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The O. Report throws its considerable weight behind Vail International Airport
Look at all the places you can get to from the soon-to-be-re-named (we hope) Eagle County Airport.
Courtesy of Eagle County

The O. Report throws its considerable weight behind Vail International Airport

Especially if there are some direct flights to Bali in it for me
By David O. Williams

April 23, 2008 —  I’m trying to think of the most famous counties in the United States. So far I’ve come up with Westchester, Suffolk, Marin, Humboldt and Orange – all famous for being wealthy suburbs of major metropolitan cities such as New York, San Fran and LA.

Eagle County isn’t even on the periphery of that radar screen, which is a tip-off as to why I’m even engaging in this little exercise. Trying to develop a destination brand for Eagle County – which, for those of you have no clue (likely a lot of you), is where Vail is located – is ridiculous.

Anyone clinging to Eagle County as part of the airport name for that reason (see our story in Real Biz) needs to then read my piece on how you answer when someone asks you where you’re from, which is inevitably the first question you get on a chairlift ride with strangers.

The local mainstream media (hereafter referred to as the MSM) have called for a compromise in the great airport naming debate, which started when Vail Resorts’ new ad agency, Denver-based Genesis, was asked to come up with a strategy for creating greater awareness for the facility among destination skiers.

The Vail Daily says the airport, which is currently called the Eagle County Airport but is marketed by the ski company as the Vail-Eagle County Airport, should get the moniker that Vail Resorts has been using. It gets the internationally known name brand in there and keeps the Eagle County tag for purists who want to stay true to our pre-skiing roots.

I’ll grant you that the first name Genesis came up with, Colorado International, was overreaching, even for a facility that, based on the number of flights, is the second busiest in the state during the winter months. But its second choice, Vail International, is spot-on.

Vail is the reason anyone is using that airport at all. Without the ski area it’s a dusty strip fit for crop dusters and drug smugglers. And just because the airport doesn’t have direct international flights, don’t try to argue it can’t be called Vail International.

Look at the cities the airport does have direct flights to and from: LA, New York, Miami, Dallas, Denver and Houston, to name a few. All of those cities have direct international flights to points all over the globe.

So you’re talking about a minimum of one connection to Frankfurt, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and so on. That’s about as international as the ridership on your average in-town Vail bus during the holidays.

Finally, throwing a bone to Eagle and Gypsum because they bear the brunt of the airport noise and traffic is a little like saying we should re-name Denver International Airport as Denver-Adams County International. Not going to happen.



Comment on article  2 Comments on "The O. Report throws its considerable weight behind Vail International Airport"


EGE — April 23, 2008

Instead of lobbying to change the name of the airport, why not focus on associating the Vail brand with the airport code? The code is the most useful piece of information for travelers booking online. Many of the airport codes have little to do with the formal name of the airport (DCA = Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport), so a clever marketeer should be able to brand EGE into whatever slogan/campaign is most relevant.

"The skier's EdGE for spending more time in Vail."

"KnowlEdGEable skiers use EGE."

OK, not so clever, but if an airport code is well known people use it in lieu of the airport name. Most folks say LAX, not Los Angeles International. Once the code gets into the ski vernacular, you might hear destination skiers say to their ski buddies - "Enjoy your two 2+ hour van rides, while I'm skiing two half days because I flew into the EGE."


Adam of Adam's Rib — April 23, 2008

I like it! "The EaGE"!

It hits a hard syllable too like EaGE-streme, EaGE-ological, EaGE-onomical etc.



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