An aviation expert said Thursday that he didn’t expect any changes to Aspen’s airline picture in light of the announcement that American Airlines will merge with US Airways.
Mike Boyd, an Evergreen-based aviation consultant, said that since US Airways doesn’t operate out of Sardy Field, flights at the local airport won’t change.
“There’s no downside to Aspen at all,” he said. “There’s no upside either.”
Bill Tomcich, president of local reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass, in an email cited a statement from American Airlines CEO Tom Horton.
When the merger’s complete, “we will expand and further strengthen our network on the West Coast,” Horton said in a prepared statement.
Given Horton’s sentiment, Tomcich wrote that he believes the merger “could create some interesting new opportunities both for us here at Aspen/Snowmass, as well as other airports across the region.”
American Airlines in December 2011 initiated nonstop service into Aspen/Snowmass from Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles, Tomcich’s email says.
The airline “now offers direct jet service into just about every major and mountain resort airport in the western United States outside the state of Montana,” he wrote. “US Airways has a significant presence in the western United States through their Phoenix hub, but other than into Durango and Grand Junction, currently does not offer direct jet service into any mountain resort destinations outside the larger gateways of Denver, Salt Lake City, Boise and Reno.”
The merger will create the world’s largest air carrier and put 86 percent of domestic air travel in the hands of four big airlines, The Washington Post reported.
Aspen Public Radio announced Thursday that Executive Director Andrew Todd will be moving to Jackson, Wyo., to become the executive director of the Grand Teton Music Festival.
The Jackson festival is a 51-year-old company that presents a summer-long program of classical music concerts and performances by world-famous musicians and conductors. Todd will be responsible for all aspects of the program and its future development.
A concert pianist by background, Todd joined Aspen Public Radio as executive director in 2007. Under his management, the NPR member station has grown in size and audience, and maintained its mix of public radio programming, including national news and classical music; local news and live coverage of Aspen Music Festival, Aspen Institute and other events; and a variety of volunteer specialty music.
“I have loved living and working in this valley for the past 11 years, and the opportunity to help develop and manage an organization like Aspen Public Radio has proved rewarding and fun,” Todd said in a press release. “It is not easy to leave the excellent APR staff and the many friends of the station here. But, I look forward to returning to the musical performance arena and the opportunity to lead the Music Festival in Jackson in the coming years.”
Holy Cross Energy is giving $546,000 to local municipalities, as part of its annual “Community Enhancement Fund” contribution program.
Towns receiving a share of the money are Aspen, Avon, Basalt, Carbondale, Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn, Snowmass Village and Vail. The payments are provided for in the franchise agreement that each town has with the utility provider. Since inception of this program in 1997, more than $5.33 million has been provided to these municipalities.
This distribution, made annually in February, is based on 1 percent of the prior year’s electric revenues received from the sale of electricity within the boundaries of the respective municipality.
The purpose of the Community Enhancement Fund is to provide funding for programs and/or activities designed to make a difference in people’s lives and the communities in which they reside. Programs for which such funds may be spent are limited to beautification projects, energy conservation projects, equipment and technology upgrades for schools, acquisition of open space and/or park land and development thereof, sponsorship of special community events and undergrounding of overhead electric and other utility lines.
If you have questions regarding this matter, please contact Holy Cross member services manger Stephen B. Casey at 970 947-5430.