August/September Business View Magazine

152 153 which is huge.” The Airport is not only dependable for its planned passengers, it’s becoming a top option for airlines forced to divert from original Col- orado destinations due to weather or extreme conditions. Padalecki says, “This past year, we had about 150 planes that diverted here. The passen- gers de-boarded, got on busses and were bussed to the resorts they were trying to get to. So now,we’re starting to see passengers come through more often who originally traveled here, unintentionally.” Papko concurs, saying,“Our reliability isn’t only an internal business strategy- it’s also externally no- ticed.With 150 to 160 diversions per year, airlines are beginning to realize that they can just come here, first. Some aircrafts take off from Chicago, or the east coast, knowing if they can’t get to the smaller mountain airports, they can get in here. But diversity is a big one too when it comes to marketing what the Airport has to offer. Our loca- tion includes guaranteed travel and guaranteed activities, with some of the world’s best mountain biking and world-class skiing.” “Our airport is small, so you can get off the plane and into the rental car within 10 minutes,” Padalecki avers. “And then, a 2-hour drive gets you to a ski resort that everyone else is still a quarter-day away from making.We want travelers to use our Airport as a gateway to outdoor recre- ation in Colorado.” When Padalecki says “we” she means the entire Airport staff, concluding her remarks with ap- plause for her fellow associates. “The team here is so focused on what’s in their control, and really doing their best, while partnering with others, that it creates a really powerful environment when it comes to what you can accomplish. Ev- eryone here wants people to love our Airport.” GRAND JUNCTION REGIONAL AIRPORT PREFERRED VENDORS n Grand Junction Economic Partnership The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) is the offi- cial economic development agency for Colorado’s Grand Valley region, which includes Mesa County and the cities of Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade, De Beque, and Colbran. GJEP is a private, non-profit organization that provides business services and operates in conjunction with its economic development partners in local government and the private sector. Its vision is to create quality jobs and expand capital investment through the attraction, expansion, and retention of primary business. n West Star Aviation In addition to West Star’s 282,000 sq. ft. on over 32 acres at Grand Junction, CO, West Star occupies two additional full-ser- vice MROs in East Alton, IL and Chattanooga, TN. The five times voted #1 MRO specializes in airframe and engine maintenance, paint, interior and avionics on most business airframes. n Mead & Hunt