Letter: Keep Eagle Co. airport name as it is
The Eagle County Regional Airport is not a destination to visit. Booking a flight to the airport is part of the travel arrangements of getting to the final destination, whether it be Aspen, Eagle, Vail or some other location.
The history of the airport dates back to the 1920s when Eagle County residents constructed the first dirt strip that eventually became known as the Eagle County Airport. After much work by Eagle County Commissioner Candidate Dick Gustafson during his eight years as commissioner, along with the other commissioners, the name was changed in about 1986 to Eagle County Regional Airport to better reflect the intent of serving the central Colorado mountains including Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, Lake, Summit and Routt Counties.
The Eagle County Aviation Association published a book titled “History of Eagle County Airport” that contains an interesting history of the airport. This book is available at Bookworm in Edwards, Eagle Pharmacy ” Nearly Everything Store in Eagle, Vail Valley Jet Center and the Old Gypsum Printer in Gypsum.
Several names have been suggested for the airport but most or all are misleading. Colorado International Airport makes one think they would be arriving at the Denver International Airport near Denver. Vail is 30 miles away, and you won’t find an airport in Vail, so the name should not include Vail. Vail does not even have a cemetery, let alone an airport.
The only name that makes sense and accurately describes the airport is the current name, Eagle County Regional Airport. The airport serves travelers headed for Aspen, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Snowmass, Vail and points in between. I know folks from the Grand Junction area that come to Eagle County for the direct flights to Houston, Texas.
I have flown all over much of the lower 48, Canada and Alaska. Pilots everywhere know where Eagle is. The airport has a reputation for being a fine mountain airport; however I have met people who did not know where Vail is, other than in Colorado.
If there is any confusion about the name it is created by Vail Resorts and the travel industry.
Vail is just a small part of Eagle County. There is no Vail Valley but there is an Eagle County and has been since 1876, which is where the airport is located. In fact, parts of the airport are in the Town of Gypsum. Does Vail Resorts want to rename Gypsum and the county also?
Before we try to increase the traffic at the airport we need to deal with the traffic on Highway 6 through Eagle and Gypsum by working hard towards an airport interchange.
The county policies have driven Eagle County residents to base their aircraft at Glenwood, Rifle, Kremmling and Leadville, depriving the “Eagle County Regional Airport” of revenue from these aircraft.
We don’t owe the rest of the world a place to recreate, but if they want to come to our area, they can find the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Spending public money on this effort was another example of the continued fiscal irresponsibility of these Democrat commissioners.
How about a new advertising slogan for the airport: Eagle County Regional Airport ”
gateway to Aspen, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Snowmass, Steamboat and Vail.
Our airport is competing with DIA, Aspen, Rifle and Hayden and needs to be marketed as a regional airport.
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