Courtesy of Eagle County www.eaglecounty.us
The O. Report throws its considerable weight behind Vail International Airport
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.
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