Alaska Airlines will begin serving Yampa Valley Regional Airport from Seattle twice weekly during ski season starting Dec. 18 with a 70-passenger CRJ7 jet.

Alaska Airlines/courtesy

Alaska Airlines will begin serving Yampa Valley Regional Airport from Seattle twice weekly during ski season starting Dec. 18 with a 70-passenger CRJ7 jet.

Steamboat lands direct ski season flight from Seattle

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— Steamboat Ski Area officials confirmed Tuesday that they have secured twice-weekly ski season flights between Seattle and Yampa Valley Regional Airport beginning Dec. 18.

The new flight on Alaska Airlines, in addition to a United flight from Los Angeles, gives Steamboat connections to two major West Coast hubs. The flight will be operated by SkyWest Airlines using a 70-passenger CRJ7 jet.

Seattle is the nation’s 15th-largest metropolitan area with more than 3.5 million people, and Steamboat’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rob Perlman said the city is oriented to outdoor sports.

“Seattle, per capita, has a very high concentration of skiers and riders,” Perlman said. “In terms of their propensity to be outdoor enthusiasts, it’s similar to Colorado. Equally important is having a new airline partner in Alaska Airlines. With the consolidation in the industry, having a broader portfolio of airline partners is only helpful.”

The Steamboat flight will depart Seattle at 1:35 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving at YVRA at 4:50 p.m. The return flight departs at 5:25 p.m. with scheduled arrival in Seattle at 6:50 p.m.

Beginning July 16, Alaska Airlines will offer an introductory fare on the Steamboat flight starting at $119 each way for travel from Dec. 18 through March 29.

For Alaska Airlines, the new service represents an expansion of its presence in the mountain resort towns. It currently has flights on affiliate Horizon Air to Sun Valley and Mammoth Mountain, Calif.

“This will be Alaska Airlines’ first Colorado ski destination, giving our customers in the Pacific Northwest the first-ever nonstop service to world-class skiing in the western Colorado Rockies,” Alaska Airlines Vice President of Marketing Joe Sprague was quoted as saying in a prepared statement.

The board of Steamboat’s Local Marketing District, which oversees the use of dedicated sales taxes to fund ski season air service, has committed monies to minimum revenue guarantees needed to secure the Seattle flights, according to Perlman.

Perlman said the service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport offers the advantage of convenient connections for travelers from Portland, Ore.; Spokane, Wash.; Anchorage, Alaska; and Vancouver, B.C.

However, through Alaska’s code-sharing agreements with Delta Airlines and Korean Air, the new flight also adds to Steamboat’s growing connections to the Pacific Rim. Steamboat added direct flights from Los Angeles last ski season. Those flights attracted significant numbers of passengers connecting to Steamboat from Australia. Perlman said United Airlines’ new direct service to Denver from Tokyo also adds to the Asian connection.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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