I oppose a downtown stadium. If successful in terms of attendance and use for activities other than baseball, it will snarl traffic to an even greater degree than the poorly-engineered series of curves on I-25 do now. We just experienced our largest good-weather pile-up of 10-12 cars last week in broad blue-sky daylight. A stadium like that should remain a destination out yonder. We need boosts to the economy of the city and you do that by attracting lots of new businesses, not by relocating one barely-thriving special interest business, national past-time notwithstanding. Stop re-arranging deck chairs, please.
Airline deregulation, signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1978, began the impact on dozens if not hundreds of small regional airports that culminates in what we see today at COS airport. The act removed government over fares, routes, and market entry of new airlines from commercial aviation and phased out the Civil Aviation Bureau's regulation powers. The CAB had created a bottleneck of bureaucracy that stood in the way of innovation and service. Deregulation created a free-market environment for air service which delighted all, well, free-marketers and their airlines, increasing competition but eventually eroding service to less-profitable routes and cities. Like ours. Precisely because we did not deregulate phone service and other utilities in the same manor, considering them to be essential life services, people living in rural areas have access to those services. In the case of air service, free-market capitalists got what they wanted, the airlines got what they wanted, and the flying public gets what's left. In our case: bupkis. Coffee and newspapers from the mayor do not constitute the needed economic incentives to both sides of air commerce. They constitute amateur hour.
Clearly people's experiences vary at COS, and feedback for any business is best heard through many channels. This is not a "who's right / who's wrong" situation. When the airport works, it's a "jewel," no doubt. But it needs to work for more people than not in order to transcend diamond in the rough status. The daily reports this today: http://www.gazette.com/articles/year-15280…
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.
I can only take Scott's word that the Gazette ever had 85% penetration. It sounds unbelievable but any such number appears only distantly in the rear-view mirror. The paper now appears more like an pamphlet while its price tag has kept pace with inflation nicely. The libertarian editorial philosophy tune played so stridently on its one-note guitar for so many years, I believe, did what it intended to do: it shaped the older newspaper-reading segment of the community into thinking taxes should never be raised, and nothing apart from the sparest actual government facilities should ever be owned by the city. I believe it hardened the already calcified opposition to offering and paying for any service apart from police and fire. Our city turned off street lights to save money from the utility company it owns. That looks pretty pathetic to the rest of the country. If we are in for a doubling down of that viewpoint, the paper will appeal to fewer and fewer, and continue to contribute to the erosion of the community instead of its growth. A city (no longer just a town) benefits from a rational, dependable, comprehensive common forum and vocabulary which a newspaper can provide.
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