Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization (TMRAO) inked a letter of intent recently, committing CBMR’s support of the Allegiant Air direct flights to the Montrose Regional Airport from the San Francisco and Phoenix areas this winter. The twice-weekly direct flights (Wednesdays and Saturdays) will begin in December from Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Phoenix-Mesa airport (IWA). (more…)

Direct, non-stop flights to Gunnison/Crested Butte Airport make winter travel easy

Access to Crested Butte this winter is quick and easy thanks to direct, non-stop flights into the Gunnison/Crested Butte (GUC) Airport from several major cities across the U.S. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) announces air service for the 2010-2011 winter season from three major carriers, including Continental Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines with flights from Houston (IAH) Denver (DEN). Through each carrier’s extensive flight network guests can get to Crested Butte from anywhere in the world.

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Now’s a good time to book for Crested Butte. Fuel prices have plummeted in the last few weeks and that’s having an effect on airfares. According to industry sources in Crested Butte, fares for direct service to Crested Butte are as low as $300 right now, but these low fares won’t remain indefinitely. At some point those planes will fill up and prices will jump back again. So, don’t wait too long. If you see a fare in the $300 range, that’s as good as it’s going to get.

Gunnison airport has expanded service into the region for the 2008/09 ski season and has added three cities to its list of direct flights.

In past years, direct flights were available from Denver and Dallas. This year Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Chicago have been added with Delta joining United and American Airlines as carriers to bring skiers to Crested Butte.

Gunnison airport is expanding service into the region for the 2008/09 ski season and has added three cities to its list of direct flights.

In past years, direct flights were available from Denver and Dallas. This year Salt Lake City, Atlanta and Chicago have been added with Delta joining United and American Airlines as carriers to bring skiers to Crested Butte.

Financial arrangements with the three airlines flying into Gunnison comes to $1.4 million in air guarantees. The air guarantee program has been underwritten by the Regional Transportation Authority and Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

The RTA and CBMR are providing Delta Airlines $300,000 in guarantees to provide a daily flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, on a 50-passenger regional jet. They will also provide a $200,000 guarantee for Delta to provide a Saturdays-only flight from Atlanta on a 188-passenger Boeing 757. There are more than 4,000 potential round-trip seats between the two destinations.

American Airlines will be flying a single, daily 737 from Dallas for a guarantee of $500,000. In addition, the RTA is providing American Airlines a guarantee of $250,000 to run a Saturday-only flight from Chicago on a 757 jet.

With a $400,000 guarantee United will provide three daily flights out of Denver on a 66-passenger regional jet.

Crested Butte is restructuring its direct flight program in an effort to better appeal to destination skiers.

The ski area operator and its partners from local governments, who levy a sales tax to subsidize transportation, had taken a heavy hit in revenue guarantees two years ago when airlines too frequently carried fewer passengers than is necessary to meet costs. The subsidized flights were primarily to Texas markets and also Denver.

This year, Crested Butte took a breather, offering fewer flights, but hopes to return next winter with a substantially revised program to a variety of new cities, including to Delta Airlines headquarters in Salt Lake City, and also Chicago, Atlanta, and other major markets.

Nearly $2 million will be offered to airlines, to ensure they don’t lose money on the new flights. To make this possible, the ski area operator, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, will pick up a large portion of the tab, $1.2 million, should the planes not fill to at least 75 percent of capacity.

Crested Butte also expects to cut back its shuttles from Denver.

Source: Idaho Mountain Express

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