Aspen airport also after Frontier |

Aspen airport also after Frontier

Joel Stonington
Vail, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Aspen has offered Frontier Airlines $100,000 in cash if the low-cost carrier decides to land at Sardy Field.

Frontier has purchased enough planes to expand service to between 10 and 15 new destinations, said Stay Aspen/Snowmass President Bill Tomcich.

The list of potential destinations has been whittled down from 60 to 30 cities.

“I just finished having lunch with a senior vice president of Frontier Airlines about an hour ago,” Tomcich said by phone on Sunday. “Let’s just say I left with a very good feeling about the package we presented.”

David Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s mountain division, said he has worked closely with airport administrators and Tomcich to woo Frontier into Aspen. He said there is plenty of room for another carrier and that airlines thrive with competition.

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Stay/Aspen Snowmass is considering a $25,000 donation toward the incentive. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association is expected to approve $15,000 in funding while the marketing arm of the town of Snowmass Village ponied up $15,000. The Aspen Skiing Co. has pledged $25,000. Discussions with other unidentified parties are under way to secure the rest of the funding.

“It takes all of us partners coming together to make this stuff happen,” said Susan Hamley, director of marketing for Snowmass. “This is just a way to sweeten the pot. We’re saying we’re willing to put some money on the table.”

Debbie Braun, chief executive of chamber, said the incentive is a one-time deal and not a subsidy.

Delta and U.S. Airways have announced new service into Aspen during the last year.

If Frontier decides to fly into Aspen, the airline would use the Bombadier Q400, a slightly larger plane than the CRJ-700s currently flying in and out of Sardy Field.

“Although it is a turbo-prop, it changes people’s perception of a turbo-prop once they’ve flown in it,” Perry said. “It’s large, comfortable, smooth, fast. It’s a great aircraft for our market.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope Frontier decides to come here.”

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