“TMRAO is very appreciative of the consistent support from the Telluride Association of Realtors over the years,” said Tom Hess, president of the board of TMRAO. “It’s because of this strong support from TAR and other businesses that the air organization has been able to increase air service to the region and keep with our mission of matching air seat capacity to the demand for air travel to/from the region.”
Managed by TMRAO, the Airline Guarantee Program negotiates with major airlines to offer adequate and cost-effective flights into the Telluride and Montrose regional airports through a practice of revenue guarantees. Revenue guarantees are contracts executed between community entities and airlines, where a particular community entity pays the difference between the flight cost and the associated revenue generated by the flight if the revenues produced fall short of the contract amounts. Revenue guarantees allow airlines to share the financial risk of certain flight routes, making the route more attractive to the airline. Since the Telluride and Montrose economies are dependent on tourism, relying specifically on destination visitors traveling by air, revenue guarantees through the Airline Guarantee Program expand/create travel opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
Because of the program, TMRAO increased available jet seats during the 2006/2007 season by about 15 percent (6,100 round-trips); increased 2007 summer service by 18 percent with new service to Dallas/Ft. Worth on American and Salt Lake City on Delta; and brought more than $73 million in additional direct guest spending to the Telluride region because of guaranteed flights. As for this winter, locals and visitors can look forward to a full airline schedule with service to Dallas/Ft. Worth and Chicago on American; Houston and Newark on Continental; Salt Lake City and Atlanta on Delta; Phoenix on America West; Denver on Great Lakes and United Express; and Los Angeles on United.
The Airline Guarantee Program is always looking to bolster and improve air options to the region and thrives on the generous efforts of entities like TAR, as well as numerous other local businesses (typically well over 100) that loyally show their monetary assistance on an annual basis.