Allegiant Offers Direct Flights to Oakland, Phoenix
KREX News Room
MONTROSE, Colo. - Allegiant Air is now offering direct flights to San Fransisco via Oakland International Airport from Telluride via Montrose Regional Airport. The cost-effective airline is also offering service from Montrose to Phoenix via Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
The new, non-stop jet service starts at a fare as low as $53.99 one way.
Officials say this new service has major implication on the economic future of the area.
"Our airport is the largest economic driver that we have in the community ... the number's like $329 million a year economic impact to the region," explained Sandy Head with the Montrose Economic Development Corporation.
"We are excited about the new flights and excited to give area residents an opportunity to fly non-stop," added Jessica Wheeler with Allegiant Air.
Flying non-stop is now a reality for Trisha Cummings, who's flights to see family in the Sacramento area used to be $450-$700.
"I would drive to Grand Junction; I would need to park there; I would take a flight out usually with transfer either in Salt Lake or Denver and then I would fly into Sacramento," explained Cummings.
The new cost to Cummings: $99 plus tax.
"To find a ticket that you buy a week ahead of time, during the Christmas holiday for right around $100 round trip is amazing," said Head.
"It just seems unreal to be able to do that," added Cummings.
The direct flights also offer more encouragement for two major metropolitan cities to bring their dollars to Montrose.
"It's going to have a huge impact ... the hotels, the restaurants, the connectivity," explained Head.
She says it's connectivity that also keeps their businesses in Montrose.
"We have over 20 major manufacturers and global companies and they have to do business outside of Colorado ... they have to be connected to the world. So, this is a huge piece from just an economic standpoint for business in Montrose," Head said.
The Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization has been researching a low-cost carrier for more than a year.
Montrose, Telluride, Crested Butte and Gunnison all invested in the project because research shows the entire region would benefit. Some 80 percent of those flying into Montrose travel to snowier areas like Telluride during the winter.
So for now, service is only offered through April 3. Montrose officials hope there is enough demand for these flights to extend into the summer months, because research shows that 50 percent of those flying into Montrose stay and play in the city during that time of year.
Summer flights could translate to an even better tourism boom than in the winter months.
Go to Allegiant.com to check flight times and schedules.