Sep 032003
Authors: Elizabeth Kerrigan

One of the most popular destinations in our country is now closer to Fort Collins.

On July 31, Allegiant Airlines chose the Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport as one of their departing flights to Las Vegas. Fort Collins residents now have the opportunity to fly on a low-fare, non-stop, jet service from an airport located a mere twenty minutes away.

“We believe that there was a large demand from Northern Colorado for this flight,” said Mark Peterson, vice president of marketing and sales for Allegiant Airlines. “It is a convenient alternative to Denver International Airport.”

Allegiant, a Las Vegas based airline, has scheduled flights to be in service on the peak departure days. The flight departs Fort Collins/Loveland Airport every Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday at 8:30 p.m. and arrives in Las Vegas at 9:25 p.m. Returning flights are scheduled to depart Las Vegas on the same peak days, at 5:05 p.m. and arrive at the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport at 7:50 p.m.

Travelers are still encouraged to be at the airport an hour and a half early, but at the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport you can expect short lines and a short walk from the car to the terminal. The parking lot is conveniently located directly in front of the terminal.

Not only can you expect driving, walking and lines to be cut significantly, but travelers can look forward to having more cash in their pockets for Vegas spending since parking is a mere $3 per night, an impressive price reduction in comparison with DIA, where parking can cost anywhere from $7 to $12 a night.

“People just love this new service because it is convenient, less expensive and close,” said Dave Gordon, manager of the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport.

During the first month of service from Fort Collins/Loveland to Sin City, Allegiant set their airfare at $69 each way.

“We offer low-fare specials, sales, online discounts and a wide range of air and hotel packages,” Peterson said.

Allegiant is in partnership with 20 hotel properties in Las Vegas. Packages can be arranged with hotels from every spectrum, including the Venetian, Excalibur and the Four Queens.

Allegiant is a privately owned airline founded in 1997. It is currently servicing six other cities with flights to Las Vegas, including Colorado Springs, Denver, Wichita, Kan., and Lansing, Mich.

“We link medium-sized communities with Las Vegas,” Peterson said. “We chose Fort Collins/Loveland because we were aware that there was a tremendous geographical area of people who didn’t have jet service to Las Vegas, except by making the drive to DIA.”

Allegiant is the first commercial airline to service the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport in six years. According to Gordon, there was a much smaller flight linking passengers with Denver, but was discontinued in 1997.

“It has been a major change to this airport,” Gordon said.

The Fort Collins/Loveland Airport was originally designed for much smaller aircrafts. In order to accommodate the larger plane and bigger crowds, the airport has spent $80,000 in improvements. Among these improvements is a 4,000 square foot waiting area for passengers.

After a little over a month of service and major airport improvements, Gordon said that Fort Collins/Loveland is Allegiant’s third busiest cite.

However, Gordon also admits that while business is more than steady, few college students have taken advantage of the quick trip.

Peterson said students have not yet been a large customer population in the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport, but that Allegiant is no stranger to college campuses. Other departing flights are close to such campuses as Wichita State and Michigan State.

“There is a large potential for marketing on the CSU campus,” Peterson said.

STA Travel, located on CSU campus in the Lori Student Center, expects that Allegiant Airlines will be very busy with student travel.

“I know they are doing good business and that they are so much more inexpensive than the flights out of Denver,” said Amy Kovacs, senior travel adviser for STA Travel. “Their flights will be great for students and the community.”

You may not be able to control your luck at the tables and slots, but the new Allegiant Airline location seems to help passengers control their trip by eliminating excess traveling, stress and money.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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