Editorial: Flight focus | CraigDailyPress.com

Editorial: Flight focus

About 20 miles east of Craig an opportunity is waiting to be fully developed.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden brings visitors from just about everywhere to the Yampa Valley.

And, if these travelers' interests are piqued enough, hopefully their stop in the area includes visiting Craig and Moffat County.

But herein lies the problem.

A lack of promotion at the airport means new arrivals know little about what lies west of Routt County.

Yes, there are a few signs and brochures at the airport hinting at what they could find beyond Hayden town limits, but it's not enough to draw the crowd it could and should.

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The editorial board suspects this lack of vision may be attributed to the invisible wall between the two counties. According to this logic, if it's in Routt County, it belongs to Steamboat Springs.

This thinking prevents Moffat County from capitalizing on the largely untapped asset that is the airport in Hayden and the visitors it regularly shuttles in and out.

Putting out more brochures and signs promoting the rich outdoor recreational opportunities in Moffat County is a good start to correcting the problem.

So is working with Alpine Taxi to give out coupons for Craig restaurants and attractions to visitors bound for Steamboat.

A shuttle from the airport could bring new arrivals to major Craig events like Whittle the Wood and Wyman Museum's Winter Festival.

Ultimately, though, the solution must include a broader vision for luring airport traffic to Moffat County. A master plan is in order, and everyone — namely local businesses and agencies — must be on board with it.

The Editorial Board contends more Craig business owners would be willing to advertise at YVRA if they realized how rich a resource it is. The same goes for agencies like the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Craig and Moffat County have two choices.

Option one: Continue to allow tourists to shuttle east on Highway 40 with little idea of, or little interest in, what they're missing in Moffat County.

Option two: Recognize YVRA as a major transportation hub and take advantage of it.

It should be obvious which choice is wiser.

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Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Bridget Manley

— Newspaper representative

• Chris Nichols

— Community representative

• Jeff Pleasant

— Community representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

Our View

Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden is an untapped asset that Craig and Moffat County could better capitalize on. Local business owners and organizations would be wise to develop plans integrating the airport and its operations into marketing strategies.

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