Mountain News: Vail airport up and coming 

GYPSUM, Colo. – So much depends upon what you call it. “It,” in this case, is the airport located in the town of Gypsum, 37 miles west of Vail.

“It” was formally proclaimed the Eagle County Regional Airport in the late 1980s, when it was expanded sufficiently to accommodate major jets, which now routinely deliver passengers for Vail, Beaver Creek and, to a lesser extent, Aspen and Snowmass — but also to the oil and gas industry that is now feverishly at work to the west.

“It” is also called the Vail-Eagle airport by some, or sometimes even Vail’s airport.

But consultants who have been paid $90,000 to create a “brand” suggest something altogether new: Colorado International Airport.

The chief executive of the firm, Jim Adler, said both Vail and Eagle are too limiting. The name Eagle doesn’t mean much beyond Colorado. Much more broadly known is the name Vail, but it is limiting in that the airport serves many other resorts.

Genesis came up with Colorado International Airport because of how “Colorado” among many people evokes images of mountain beauty and outdoor lifestyles. As well, there is the potential for the airport to cater to international flights, with customs officials located at the airport.

The recommendation is not a slam-dunk. Vail, the town, demands that the airport be named Vail. Importantly, so do some of the county commissioners. “The Vail name has huge power and cachet,” said Peter Runyon, a commissioner.

Still at issue is whether the airport deserves to be called international. Less publicly visible, Vail Resorts is working to expand its lucrative business among international travelers who are finding the United States much more affordable than it used to be. Vail does not officially control the airport, but unofficially does so, as it arranges for most of the commercial flights.

The controversy about whether an airport in Gypsum could be called Vail, some local wag suggested a composite: Vail International and Gypsum Regional Airport. If you figure out the acronym of that, you will understand the proposed motto: It’s an up and coming facility.


Assisted-care facilities eyed

ASPEN, Colo. – Aspen is trying to get a better grip on who would be using an assisted-care living facility in the next few years as the baby boom population becomes what is formally classified as senior citizen age, or 60 and over.

The community already has one such assisted-care facility. However, it accommodates only 15 people. Also, it lacks the ability to give a fuller spectrum of care, such as might be provided by a nursing home, or what are called memory-support services.


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