EGE is a community asset – far more than tourism
An airport is much more than a transportation hub; an airport is a community asset. Our Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is no exception. Eagle County Regional Airport is not only a key economic driver but also a strong community asset for year-round locals and second homeowners. The airport serves as an essential gateway for the region and is one of the top economic engines for our community.
Eagle County Regional Airport is currently served by three major airlines: American, Delta, and United with nonstop winter service to major cities around the country: Atlanta, Austin (new in 2022-23!), Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK and LGA), Newark, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Year-round service includes nonstop flights to Denver and Dallas.
The airport serves a key role as our community wraps our arms around how we build and maintain a sustainable community that balances our economic, environmental, and social needs. More than one-third of our visitors arrive via Eagle County Regional Airport and based on guest intercept studies and research, these guests are more likely to be repeat visitors with the potential to become second-home owners, thus benefiting the Eagle County economy and growing our community sustainably. Interstate 70 traffic to and from Denver is increasingly a negative guest (and local) issue and convenience is of utmost importance to our visitors and community members alike. It is important to keep in mind that 47% of jobs in Eagle County are directly related to tourism and hospitality, and equally important to recognize the airport serves significantly more than our tourism industry.
Supporting our airport and air service development is an intentional effort, led by the EGE Air Alliance The historical growth of our winter markets and the creation of year-round air service does not happen by accident Formed in 2002, the EGE Air Alliance is a public-private partnership that provides the funding to support a vibrant local flight service program that ensures the Eagle County Regional Airport remains a vital part of the Eagle County economy.
Supporting airline route development and attracting new carriers (including low-cost carriers) into Eagle County Regional Airport so that Vail Valley businesses, residents, and communities have strong and vibrant flight services supports community goals of being a sustainable community and is aligned with our towns and county economic development goals.
Airport intercept study results show Eagle County guests accessing our communities via EGE are some of our most loyal and frequent guests, they are traveling here with the intent to ski, they stay in paid lodging, and enjoy all aspects of their resort visit including dining, shopping, and visiting galleries. When survey respondents were asked “if I had to fly into DEN and drive here”, only 29% responded they would continue to visit as frequently as they do today. Ten percent would not visit at all, and 18% responded that it is unlikely they would visit.
Apply this to your business; if you knew the reason why 71% of your customers didn’t or wouldn’t use your services if the future, you’d immediately work to address that issue as a top priority. That’s the work the EGE Air Alliance is doing on behalf of the community – helping our community to maintain our market share and grow our customer base and help provide convenient air service to our locals.
And there’s more to come. EGE is a community asset and I’m excited about its role in the future of our community.
Chris Romer is president & CEO of Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at VailValleyPartnership.com