I returned from a trip to NYC yesterday. On a rare occasion, I had the opportunity to fly out of COS (to CHI then to LGA) instead of leaving from DIA. I also returned to COS. United Airlines was actually $70 cheaper from COS than DIA for the round trip, not including the drive time hassle and parking expense associated with DIA.
COS airport was a breeze. No rude TSA agents as reported here. No lines. Friendly gate staff. Flights were on time, no waiting for taxiing to leave or waiting for an open gate upon arrival. Unfortunately, there were numerous vacant gates at the airport. United and Delta appear to be the only two major airlines left, with Allegiant being the third regional airline (there was a gate or two for Frontier, but no traffic).
The COS airport is a jewel - one we are at serious risk of losing if one of the two remaining major airlines pulls out. I can't believe we are having such difficulty recruiting new airlines. Is it Mark Earle's fault? I cant say, but I am stunned that someone with Earle's background isn't considered "good enough" to run the airport. But I am also having a hard time believing that we can't seem to sell our airport to bring in the kind of service envisioned when it was dedicated in '94. This is a deal breaker for any major business considering Colorado Springs.
This employee's performance was dismal and he should have been terminated long ago for his failures. After the election Bach can start cleaning out the corrupt, inefficient and criminal Colorado Springs Utilities.
People better wake up to this tyrant mayor. How does this small real estate office guy even have a clue of what the airport needs. This mayor is a total and complete joke but he does have his followers drinking the coolaid. Wake up COS. This guy needs to be voted out starting with his slate on April 2nd.
Ralph is not fair-minded. He is one of the sloppiest and mean spirited writers I have read over the years.
He is more of an emotional splatterer than a thoughtful writer...
Boys, I couldn't disagree more. COS airport is extremely convenient, if only it had more flights. I have never experienced the "long" lines you reference and have never had a problem with attitudes (at least no more so than Denver or other airports).
I takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to get to DIA and add an additional 1/2 hour to 45 minutes to fight the lines at the counter as well as security. Don't forget the tolls. (I know you can bypass them, but add additional time and hassle). You get off a plane in COS and in five minutes you are waiting a very short period of time for your bags. How long does that process take in Denver? (The answer is a minimum of half an hour.
I will pay up to $100 more and fly out of the Springs. Besides, I like to support our airport.
Dang Ralph, I always considered you the only measured and fair-minded writer at the Indy and then this. Just a bit prejudicial, wouldn't you say?
"All had been considered assets to the city..." by whom Ralph? Regardless of the person elected "strong mayor", there was going to be some turnover. It happens with every administration change whether it be local, state or federal. Add to that the deletion of many over-paid and unneeded figureheads that needed weeding out.
I thought you were better than this Ralph. This was a major disappointment.
Relative to the specifics of Mark Earle, lets wait and see, shall we?
Stephen...to your point: I never ever even think of booking out of COS. It is cheaper, quicker, safer, direct, with less hassle and potential problems to just drive to DIA and fly from there.
All the points you name need to be cleaned up to give advantage to COS.
Like the TSA, much better at DIA. The COS TSA all seem to be on some work release program.
I believe it is not employees who fail, but the management in charge of them.
If our city is a mess, it is a mess because the mayor and city council are having problems/struggles with doing the job, and a though job it is.
But success comes not by getting rid of employees...it comes by problem solving with the employees.
It is sort of like marriage...it is a quicker solution to life's tensions to work with the current spouse than to find and develop a relationship with a new one...sometimes the divorce being itself avoidance of and easier than actually addressing the failures at hand.
