MONTROSE – Crested Butte Mountain Resort announced last week it will offer support to the direct Allegiant Air service to the Montrose Regional Airport from Oakland, Calif. and Phoenix, Ariz. this winter.
The twice-weekly direct flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays will begin in December, from Oakland International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa airport. The pledge of support, recently inked in a letter of intent, comes after officials from the Telluride-Montrose Regional Air Organization asked for support from three entities in the Gunnison/Crested Butte area, including the Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority, Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Board.
The Rural Transportation authority, with the advice of consultant Kent Meyers, opted to pass on the support and so did the Tourism Association. For Crested Butte Mountain Resort, its main focus is supporting air service into the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, because of its convenience for guests, but officials consider the Montrose Regional Airport as a great option, as well.
“Montrose continues to be a larger option for our guests when they are coming to Crested Butte,” Crested Butte Mountain Resort PR and Communications Manager Erica Reiter said. “It’s a viable option for our guests and it’s only 90 miles away. This is opening up a market to us that we have previously not been in.”
Reiter said that the Allegiant Air business model will not only open up new markets in Phoenix and Oakland, but allow for more marketing opportunities as well.
“The way Allegiant Air works is about 90 percent of their reservations are done on their website,” she said. “We will have a presence there as well. Telluride and Crested Butte are obviously competitors, but we feel we have more power working together from time to time.”
The Crested-Butte-based Elevation Hotel and Spa also decided to pledge its support of the air service as well.
“From our perspective, we would be missing an opportunity by not finding a way to participate in the Allegiant air service,” Jeff Moffett, director of Crested Butte Vacations, said. “After seeing the potential, the Elevation Hotel and Spa pitched in as well, which we certainly appreciate. We have been looking for ways to collaborate on shared Crested Butte-Telluride passes and ticket products, which we feel will only enhance regional efforts and the destination of Southwest Colorado as a whole. Our hope is that we are creating a great foundation for future regional destination efforts with Gunnison, Crested Butte, Montrose and Telluride.”
This winter, Allegiant will offer an introductory round-trip fare from Oakland from as low as $129 and from Phoenix starting as low as $130 round-trip.
Securing Allegiant as a new airline partner represents an unprecedented regional collaborative effort between the City of Montrose, the Town of Telluride, the Town of Mountain Village, Telluride Ski Resort, Montrose Regional Airport, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, the Telluride Tourism Board and the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization, and enormous perseverance on the part of TMRAO.
“The Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization has been researching and pursuing a low-cost carrier for more than a year,” said TMRAO Executive Director Scott Stewart. “These new flights add an additional 10,000 seats to this winter’s air service, and will have a very positive economic impact on the region’s economy.”
More information on flights to Montrose Regional Airport can be found at allegiantair.com.