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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Air service supporters turn out for event

Friday, December 14, 2012

(Photo)
McCook McDonald's owner, Richard Stull, and former Red Willow County Court Judge Cloyd Clark enjoy some conversation and coffee as McCook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tacie Fawver, bottom, flashes a smile.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Community leaders, business owners and others, gathered at a packed McCook airport terminal Wednesday morning to show their support for local air service. The local air service provider at McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport, Great Lakes Airlines, hosted the holiday open house and were very pleased with turnout.

"Every time we have one of these the community shows excellent support for us," said Great Lakes Airlines Regional Sales Manager, Mary Osborne.

The open house provided an opportunity for attendees to view a promotional video pertaining to the future of Denver International Airport. DIA developments already underway include the construction of a 500 room hotel located at the airport and a monorail system that will provide expedited transport to various parts of the city. Supporters of the McCook airport are hopeful that the potential to go from McCook, to a downtown Denver shopping mall within 90 minutes, will increase the number of passengers flying to Denver.

(Photo)
Video Kingdom owner Trevor Taylor, McCook Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Alan Gunther and McCook City Councilor Janet Hepp enjoy donuts and coffee as they watch a promotional video pertaining to the future of Denver International Airport.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCook Airport Advisory Board Members have expressed concern over the last year that a decreasing trend in passengers flying out of the airport will eventually lead to the loss of commercial air service.

"It's simply a matter of revenue," said board president Richard Stull during a February meeting. Stull attended the open house Wednesday and has been working with former Mayor Linda Taylor to spearhead support for an airline ticket rebate program that they hope will encourage more travelers to fly out of McCook.

The rebate amount has initially been proposed at $50 per ticket ($100 round-trip), however, airport advisory board members were in agreement that details of the program would need to be worked out.

(Photo)
Great Lakes Airlines Regional Sales Manager Mary Osborne and Video Kingdom owner Linda Taylor pause for a smile during an open house at the McCook Airport, Wednesday morning. Taylor has been working with members of the McCook Airport Advisory Board to gather support for an airline ticket rebate program that they hope will encourage more travelers to fly out of McCook.
(Bruce Baker/McCook Daily Gazette)
Airport Advisory Board members agreed to approach a preliminary list of Red Willow County, the City of McCook, the McCook Economic Development Corporation, the Red Willow County Visitors Committee and Community Hospital, in hopes of collecting commitments for what is being estimated as $100,000 annually to fund the rebate program.


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Seems to me that the City of Denver would have something to gain if the McCook area is looking to spend money to promote shopping in Denver. It may be a long shot but could still be worth contacting the Denver Office of Economic Development, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the City of Denver and other related organizations in Denver to see if there's a partnership that could be worked out to benefit both of our communities to some extent, whether it is the rebate program or another type of marketing plan to attract more people to fly to Denver. It's not a full solution but it could play a beneficial role for both of our communities if both communities are willing.

-- Posted by Aaron Kircher on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 7:38 PM

The airline is under-utilized. However, if you want to promote using the airline as a gate to shopping in Denver, the prices have to dramatically come down especially for short notice bookings.

If I want to fly in or out of McCook either tomorrow or the day after,(at the time of writing, Monday or Tuesday) its going to cost me 302 per ticket. Going out to Wednesday or Thursday I get an option of a $237 non-refundable ticket.

Your not going to get your lets take a family daytrip and do some shopping in Denver at those prices. A family of four roundtrip is $2,420. Even with the proposed 100 round trip rebate, its $2,020. You can drive for the weekend and stay in a decent hotel with room service and clouds for pillows at that price and still have more spending cash.

Next week the prices go down to 189.50 per nonrefundable ticket. For that family of four, its still $1,516 round trip. May not have a hotel with clouds for pillows, but you can still drive, get a decent hotel overnight, and still have spending money at that price.

If I go out to a month, the prices on Weekdays go down to 89.50 for each non-refundable ticket. If you plan your shopping sprees out far enough and don't cancel, its $716 roundtrip for four people.

Now if I wanted to book the trip a month in advance for the weekend, the Saturday ticket is 89.50/ticket, Return on sunday is 189.50 for a total of $1,116

If I recall correctly under the EAS, those planes are flying no matter the amount of passengers. Granted there could also be passengers on the plane passing through to North Platte. If 89.50 is enough money 4 weeks in advance, why is it not enough to fill several empty seats the day of? Even if you raise the prices some, why over 3 times the advance ticket amount?

If you don't mind leaving at 3:43 in the morning, you can book 4 seats on the train for $352 round trip. Still a substantial savings over the plane tickets.

In my 25 year old car, I can drive 4 people from McCook to Denver and back for $93 in gas at 3.50 a gallon. Sure it takes me 6 hours longer round trip. It's still a savings of $2,327. Hop in a new car that gets 40 miles to the gallon and whoa, your saving around $2,360

Even 1 person flying roundtrip booking a month in advanced is $179 compared with $139 on the train, $93 round trip in my car, or $40 in a new 40MPG car. The time savings there might actually be worth the extra cash. However, start adding 2 or more people to that trip, driving looks more like the way to go.

I guess all of this i just a long way of saying, if we're promoting the airline for use as the transportation mode of choice for shopping, there had better be one really good coupon book chock full of deals people will actually use.

-- Posted by npwinder on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 12:58 AM

I also have to ask, if your going to subsidize an already subsidized airline, is it really that great of a value?

-- Posted by npwinder on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 1:02 AM


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