MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (MTN)-- Mammoth finally has the air service it has been craving. Horizon Air has announced that the daily flights from Los Angeles will begin in December. Horizon will use the Q400 regional jet that has become so popular for ski town flights, because of its improved gas mileage. The flight will take 65 minutes, which compares to five hours or more by highway from Los Angeles. Mammoth boosters hope that a similar flight to San Francisco may be possible next year.
Meanwhile, Kent Myers was in Mammoth recently to instruct the locals in how to go about building air service. Myers directed marketing operations at Copper Mountain and Winter Park during the 1970s and early 1980s. Then he assembled direct flight programs on behalf of the Steamboat and Vail/Beaver Creek. Since the late 1990s, he has had his own business, Airplanners. With that business, he has established 34 new air routes to seven different mountain airports.
Myers told a crowd in Mammoth recently that air programs have low risk with a big "wow." And air links help not only deliver tourists, but also improve quality of life for the locals. A program along the lines of what he is proposing can also change business models by making Mammoth more attractive to a wider range of entrepreneurs and other professionals. Of course, airlines will need guaranteed money to cover their costs, and to ensure that happens, the community must belly up, he said.