SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (KDVR) — The Summit County Office of Emergency Management sent a heads-up to travelers for the weekend letting them know to be prepared, especially with a snowstorm on the radar.
“This time of year, the biggest challenge we have is everyone wants to be here,” Brian Bovaird, Summit County’s director of emergency management, said Friday.
Lodging booked up in the high country
He said there is really no way out of Summit County between Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel. If Interstate 70 were to shut down, it could cause travelers to be stuck, and right now lodging is limited.
“Ahead of this week we talked with our lodging partners and they confirmed lodging is full,” Bovaird said.
He said they just want everyone to plan their travel schedule around when that winter storm will come through. Just two days ago, during another snowstorm, the interstate closed. People were left stuck with nowhere to stay, even before the holiday weekend.
“The interstate shut down and we had reports of people not being able to find a place to stay,” Bovaird said.
FOX31 and Channel 2 talked to several hotels and motels along I-70 and many said they were booked for the weekend. One hotel, The Pad in Silverthorne, said they always do everything they can to accommodate guests, even when they don’t have rooms left.
“We have people coming in asking for a place to hang for a few hours waiting for the road to open, or they are stuck here overnight,” said Rob Baer, owner of The Pad.
Travelers, prepare for possible road closures
Baer said they have staff on site 24/7 so people can come and hang out in the lobby area while waiting on the highway to open. He said people don’t have to buy an overnight room to hang out in the lobby area.
He said they also don’t take advantage of the highway closing. He said whatever the prices are that morning they will stay that way even if I-70 closes.
“When the highway closes you have the opportunity to raise your prices but that’s something we said we would never do,” Baer said.
Bovaird said those on the road also need to have at least half a tank of gas, blankets, food, water and other essentials in case they do get stuck.
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