Association of Realtors pledges $10K to regional air org.
TAR has given $216K to airline guarantee program since 2002
The Telluride Association of Realtors recently pledged $10,000 to support the Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization’s Airline Guarantee Program.
TAR believes that the program is critical to the success of the region’s tourist-based economy and has been a supporter of it for years. Since 2002, TAR has contributed upwards of $215,000 to TMRAO’s guarantee program. This year’s pledge of $10,000 puts the exact donation total at $216,800.
“We’re pleased with the support from TAR and also the broader support of many individual TAR member brokerage firms of our air service development and support efforts,” said Scott Stewart, TMRAO’s executive director of air service development. “Air service is a critical part of the local economic infrastructure and the TAR contribution helps TMRAO continue its efforts toward the overall economic health of the community.”
TMRAO’s Airline Guarantee Program provides broader air travel options to those flying to and from the area. Started in 1985, the program encourages major airlines to offer adequate and attractively priced flights into the Telluride and Montrose regional airports by utilizing revenue guarantees, a type of cost sharing. Through donations from numerous local and regional entities, it shares the fiscal risk with certain airlines, allowing such carriers to better and more cost-effectively serve the region. This is critical in a place like Telluride because, due to their small population bases, Telluride and Montrose typically would not support the quality of air service they presently possess.
If the program didn’t exist, airlines would be forced to reduce their flight numbers/frequencies into the region, which would, in turn, drive fares up, potentially devastating the local economy and causing damage to the ski resort.
“Because of this community’s commitment to air service, and in particular the real estate community’s strong contributions, our air program has helped us through some of the toughest economic conditions in the last few years,” said Dirk de Pagter, chairman of the board of TMRAO.
To emphasize the Airline Guarantee Program’s success over the years, $175,000 was invested into the program back in 1992; by the 2007-2008 season that amount had increased into a guaranteed payment of more than $1.2 million from a budget of almost $2.2 million. In 2009, the maximum exposure for summer and winter went up to over $4 million, thus exemplifying the program’s success even through tough economic times.
“These are difficult times,” says de Pagter, “not to mention that oil prices are going through the roof and aircraft sizes are ever increasing. These factors all make it more challenging to service our small airports, which is why the real estate community’s support is so vital.”