Increase Seen Despite Loss of One Commercial Airline Service in Aspen
(Aspen, CO) Enplanements at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport were up 3% in June despite the fact that the airport is operating this summer with one less commercial airline.
“We find it remarkable that even though Frontier Airlines left our market after last ski season we have still seen this kind of increase in passengers coming into and out of our airport,” said Assistant Airport Director Brian Grefe.
Occupancy rates in Aspen were up 18.6 percent in June compared with 2011. Tourism officials have speculated that the sellout 30th anniversary of the Food and Wine Classic and earlier dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival may have contributed to the increase.
The airport is currently in the midst of a 20-year master planning process. The capacity of the airport terminal and demand for fixed base operations are among the issues being studied in the plan.
“If we are seeing an increase in traffic into and out of our airport with fewer airlines, we will need to keep in mind what we’re experiencing here this summer as we make our 20-year projections,” Grefe said. “It is unlikely that we’ll see significant decreases in business at the airport over the next two decades.”
These increases also occurred despite the impact the drought, wildfires and fire bans have had locally and across the state.