Economic Impact and More | Issue 1A, August 2013
Punta Gorda is an outstanding and nearby alternative to the Ft. Myers area, allowing access into southwestern Florida. Allegiant started out in 2010 with two cities: Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa. Within two years, they added St. Pete-Clearwater and Orlando-Sanford, Florida. As Allegiant has grown as a company, they have added flights in the Quad Cities. More offerings to our travelers means more passengers enplaned, more concessions, additional parking revenues, and so on. A recent Illinois Aviation study estimates that on-airport spending alone has a $107.5 million output. It’s thanks to additional routes like these that spending like this will continue to create a community-wide impact.
On August 20, members of the Quad Cities Chamber joined in with local officials, airport board mem- bers, representatives from Valley Construction, Dennis Kelly Architects, McClure Engineering, and others to cut the ribbon on an expansion that houses airport snow removal equipment, focusing on safety and efficiency. 60 jobs were created. The first phase of the project is worth $3.1 million and was federally and locally funded. Site and concrete work continues for a second phase value of $1.7 million.
Ground was officially broken on August 27, 2013 for the future Holiday Inn Express site. Members of the Quad Cities Chamber, Frontier Hospitality Group, Airport Board, City and County officials were present. The project with Russell construction will generate 200 jobs throughout the construction process, and will employ approximately 20 persons when it is up and running. The project is expected to take 10 months to build, and is a $9 million investment.
Delta has upgraded one of three daily flights with a significantly larger jet for the summer and fall. Earlier this summer, the Airbus A-319 aircraft was used for the 6 am Atlanta departure, which seats 126 passengers. This same plane was the “overnighter”, which means it was also used as the last evening arrival from Atlanta. This upgrade allows our frequent corporate fliers upgrade opportunities and more comfortable options for domestic and international travels. For several months of the fall schedule, the aircraft will be a 737-700 series, which seats 124 passengers–12 in first class, 18 in economy comfort, and 94 in economy/coach. We hope that Delta will consider this very vital Atlanta route with an upgraded aircraft. More seats = more potential travelers = higher enplanement figures. We will continue to work with Delta in hopes that they will consider an upgraded aircraft for the Atlanta route, into the future.
Site work has begun on what will be a future consolidated rental car facility on the north side of the airport near airport road. The facility will contain all of the needs of quickly turning around the rental cars under one roof, including washing/vacuuming, fueling, and maintenance bays. All six rental car agencies located at the airport will share the facility. More updates will be provided as this project continues to develop.