Parks moving forward with Shuttlebug at Lake Leatherwood

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission is making it even more tempting to ride the downhill mountain bike trails at Lake Leatherwood City Park.

At a special meeting Nov. 8, the commission agreed to work with local company Shuttlebug to offer a shuttle service Nov. 9, 2018, through Jan. 31, 2019. Shuttlebug will be responsible for paying for insurance, securing bicycles and supervising drivers, Huss said, and the commission will manage the ticket system and provide the trailer for the bikes.

The commission voted to allocate $25,620 for the service, which includes a $2,100 fee each month, $13.50 per hour for a driver and gas expenses. Huss reported Monday that the commission is getting one of the trailers this week and will be charging for the service soon.

“There’s one more free day — the day after Thanksgiving,” Huss said. “Then we’re going to start charging for that.”

The commission has a three-month lease with Shuttlebug, Huss said, to figure out how the service works and how it can improve.

“That will allow us a little time to get some more data coming through and to get some advertising on that,” Huss said.

Shuttlebug is community-minded, Huss said, and that’s something the parks commission can get behind.

“We’re grateful to them for working with us to come up with a solution for this for a few months to get us through and get us to where we can be more comfortable making a decision,” Huss said. “We wanted to get a little more data and see some actual revenue so we can base our next decision on that.”

The shuttle service is important, Huss said, because it makes the downhill trails much more accessible.

“The whole point of the downhill project was it allowed for people to subtle and consequently ride more and hit all the trails,” Huss said. “This is going to allow us other uses as well — to be able to use the shuttle for interpretive trips and walks. We’re exploring other ways we can make revenue with the shuttle and offer more services.”

Huss said local business can advertise on the shuttle, saying they’re welcome to call the parks office for more information.

“We really think we’re going to have a positive impact on the businesses town,” Huss said.

The commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at The Auditorium.

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