Mountain Spy

426 view(s)

January 2009


Mountain Spy goes undercover.
Have a Mountain Spy Question you'd like asked?
Email liz@saminfo.com



Question:



How can I get to your resort using only public transportation?




Maine, Large Area

First Contact: Young female.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Um, that's a good question. (Sent to guest services.)

Answering Phone: Female. Nice sounding.

SAM:: Stated question

Staff: Where are you coming from?

SAM:Boston

Staff: Okay, and where do you live?

SAM: Umm, again, Boston.

Staff: Ookay. So Amtrak goes from Boston to Portland. And then from Portland I can give you the name of a guy we use a lot. (Given name, number and website.)

SAM: Great, so he'll pick me up from the train station?

Staff: Yup, and he'll bring you to our mountain. It's that easy.

SAM: Great thanks.

Rating: 7


Comment: Prices would have been good.



Vermont, Large Area

First Contact: Young female. Needed some caffeine.

SAM:Stated question

Staff: Uhhh, I guess, you could, uhhh, like fly into Burlington. Or you could take Amtrak I guess. Are you staying here?

SAM: I'm hopefully staying with a friend once I get there.

Staff: Yeah, okay, because we offer a shuttle bus from Amtrak or the airport if you were staying with us.

SAM: And if I'm not?

Staff: Yeah… then we don't. I don't know, you could take the Amtrak and then have a friend get you I guess. We don't have a shuttle from Boston.

SAM: Okay. So I could take a taxi from the train station?

Staff: Uhhhh, that would be, like, really expensive. I guess you could rent a car.

SAM: Okay then, thanks.

Rating: 3


Comment: Not much help, I guess.



Utah, Large Area

First Contact: Young female. Super happy and polite sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Okay, sure, there's a couple different companies right there at the carousels where you get your luggage.

SAM: As in the airport I assume?

Staff: Yup, you bet.

SAM: Oh no, I'm not coming from the airport. I live in the city already.

Staff: Oh, okay, so you want to take the bus up?

SAM: Yeah, if that's the way I can do it, sure.

Staff: Um, well the buses only operate on certain paths outside the airport. Let me give you the number for Mountain Express who we work exclusively with and who you can easily check with. So you'll just give them your street address and they'll tell you how it can be arranged or if they stop near you, etc.

SAM:Thanks, so a bus is my only option then?

Staff: Well, yeah, that's the company we work with. You could also hire a taxi, but you know, shuttles are less expensive. That company does both though, shuttles and taxis, so you could actually get a quote for each.

SAM: Awesome, thanks

Staff: Oh no problem, have a good one.

Rating: 8.5


Comment: Sweet as can be and in no rush at all.



Montana, Medium Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services.

Answering phone: Male. Super polite and nice sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Oookay. I'm not quite sure we run any public services from Billings, we do offer a shuttle from Bozeman from the county fairgrounds daily. So you could easily do that, but you would just have to find a way to Bozeman.

SAM: Hmm, okay.

Staff: I do know there were some group trips than ran from the Billings' local high school or you could even check with the ski shops in town for any group trips that come this way.

SAM: Oh, okay, so they're organized local trips over to your mountain?

Staff: Well ,there's a local company and I can't remember their name at the moment, but I know there used to be a flyer up. Let me actually make some calls to see if I can track down their information for you. What's your name and number? (Gave fake name, real number…)

Staff: Okay, great, Sharon. So let me check around and I'll give you a call back. I do know there are trips from Billings, I just can't remember the details. No to worry though, we'll figure out a way to get you over here.

SAM: Great, thanks so much.

Staff: Oh, you betcha, no problem.
Our good man called me back exactly two minutes later. Yeah, two minutes.
Our Good Man: Hi this is Chuck from Bridger Bowl, how you doing Sharon?

SAM: Great.
Our Good Man: So I found the old flyer that the company had up here. What they did was run day trips to Bridger every Sunday in January and February last year. They picked up from Sports Authority and the local high school at 6 a.m. So they would then leave here at 6:30 p.m. and you'd be back in Billings at 7 p.m. I have their number and website ad--the fellow's name is Charlie. I'm not sure what their schedule is this year, like I said this flyer is from last year along with this contact information, but it's what I have for at the moment.

