Eagle County airport stayed busy this winter | VailDaily.com

Eagle County airport stayed busy this winter

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The Eagle County airport had a “successful” winter despite the recession, officials said.

The number of people flying out of the county airport dropped 2.5 percent in January and 3 percent in February compared to numbers the previous year. But the drops are smaller than other mountain airports endured, officials said.

Other airports had between 5 percent and 15 percent decreases in passengers using the airport during the winter season compared to the previous year.

Chris Anderson, the airport’s terminal manager, said he credits low fares and marketing of the winter flights for keeping the passenger numbers from dropping too much. More locals used the airport this winter, too, Anderson said.

“The fares really drew a lot of locals to the airport,” Anderson says. “We may have had a reduction in the number of visitors, but that slack was taken up almost completely by locals flying out. We like to see area residents using the airport.”

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The airport will be closed from the middle of April through the end of August so maintenance work can be done on the runway.

“The temporary closing of Eagle Regional Airport comes on the heels of a strong winter season showing strong air bookings considering the tough economic conditions,” said Kent Myers, director of the Eagle Air Alliance.

The Air Alliance is a nonprofit organization made up of businesses and organizations in the Vail Valley. The group’s mission is to improve service at the airport.

The airport will reopen on Sept. 2.

“Through solid strategic alliances with our airline partners this winter, we were able to drive a large volume of passengers and have aggressive fares in the marketplace in what would have otherwise been a really off season,” said Gabe Shalley, who manages Vail Resorts airline marketing program. “The airlines have been helpful in driving passenger volume in a hard season.”

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