To keep Avelo, we need planes full both ways

The recent article in The Daily Sentinel regarding Avelo’s new flight to Burbank is a tribute to the insights and connections of our airport staff and the Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance.

The new routes to John Wayne (SNA) and Bob Hope (Hollywood Burbank — BUR) airports have been served up to the community, and now we need to keep the flights viable. This seems like a wonderful opportunity for Elizabeth Fogarty and the Visit Grand Junction team to connect with these communities and share the attributes of our area. I had the unique opportunity to travel on the inaugural flight and meet with Frank Miller — executive director of the Burbank airport (former GJT executive director in the mid 1980’s) along with GJT staff to discuss synergies.

It is clear there are plenty of opportunities to connect vacationers, remote workers, potential CMU students, and families with western Colorado. BUR’s airport terminal landscape is ripe for digital display photos of folks skiing at Powderhorn, rafting the Colorado River, enjoying a glass of wine in Palisade or mountain biking in Fruita. Moreover, social media advertising may reach prospective businesses that could diversify our economic landscape. Burbank offers a number family friendly places for a weekend getaway for less than $60 round trip. Rare is the opportunity to engage with a former airport director and supporter of this area.

When flights reach 70-80% occupancy they start to make real sense economically for an airline. To achieve these results, we need to persuade folks in the Los Angeles area, specifically Burbank and Orange County, to choose to visit Grand Junction. We are in tough competition for these passengers against high-profile communities such as Bozeman Mont., Santa Rosa Calif., and Eugene, Ore. Without targeted destination marketing, we risk travelers choosing those better-known names over Grand Junction when they book their vacations. The game clock is running, and it’s time for us to play an aggressive offense.

This is a very unique time for travelers to have the best access and the lowest fares in GJT history, but it will not last if we don’t take advantage of the routes both ways. I am looking forward to seeing what Fogarty and her team can do with their marketing expertise to support our Mesa County hospitality, recreation and adventure sports businesses.

TOM BENTON

GJRAA Board Chairman

New congressional district should encompass West Slope

All western Colorado mayors, city council members, and state legislators should be lobbying state officials to locate the new 8th Congressional District on the Western Slope. On April 26, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that Colorado is now eligible to create a new 8th Congressional District due a 14.5% population growth from 2010 to 2020.

Denver and the Front Range have more than enough representation. I support the concept of cutting the 3rd Congressional District in half and locate the new 8th District on the Western Slope. Western Colorado desperately needs representation.

The public as well as the mayors, city council members, and state legislators need to contact Jessika Shipley with the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission at: https://redistricting.colorado.gov. Make your voice heard!

RANDY FRICKE

New Castle

Vaccinations remain key in halting pandemic

There are a number of for-profit and nonprofit organizations telling people to not get vaccinated. There are also You Tube sites, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had lent his name to the cause. Vaccines are not dangerous and have proven to be extremely beneficial. To set the record straight, the following diseases have disappeared or almost so as a result of vaccines and vaccinations: polio, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, whooping cough, measles, pneumococcus (pneumonia, strep throat), mumps, chickenpox and diphtheria.

We need to put COVID-19 in the same category: disappeared.

ERNIE STECH

Grand Junction

Biden’s ‘accomplishments’ in first 100 days don’t impress

I sure am glad old Joe got elected. Let’s see, in only 100 days gas is up over a dollar. Hordes are flooding the U.S. border while Russian cyber attacks cause severe gas shortages. The Middle East is erupting into war and people won’t go back to work because unemployment pays more while teachers’ unions keep schools closed. Joe Biden has accomplished so much more than Trump ever did. And only in 100 days!

BRUNO KIRCHENWITZ

Rifle

Liz Cheney: Truth warrior

I am a staunch Democrat, although I rarely donate to any political campaigns. And I disagree with Liz Cheney on almost everything. But I just made a donation to her reelection campaign. She is currently waging a campaign for truth, integrity, democracy, and the rule of law. And she is being punished for it. I doubt if there is anyone who honestly thinks that the 2020 election was less than legitimate. But the Republican leadership, and much of the rank and file, have abandoned those values in the service of a dangerous, anti-democratic cult.

FRANK LILLY

Silverthorne