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Christine Metz

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Airport offers promotion

Steamboat looks to increase aviation traffic during shoulder seasons

Steamboat Springs Airport is giving away free fuel and advertising discounts at local businesses as part of a promotion designed to attract planes during the shoulder seasons.

The airport is advertising a coupon good for five gallons of fuel for any plane that comes to the airport. After the pilots land and refuel, the airport gives them a list of local businesses that offer discounts on hotel rooms, food, sporting goods and other retail goods.

The aim is to draw more airplanes to the general aviation airport during the off seasons, airport manager Mel Baker said.

This is the first year the airport has done such a promotion.

“General aviation means business, and we want to market the local community through the general aviation airport,” Baker said.

Councilwoman Kathy Connell said the intent is to encourage recreational pilots to fly into Steamboat and spend the weekend here. The plan promotes the community and is intended to build fuel sales at the airport, which is largely how the airport is funded.

“This makes perfect sense for the airport,” Connell said. “It has been our goal for the Steamboat airport to be more and more profitable.”

Weather has hampered efforts up to now, Baker said, but a few pilots have taken advantage of the offer.

The airport advertised in the Colorado Pilots Association newsletter, which goes out to 650 members. The promotion ends June 15.

“It is the very first time. As with anything, we don’t expect a huge response. It is something we want to continue so eventually the aviation community will be looking for the promotion,” Baker said.

Baker said the promotion will be repeated in the fall.

“We just want to make sure the local vendors understand we are doing all we can up here to help them out by marketing the community,” Baker said.