Crested Butte plans to revamp winter flights

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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