The state of Wyoming, via the ENDOW recommendations, is forming a task force to address commercial air service throughout the state. The initial meeting is next week in Sheridan. Sheridan County Commissioner Steve Maier is part of this task force — his presence on the task force is a huge benefit for Sheridan; we need a voice.
The model system operated by Key Lime Air was initiated by businessman Bruce Garber, almost four years ago, as an option for Sheridan and from many perspectives it is the preferred model for the state to consider. Why? First and foremost is performance. Denver Air Connection has provided industry leading on-time performance and dependability.
Secondly, as the operational issues are refined, more of our local passengers are using it, consistently meeting the need of businesses to survive and sustain. The major benefit for any community is to keep their businesses competitive. As frosting on the cake, one unexpected outcome that comes across my desk is the use of the DAC for business commuters as a method to go to Billings, Montana — this is a paradigm shift. Our costs are less, they rent vehicles and schedules work easily. This also, very simply, introduces these businesses to our community as a landing spot. This is a proven concept demonstrated and promoted by direct flights to Jackson Hole from many large metro areas; they recognize that if someone has a stopover, that provides a good option to stay versus continuing on.
Combined stakeholder efforts improve meeting outcomes. Forward Sheridan, the city of Sheridan and Sheridan County, First Interstate Bank, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Ptolemy, the Wyoming Business Council, ACT, Flood Marketing, First Federal Bank and Trust, Downtown Sheridan Association, Sugarland-Brookdale all were financial contributors to enable our tech summit last week around cyber and cryptocurrency. Sheridan Memorial Hospital’s public room is an outstanding venue to utilize their technology access and settings; we focus on interaction with the speakers. We have completed several content-rich conferences that are utilized by our businesses for their information provided. It was gratifying as one of the participants stated simply: If I had to get this information, it would cost me a great deal more cash and time to go to Denver, Salt Lake City or Houston. Direct value in the bank for our local businesses.
We have taken this community concept of “several hands make the work easier” to our aerospace market approach where we have teamed up with three local companies — Kennon, Vacutech and L&H to begin the development of new opportunities for our local firms. This is tied with five other Wyoming firms to build our critical mass. Stop by our office and see the promotional brochure.
This recruitment of a “market” is a programmatic change versus recruitment of companies. This effort is to optimize our existing capacity through market entry located just to the south of us in Colorado and Utah. Kennon is clearly leading the pack in the development and capture. We feel that Wyoming companies have much to offer in terms of capacity, willingness to work and skill. Our push is to make them aware and available. As a note, a quick synopsis of the market size can be seen around Colorado Springs — $12 billion in revenue, more than 100,000 jobs, amazing numbers. Our goal is simply to put Wyoming in that supply chain and we are making progress each week.
A quick applaud to the Center for a Vital Community team and the approach on civil discourse. As we enter the election season the ability to communicate productively will be front and center. We appreciate their wisdom and effort to affect this process.
Jay Stender is the executive director of Forward Sheridan.