Vail Daily column: A community thank you to Kent Myers
January 30, 2014
The economic impacts of the Eagle County Regional Airport are significant. A robust flight program helps make our community viable from both a tourism and business standpoint.
Each year, thousands of visitors arrive in Colorado via the Eagle County Regional Airport. These visitors come primarily on scheduled commercial airline flights, but they also arrive on general aviation aircraft. Some visitors come for business, while others come for vacation and pleasure. Once in Colorado, these visitors make significant expenditures in the areas of lodging, food, transportation, shopping, recreation and entertainment. Visitor spending supports more employment and payroll across our business community and is, in many ways, the lifeblood of our rural resort economy.
The Economic Driver
The airport, in many ways, is the economic driver of our tourism industry and the tourism industry is the economic driver of business success in Eagle County. As Sen. Mark Udall stated, "Colorado's regional airports form important links for businesses and travelers throughout the state. Improving Colorado's transportation network is one of the most important things we can do to support our local communities and local businesses."
A short time ago, we didn't have significant commercial service to help drive our economy.
Today, we are fortunate to have a robust flight program at the Eagle County Regional Airport in large part due to the efforts of Kent Myers, of AirPlanners. Vail Valley Partnership's board of governors are proud to recognize Myers for his contributions to developing the EGE Air Alliance, and his part in creating the commercial flight program at the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Myers' vision and commitment to air service at Eagle County Regional Airport has had profound positive impacts on our local economy as we increasingly depend on air service for our destination guests, second homeowners and community. Michael Brown, regional president of Alpine Bank and chairman of the EGE Air Alliance board of governors, summed up Myers' contribution very nicely when he said "I've worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Kent on the EGE Air Alliance for more than 10 years. I continue to be amazed by his knowledge, his persistence and his enthusiasm for the Eagle County Regional Airport."
Myers founded AirPlanners in 1998 after spending the previous nine years in senior management at Vail Resorts. While at Vail, he directed and managed the officials from Eagle County through the re-development of the Eagle County Airport using $26 million in FAA funds to accommodate non-stop 757 service from 11 major cities utilizing five different airlines in North America.
Creating EGE Air Alliance
Myers helped create the EGE Air Alliance, a 501c6 not-for-profit entity dedicated to creating a vibrant flight service program at the Eagle County Regional Airport. The EGE Air Alliance is a public-private partnership with participants including local municipalities, Eagle County, the airport, as well as numerous private business stakeholders — the private sector working closely with the public sector — to create a vibrant air service program.
Vail Valley Partnership's mission is to take the leadership role to create and manage collaborative programs that encourage economic development and result in increased destination tourism in Eagle County. Myers and his work with the EGE Air Alliance is a great example of a collaborative economic development program that has had great impacts on Eagle County, one that has grown immensely in terms of community engagement and in terms of economic impacts.
We sincerely thank Myers for his years of service to the community and his continued commitment and dedication to growing our economy via the efforts of the EGE Air Alliance.
It's not too late to join us this evening at the Annual Success Awards to help recognize Kent Myers for his significant contribution to the business community and to his involvement in building an active flight program. The event is at the Vilar Performing Arts Center from 6 to 8 p.m.
All the best,
Chris Romer, president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership
Mike Brumbaugh, board chair of Vail Valley Partnership and the entire VVP Board of Governors
Chris Romer is the president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.