Economic Impact and More | Issue 2A, Winter/Spring 2014
The QCIA ended 2013 with 763,416 total travelers. The figure, down 4% from the previous year, shows a pattern of upward growth in comparison to previous years since the addition of Allegiant, as well as their seasonal destination of Punta Gorda, FL, a neighbor to Ft. Myers. Additional seats were added by Delta in the summer and early fall, as they increased the size of their jets for a period of several months. Delta and United have reduced their daily flight schedules slightly for the first three months of 2014. This trend is not uncommon in airports our size, and the flights typically reappear in the Spring schedule. Most of the flights scaled back for winter resume April 1st. Allegiant has already added two extra weekly Mesa, AZ flights for the month of March, for a total of 4 per week.
Several new boarding bridges (also known as jet bridges or loading bridges) have been installed at the QCIA by Walter Niese Company. Some of the existing bridges at the QCIA were brought over to the newer concourses 10 and 11 years ago, and were in need of replacement. The replacement project was 95% federally funded. One of the bridges has the capacity of going up high enough to reach some of the newer, larger aircraft which is particularly helpful when we have charter planes, such as the John Deere Classic charter, which flies many of the pro golfers annually to the British Open.
Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau (QCCVB) Increases Airport Presence with New Visitor Center
The QCIA and the QCCVB have an existing partnership to host a “Visitors Center” at the airport. The current center is located near the monocoupe airplane, in the public area. Since November of 2013, the CVB has ensured there is a visitor counselor at the airport 7 days a week. In March, there will be a new visitors center located near baggage claim. The location will be function well as travelers pass by the center adjacent to baggage claim. A TAP (Tourism Assistance Portal) kiosk will be accessible with touch-screen information. Be watching for the ribbon cutting on this new visitor center location this Spring! For more information about the Quad Cities CVB, log on to visitquadcities.com.
Construction of the Holiday Inn Express, by Frontier Hospitality Group, is speeding along nicely. By the end of 2013, the entire third floor was complete with windows in. The anticipated opening date is Summer, 2014. The hotel will feature 100 rooms, a dynamic lobby and custom designed great room with modern décor. A joint-use rental car facility, called “QTA” will be used for “quick-turn-around” of rental cars to the ready lot. Site work began Summer of 2013. The structure is taking shape as all of the walls for the exterior are complete. The local rental car agencies based at the airport will be able to use the facility by mid to late Summer, 2014.
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