Steamboat’s Air Service Tax Win…Now Fill the Seats

What to do when the airlines are cutting back on flights coming in to your rather remote ski resort town? Generate support for a sales tax addition that will be 100% funneled into the winter air service program to increase the money on the table. Money talks, and airlines will fly in to Yampa Valley Regional Airport bringing passengers to Steamboat Springs if you guarantee them seats!

Empty Airline Seats
Empty Airline Seats

With a huge groundswell of support led by local businesses who live and die by tourist numbers, the .25% tax increase won with a 61% approval, and will generate an estimated $1.3 million annually to add to the existing dollars funded by Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. and the local hospitality industry.

While there were many vocal proponents for the plan, one of the best opposing questions was the following:

* So just because the flights will increase, we can’t force people to fill the seats, so since we are all going to be paying for the seats now, do we get free tickets to fill the empty seats?

Sales Tax Increase
Sales Tax Increase

Here’s the challenge for the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce and Steamboat Springs Ski Corp:

* Develop aggressive marketing programs to fill the additional seats and keep the winter and summer visitors coming to our beautiful resort town.

In the end, empty seats won’t help anyone because it’s the money folks spend when they get here that local restaurants, retail merchants and service providers are counting on. So we’ve got half the equation solved now thanks to a community who banded together to pass the tax we’ll all have to pay. Now the pressure will be on the marketing end to entice families to choose Steamboat Springs as their vacation destination. Once they get here, it’ll be up to all of us to ensure they have an experience that will keep them coming back and telling their friends to do the same!

—For more information on buying real estate or questions regarding Steamboat Springs real estate or renting a home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at: