David Franzel: Hayden Airport’s success is everyone’s gain | SteamboatToday.com

David Franzel: Hayden Airport’s success is everyone’s gain

As a Yampa Valley Airport Commission member, I ask myself, why should we all support the air program and ballot measure 2A? Are direct flights by air carriers to Hayden Airport really that important? Are there costs should support be insufficient and the air program ends?

The truth is, we all succeed when local residents and visitors can fly into and out of Steamboat Springs from a variety of destinations. The air program is vital to that effort.

Do direct flights into Hayden Airport benefit local residents? Yes. We all benefit  from increased sales revenue, better and more secure employment sustaining thousands of jobs, increased tax receipts that fund vital city services and the convenience of an airport where local residents can choose to fly direct to many locations from close to home.

In short, it is very important to our community. Even better, to gain these critical benefits local residents pay 17 percent while the visitors, the local lodging industry and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. pay 83 percent.

Do direct flights into Hayden Airport benefit visitors? Yes. The great majority of our winter visitors who travel to Steamboat use our airport. Their vacation time is at a premium, and nearly 90 percent of our visitors indicate that traveling through Hayden Airport is important or extremely important to them.

What are the costs of not supporting the air program? The air carriers will fly elsewhere. Without the convenience of direct Hayden flights, visitors, who on average spend $1,345 per trip per person in Steamboat Springs, would likely choose other winter resort destinations that they can more easily visit. As a result, local businesses and residents would suffer as revenues and jobs decline.

Vote “yes” on 2A.

David Franzel 

Yampa Valley Airport Commission member

Steamboat Springs 

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