TELLURIDE – Gap funding for the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization topped $385,000 this week, with the Montrose-based business Leadership Circle’s $20,000 pledge – the program’s single largest private donation from Montrose to date.
The $20,000 goes toward securing commercial airline flights into the Montrose and Telluride regional airports.
The Leadership Circle developed and owns the Montrose-based shopping centers at Oxbow and River Landing housing multiple businesses, including Natural Grocers, Target, Sports Authority, Pahgre's, and Coldstone Creamery.
The Montrose-based Telluride Express and Hot Water Productions have made pledges, as well. TMRAO exists to stimulate local economic development by attracting and retaining air service to Montrose and Telluride through airline guarantee contracts funded by public and private regional organizations. The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates the total economic activity impact to the region from air service to the Montrose and Telluride airports is more than $470 million annually.
“I am so thankful for the support of the Leadership Circle,” said TMRAO Executive Director of TMRAO Scott Stewart. “This is a significant step forward, and we hope to continue to see pledges from the region so we can sustain air service.”
In the wake of rising gas costs, TMRAO is making presentations to regional business organizations about the need for improving air-service capacity through a short-term or gap funding program, and has sent out a solicitation mailing to businesses in Montrose, Mountain Village and Telluride, urging them to join ranks with the many businesses that already support TMRAO.
Regional businesses supporting TMRAO include Colorado State Bank & Trust, Community Banks of Colorado, Cosmopolitan, Franz Klammer Lodge, Hotel Columbia, Hotel Madeline, Inn at Lost Creek, La Cocina de Luz, La Piazza, Mountain Lodge Telluride, New Sheridan Chop House, New Sheridan Hotel, Osborne Builders, Peaks Resort & Spa, Poachers Pub, Ristorante Rustico, Stephanie L. Fanos, Telluride Alpine Lodging, Telluride Bistro, Telluride Real Estate Corp, The Hotel Telluride, The Mountain Side Inn, The River Club, U.S. Bank, Peaks Real Estate, Telluride Real Estate Brokers, Telluride Real Estate Corp., Tommy Hein Architect, Nevasca Realty, and the Harvey Team have all pledged .5 percent of commission on their sales.
Telluride Ski Resort was the first to commit to the short-term funding plan, pledging $100,000 toward its $500,000 goal. Presentations to local governments started in May and resulted in another $150,000 in pledges from the City of Montrose, Mountain Village and the Town of Telluride, each committing $50,000 to the efforts. The Mountain Village Home Owners Association committed $50,000.
Summer service is offered to three Daily non-stop markets (Denver, Dallas, Houston) on four different air carriers (American, Continental, United, Great Lakes) via the Montrose and Telluride airports with connections to hundreds of domestic and international markets.
For more information on TMRAO, visit www.flytelluridemontrose.com