The airport in St. George recently changed its name from “municipal” to “regional” and recent data shows why.
The Federal Aviation Administration found that the St. George Regional Airport had 59, 321 passengers fly out of St. George in 2014, a reported 8.7% increase in the number of travelers from last year.
Airport manager Rich Stehmeier was surprised and said the data was confirmed by Tristar Consulting.
“It was unexpected. We actually expected the number to go down,” Stehmeier said.
Currently, there are four daily flights between Salt Lake City and two daily flights between Denver.
Stehmeier said that by adding Denver as a second destination after Salt Lake City helped the sharp jump.
“That flight is very conducive to times that are needed by businessmen and travelers. It leaves in the morning and comes back late at night. The second one leaves in the afternoon,” Stehmeier said.
The flight to Denver didn’t change the number of travelers flying to Salt Lake City.
“It only went down 1% and in the first 6 months of 2015, the airport already has had 10,500 more passengers than in the same time frame from last year,” he added.
Gil Almquist was happy to pick up his daughter in St. George.
“We found out that it’s cheaper to fly from Raleigh, North Carolina to St. George than it was from Raleigh North Carolina to Las Vegas,” he explained.
In addition to cheaper flights and more options, Stehmeier believes the increase is also associated with the multiple global sporting events that take place in St. George.
He said the next step is to attract other airline partners to add more destinations from St. George.