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Twin Falls City Council to vote on flight to Denver

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 21:59:03-05

TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls city council will be holding a vote Tuesday at 5 p.m. to decide on a transportation services agreement with SkyWest Airlines to add a daily, direct flight to Denver International Airport out of Magic Valley Regional Airport.

Conversations between the city, airport, and airline have been ongoing for 3-4 years. All parties involved have had to consider multiple factors when determining the logistics of adding the flight.

"They're able to look at air travel patterns from the department of transportation," Airport Manager Bill Carberry said. "They can see our market area, how there is a lot of demand that really gets people in a car and drive to Boise and Salt Lake, so there is a lot of leakage of our market that goes to other airports."

What truly helped bring this idea to fruition was financial support from the city, county, and local businesses that will go towards marketing the flight and the Small Community Air Service Development Grant worth $900,000, ensuring that the airline won't lose money.

"So basically, the cost of operating those flights, should passenger airfares not cover those costs, the grant can be used to back-fill that," President of the Chamber of Commerce Shawn Barigar said. "So that it's coming to a break-even for the airline operator."

Whether on leisure or business, people traveling out of Twin will benefit significantly from having access to this large hub.

"It's really a logical choice for us. It's more centrally located in the U.S., so you can go to many many places in the east, and south and down to Texas and those places. So, those connecting opportunities make a lot of sense through Denver for us," said Carberry.

As much as it benefits travelers heading out of state, it could also help attract tourists to Twin Falls.

"They, of course, come on vacation, and they bring their dollars with them. That helps hotels. That helps restaurants. That helps retail, it helps our recreational opportunities and again just keeps that economy moving," said Barigar.

If the city council votes to approve the new route, flights will begin on May 12.