due to hotels being at capacity.
Upon learning of the situation, volunteers with the American Red Cross, Western Colorado Chapter, worked with the Steamboat Springs Police Department and several other organizations to provide shelter for the passengers at the Steamboat Springs Community Center Friday.
American Red Cross mobilized an emergency trailer full of cots and other shelter supplies for up to 60 people.
“It was truly an exemplary community effort,” said Linda Kakela, a spokesperson for the local American Red Cross chapter. “The community worked together to address the desperate needs of these passengers.”
Some passengers with medical issues were treated by Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue or transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center, and the Steamboat Springs Police Department mediated disputes between passengers who were getting "stir crazy" Friday, according to Police Commander Jerry Stabile.
Other agencies helping the passengers included Routt County Department of Human Services, MindSprings Health, LiftUp of Routt County and Integrated Community.
American Red Cross volunteers Jim and Louise Lucas arranged for food and beverages from McDonalds, Safeway and Starbucks to feed the passengers Friday and Saturday morning.
A Greyhound spokesperson said Sunday that accommodations were again found for passengers in hotels Friday night, but an American Red Cross volunteer said the majority, if not all, of the stranded passengers spent the night at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.
On Saturday, Steamboat Springs Transit transported the passengers to Craig, where it was expected they would find lodging for the night through Greyhound.
However, the passengers were picked up by Greyhound Saturday and completed their trip, which had been delayed by two days, according to Greyhound spokesperson Lanesha Gipson.
“We worked diligently to provide a relief bus to get customers to their destinations on Saturday. We were able to get them on the road, as planned, (Saturday) afternoon,” Gipson said Sunday morning. “A bus came and picked them up, and they should be to their destinations now.”
To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow