Eagle County: Airport won’t get new name
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Six weeks after marketing consultants suggested changing the name of the Eagle County Airport, the county commissioners have killed the idea.
The name will remain the same: “Eagle County Airport.”
“Making that name change is not something the local community is ready for. They may never be,” said Commissioner Sara Fisher in a recent interview.
The decision was made by informal poll during a recent county work session. Fisher and fellow commissioner Peter Runyon elected to stay with the existing name. During the past six weeks, their fellow commissioner, Arn Menconi, has favored “Vail International Airport,” saying the name change was a simple business decision.
The news the airport name would not be changed was well received by citizens lunching at the Golden Eagle Senior Center on Tuesday.
“I think that’s wonderful,” said Virginia Rose, 87.
“They could have asked the seniors first. We could have told them for nothing,” said Mary Lou Croissant.
Hugo Benson, a pilot, said the potential airport name change was discussed by the Eagle County Aviation Association, a group of pilots.
“Everybody had a different idea (about the airport name),” he said.
Fisher says that when the county and Vail Resorts decided to share the cost of a $90,000 comprehensive airport marketing effort, she was unaware that it might entail a name change.
The marketing consultants indicated they could develop a strategy around any airport name. Much of the citizen debate centered around whether the word “Vail” should be in the name.
“From a business perspective, I absolutely understand there is value in including ‘Vail’ in the name,” Fisher said. “I don’t want to be the person making that decision.”
The commissioners received more than 80 contacts from citizens offering opinions. Comments were split between those who viewed the change as a business decision and those who felt a sense of community was in jeopardy.
In fact, people are still weighing in on the issue. However, Fisher says that after two public meetings and six weeks of citizen input, the commissioners are done talking about it.
“Regardless of what the airport is named, the travel community will sell it as the Vail-Eagle Regional Airport,” said Fisher.
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.