As a moderately frequent flyer for over 30 years, here is why I do not fly out of COS. Cost, delays, attitudes. Too many disappointments and too much stress. Airfares are higher from COS, schedules are restrictive, and almost everything hops through Denver. At COS, by the time you allow 1.5-2 hours minimum to get through some of the rudest TSA people employed (not all), wait, board, and experience delays and missed connections, you can drive to DIA. Do I enjoy the commute? No. I have arrived 2+ hours before the first flight of the day out of COS and missed it because of low capacity counter and TSA staffing, and, hate to say it but, favoritism in military boarding. I understand their importance to the local economy, and the value of their service. Nothing against them. But the rest of us also have a plane to catch and I hear that you'd like us to do it from COS. I can only imagine the challenges the aviation director faces, and I cannot tell you whether Mr. Earle did or did not do a fine job. I can only tell you why COS airport has not worked for years for many private business travelers and families.
My family's ballots arrived today. So I was disappointed to find that the Independent's candidate reports are not ready yet.
The lack of attention by the local media is not surprising, as these outlets know their income streams depend on staying on the good side of the Republicans, the AFP and the Koch Bros. That's not to say there aren't many talented people in the press in our city, but they have lines they can't cross. As a Democrat who's not running for anything, Garcia will be below the local radar most of the time, even though this is a very big deal for Colorado Springs.
The college students of today are the 'young professionals' of tomorrow. The ones grabbing a degree in one hand and a ticket out of town in the other. Often for just as far away as Boulder, Greeley, or Fort Collins.
The thinking exhibited here seems a 'win-win'. Drawing more attention and people to the downtown area - providing a moderate boost to core merchants - perhaps might even lead to development of downtown housing of the loft type seemingly of great appeal to those who would wish to both work and live downtown.
A more 'current decade downtown' may be the start to lure business from outside the state to not only Colorado Springs - but to the downtown area. The increased transit proposed from downtown to UCCS could also encourage more trips by riders along the route to shop downtown.
Perhaps it is time to engage the younger generation in planning and send the Downtown Solutions Team back to the El Paso Club for a nap.
Exactly. Transit, and land use are the keys. The two largest populations in the US, Boomers and Millennials (or whatever you'd like to call them), do not want to be trapped into doing everything with a car. They'd like to spend their money on other things (cars are expensive), and they'd like to live close to where they work, shop, play and learn.
C. Springs recent history suggests we've forgotten what creates value. You hollowed out the core (for parking) to try and compete with the suburbs. That's a vicious cycle and won't work. The burbs will always cater to the car better than cities can. Cities can revive by focusing on human scaled development. The best part is, it's far cheaper to make a place attractive to people than autos (see that new multi-million dollar intersection @Woodman + Academy you built a few years ago). I guarantee if anyone cared to do a per acre tax comparison of downtown properties vs. properties around Woodman/Academy, downtown would win (and that's downtown after decades of disinvestment vs. quite new development on the fringe). So, all that sprawl costs more to build, doesn't provide as high a ROI and alienates the two largest demographics in the US. You'll keep losing your best and brightest, while struggling to attract diverse businesses, if you don't change the way you grow.
It is also cheaper to go to DIA than to fly out of here in most cases. Everytime you change planes you risk getting stuck for one reason or another...go to DIA and you go right where you are headed without changes and delays. I never even think about booking out of Colo Spgs...besides the TSA here are doing work release and are the most unpleasant people to encounter, darn near spoiling any trip. No thanks.
The worst part of losing Frontier is having to rely on the United look-alikes. They cancel flights way too often - sometimes for the flimsiest of reasons - leaving you stuck in Denver or with extremely long connections.
Tech: You are a bit of a cynic, are you not? If you believe, as your comment seems to indicate, that it is more convenient to go through DIA than the COS airport, you live in a fantasy world.
And, I believe one of the points of the article was (although perhaps not specifically stated), if we had another airline, we would likely have more direct flights, avoiding the need to "change plains in Denver".
It is just quicker to go to Denver than go single file through the one lane of security ever open at our airport...and then you have to change plans in Denver anyhow.
You all forget, Ralph get a tinkling feeling up his leg for anything liberal...so don't get too excited about the gushing prose.
They are too busy trashing Rev Nori and gay marriage.
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