Airline ticket sales continue to be strong for the upcoming ski season – The Crested Butte News
Last fall was booming for the air
[ By Mark Reaman ]
Based on early season ticket sales, it looks like Gunnison-Crested Butte Airport will be busy this ski season. Of course, the terminal is undergoing a major renovation so that passengers get a taste of the construction upon arrival and departure at GUC. But the warm weather at the start of winter made it possible to move most of the services inside the terminal building so that passengers did not have to wait in outdoor tents.
“It’s always a challenge and we ask people to be patient,” said Roland Mason, Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) board member and county commissioner.
Tourism and Prosperity Partnership (TAPP) executive director John Norton said the pneumatic seats were selling well and sales were higher than last year. “We have moved some marketing resources out of Texas to give Denver a boost,” he told the RTA board of directors at the December 10 meeting. “Denver is relatively weaker right now and it’s a big hub for us. Just under half of the seats sold this season go through Denver.
RTA Executive Director Scott Truex said this week the RTA was ahead of the previous four years in terms of seats sold at this point in the year.
RTA airline consultant Kent Myers was excited about the pace of ticket sales. The aerial ski season program reached full capacity as of December 16. “We have seen a sharp increase in the number of passengers booking at Gunnison,” he said. “We have a lot more seats coming this winter and every market (Dallas, Houston and Denver) looks strong. Everything is going up and this recent 30 inch snowstorm won’t hurt. There are plenty of good things this winter.
“Crested Butte has had more snow than anywhere else in Colorado,” added Bill Tomcich, Myers partner. “The schedules and types of planes entering Gunnison are working very well. There are more seats coming this winter. It is the right size for the market. It’s a good mix between United and American.
It is not only winter that sees the number of passengers increase. Myers said he was optimistic about the fall given last fall’s numbers. “There has been a substantial increase in the number of seats entering the GUC in October and November,” he said. “GUC saw a lot of passengers in those months. There were 7,500 people at the airport, which is a dramatic increase over previous years. There is light at the end of the tunnel for the offseason.
United flights for next summer are loaded into the system and discussions are underway for a US flight to run between Dallas and Gunnison next summer. Details are being worked out and more information will likely be available in early 2022.