A new position at Yampa Valley Regional Airport is aimed at helping make a good impression on Routt County visitors when they arrive and depart.
Routt County has hired Ann Copeland to fill the new position, which has the formal title of manager of landside and terminal operations.
It will be Copeland's job to collaborate with vendors, airlines, ground transportation, security agents and others at the airport to help make visitors' experiences as smooth as possible.
She also will be on site to help passengers find their way and ensure that their travels are smooth, a big job considering the more than 1,000 people who may pass through the airport in a period of a few hours on a busy day.
"Customer service at the airport is really so important, as (it is) an entry point to the community," said Sandy Evans Hall, the executive vice president for the Steamboat Chamber and Resort Association
Copeland has worked at the airport for the past 17 years, serving for the past nine as the local manager for American Airlines and for Worldwide Flight Services.
She said she is excited for her new work to begin. She already has been involved in making changes to help visitors have a good experience, such as moving signs to better direct passengers and opening up space by moving security counters behind ticket counters.
And, she said, she has plans for more.
"That was the reason I took (this job), is to make a good impact," Copeland said. "That airport is very important to me."
Copeland watched the airport as it was built on her grandparents' land in the 1960s and has been in touch with its operations since.
"It has been definitely something in my blood for forever," Copeland said.
Many hours have been spent studying the need for such a position, Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan said. The position was created based on input from the Steamboat Chamber and Resort Association as well as the lodging and business communities.
Copeland will begin Nov. 1. Her position is funded through airport operation funds, which come from charges such as passenger facility fees. The position does not affect the county's budget.
Routt County Commissioner Dan Ellison said Copeland's prior work at the airport is valuable.
"Her experience at the airport certainly will give her a good start at understanding and knowing what needs to be done and what areas need to be looked at," Ellison said.
Even in the next few years, after a multimillion dollar expansion and improvement of the airport is complete, Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said Copeland's position would be critical to the success of the airport.
-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail email@example.com