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IDAHO FALLS â€” With the NBA season officially underway, two men from Eastern Idaho are offering a new way to attend Utah Jazz games in Salt Lake City.
Idaho Jazz Bus, a new business created by Bonneville High School senior Landon Belnap and his mentor Owen Hamilton, provides same-day round-trip transportation to the Jazz home games including tickets in the upper bowl.
Hamilton said he has held onto the idea of creating the business for a few years, but it wasn't until Belnap said that he needed a senior project that his idea finally came to fruition.
The two started working during the summer, and while the NBA lockout delayed their plans they were not derailed. The first regular season home game is tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers and Idaho Jazz Bus will transport local fans to the game.
Belnap said starting a business wasn't easy, and he has learned a lot about the business world through this venture. He has met with attorneys, accountants and has helped work out advertising deals, one of which is with Brent Gordon Law.
"It's been a lot of work," Belnap said. "A lot of people have been really excited about it."
The bus, provided by Holiday Motorcoach, currently departs from the old Ernst Building in downtown Idaho Falls, and Hamilton said they would add stops in Blackfoot and Pocatello if there is enough interest. The bus leaves Idaho Falls at 2 p.m. for 7 p.m. games and 3 p.m. for 8:30 p.m. games.
Weather permitting, the bus usually arrives at EnergySolutions Arena as the doors are opening and those on the bus are able to get near the court during warmups, sometimes scoring autographs. Hamilton said they also plan to coordinate meet and greets with players after the game in the future.
The bus returns after the game, getting back to Idaho Falls in the early morning hours.
The cost per person is $69 for regular season games, with tickets to the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers games $79. They are offering a $49 special for tonight's game. Tickets can be purchased online at www.idahojazzbus.com. They also have Facebook and Twitter accounts.
For those already with tickets, a limited number of seats are available for $59 per person.
The next Jazz game at home is Monday, Jan 2, against the New Orleans Hornets. They will play 12 home games in January, including three Saturday games.