SAM: Oh no, it sounds great.

Staff: No problem. And it looks like it was twenty bucks for just the shuttle service option both ways and there's another package for seventy bucks that includes your lift ticket and two meals that day.

SAM: Oh wow, awesome. Thanks so much.

Staff: Anytime. So, yeah, I would take a look but if you have any
problems just give me a call back, I'll be here all season.

SAM: Perfect, thanks for all your help.

Rating: 10


Comment: Read all of the above. Also, the only one to give prices!
Identity Revealed: Bridger Bowl.



Ontario, Medium Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose "other inquires."

Answering Phone: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering Phone: Young male. Very friendly.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: You can just use Greyhound buses. They'll go from your city, directly to our resort. You'd just have to contact them yourself, we don't partner with them at all.

SAM: Okay, thanks, so Greyhound goes right to your mountain?

Staff: Yup

SAM: Perfect thanks.

Rating: 7.5


Comment: Super friendly attitude and super quick answer. .



Wyoming, Medium Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering Phone: Young male. Friendly sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Okay, um, there are some taxi services that come over here from Jackson. Hold on one second and I'll transfer you to someone who can be more helpful.

Transferred to front desk

Answering Phone: Female. Friendly.

Stated question again

Staff:All right, well there are a few taxi options coming to the resort out of Jackson. I can give you their names and numbers if you'd like.

SAM: Sure, thanks.

(Given names and numbers of three taxi companies.)

SAM: I can definitely give those a try. Is there any other mode of transportation like buses maybe?

Staff: Unfortunately that's about it. And those three taxi companies offer roughly the same rate so that is really your best and only bet. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

SAM: Oh no, no worries. It's not like we're in the middle of city out here.

Staff: Ha ha ha, good point. Well thanks for calling and have a good day.

Rating: 8


Comment: Top points for the great attitude and immediate, clear options.



Colorado, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose lodging and reservations.

Answering Phone: Yong female. Order of Red Bull ASAP.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, well, like the only thing I know, publicly used, is Colorado Mountain Express. But as far as a bus, like, I have never heard of anything.

SAM: Okay, so you're not exactly sure?

Staff: Uhhh, no. Not exactly… I guess? (Is she asking herself, too?) I would look at Colorado Mountain Express, like that might work. I'm not sure where they would pick you up. They used to go the airport.

SAM: Ookay…?

Staff: Umm, like, you could try Greyhound. That might work.

Rating: 2


Comment: Maybe have the manager step in? That might work, too.



Wisconsin, Medium Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose 0.

Answering Phone: Female

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Ummm, (silence…) I don't exactly know exactly. So like a bus?

SAM: Yeah. Or train, whichever

Staff:Umm, well we have Amtrak in our town, but there would be nothing to bring you from the train station to here. Soooo…. Ummm.

SAM: Okay so I can at least get a bus up to you, that's a start.

Staff: Yeah you can get to our town and probably take a taxi from there to here. I think that's your only bet.

SAM: Okay, well thanks so much.

Rating: 5


Comment: Okay attempt, but I heard our gal talking to someone in the background at the same time. Tsk, tsk.



Quebec, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose English and then chose operator.

Answering Phone: Young female. Transferred to reservations.

Answering Phone: Young female. Very nice sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Well, directly from Montreal you need to verify with the Montreal bus station and call them. And if not that way, we provide a shuttle from the Montreal airport that you could use.

SAM: Okay perfect.

Staff: Of course, and if you prefer our shuttle I can make those reservations with you over the phone.

SAM: Okay great, I'm not sure yet, but I know I can call back.

Staff: Sure no problem, my extension is 5610. Have a nice day.

Rating: 7


Comment: Short and sweet and that never fails.



Ontario, Small Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose reservations.

Answering Phone: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering Phone: Young male. Friendly enough.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, that would be through Greyhound directly.

SAM: Okay…

Staff: So you would have to contact them directly.

SAM: Okay. Well where do they stop near your resort? Just in the town there or how would I get to you?

Staff:Yes, I would imagine they would stop right in town.

SAM: Okay, and that's it.

