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First Meeting Of The Sun Valley Air Services Board

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By Joey Martin

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The newly formed Sun Valley Air Services Board is meeting for the first time.

Last November, voters in Blaine County passed a 1% increase in local option taxes.

The roughly 2 million dollars it will create annually will be used to increase air service to the Sun Valley area.

The newly formed Sun Valley Air Services Board is made up of 4 members.

All three mayors from Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey.

Along with a representative from Blaine County.

Now although it's just the beginning, officials say it's beginning of big things.

"With not only the lot but improvements that are being made at the airports and the ability to fly regional jets in here now.... Everything is coming together at the right time."

With any new agency, the first meeting is crucial in setting a path for change.

And this afternoon, the newly formed Sun Valley Air Services Board set that path in making Sun Valley a top travel destination nationwide.

"The people that we will be funding will be working with the airlines to convince more airlines to fly into Hailey... particularly from the areas of Chicago... maybe New York, Dallas or Denver to open up those markets to us."
Said the Chairman of the Sun Valley Air Services Board, Dewayne Briscoe.

At Thursdays meeting, two of the major organizations that will receive portions of the nearly two million dollars in tax revenue spoke to the board.

"Fly Sun Valley Alliance has been the party that has organized the commercial air service enhancements that we've had in this area to date. And we anticipate continuing to do that as agents of the board... contracting with the board to continue to perform those functions."
Said Eric Seder, President of the Fly Sun Valley Alliance.

The other agency benefiting from the local option tax will be the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance.

"Ideally what we would like to see is an increased budget that will help us be more competitive. It will allow us to go deeper into the markets that were already in and have a longer presence during the season. And it will also allow us to go after new markets that have air service. So as the funds are used to secure new flights in new destinations, we'll be able to market to those destinations to build the demand for those flights."
Said Arlene Schieven, President of the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance.

With this being the first official meeting of the new board. The meeting was very preliminary in subject matter.

Including the election of officers, preliminary budget talks and outlining the purpose of the board.

"It's really exciting because this is the first time in my many years of being here that there is a total county cooperation on this... and an enthusiastic cooperation."
Said Briscoe.

County–wide cooperation to help bring Sun Valley into a new realm of economic vitality.

The Sun Valley Air Service Board will meet again on February 13th inside Hailey City Hall from 2 to 4.

The meeting is open to the public and the board will be discussing and approving their budget for the rest of the fiscal year.



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