Airport Marketing Plan on table | SteamboatToday.com

Airport Marketing Plan on table

The Yampa Valley Regional Airport soon could have its first marketing plan. The goals of the plan would be to provide reliable year-round flights, encourage competitive prices, ensure customers have a positive experience and draw community support for growth and expansion of the airport.

Routt County commissioners will discuss and take action on the plan today.

Having a marketing plan would be especially helpful as the airport goes through the growing pains of its $17.8 million improvements, said Aviation Director Jim Parker.

“So that the travelers through here know there is an end in sight, even though it might be a few years away,” Parker said.

The brief marketing plan covers 10 strategies and actions, such as using the best technology affordable to maximize health and safety, and completing the scheduled expansion on time.

An annual marketing budget would be included in the airport’s general budget, with minimal marketing funds used this year.

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The plan targets the local and tourism communities, as well as other airlines and pilots, Parker said.

The idea of having a marketing plan for the airport has been around for a while, Parker said, but an actual document was drafted in the past few months with the help of two members of the Yampa Valley Airport Commission.

In the past, Parker said, the airport hasn’t had “a lot to market.”

“It hasn’t been the shining star for the community for a long time,” Parker said. “We hope to change that.”

Marketing strategies could include advertising in national magazines and holding open houses for local residents.

The plan includes efforts to: increase flight frequencies and geographic diversity to maximize services and minimize direct subsidies; promote capital development to encourage growth especially for larger aircraft; promote the airport to tourists by using low-cost marketing strategies and developing a welcome kit for airport users; develop locals’ specials for air service rates; hold airport open houses and link the airport’s home page to other area Web sites; develop plans to tell the public about the airport expansion; and look at ways to develop adjacent land to increase airport revenue.

The plan also highlights cooperative efforts with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said he struggled with some wording in the plan, and also with whether an airport should be in the marketing business.

Routt County commissioners will discuss the plan at 9:45 a.m. today.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com