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Scott: only a select few consulting companies have access to the proprietary ARC database required for the airline market study. Ask Scott Ford (who I believe you have suggested do this study instead) - he will confirm. Sometimes we can't shop locally because the product/service doesn't exist here.
And the same page encouraging us to shop local on the Pilot's website serves up Google Adwords (or similar) for BestBuy.com and similar sites.
The Pilot broke its own pledge by outsourcing the ishopsteamboat.com website backend/contest to a non-local company (says right on the footer, "powered by UPICKEM").
A family policy on the Colorado Health Exchange for non-tobacco users runs $900/month with a $6k individual deductible and $12k family deductible ($1,400 - $1,900/month averaged out, worse case). Can someone tell me how this is any more affordable or provides a better benefit than the $1,600/month COBRA policy referenced by the Ski Corp. employee?
This is a serious concern as the exchanges and new plans roll out. When I read about people getting a subsidized plan, I wonder how they will possibly pay the deductible. The result is Uncle Sam going into more debt paying the subsidies, insurance companies enjoying the income from those subsidies, and the patient still left with bills he/she can't pay (which health care providers pass along to those who do pay).
If an agreed upon goal was to increase Saturday capacity by 10% and the actual was 21% - that would be news. This is just a random byproduct of a program without measurable goals. Here are some common sense suggestions for goals:
Determine the marketing required for limiting revenue guarantees and reporting on the actual versus planned of that marketing program - namely the number of empty seats expected versus actual incurred.
Report on the increase or decrease of revenue guarantee amounts (actuals) per route. Are some becoming less profitable for the airlines and thus we should dump that route.
Plan for how much each year should be allocated to replenishing reserves. Right now it's a pure accident when money is left over. That's not exactly what the LMD stated at their open house, but they did state "it is not our goal to replenish reserves," which directly contradicts promises made by the Yes 2 Air campaign (which was mostly threats rather than facts).
Remember - $50,000 in taxpayer money goes to Ski Corp to administer the program. So, why isn't all their data publicly accessible? My fear is it would show the program is handled for the best interest of Ski Corp, not the entire community.
Keeping in mind that we can't change the airline industry's practices (sell discounted tickets to locals), what we can do is choose routes and providers intelligently. Data exists to help estimate each carrier's cost versus revenue per seat mile on a per route basis to better choose which routes and which providers we ask to fly here. Choose a better route or a better provider and your revenue guarantee liability might go down.
Maybe JetBlue would be more efficient from NYC than United. Maybe the NYC route altogether is good for Ski Corp's profits but bad for the community tax money backing the revenue guarantees.
Until the process is completely redesigned to give more transparency to and put more power in the hands of the community (not just Ski Corp), we won't know if it's optimized. I would love to work with others to perform that optimization, but if it doesn't happen - I and many others will be leading a campaign to ensure the 0.25% sales tax as it's currently designed expires after the initial 5-year term.
My concern is that around $50,000 in tax money goes to Ski Corp for administering the air service program, yet the data on why certain routes are chosen or the details of each contract aren't made public. Now that tax money is used for the guarantees, shouldn't we be choosing routes that benefit the entire community and not just the resort? That may be happening already, but we can't know for sure without understanding the analysis performed for each route.
Please join me in voting for Roger. His involvement with the education fund board and proven forward thinking there (innovation grants) is what this school board needs. It's about more than just class sizes and being one of the best in the state. As Roger mentions, it's about producing the best children in the world so they can compete on a global scale.
I don't know Tony Russo, but Roger's documented reputation speaks for itself without needing to speculate on his commitment.
Once you find a route with good demand, there are industry consultants who help estimate the average cost and revenue per seat mile for each carrier on a given route. The airline with the lowest cost/revenue ratio is the one your ask to serve that route because they can be most profitable at it. If they ask for a revenue guarantee - use this data as leverage rather than simply giving them how much they ask for in the revenue guarantee.
These are not new concepts in the airline industry. Countless airports and communities do exactly this to gain better service with less or even no revenue guarantees.
It's time we follow these best practices instead of picking a route like Seattle in the winter or Houston in the summer because, as Scott Wedel says, "we can afford it" and Ski Corp wants to try it out. Let Ski Corp subsidize the flights they want while the tax payers chase after routes we know will be successful because the data shows it! I'm confident the tax money can be limited to $50k or less per year instead of millions each year. But it will take a cultural change, some hard work by our government entities (including a re-chartering of the LMD board's mission), and accountability to the return on investment produced by the sales tax.
"latest charge is led by residents who are seeking more convenient travel for business needs"
This is oversimplified and inaccurate.
As stated multiple times in the letter at steamboattoday.com/news/2013/sep/20/location-neutral-business-group-studying-air-servi/, we have a desire to understand the demand for all air travelers as a combined group: local leisure travelers, business travelers, and tourists. This point was mentioned three times in the letter and the location neutral business community is pushing this idea not just for our own benefit, but because as business people we believe in data driven decisions. Especially when it comes to our tax money being spent.
The reason why that summer Houston flight was an expensive and short-lived "experiment" is there wasn't enough data to support the decision. The process in making informed decisions on air service is pretty simple actually:
Obtain data from a proprietary airline database showing all airline tickets purchased for travel at nearby airports other than HDN (mostly DIA, but possibly EGE and others) with credit cards whose billing zip code is within our area. This is your "local air travel" demand, and includes both leisure and business travel. It also identifies specific routes and schedules of routes taken. This doesn't cover people buying tickets with a corporate card (billing zip code not in the area) or those purchased through travel agencies, but there are industry standard models and multipliers to cover these scenarios.This data is not public record and requires a small fee to be paid to an airline consulting company.
Employ statistically significant surveys of tourists, finding out how many flew into alternate airports (most likely DIA) instead of HDN. The term "statistically significant" is important, because last I checked the Chamber only surveyed a hundred people or so at the airport through a pretty informal process, so that data simply can't be trusted.
1 and 2 identifies the "hidden demand," customers that could be served by HDN. The question is, what would make them choose HDN instead of an alternate? It's not just price and increased flights. It's also schedule optimization to allow them to make a connection into/out of HDN, that route being served by their preferred airline, etc. In other words, there is a lot of data that should go into selecting a new route, making schedule changes, etc.
Last login: Friday, December 6, 2013
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