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Allegiant officials talk about return to Tahoe

The question of Allegiant Air providing service to Lake Tahoe once again was discussed Friday in a meeting with airport and community business leaders.

“There’s no question that we would love to provide service to Lake Tahoe,” said Jim Patterson, president of Allegiant Air. “But a real partnership needs to be developed so everyone can take ownership of making air service successful in Tahoe.”

In order to make this venture successful, Patterson emphasized the need for a strong marketing plan.



“It’s impossible for an airline to market a destination by itself,” he said. “The whole idea is to convince people they want to come to Tahoe. The marketplace isn’t Tahoe, but Long Beach, San Jose, etc. Once we get that, the key to success rests right there.”

One suggestion Patterson made to attract customers is identifying all advertising campaigns geared toward Lake Tahoe and earmark a slogan on the side with “By the way, you can fly to Lake Tahoe on Allegiant Air.”



Although no decisions were made on whether service would be reinstated, Patterson said if negotiations go smoothly Allegiant would shoot for a reopening in June. Preliminary marketing proposals are expected to be sent to him this week from South Lake Tahoe businesses.

“The best time of year to start any business is June to take advantage of the summer traffic,” Patterson said.

Overall, members who attended the meeting were positive with the outcome.

“I think it went well,” said Duane Wallace, executive director of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce. “If we do get air service back, I agree that a much better marketing plan needs to be put in place.”

Bob Attinger, of the South Lake Tahoe Airport Committee, agreed.

“Allegiant has continued to pay rent for their space at the airport since they suspended their service last fall,” Attinger said. “They have been a good model tenant for us.”


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