“Moving the airport is the best bet”
The results of a tourism study requested by the Gunnison County Board of Commissioners are in, and they ain’t pretty for the southern half of the county. It turns out that while an overwhelming percentage of tourists love Crested Butte, most don’t return because it’s Gunnison that sticks in their head after they leave.
“The plain truth is that the airport location forces people to see and feel Gunnison,” explained Kurt Flyers, airplane seat consultant. “The survey numbers indicate that when people arrive expecting snow, quaintness and happiness, the cold–record cold, actually–truth of Gunnison hits them square in the face. After all, you can only tint the Alpine Express windows so much.”
Flyers went on to list a few improvements that could benefit local tourism numbers. “One, expand the Skyland airport to allow tourists to land in Crested Butte. Or, perhaps pave Kebler Pass Road to allow for the Somerset/Crested Butte Regional Airport to become a reality. And blowing up the bridge at Almont wouldn’t hurt.”
At this suggestion, Gunnison/Crested Butte Tourism Association director Jane Cheney piped up, “Sounds great! Somerset is a beautiful spot, and I could really get behind the SCBTA. Or Buena Vista! Heck, just keep paying me a ton and we’ll draw some new stick figures!”
She went on to unveil a new campaign to spruce up Gunnison’s image: “I’d rather be ugly in Gunny than cute in the Butte. Gunnison will be fine- we’ll emphasize all the great things about Gunnison…”
“I’ll get back to you on that,” she promised after ten minutes of uncomfortable silence.
Alvin Cornholtz, with CS Merwyn, stood and explained his company feels the same way about Crested Butte. “It’s just not upscale enough,” Cornholtz lamented from within a brand-new embroidered jacket, “So we’re applying for a permit to land planes on Lake Irwin. Well, we’ve already been doing that all year, so…is that OK?”