Ed Miklus: Reasonable request
October 2, 2013
The recent location-neutral businesses' letter to the editor regarding our air service program was excellent; their recommendation for a study of our air service is necessary, reasonable and practical.
The empirical evidence during recent years shows unequivocally that the air service program is a failing paradigm and is economically unsustainable. Since the 2010-2011 season through our past season (three years), the cost of the program has increased more than 60 percent! Further, during the 2012-13 very good snow season, available seats decreased 14 percent and total number of passengers decreased 10 percent compared to the lousy 2011-2012 snow season.
Offseason air service boarders are nonexistent and it is beyond expensive. Would you invest in a business with those sorry statistics? Don't worry, you already have with the quarter percent sales tax increase.
Finally, can somebody tell me why the Yampa Valley Regional Airport is touting a 10-year master plan expansion when it's regularly losing service, seats, passengers and being subjected to exorbitant ticket prices?
All the letters to the editor in the world can be written and unless and until the city of Steamboat Springs gets strong, intelligent and savvy centralized (mayor) political leadership allying with a courageous, unified and outspoken business community then being able to engage Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the officials of the Local Marketing District and the Airport Commission as formidable principals, nothing is going to happen. Although, we could have another $50,000 propaganda campaign aimed at fleecing the taxpayers' pocketbook to support an imploding program.
Hopefully, the location-neutral business community won't be parked in Steamboat's stonewalling waiting room of ideas until in frustration it leaves.