At a time when Colorado can boast of nearly 350 different breweries, 100 wineries and another 100 distilleries, competition to attract patrons is fierce — and the River North neighborhood is trying to meet the challenge by offering a new transportation option called RiNo Circulator as a draw.

Fifteen breweries, wineries and distilleries in the booming Denver neighborhood have chipped in to fund a six-seat vehicle — think of it as a hybrid of a bus and a tuk-tuk — to ferry visitors around the area.

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The RiNo Circulator service started in January and riders now top 100 each Saturday the vehicle operates, and members of the new DRiNk RiNo organization are looking at adding vehicles and expanding the number of days they operate.

Sonia Danielson, a member of the River North Arts District board and the self-proclaimed “den mother” for DRiNk RiNo, said she believes the RiNo Circulator is attracting people to the district.

Riders want to hit as many of the taprooms as they can but without having to navigate the roadblocks and construction that are constant to the growing area, and the vehicle allows them to do that at a minimal cost to the bars that fund it.

“Nothing like this has ever been done,” Danielson said. “And I think it benefits restaurants, retail and artists too, because we don’t limit it just to people who are visiting for adult beverages.”

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The circulator now operates from 5 p.m. to midnight on the first Friday of each month — coinciding with the monthly art walks through the district — and from 2 to 10 p.m. on all Saturdays.

By expanding from two to three or four vehicles, Danielson said the organization is also considering expanding service to every Friday and to some weekdays.

The free shuttle could even have the benefit of attracting businesses to the district, who could see a forward-thinking group of existing company owners willing to invest in the infrastructure of the district, Danielson said.

 

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Article was originally posted by the Denver Business Journal on May 23, 2017 at 2:51pm.
Written by Ed Sealover. View the original article here.  

 

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