Staff: Yup, that's it. Just contact them directly.

Rating: 2.5


Comment: Maybe you should contact them directly, find out a detail or two


Michigan, Medium Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose reservations

Answering Phone: Young female. Sort of nice sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff:Ummm, yeah, I don't; hold one second I'll have to check.

Holding… two minutes

Staff:Um, basically you just have to call a taxi. I have a few numbers if you want those to call.

SAM: Okay, sure, so you don't have any buses or anything like that?

Staff:Um, no, not in this area. Here are the taxi numbers though.

SAM: Okay, then, thanks a lot.

Staff: No problem, have a good day.

Rating: 6


Comment: A little quick to get off the phone.



Vermont, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose mountain services.

Answering Phone: Female. Nice sounding

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, uhh, from Boston. Hold on one moment let me find out
for you.

Staff: So it looks like here we do have, Jet Blue, umm, I don't know.

SAM: Ooookay

Staff: It's showing me here by train or plane from Boston. It says, uhhh, Jet Blue can come into Rutland where you would have to drive the other 40 minutes to our mountain. It does say the train comes into Falls, which would be Amtrak, so you could do that. And then rent a car to finish the drive.

SAM: Okay. But you don't have any public transportation offered by the mountain to either of these towns?

Staff: Nooo, no we don't, just shuttle around the base of the mountain between complexes. That's it though.

SAM: Okay, thanks.

Rating: 6


Comment: Ummm, a little too vague.



New Hampshire, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.

Answering Phone: Automated machine. Put on hold.
Hold time: 5 long minutes.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Umm, good question. Okay. Umm. Hmf… From, from X town I know there's a bus up to Y town where we're located, and from there you can take the shuttle connection which we operate. Let me do this for you… ummm it's called Traveler Bus. So you can take Greyhound from Boston to X town and then jump on the shuttle.

SAM: Okay, so Traveler Bus takes me from X town to Y town and then I can take your shuttle?

Staff:Yup, yup, and my supervisor was just saying to call Traveler Bus because they might have specials and provide direct transportation from Boston.

SAM: Great, thanks so much

Rating: 8


Comment: Ummm, solid effort with success. Boost of confidence with supervisor's help.



New York, Medium Area

First Contact: Female, a tad impatient sounding.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: You're coming from New York City?

SAM: Yup.

Staff: Well, there isn't really any public transportation to us. You can get as far as Saratoga on the train, but then that's it. You would have to rent a car.

SAM: Ookay, so there aren't any buses in the area after the train?

Staff: Yeeeah. (silence…) No there isn't.

SAM: Okay then. Car it is, I guess.

Staff:Yup. Good luck.

Rating: 3


Comment: Thanks for the luck tip. That'll get me there.



Colorado, Large Area

First Contact: Automated machine. Put on hold for operator.

Answering Phone: Young female. Laid back and very friendly.

SAM: Stated question

Staff: Oh, how can you get here? Sorry I didn't hear you.

SAM: Yeah exactly.

Staff: I'm actually not sure about that. Umm, have you looked into the Mountain Express shuttle?

Staff: No, I haven't yet.

SAM: Okay, well they aren't direct partners with us but we do suggest them a lot. Did you check out our website yet?

SAM: No. I haven't done that either. Can I find out more details that way?

Staff: Yeah, you can, for sure. I'm right here though so I can do it for you. Okay, so it looks here there's a new system called XX Line Colorado. "Introducing new shuttle service from…." Yeah this looks nice and easy. Here's their phone number for you, too (given number). And then there's another option, Colorado Mountain Express, so they're little conversion vans, which are pretty easy to jump on.

SAM: Great, so maybe I can save you some time if it's on your website with details and everything?

Staff: Yeah, absolutely, that way you can take your time going through all your options. So if you go to xxx.com and then "plan and buy," it's the first tab, "get here" and you can select "ground transportation" and then it will explain it all. Car rentals, buses, etc. And then there's actually also Amtrak service, but looking at it now that might be a little round about kind of way coming from Denver.

SAM: Okay, well thanks for your help, I'll take a look at your website.

Rating: 9


Comment: Friendless, check. Great website referral, check. Always a bonus to have website backup.

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