Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New commercial flight at Fort Collins/Loveland beginning on Friday

Beginning this Friday, Allegiant is beginning new jet service from Fort Collins/Loveland to Phoenix. This is the second commercial flight to operate out of FNL, and this is something that I have been harping on for years.
Northeast Colorado is ripe for air service. There are two universities in the area (Colorado State and Northern Colorado), multiple large employers (HP, Budweiser), and trendy travel destinations nearby (Rocky Mountain National Park, multiple ski resorts). Plus, the region has become significantly populated. I have a feeling that adding air service to this would have a Field of Dreams effect - "if you build it they will come."

The drive to Denver International Airport from the Fort Collins/Loveland areas takes approximately 1:30. There are many examples of airlines currently offering service to cities that are as equidistant to a significant airport as FNL. Delta currently flies to Fort Dodge, Iowa (population 25,000). It is located 1:35 from Des Moines, Iowa. Delta also flies to Jamestown, North Dakota (population 15,000). This bustling metropolis is located 1:31 from Bismarck, ND. United flies to Klamath Falls, Oregon (population 20,000), which is located 1:32 minutes from Medford, Oregon. The Fort Collins/Loveland/Greeley/Windsor area has a population over 200,000.

I am glad that at least Allegiant is developing its FNL service. The jet service to Las Vegas was a no-brainer. The next expansion should be to a Florida resort town, or a midwestern hub, like Chicago. I would imagine that there would be a lot of people in Northeast Colorado who would pay a little more for airplane tickets to avoid the long drive to Denver. Allegiant serves FNL with the MD-80, which seats 130-170 passengers. But there's nothing saying you can't fly in and out of FNL with a CRJ or Embraer, the latter of which only requires you to fill 37 seats.

That's all I got.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Forced fanaticism

One of my good friends in Colorado was a big Dallas Cowboys fan. He was not born in Dallas (or Texas or anywhere near there). Nobody in his family was a Cowboys fan. He had never been to Dallas (or anywhere in Texas) in his life. He just liked the Cowboys for no good reason. Even though he lived, was raised, and was, for all practical matters, a Coloradoan. And it's not like the Broncos had a slouch team. This was during the Elway years when being a Broncos fan was a lot of fun. I was just incredibly annoyed that this kid did not support the hometown team. I would have understood his position if he had a good reason for being a Dallas Cowboys fan (like any of the quality reasons I raised above).

So, when I moved to New York in 2006, I knew that I needed to start adopting the hometown teams so that I would not become so objectionable to myself. It was not easy to make this transition. Of course, it did not help that the Rockies got really good in the last few years. And it is just very difficult to give up on the Broncos - they are quite the religion and I drank the Kool-Aid.

But at the beginning of this football season, Diane and I decided that we should choose a football team that we could root for together. We went through an entire exercise including choosing finalists, vetoing the others' choices, etc. And after much consideration, we settled on becoming Buffalo Bills fans.
As it turns out, after 4 very painful losses, this may have been a huge mistake. Much like the industrial complex of upstate New York, the Buffalo Bills' season is crumbling and there is very little hope for recovery. On the other hand, it is somewhat enjoyable to have misery to share with other Bills fans that I run into, and I do enjoy getting the sympathy. It's like becoming a Bills fan is equivalent to doing a good selfless deed like helping an old lady cross the street.

Regardless of the current and future losing that I am destined to witness, I do feel good about our decision (which incidentally was the first major decision we made as an engaged couple - woot!). There is something inherently good about rooting for the only football team that actually plays its home games IN New York.

As for the other sports, I have embraced the Red Sox, although I have not totally let go of the Rockies. I can't put into words how annoying it is that they got this good since I left Colorado after all that horrible baseball I had to endure at Coors Field. And since the Shell-Dawg is a fan of the New York Rangers, that is good enough for me to follow them.

I do have to stress that although I am still a reluctant Rockies fan, it was the Broncos that were the hardest to give up on. Probably because I knew deep inside that I was in for decades of bad football.