Chris Diamond: Please support 2A

For almost 20 years I have been closely involved with both the direct flight program, as a past president of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., and the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, having served on the Airport Commission from its inception until 2015, when I retired.

I can remember one of the last flights from TWA — “The Wrong Airport” — that, unfortunately, landed in Hayden. TWA’s St. Louis flight went away, as did the entire airline.

We saw Continental merge with United. US Air and Northwest absorbed. Coming from the west, the only direct flight option was through Phoenix on Sky West. We managed through these many mergers/bankruptcies and, year after year, found ways to sustain a diverse direct flight program into Hayden.

As for the airport itself, we had one terminal to service our winter guests. The lines outside got so long that the staff set up what we fondly called “Bedouin tents” to provide some minimal shelter for our guests as they stood in line.

Today, thanks to our county commissioners and support from the broader community, we have a facility that is the envy of most regional airport managers. YVRA is now a major employer. Flights have grown steadily since the trough of the recession and opened up new markets.

Could anyone have imagined 10 years ago that we would have direct flight service from Jet Blue? Never have we been able to compete so effectively in so many regional markets.

And as residents, travelers, non-place-based businesses, we can enjoy these awesome travel options during the winter season.

In my view, nothing has been as critical to our overall economic success — and the high quality of life that brings — than the air program. Please support 2A.

Chris Diamond

Steamboat Springs

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